LG V40 ThinQ – Hands-on tested

Hey LG Electronics recently announced that it will launch the LG V40 ThinQ in South Africa on 7 February.

It will initially be exclusive to Vodacom and will sell from R599 per month on a Smart XS+ price plan. Without a contract, the device has a recommended retail price of R12,499.

Vodacom will be selling the single-SIM, Moroccan Blue variant of the device.

As part of the launch event, I had hands-on time with the LG V40 ThinQ – and it feels surprisingly light compared to the similarly-sized devices from Samsung, Huawei, and Apple.

Like many of its competitors, LG has decided to go with a “notch” design for the 6.4-inch screen on the V40. The display area of the screen stretches close to the top bezel, curving around the earpiece and two front-facing cameras.

Unlike many of its competitors, however, LG has opted to keep an analogue headset jack on the V40.

LG V40 in the box

Personalisation

Based on Android, LG’s “skin” for Google’s mobile operating system has always offered a nigh inexhaustible number of ways to tweak the interface to your preferences.

The usual set of options like fonts, colours, and wallpapers are there along with ways to configure the home screens, screen swipe effect, icon styles, and the notch.

For instance, the LG V40 allows you to change the style of the notch so it may appear disconnected from the rest of the screen.

You may choose between two styles of rounded virtual corners for your display, and change the background colour. Options include plain black and grey, two black/grey/white gradients, and a colourful spectrum.

Other software features specific to LG phones remain available in the V40, such as “KnockON” which lets you double tap the screen to turn it on or off as an alternative to the power button.

It also still has Ringtone ID, which automatically composes ringtones for incoming calls. You can select whether ringtones should be composed for every caller that phones you, or only your contacts or favourites.

LG V40 settings

Cameras

Personalisation options aside, LG’s focus with the V40 is its gamut of camera lenses — three on the back and two facing forward.

For the rear camera, the LG V40 has a standard lens with an f/1.5 aperture, an f/1.9 wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens that offers 2× optical zoom with an f/2.4 aperture.

Selfie-enthusiasts get a choice of two lenses on the front of the phone: one with a standard field of view, and a wide-angle lens.

Switching between the lenses in the LG V40’s camera app is easy, and the phone takes high quality shots in well-lit and low-light conditions.

It also offers a triple-shot mode that takes a photo with each of the rear lenses, one after the other, and combines the shots into a video that cross-fades between them, getting closer to the subject each time. The three separate shots are also stored on the device, should you  want the photos and not the video.

The LG V40 has a few other interesting camera modes in addition to the usual portrait, food, and slow-mo options. One example is Flash Jump-Cut, which takes four photos, three seconds apart, firing the flash rapidly between them, and stitches them together in an animated GIF.

LG’s gallery application also lets you create GIFs from images stored on your device, specifying attributes such as the speed of animation, and whether it should loop or not.

First impressions

The LG V40 is a solid entry from the Korean electronics giant, at an aggressive price point for the South African consumer.

It looks good, sits comfortably in the hand, and comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end Android smartphone.

Water-resistance, a fingerprint reader, and the availability of 4 Carrier Aggregation are also among those bells and whistles.

Overall, the LG V40 was a pleasant device to test.

Camera test

LG V40 camera test — food without flash
LG V40 camera test — food without flash
LG V40 camera test — food with flash
LG V40 camera test — food with flash
LG V40 camera test low-light wide angle
LG V40 camera test — low light, wide angle

LG V40 camera test artistically lit art

LG V40 camera art in dim lighting

LG V40 camera test art wheeliebags

LG V40 camera test art hands

Now read: LG V40 ThinQ in South Africa — launch date and pricing

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LG V40 ThinQ – Hands-on tested