The LG V40 came on loan from AT&T. The thoughts and opinions of the device are the writer’s own opinions and were not influenced in any way.
The LG V40 ThinQ is LG’s second flagship for 2018. Like its predecessors the V40 is all about the audio experience as well as a good camera. The big, for a lack of better words, “gimmick” for the V40 is that it has five cameras. It has three on the rear, and two on the front. The “boom box” function also made a comeback from the G7. The big question is gonna be is this a worthy device to pick up over the other steeply priced devices?
The V40 is running a Snapdragon 845 with 6GB of RAM and either 64 or 128GB of storage that is expandable with up to a 512GB micro sd card. It is currently running Android 8.1 Oreo, and will eventually get Android 9.0 Pie. The display is a P-OLED, 1440p, 2:1 aspect ratio display with a single bottom firing speaker as well as a headphone jack. Like past LG devices the headphone has a hifi DAC for those audiophiles out there. The V40 is also IP68 water and dust resistant. The three rear facing cameras are a 12MP standard lens, a new introduction of a 12MP telephoto lens, and the lens type that made LG cameras so interesting since the G5, a 16MP wide angle lens. The front facing cameras are an 8MP standard shooter and now a 5MP wide angle lens. When it comes to charging the V40 uses quick charge 3.0 (comes with a QC brick in the box). And supports up to 10W fast wireless charging.
The display is nice enough. There was nothing that blew me away about it. What got me very excited was all of the display options in settings. The display can be fine tuned to however you like it. It can be made sharper, softer, low res, high res, you can even change how much red, green, or blue the display displays. I don’t see many devices that allow as much customization to the display as the V40 does. While it is nice to have a big display personally I think it makes the device a little too big. Some people may like having a device with a large 6.4 inch display, but personally I think the device is a little too big to carry in a pocket.
Audio Experience (Boombox)
When it comes to the V40 audio the word “experience” is the only word to use. The V40 by itself with the single bottom firing speaker sounds pretty run of the mill, but with what LG did by making the device itself a resonance chamber is, albeit pretty much a gimmick and party trick, but still really cool. Placing the device on a cardboard box or an overturned glass bowl was really fun, and while not as good as a dedicated speaker, still would work well in a pinch.
Audio Experience (With headphone jack)
I had to make a seperate section for the headphone jack audio experience. Because even for someone who isn’t a huge stickler for audio (I don’t mind using the internal speakers of a laptop on a regular basis) I was blown away. Compared to the headphone jack of something like the Note 9 the V40’s headphone jack can get much louder and has a fuller audio range. Even with my cheap go to throw away earbuds (Panasonic Ergofit) I got very good audio. I would even opt for plugging the V40 into the aux port of speaker rather than use bluetooth just because the quality of the sound trumped the convenience of bluetooth.
I’m gonna say this now. As time has gone on I’ve realized that I’m not really camera guy. I greatly appreciate whenever a device releases with a fantastic camera, but I just don’t think to take a pictures of people or things regularly. So I ended up using the V40 almost entirely with automatic or I use the AI function in the camera app. Honestly speaking here, the V40’s AI mode is actually pretty great. Sadly, the wide angle and telephoto lenses didn’t seem to work with AI mode.
Personally, LG’s Android skin is not my favorite, (why does the default variation of the launcher not have an app drawer?) but using Nova Launcher helped mitigate a lot of my issues with LG’s Android skin. Otherwise the software performance was pretty good. The overall experience was fast and smooth and saw very little hang time for anything. The assistant hardware button is also present and honestly I don’t much appeal for it. You already can activate Google Assistant with a voice keyword or by holding down the menu button. It was responsive to say the least, but not very useful to me personally.
The V40’s battery life is about what I expect of most flagship devices. I got about a days use out of the V40 with streaming music and occasional video. This was also the first device I ever used that had wireless charging built in. And I never realized just how convenient wireless charging is. I never once plugged the V40 into a wall. I just set the device on the Qi pad and it would be fully charged in the morning.
*Note* I forgot to save a screenshot of the battery life so you will need to take my word for this.
The LG V40 is the perfect device for someone who absolutely needs the best audio experience and can spare $950 through AT&T here, or for the same price unlocked. The boombox feature is cool, but pretty much a party trick that you’ll have fun with for a little while. My biggest issue is with the default design of the UI and sheer size of the device. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind a large device and cares very deeply about a great audio experience then the V40 isn’t a bad purchase.