Foldable phones have been all the rage this year with the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X and the new Motorola Razr.

But companies like LG, who is no stranger to phones with some sort-of attachment, has their own idea of what a foldable phone is with their LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen.

Design & Hardware

The LG G8X ThinQ is basically a refined version of their G8 ThinQ device from earlier this year. The G8X offers a 6.4-inch FHD+ OLED Full Vision notched display that looks great from all angles and is fairly bright.

When you buy the G8X ThinQ, you’ll get LG’s Dual Screen attachment which basically adds another 6.4-inch OLED display to your phone. The attachment’s display also has a notch that LG says is for symmetry purposes but it’s more likely to keep costs down.

The Dual Screen attachment for the G8X has a 360 Freestop hinge, so you can put the accessory at any angle. To connect your G8X to the accessory, you just slot it into the USB-C port (like putting on a battery case) and that’s it.

You’ll still have access to the phone’s headphone jack, buttons and speaker but to charge your phone with the attachment on, you’ll need to use the included magnetic contact to USB-C adapter. It would have been great if LG put a USB-C port instead of the need for an adapter.

The back of the attachment has a slightly gripped texture that makes it easier to hold the device. The Dual Screen accessory feels mostly solid but is made from hard plastic, so who knows how well it will withstand the test of time.

When you close the Dual Screen attachment, you’ll get a 2.1-inch monochrome display that will show you the time and notifications, similar to some wallet cases. The front of the attachment is a fingerprint magnet and has a mirrored finish on it.

The display has a resolution of 2340 x 1080 with a 403 PPI, which is actually lower than the original model.

Powering the G8X is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage plus a microSD card slot. The Snapdragon 855 processor is great for most everyday tasks and makes Android and LG’s skin run smoothly (for the most part).

It would have been great if LG was able to include the Snapdragon 855 Plus processor in the G8X or maybe even a bit more RAM to help differentiate itself from the original G8.

There’s a 4,000 mAh battery in the G8X compared to the G8’s 3,500 mAh. This helped the device last longer and since the Dual Screen attachment is powered by the phone.

The G8X also comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor that works some of the time, stereo speaker, 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC adn DTS:X 3D Surround Sound and IP68 water and dust resistance.

The LG G8X ThinQ and Dual Screen attachment are available now from a number of carriers and retailers in Canada including:

  • Bell
  • Eastlink
  • Freedom Mobile
  • Koodo
  • Sasktel
  • Tbooth Wireless
  • Telus
  • The Mobile Shop
  • Videotron
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Wireless Wave
  • Xplore Mobile

The phone is around $1,299 CAD (but can vary depending on carrier) off-contract but also available for $0 on select two-year plans.

Software

The LG G8X ThinQ is running Android 9 Pie with LG’s skin on top. I’m not the biggest fan of LG’s version of Android but it’s fine for the most part. If you have used LG’s phones in the past, then you’ll know what to expect.

LG has said the G8X ThinQ will be upgraded to Android 10 at a later date but nothing has been announced at this time. Android 10 brings a number of features and improvements including better support for foldable devices.

You’ll find your usual array of LG pre-installed apps like LG SmartWorld, RemoteCall Service or QuickMemo+. But most of the software tweaks on the LG G8X are for the Dual Screen attachment.

When you have the accessory attached to your phone, you’ll see a little bubble icon on the right side of the screen that looks like a book. Tapping that will bring up options for the Dual Screen attachment including:

  • Swap screens
  • Show main on Dual Screen
  • Show Dual Screen on main
  • Put main screen to sleep
  • Turn off Dual Screen

Some of the options listed above are grayed out depending on what app you are in. There are some apps like Chrome or LG’s Whale browser that let you use a wide view and have the app spread over two screens.

But doing that will also mess up how the home buttons look and how to press them. The main home button is shown between both screens and cut off.

It would have been great if LG was able to tweak how the Dual Screen works with Android, even more, to make it more fluid such as dragging an app in the multitasking view to the other screen. Instead of using the Dual Screen context button/menu that appears on the side of the screen.

There are apps that do take advantage of the second display such as in the camera app when you take a phone or video and press the gallery to view it, it will automatically open a preview on the second screen.

The LG Dual Screen can be used as a full-screen virtual keyboard, controller layout for certain games and for being trying to be more productive by browsing the web on one screen and emails on another.

Camera

The LG G8X has a 12-megapixel standard lens and a 13-megapixel Super Wide lens at 136-degrees. The front camera in the phone’s notched display is 32-megapixels which is great for taking selfies.

Photos taken on the G8X ThinQ look good but nothing compared to Google’s Pixel phones or the latest iPhone.

The camera app on the G8X has a few different modes including:

  • Studio
  • Portrait
  • Photo
  • Video
  • Manuel Camera
  • Night view
  • Panorama
  • Story Shot
  • Manuel Video
  • Slow-mo
  • Time-Lapse
  • Flash Jump-Cut

You can shoot up to 4K and 1080p HD video at 60 fps but if you want HDR video recording, you’ll need to change to a 30 fps shooting mode. Just like previous LG devices, you can also record in the FullVision aspect ratio but at a resolution of 2340 x 1080.

Final Thoughts

The LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen is an interesting take on a foldable-eque phone that works for the most part. I think LG is on the right path and could be improved with better software to take advantage of the second screen.

Pros

  • The second screen is helpful for multi-tasking
  • Solid performance
  • Cameras are good
  • Expandable storage
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • The in-display fingerprint sensor doesn’t work all the time
  • LG’s Android skin still needs work
  • Limited multi-screen features
  • Second screen attachment makes it bulky

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