The LG V50 ThinQ 5G is a good smartphone with solid camera performance, clear bright display and fast internet on a 5G network. Its twin display accessory included in the package also has a certain wow factor. However, it isn't an Apple iPhone or Samsung product and recent history has shown that because of that, Australian consumers probably won't give it look, which is a shame.
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5G compatible phone
The LG V5 is one of the few smartphones currently available that give you faster performance on a 5G network. The others include the Oppo Reno 5G, a variant of the Samsung Note 10+ and S10, and similar models from Huawei and Xiaomi, although these are difficult to find in Australia.
What is 5G?
5G is the next generation mobile network. It promises a faster mobile internet experience on your smartphone – and at home, if you choose to use it as your main internet option. It also promises internet download and upload speeds many times faster than that possible with 4G. However, these improvements are only possible when you have a 5G device and are within the reception area of a 5G tower.
So, should get rid of your brand new smartphone and get the first 5G smartphone you can lay your hands on? In a word – no! (Or at least, not yet!)
The gaming features are interesting, although you could buy a hand-held console for a quarter of the price.
While the LG V50 ThinQ is available as a single-screen smartphone, sporting a nice bright 6.4-inch OLED screen and support for 5G mobile networks, it's the secondary 6.2-inch display incorporated into an accessory case that makes this smartphone unique.
The secondary screen is included in the (significant) price when signing on to the Telstra network. This twin screen setup of the LG V50 makes it look like a gaming console, such as the popular Nintendo 3DS, particularly when you use the bottom screen as a controller.
Multiple app use is handy, but movement between the screens is not intuitive.
Something different, but is it enough?
The main purpose of the V50 twin-screen setup is to operate multiple apps, but the environment is neither intuitive nor universal. Swapping from one app to another is possible but not smooth and the tendency is to carry out two different tasks such as watch a video on one screen while working on an email on the other screen.
The trade off for this added screen real estate is a significant increase in weight and size, making it less of an option for carrying in the back pocket.
As a single-screen premium smartphone the LG V50 is a competent, if unremarkable smartphone.
Case not included
Unlike the failed foldable designs of the Samsung and Huawei devices, the LG V50 ThinQ seems to be able to handle the daily grind of real-world use. The screen and hinge remained perfectly fine after a couple of weeks of punishing use (including a couple of accidental drops onto the pavement). However, as with all large smartphones with displays going all the way to the edge, a protective case is a strong recommendation if you want to use the V50 as a single-screen smartphone.
Unfortunately, the V50 pack doesn't include a case for when you want to go single-screen – an oversight, as it's not as easy to find the right sized case compared to an iPhone or Samsung smartphone. Cases for the previous generation V40 can be used for the V50, highlighting how little the design has changed.
The camera features are as good as other premium models with the ability to capture in wide, standard and telephoto mode with one click and select the best image.
The primary camera for the V50 has three lenses including a 16MP superwide lens, 12MP standard lens and a 12MP close up lens. The standard lens has the fastest aperture at f1.5 and a good option for low light
Automatic mode is recommended for most situations, although enabling the triple shot option allows all three lenses to shoot the scene and you can decide later which one you want to use.
Processor and memory options
For those who want to know what's under the hood.
- Processor: Snapdragon 855
- Main Display: 6.4-inch 1440 x 3120 pixels OLED with notch
- Dual Screen: 6.2-inch 1080 x 2160 pixels OLED
- Camera: Five lenses (three main, two rear selfie lenses)
- Total weight: 214 grams
- RAM (memory): 6GB
- Battery 4,000mAh
- Storage options: 128GB (external microSD support up to 256GB)
- Connectivity: 3.5mm audio jack/Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, 802.11 ac.
Shopping links on the CHOICE website
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