The LG G8X ThinQ has been my lockdown companion while at home and to be honest it’s been the multi-tasking companion I needed around. To be fair, when working from home only, it is a little trying to review a phone because you can just sit at your laptop and get on with what you need to to do. However, I’ve purposely used the LG G8X ThinQ for most of my medial tasks, but this is not a boring work phone – there’s a lot to play with here too.
What makes this phone so special is the add on dual screen because you’re transforming it to a foldable phone at your will but I assure you, once you’ve settled into using the dual screen, I just don’t know how I’ll go back to using a “normal” phone.
The LG G8X has been deemed a poor man’s version of a foldable phone and, ouch! With negative connotations like that, I welcomed the trial of a dual screen phone that was affordable… which I suppose means the same thing… I, however, hardly have negative feelings towards the LG G8X.
The second screen is actually a case that you simply slide your phone into. It then opens and closes like a phone case with a foldable front normally would. The exciting part though is that this is NOT an ordinary case and offers up all sorts of fun features whether open or shut.
The casing doesn’t have a USBC slot. Instead it’s charged with a small little adapter that magnetically clips onto the bottom, where you’d normally plug in your USBC on other phones. The adapter does looks really fidgety and I was concerned that I’d be losing it because it’s magnetic. BUT, rest assured, the magnetic force in this one is very strong and I ended up trying to pry it from anything magnetic near where I charge my phone. Your best bet is just to leave the adapter plugged onto your USB cable. (I’ve added a video below.)
The front of the dual screen is very reflective and has a small rectangular panel which will give you on-screen information. You can set what information you’d like shown here, like date and time and some unopened notifications. You can also choose to hide sensitive information.
Open that up and there’s your second display – it’s literally like opening a book or a magazine. The second screen is the same size as the actual phone screen 6.4 inch OLED. The hinge is also very good build quality and won’t fall open slowly… where you’ve opened it up to is where it’ll stay. This hinge goes all the way round, 360 degrees, so you in turn can use the case as a stand if you needed to.
The back of the case has a cut out to accommodate the camera and is a hard patterned plastic, emulating leathery look. It’s great for grip when holding the phone and feels quite premium in your hand.
On the bottom of the case, LG have made allowances for the headphone jack and the microphone by including cut-outs and on the top, the speaker has a tiny cut-out too.
The left of the case has little raised sections for the volume rocker and Google Assistant, while the right side of the case is almost completely exposed for you to use the power button.
The case itself is also magnetic so when it’s closed, it’s closed.
The LG G8 X has a base storage of 128 gigs, although only 99.41 is available to me on my review unit. I wish manufacturers would stop adding so much bloatware. I wouldn’t use Booking.com for instance, ever, and now it’s here. There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, and there’s an Always On display.
The phone also has a microSD card slot with, of course, all the other buttons accommodated by the case , mentioned earlier: volume, Google Assistant, power and USBC, headphone jack, speakers and microphone.
Turn the phone around and you’ll notice the phone’s very clean look at the back. The LG G8X ThinQ has dual wide angle and ultra-wide angle lenses and the light for torch and flash is just set off to the right. It is noteworthy that the cameras are flush with the back of the phone and aren’t raised, which just sits better with me. The bottom of the phone sports the LG logo.
Taking a look at the front of the phone: it’s got minimal bezels and the front-facing camera is a 32 megapixel front facing camera.
The phone also has an in-display fingerprint scanner but there’s no facial recognition, which I just find weird. I mean I don’t use facial recognition and use my finger print instead but it’s just a strange choice. Also, the fingerprint reader is placed a little low but I got used to that quickly and it’s very responsive.
But let’s sandwich the two together and have some fun. Connection is easy and immediate when you slip the phone into its case. As soon as that’s done an icon pops up on the side and that gives you options for you next move: Swap screens; show main on dual screen; show dual on main; put main screen to sleep; and turn off dual screen.
So let’s say for example you wanted to play a game with a gamepad: you can turn that hinge to your specific liking turn the phone into a game pad and off you go.
If you want to turn the phone and the accompanying screen on its side and maybe read an article in what we’d normally term a landscape position, you know, so you have tablet sized content, you can expect the text to fill the screen. The hinge doesn’t interrupt or cut the flow of text at all, which I thought it would. I really thought the text would disappear “behind” the hinge and pop out again when you’re scrolling. It actually doesn’t. The full text is on-screen (both screens) and either sits in full above or below the, shall we say, break in the screen. If you’re maybe watching YouTube like this though, you’ll have the video playing on the top screen and the comments section etc below on the actual phone screen.
I found emailing this way great too. The top screen is your compiled email and the bottom screen is your keypad, which you can use as normal like when you’re typing on a laptop or split the keypad to type with your thumbs if you’re holding the phone up. Kind of like gaming controls.
Turn the G8X back into portrait position and you can use and swipe between screens, or split the screen to have more apps open, otherwise you could play a YouTube video, while you’re catching up on WhatsApp.
Alright, so let’s finally check out the camera. By swiping up or down over the camera preview, you can change the cameras from selfie to back camera and vice-versa. By swiping right and left, you can change the mode of the camera. All nifty little time savers, once you know they’re there. There is a nice little subtle vibration when you take a picture and if you want you can use the second screen to light up the selfie you’re taking.
There are some great features to remember with LG: the three finger gesture, which I know sounds rude but it’s three fingers, not one or two. The animation on the three fingered gesture are noticeably good. There’s also the double tap or double knock to wake the phone and the triple tap to put it back to sleep.
All in all, you have to admire a manufacturer that thinks outside the box and pushes the boundaries. LG have done exactly that with the LG G8X ThinQ and I dread the day they come to fetch it!
The downside to this phone is its size – it’s chunky and it’s weighty but this is maybe the compromise you’ll want to make for that dual screen. I can’t tell you enough how great this phone was for getting work done, catching up on news and emails and squeezing in a bit of recreational activity.