LG announces G8X ThinQ with dual screen snap-on case, improving the V50 ThinQ experience

With Samsung and Huawei soon releasing unique foldable phones of questionable reliability, LG continues to improve its dual screen approach with a new G series phone. The V50 launched with a dual screen case and the G8X adds functionality users have been looking for in this type of arrangement.

LG to unveil V60 ThinQ smartphone at IFA 2019 LG has sent out an invitation for the unveiling of its yet unnamed next flagship smartphone to take place at IFA on September 6 that hints at strong gaming feature and dual-screen support.

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The US version of the LG V50 ThinQ is available now with 5G, but this version doesn't support the dual-screen snap-on case. US customers will soon have the ability to test out LG's take on a foldable phone with the upcoming release of the new LG G8X ThinQ. The folks at Android Central took the LG G8X for a spin at IFA in Berlin yesterday.

The LG G8X looks almost like the LG G8, see our full review, but has a slightly larger 6.4-inch display, larger 4000 mAh battery, and 32-megapixel front-facing camera. The G8X will also include LG's latest software interface, LG UX 9.0, which looks similar to Samsung's One UI and indicates LG is on the right track to improving its smartphone lineup.

Also: T-Mobile LG G8 ThinQ review: An affordable, customizable flagship worth considering

LG G8X ThinQ Specifications

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Display: 6.4 inches, 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution AMOLED
  • Operating system: Android 9.0 Pie
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB internal storage with microSD card slot
  • Cameras: 12MP standard and 13MP ultra-wide angle rear cameras. 32MP front-facing camera
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh non-removable with Fast Charge 4.0 and wireless charging

LG continues releasing phones with MIL-STD 810G drop protection, which is a feature few other manufacturers provide. A Google Assistant button is also still present on the LG G8X, along with a headphone jack and Quad-DAC. Pricing and availability will be announced shortly.

When compared to the LG V50 we see one less rear camera (telephoto), switch from POGO pins to USB-C for the dual-display cover, and implementation of an updated UI. The dual display cover on the LG V50 has limited capability, but we see a small 2.1 inch outside display showing notifications with a clock while some apps, such as Chrome, now extend across the dual displays. Hopefully, an update comes to the V50 to provide this dual display functionality.

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LG V50 ThinQ with Dual Screen cover

For the past couple of weeks, I've been using a Korean LG V50 ThinQ with Dual Screen cover as I try to figure out what use cases there are for dual-screen phones. I also had a friend's 15-year old son, Maxton, try out the LG V50 and he offered some great feedback that is included below.

I've always enjoyed using LG's flagship V and G series devices and the V50 offers several improvements over the LG V40. The LG Dual Screen cover has a small notebook form factor with the top of the accessory having glass front and back pieces. Unfortunately, the front glass is not a display and doesn't show anything while the back piece is a full-color display measuring 6.2 inches with OLED technology. It's not clear why the outside has a glass panel that is susceptible to breakage.

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The back part of the cover has a large opening taking up nearly half of the back that lets you fully access the three rear cameras and rear fingerprint sensor. POGO pins on the back cover connect the LG V50 to the Dual Screen cover. There are buttons on the left side for the volume and Google Assistant buttons. There is an opening on the right side for the power button. Simply snap the V50 into the back of the case to get started.

Two substantial hinges are found along the "spine" of the cover that supports rotating the front of the cover 360 degrees from the front of the V50 around to the back. There are interim "stops" at the 90-degree and 180-degree angles, but you can also use the cover at other angles. This is useful for putting the V50 ThinQ in tent mode to view media with the cover as a kickstand.

Also: LG V40 ThinQ review: Full-featured smartphone built for Android tinkerers

The price of the LG Dual Screen cover was not provided, but overall it is a nice cover. I did notice some bit of movement in the hinges when the front was in the 90-degree position.

In regards to the V50, there is some anomaly with the Korean software on my test unit. The camera is slow to load and close-up objects won't come into focus.

LG provided a comprehensive user's guide showing more than 50 use cases. These include checking emails while viewing a PDF, watching football while tracking your fantasy team, chatting with someone while browsing social media, watching a movie while searching for actors in the movie, viewing a map while texting someone, performing comparison shopping, playing games and checking strategy online, playing games with the extra display being used as a gamepad, and much more. There is a handy Dual Screen Tool button that appears on the main display to let you quickly manage the second display.

Maxton's take on the V50

All of my usage of the V50 was with the Dual Screen accessory attached. The phone with the case is big, but it's not unreasonable. When you install the screen, you are limited down to 1080p on the main screen instead of the full 1440p that the P-OLED screen has to offer.

It was unusual in the first couple days and some actions like taking photos can be awkward. The fingerprint sensor is also inaccessible when the dual-screen is flipped all the way around, but the face unlock feature worked most of the time.

When you flip the screen back to use just one, the second screen will shut off until it's pulled back up. I found that it saves the app you're on, so you will be right where you left off. Just make sure to install the "Wiz Lock" app as it allows you to interact with both screens at once. If you open the same app that is open already on the opposite display then it will automatically appear on the current display you are using while it disappears from the display it was showing on before you tapped on the same app again.

Having the second screen was useful in some cases, such as reading a website and taking notes, using two messaging apps at once, web browsing and watching a video, or using the gamepad to play games. I don't think the added bulk is worth it for most people, but if you feel a second screen could improve your smartphone experience, the LG Dual Screen has good build quality and is executed well with simple software that just works. It's a less expensive dual display folding experience than either the Galaxy Fold or Mate X will offer soon.

The LG V50 is a well-rounded and refined phone, but it's hard to recommend at the high price. The Galaxy S10 5G is the same price as the V50 and both share very similar features. Other phones like the OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10e can be found at much lower prices if you don't live in an area with 5G just yet. We'll see what the V60 brings later and hopefully, it will come with the Dual Screen option for US customers too.