The V50 ThinQ is a step up from the V40 released last year, complete with an innovative dual-screen option and additional 5G compatibility.
First impressions and design
- The dual-screen is exciting and useful
- Built with top quality materials and water-resistant
- We love the absence of a protruding camera housing
The LG V50 ThinQ out of the box. 25W charger, USB cable and LG branded earphones. Instead of the protective silicone case, you’ll find the LG dual screen accessory which adds a second screen housed within a sturdy plastic case.
Shiny black glass covers the back of the device. No protruding camera housing and rounded sides make this a really elegant design.
A multi-colour LED at the back glows while the phone is charging. It also functions as a notification alert, flashing a solid blue when you receive a message - which is a nice touch.
The LG dual screen has a smooth front that may look like a screen but apart from a small notification light at the top right, it’s only a flat “black mirror”.
Attaching the second screen is easy enough, but taking it off can be a bit tricky and you might need to read the instructions.
No need to worry about spillages as the V50 ThinQ is water and dust resistant.
The LG V50 ThinQ power/standby button is located on the right of the device. has only the on the right. It can be hard to reach when the dual-screen is rotated all the way behind the device.
Volume buttons and Google Assistant button on the left. Chunky dual-screen case aside, the ergonomics of the LG V50 ThinQ are some of the best we’ve seen. Smooth lines and pleasingly round sides make it a pleasure to hold.
At the bottom, you’ll find a reversible USB-C connector and the audio jack.
Instead of a protruding camera casing seen on most devices, LG has managed to squeeze all three cameras within the body. The minimalist design makes it easier to keep the lenses clean and protect them against accidental damage.
The V50 ThinQ uses Gorilla Glass 5 for the display and the more robust Gorilla Glass 6 for the back, ensuring the camera lenses remain scratch-free.
||Gorilla Glass 5 for the Display and Gorilla Glass 6 for the back
||159.2 x 76.1 x 8.3 mm
||Water and dust resistant to IP68 standard
- P-OLED screen
- Gorilla Glass 5
- Wide notch hosting the double selfie camera
The Galaxy S10 5G is V50's main V50 rival and the smartphone you should be comparing it against. The Samsung still has the edge when it comes to colour reproduction, but apart from a slightly different aspect ratio which gives the S10 a slight edge when watching films, the picture quality is very close.
If display quality is a high priority the V5 ThinQ should be on your shortlist.
The wide central screen notch hosts the dual selfie camera and speaker. It is not more intrusive than the ones we have seen from its main rivals and if you’d rather not have it LG even gives you the option to remove it by making the screen slightly smaller.
Auto brightness may appear rather low if you’re watching videos with dark scenes, but it can be cranked up when needed. Don’t overdo it though as it will lead to eye strain and excessive battery usage.
There are plenty of display modes to choose from although we advise leaving it on “Auto” as the system is pretty good at adjusting to the right colour profile depending on the application.
You can make the most of the dual-display for multitasking such as looking for a location on the right while browsing a website on the left. Pretty useful.
The double selfie camera is hosted in the wide central notch on the screen. LG gives you the option of blanking out the whole section if you find it intrusive when watching videos. Removing the notch will mean, however, that the screen will shrink in size.
||1440 x 3120 pixels
- Triple camera setup
- Optical image stabilisation on main and zoom camera
- 2x optical zoom
If you’re upgrading from the LG V40, not much has changed. LG has kept the same three-camera setup: a regular 12-megapixel primary shooter next to a 2x optical telephoto zoom and a super-wide lens.
We were impressed with the camera app. Well designed, fast with plenty of useful features. A favourite? The “Cheese shutter”: Take a photo by saying “Cheese” or a word from a shortlist that includes “Kimchi” and “LG”. Very Korean.
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 3
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 1
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 2
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 6
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 4
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 9
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 7
LG V50 ThinQ photography sample 8
The three cameras give good options for creative photography. The wide angle can struggle with low light conditions and dynamic range, but when used together with the AI-Cam can provide impressive results.
Once you get to grips with what the wide angle lens can do, you'll be using it to make the most mundane scene a lot more interesting.
||12MP f/1.9 2x Zoom
||8MP Standard + 5MP Wide-angle
|Optical image stabilisation
||Main and zoom cameras only
Software, performance and battery life
- Battery life is affected by the second screen
- Supports wireless charging
- Comprehensive but somewhat cluttered ‘preferences’ panel
4,000 mAh is a reasonably large battery but long dual-screen sessions will use a lot of power.
60% of charge in just over an hour, which is a pretty decent charge-rate. Optimised charging adjusts charging speed to reduce heat and extend the lifespan of the battery. If you were worried about fast-charging cycles and were uneasy about leaving your phone plugged in overnight, this is the answer.
To save space at the front, LG has opted for a fingerprint reader located at the back. A tried and tested solution that is lightning fast and still beat all other devices on-screen readers when it comes to speed and reliability.
Face recognition is probably the fastest you’ll find on any device. What’s also unique about the LG implementation, is the opportunity to increase accuracy by running through the face registration cycle multiple times.
128GB is the only option when it comes to storage space. The V50 does, however, support an additional 1TB of storage via an SD card to be installed next to the SIM. Not everyone will make use of it but it's nice to know the option is there if you need it.
|OS and Version
||Android 9 (Pie)
Value and verdict
The dual screen is an expensive accessory that adds little to an already pretty good device
*Decisions, decisions. While the S10 5G undoubtedly has a slicker design and a well-polished software experience, it is also quite a large, and more expensive, device.
The LG V50 ThinQ is a worthy competitor to the Galaxy S10 5G. It is a good all-rounder that is designed to please a wide audience, and if you put aside the dubious second screen accessory and focus on a like-for-like comparison, it would appear a better option if you’re put off by the size of the Samsung. Both screen and camera are both “almost” as good, and you still get tough, premium quality materials and the same water resistance standard.
The high launch price is where the LG struggles to make a compelling case. Currently only available on contract, it is only marginally cheaper than the Samsung but more expensive than the larger OnePlus 7T, another 5G-compatible device that does away with water resistance but doubles down on processing power.