Exclusive: This is the LG G8 ThinQ, LG’s First 2019 Flagship Smartphone

In 2018, smartphone manufacturers hopped on the notch bandwagon to trim as much of the top bezel as they could. Towards the end of the year, we saw device makers experiment with slider mechanisms and punch hole displays. While we haven’t seen any evidence that the Korean manufacturer LG will do away with the display notch on its upcoming G8 ThinQ, we have heard rumors that the company is experimenting with “Sound on Display” technology. This was corroborated last week when the first CAD renders of what’s purportedly the LG G8 ThinQ was published, and now, thanks to an anonymous source, we have the first press render of the G8 which matches what we saw last week.

From the renders shown below, we can see that the LG G8 ThinQ has dual rear cameras that are horizontally aligned like the LG V40 ThinQ but unlike the LG G7 ThinQ. We’re not sure about what sensors LG is packing on the rear of this device, but we would be shocked if LG ditches their signature super-wide angle lens. The V40 ThinQ had a third rear-facing telephoto lens, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing that on the G8 ThinQ.

Also on the rear of the device, we see an LED flash and a fingerprint scanner. There’s no under-display fingerprint scanner here, which some may consider a boon but will give the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 a point in the marketing war. Below the fingerprint scanner, you’ll see the G8 ThinQ branding emblazoned on what seems to be a metal body. Near the bottom of the rear, the G8 sports the LG logo.

On the front, you’ll notice that the device has curves around the edges. The notch is quite large, but we’ll get back to why that’s the case. On the left side of the device, you’ll find the volume up and down keys and below those, the Google Assistant key. On the right side of the device, you can see the power button with the SIM card tray right below it. Antenna bands can be seen below the SIM card tray on the right side and above one of the microphones on the left side. We don’t have a clear view of the top or bottom of the device, but the CAD renders that were leaked earlier show that the G8 has a 3.5mm headphone jack and single bottom-firing speaker at the bottom. The LG G8 may not have dual stereo speakers, but the G7’s DTS-certified BoomboxSpeaker technology was able to pump out pretty loud sounds.

LG G8 ThinQ Forums

LG G7 ThinQ Forums

LG V40 ThinQ Forums

LG G8 ThinQ CAD renders. Source: OnLeaks.

We zoomed in on the image to see what LG is packing in the G8’s display cutout. The primary front-facing camera and lack of an earpiece speaker are obvious, but we aren’t too sure about the other sensors housed in the notch. Before its launch, the LG V40 was rumored to have face unlock support. While it does support facial recognition, it’s not as secure as Face ID on the latest Apple iPhone models or face unlock on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition. It’s possible that LG is revisiting the concept here, but this time with hardware sensors to provide for more secure facial authentication. That would necessarily include an IR camera, dot projector, and a Time of Flight camera, but we don’t know if the blurry sensors shown in the close-up below are for face unlock.


A close-up of the notch on the LG G8 ThinQ. (Image has been brightened in Photoshop.)

For comparison, here are close-ups of the notches on the LG G7 ThinQ and LG V40 ThinQ. You can clearly see that the earpiece that’s present on both of LG’s 2018 flagship devices is missing on the G8.

Is this really the LG G8?

Given the track record of Steve Hemmerstoffer, also known as OnLeaks on Twitter, we had little reason to doubt his claim that the CAD renders he posted were of the G8. However, Ken Hong, the head of LG Electronics’ global corporate communications, quickly came out to dispute the accuracy of those renders, stating that they are “only a speculative rendering.” He went on to say that the renders are “not real” and that the renders aren’t showing the G8 ThinQ. David Ruddock from AndroidPolice believes that the CAD renders are mostly accurate. The LG G8 press renders that we posted today corroborate what OnLeaks posted. Thus, we now also believe that the CAD renders were accurate all along. We reached out to Ken Hong from LG for comment and will update this article if we hear back.

Update 1/26/19 at 10:58PM CT: Ken Hong declined to comment.

LG G8 ThinQ Specifications

Unfortunately, we don’t know much about the hardware specifications for the LG G8. OnLeaks told 91Mobiles that the device has a 6.1-inch display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. If the G8 really does have “Sound on Display” technology, then we would expect it to have an OLED panel as previously rumored. LG told AndroidHeadlines that the company was reserving OLED panels for their V series of smartphones, but it’s possible their plans have changed since then.

The dimensions of the LG G8 are purportedly 152 x 72 x 8.4mm. In comparison, the LG V40 ThinQ’s dimensions are 158.8 x 75.7 x 7.6 mm while the LG G7 ThinQ’s dimensions are 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm. If OnLeaks is correct, then the G8 will be shorter than both the V40 and the G7 but it’ll be thicker than both its predecessors.

CNET claims that LG will launch a smartphone that supports a second screen as an attachment, but we have no new information that corroborates that report. We’ve heard rumors that LG plans to launch a 5G flagship at Mobile World Congress 2019, but Korean publication ETNews reports that LG’s 5G flagship will launch separately from the LG G8 ThinQ. LG recently announced that they’ll be launching a 5G smartphone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, a 4,000mAh battery, and improved cooling, but if ETNews is correct, this won’t be the G8. LG is also saying “goodbye to touch” in their latest MWC 2019 teaser video, which could be a hint that the company plans on pushing gestures on their upcoming flagship. The possible inclusion of a TOF sensor would support the theory that the G8 will have hover gesture support, given what we’ve seen the sensor is capable of with the Honor View 20’s 3D Motion-controlled Gaming.

LG G8 ThinQ Announcement

We’re still a month away from LG’s scheduled press conference at MWC 2019, so expect to hear more about the device ahead of its launch. LG’s event is scheduled for Sunday, February 24, 2019. XDA-Developers will have a representative at MWC as will our partners at PocketNow, so stay tuned for more coverage on the LG G8 ThinQ.

About author

Mishaal Rahman

I am the former Editor-in-chief of XDA. In addition to breaking news on the Android OS and mobile devices, I manage all editorial and reviews content on the Portal. Tips/media inquiries: mishaal@xda-developers.com.

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