LG V40 - Smartphone arrives late

Once a smartphone brand of size, LG now knows how to sell its smartphones. Can LG turn the tide with V40? You can read that in this LG V40 Thinq review.

LG V40 Thinq

Price €749,-

Colors Blue grey

OS Android 8.1

Screen 6.4 inch OLED (3120 x 1440)

Processor 2.7GHz octa-core (Snapdragon 845)


Storage 128GB (expandable with memory card)

Battery 3,300mAh

Camera 12, 12 and 16 megapixels (rear), 8 and 5 megapixels (front)

Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC

Format 15.9 x 7.6 x 0.8 cm

Weight 169 grams

Other usb-c, headphone port

Website www.lg.com 7 Score 70

  • Pros
  • Screen
  • Build quality
  • wide angle camera
  • Audio quality
  • Negatives
  • Outdated Android
  • Unobtrusive design
  • Price

When you are looking for a smartphone, you no longer think of the LG brand. It was different a few years ago. LG has largely out-competed the market, but nevertheless has no plans to stop making smartphones. That's because smartphones play a fairly central role in LG's home automation and television ecosystem. Since LG is a large multi-market company, they can afford the losses in the smartphone market. It may sound familiar to you: Sony is also in a similar situation.

Timing of the LG V40

LG is trying to turn the tide with the V40 Thinq. However, the smartphone is already starting to lag behind. Although the smartphone was already presented in other countries in the autumn of 2018, it will only be available in the Netherlands from February 2019. Just before Mobile World Congress takes place and many competing manufacturers present their new smartphones. Why choose an expensive top smartphone from LG now, and not wait for other manufacturers such as Samsung, Nokia, Oppo and Huawei to release their new smartphones? I cannot answer the question.

LG has to pull out all the stops to make the V40 stand out and seduce people. Let's start with the positive: the build quality is good, the V40 is complete, a trio of cameras on the rear is striking and LG does not leave music lovers out in the cold by simply placing a headphone port and emphasizing the audio quality with a quad DAC .

LG does not leave music lovers out in the cold.


But there is also something to note. First of all: the smartphone is already not striking enough. On the front, it is indistinguishable from other smartphones, due to its (almost borderless) display with iPhone-like screen notch. The glass back is also somewhat generic, although the pain is somewhat mitigated by the colors used and the three camera lenses.

The specifications - and therefore the performance - are perfectly fine, but also unobtrusive. We already know the Snapdragon 845 processor from other smartphones, such as the OnePlus 6 (and 6T), Xiaomi PocoPhone F1, Asus Zenfone 5Z and many others. Moreover, the smartphones I just mentioned are cheaper than the LG V40. The working memory (6GB), expandable storage memory (128GB), battery capacity of 3300 mAh (which you can also charge wirelessly or quickly and last a day or two), everything is as expected.

Three cameras of the LG V40

Even LG's marketing around the V40 is predictable: everything is put on the triple rear camera and dual front camera. Just like the marketers of many other smartphone manufacturers only seem to have an eye for the camera. But does the camera stand out compared to, for example, the Galaxy Note 9, iPhone Xs or Huawei Mate 20 Pro? Yes and no.

So at the back we find three camera lenses, all three of which have a different focus point. In fact, you have a smartphone with three zoom levels: wide-angle, macro and regular. There are also two cameras on the front, where, in addition to the regular lens, a wide-angle lens has been placed to get more (people) in the photo. That is certainly nice to have. The front and rear lenses also work together to create a depth of field effect.

In addition to the options that the multiple lenses offer, you as a user have many options in the LG camera app, as is also the case with previous LG smartphones. From RAW photography to advanced options such as white balance and ISO values. Automatic object and scene recognition, such as Huawei and Samsung do, are not so advanced on the LG V40.

What is unique about the LG V40 is the Triple Shot function, which allows you to take a photo with all three lenses at the same time, so you have three photos with a different distance point in one fell swoop. According to LG, a great feature and it also works great. But to be honest. During the test period I have not yet experienced a moment when the Triple Shot came in handy. In fact, I can't imagine any situation where the Triple Shot adds anything.

Taking pictures with the LG V40

So much for the possibilities of the three cameras. But how good is the LG V40 at taking pictures? Under the right conditions, with sufficient light. Then the photos are very detailed. But when the lighting conditions are a bit more difficult, the photos are a bit disappointing. A lot of noise and motion blur occurs when there is little light available – while the photos are downright dull when there is a lot or backlight. However, I have the idea that LG can improve a few things with a software update, to remove the faded effect from photos.

Outdated Android

With the word update we come to the biggest defect of the LG V40. So far, the LG V40 is a great smartphone, but it is not yet really excelling. But when it comes to software and support, the V40 stands out negatively. Despite the fact that an update is coming to the latest Android version (9.0, Pie), the smartphone still runs on Android 8 (Oreo), which appeared in 2017. In 2019, releasing a smartphone with Android 8 is a miss. A miss that LG can't afford, because its reputation when it comes to Android updates is bad. It takes an awfully long time before updates are finally rolled out, if they come at all. So I fear that the V40 will not get fast or long support.

That casts a dark shadow over the fact that LG has improved its Android skin. There are less unnecessary and advertising apps to be found, everything works a lot smoother and the skin also seems to be a bit clearer. Only the settings screen is still very unclear. With LG's Smartworld you also have a completely unnecessary application store that still offers Christmas themes in February and installed McAfee's parental control app on the device out of the blue. I would have preferred an installation of a recent security patch or Android update. There's something ironic about it.

In 2019, releasing a smartphone with Android 8 is a miss.

oled screen

LG's marketers can focus their attention on the screen of the LG V40 without any worries. As you would expect from a modern smartphone, the edges around the screen have been kept paper thin, which looks nice. Add to that the aspect ratio of 19.5 by 9 and the screen notch and you have a smartphone with a huge 6.4 inch screen, which is just about pocket-resistant.

The image quality is fine, as you would expect from LG, producer of many OLED screens – including those of competitors. The color reproduction and clarity are excellent. On paper, the screen has a somewhat exaggerated resolution of 3120 by 1440. In practice, the resolution is just fullscreen (2340 by 1080 pixels). This resolution is sharp enough and, moreover, less taxing on the battery.

Conclusion: buy LG V40 Thinq?

The LG V40 is a very complete smartphone, with decent specs and excellent battery life, for an acceptable sales price of 750 euros. It is nice that LG is one of the few manufacturers that does not leave the music listener out in the cold. The smartphone's software is a pain point and the camera quality is not very impressive, but the possibilities of three camera lenses with different focus points on the back (and two on the front) offer enormous added value. Nevertheless, the LG V40 does not distinguish itself enough and with the OnePlus 6 and the Galaxy Note 9 you have cheaper and better alternatives. In addition, many manufacturers, including LG itself, will soon present a lot of new smartphones. So it pays to wait: perhaps manufacturers will simply come up with a much better smartphone in the short term. It is also not inconceivable that the price of the LG V40 will fall sharply in the short term.

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