The big new LG V50 ThinQ 5G smartphone is one of those devices that seriously grows on you and once you start using it and if you are like me it can prove incredibly useful.
This is no ordinary device, it’s a smartphone plus a second screen which is unbelievable practical because the two screen concept is simple and practical.
What appears to be emerging after seeing what Samsung, Huawei and Oppo are proposing for their foldable smartphones is that the best foldable option is still the conventional method of putting two screens side-by-side as LG has done with the V50 5G while also giving you the option of a standalone smartphone when you need it.
While the device nowhere near as ambitious or advanced as the Galaxy Fold or Mate X, it actually works and is highly efficient at what it is designed to do.
You can watch a video on one screen while texting or messaging someone on the other screen, or you can simply pop the smartphone out of the second screen case and wella, everything is back to normal and you have a normal smartphone device.
At first, I was sceptical, an imitation of the Samsung Fold or a simple gimmick, to stay in the emerging duel screen market. This device is neither and well worth a look if you are in the market for an early generation 5G smartphone.
I have been reviewing mobile phones then smartphones for decades and one thing that I find is that so many reviewers bang on about this year’s phone Vs last year’s phone when the core essentials such as processor, display screen and the most important elements in a device are exactly the same for the simple reason they are not broken, out of date or need updating.
Inside, the V50 is a Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB of RAM, plus 128GB of storage expandable by microSD, this is among the best Qualcomm technology you will find in a new generation 5G device. The V50 smartphone is.7mm wider and 14g heavier than last year’s V40 but this is not noticeable.
I have in the past been a big fan of LG smartphones because they look good are highly functional with their unique finger button on the back that allows for easy screen access and management of key functions and this device enhances their offering.
I also like the dedicated Google Assistant button that sits below the volume controls which if you have the device set to dual screen instantly switches on the several functions such as make a phone call via the voice function, play a game or to translate. Recently we had a cleaner who spoke little English but by using Google translate on the V50 we had a great conversation without it once stuffing up the conversation.
The V50 has a beautiful OLED Display screen which one expects from LG as they are the biggest manufacturer of OLED screens for both TV’s and smartphones.
Then there are the LG cameras that are as good as the Huawei P30 and the Samsung S10.
The phone which is slim and elegant is housed in the Dual Screen dock which turns the device into a book-style device that hinges right back so that the second screen can fold under the smartphone when a calls comes in.
The combined Dual Screen and smartphone is designed to be used on a table or desk so the increased weight should not be a problem. Even when folded back the two devices are not difficult to use or feel overly heavy in the hand.
The second screen draws power from the phone itself, so you don’t need to charge it and I was surprised when I got a full day’s use toggling between both screens.
The device itself supports 5G with a light flashing on when 5G is present, the only problem is the so called “Super-Fast” Telstra 5G network appears to be non-existent so it’s difficult to test heat or battery drawdown in a true 5G environment.
One neat factor is that LG has tucked the camera underneath the glass on the back of the device delivering an almost entirely smooth back. Under the glass are two optically stabilised 12MP cameras, one of them set at a 2x zoom, plus a 16MP ultrawide.
With both the V50 and the past V30 and V40 I have found that LG has been able to deliver superb camera options and great shooting options from really good wide angle to the shot in a room with questionable light.
There is also a headphone jack and the device has an IP68 water resistance rating and a military standard durability rating which after dropping the device twice I can say has had no impact on the device unlike my Samsung S10 5G device which resulted in a cracked screen.
Also, on board is Android 9 that makes getting around fast and unlike the Samsung Settings for their S10 and S105G smartphone LG gas broken the settings tabs out to give easy access to Network, Sound, Display and General settings on a simple to navigate tab.
This device is unique and highly practical, its ideal for the smartphone power user who not only wants speed but operational functionality across two screens at once. Forget about multi-tasking on one large screens what you get with the V50 is two highly practical screens and a device that allows you to easily pop out the actual smartphone if you are going out of an evening and simply want a slim smartphone that packs a 5G punch.
As for the $1,740 price tag, that’s down to you, the device does offer a lot more than the Oppo 5G device and if I wanted real functionality on two easy to access screens this is the device I would choose and if LG are smart they will make future smartphones so that all you have to do is buy a new device that fits into your dual screen rig.