LG will be unveiling the LG G7 ThinQ at simultaneous events in New York City (May 2) and Seoul (May 3). As with the LG V30S ThinQ, announced in February, we got our hands on the release a few hours early. Here are the official LG G7 ThinQ details and specs, minus pricing and exact launch dates.

The LG G7 ThinQ will arrive in South Korea first, sometime “in the coming days.” Major markets (read: anywhere LG flagships are currently sold) in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia will follow. Pricing will be announced locally closer to launch in each country.

This year, LG is shunning the smartphone industry’s annual release cycles, opting to retain existing models for longer. Indeed, the LG G6 was announced at Mobile World Congress in February 2017, while its successor is being unveiled just over 14 months later.

ThinQ is LG’s brand for home appliances, consumer electronics, and services that feature artificial intelligence. The V30S ThinQ was LG’s first ThinQ mobile device and was really just a slightly improved V30 with AI features on top. The LG G7 ThinQ takes that AI focus to the next level and throws in a notch for good measure.

The LG G6 was designed to make you forget the failure of the modular LG G5. This time around, LG’s latest phone is “focused on the fundamentals,” which apparently means “personalized and useful AI functionalities with meaningful smartphone features.” The whole package is supposed to be “LG’s most convenient smartphone yet.”

Hardware and camera improvements

Practically, that means the G7 ThinQ starts with more storage than the G6’s introductory 32GB, but you’ll have to pay more for more memory. Specifically, the G7 features 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, while the G7+ features 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. Both have a microSD slot.

The G7 ThinQ sports a 6.1-inch display (compared to the G6’s 5.7-inch). Powered by LG’s new LCD technology, the new display can be viewed even under direct sunlight, thanks to a brightness of up to 1,000 nit and a 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut. The display can be set to six different viewing modes: Auto, Eco, Cinema, Sports, Game, and Expert. In Auto mode, the phone analyzes the content before optimizing the display and power consumption accordingly. You can fine-tune the image even further by adjusting the screen temperature and RGB levels individually.

LG boasts that it fit the larger screen without making the G7 ThinQ even “a hair wider” (both have the same width and thickness, although the G7 ThinQ is slightly taller). This means it “is sized perfectly to be used with one hand,” a claim every single smartphone maker on the planet makes.

As for the notch, LG refers to it as the New Second Screen. You can customize it as you please: expand it to minimize the bezels, highlight it by changing the notification bar to a different color, or black out the notification bar completely.

As for the frame, LG promises a polished metal rim with Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back. The bottom bezel is “almost 50 percent” slimmer than on the LG G6.

Moving on to the cameras, the G7 ThinQ has an upgraded front camera (8MP instead of the G6’s 5MP), as well as bigger improvements on the back (16MP lenses in both standard and Super Wide Angle configurations, instead of the G6’s 13MP). LG claims the G7 ThingQ’s wide-angle camera captures “even more beautiful landscapes with less edge distortion,” while “selfies are clearer and look more natural compared with previous LG phones.”

The AI features that debuted in the V30S ThinQ are still there, with some tweaks. AI CAM now offers 19 shooting modes, up from eight, and there are three additional effect options for those who want more control. When shooting in low light, an AI algorithm adjusts the camera settings using a combination of pixel binning and software processing for up to 4 times brighter photos.

There are also camera features that LG has copied directly from other phone makers. I counted three: a Live Photo mode that records one second before and after the shutter is pressed, stickers that use face recognition to generate 2D and 3D overlays, and a Portrait mode that generates professional-looking shots with out-of-focus backgrounds (this bokeh effect can be generated using either the standard or Super Wide Angle lens).

Here are the phone’s official specs:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform
  • Display: 6.1-inch QHD+ 19.5:9 FullVision Super Bright Display (3120 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM and 64GB UFS 2.1 ROM for G7, 6GB LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 ROM for G7+, microSD (up to 2TB) for both
  • Rear cameras: 16MP Super Wide Angle (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP Standard Angle (F1.6 / 71°)
  • Front camera: 8MP Wide Angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Size: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 162g
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colors: New Platinum Gray, New Aurora Black, New Moroccan Blue, or Raspberry Rose

Just like the past few LG flagships, the phone has IP68 certification (water- and dust-resistant), is MIL-STD 810G compliant, and features voice recognition, face recognition, and a fingerprint sensor. Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology and wireless charging are both included.

Finally, the G7 ThinQ has a Boombox Speaker, Hi-Fi Quad DAC, and an FM Radio. The Boombox Speaker is something LG appears to be particularly proud of — it utilizes the internal space of the phone as a resonance chamber to deliver “double the bass of conventional smartphones” without the need for external speakers. When placed on a solid surface, the smartphone utilizes its resonance chamber as a woofer “to amplify the bass effect even more.” LG notes the G7 ThinQ is the first smartphone to offer DTS:X that delivers virtual 3D sound for all content, up to 7.1 channel audio with earphones.

Google Assistant and Google Lens

Whereas some Android device makers are constantly thinking of ways to shun Google or replicate its services, LG is embracing its partner. Indeed, the LG G7 ThinQ comes with a dedicated button for Google Assistant and Google Lens, which LG points out no other phone maker has done before.

Many Android users are familiar with Google Assistant, the company’s Alexa, Cortana, and Siri competitor. Google Lens, however, is a feature technically still in preview (even though it was first announced a year ago at the company’s I/O 2017 developer conference) that is slowly rolling out more broadly in Google Assistant and Google Photos. It uses computer vision to quickly recognize landmarks, plants, animals, and books, as well as to identify text in order to visit a website, add a business card to contacts, add events to your calendar, or look up an item on a restaurant menu.

The G7 ThinQ has an extra button located just below the volume rocker. A single tap of the button will launch Google Assistant, two quick taps will launch Google Lens, and holding it down will let you start talking to Google Assistant.

Button-pressing aside, the G7 ThinQ is able to recognize Google Assistant voice commands from up to 5 meters away. Super Far Field Voice Recognition means the phone can separate commands from background noise. As with its previous phones, LG has added its own commands so G7 ThinQ owners can do even more with just their voice.

One would think LG looked at Samsung’s Bixby button on the last few Galaxy flagships and decided giving that power to Google made a lot more sense. Google Assistant Key, as the feature is called, plays into LG’s “convenient AI features” playbook, which you can expect to hear a lot more about over the coming months.