The manufacturer that until now was the king of the versatility with the cameras of his smartphones has recently seen his throne endangered with the push of Huawei. The LG V40 that now reaches the European market seeks to solve it in a big way: with five cameras in total and a design where LG does not usually disappoint. Here is our analysis of the LG V40.
LG V40, technical specifications
LG returns to the charge with its latest high-end terminal. Started 2019, the LG V40 is a reality in Europe, a market where just a few weeks before the start of the MWC 2019, the mobile phone capital appointment and where it is foreseeable that we know some of the developments that will mark the evolution of this year in many sections of the Smartphone world.
One of those paths can be that of the photo cameras, chapter that the LG V40 comes to revolutionize right now. No waiting
With a technical sheet adjusted in the main parameters to what we already have in the market, it is the design and the multimedia point that gives differential value to the LG V40 ThinQ. Especially noteworthy is the camera. On the one hand we have the extra of the double front camera or of selfies, element that for a certain sector of the market is of capital importance. There we have now a second wide-angle lens for when we think it convenient to use it.
Design, screen, sound and of course the set of five cameras are the arguments to rely on the LG V40 as a phone to enjoy on a daily basis
On the side of the rear camera there are also novelties beyond the improvement of the size of the first sensor. The second sensor that covers the role of wide-angle camera is no longer alone because it is accompanied by a third that allows a zoom of two magnifications.
LG DNA in the design: good news
The one who was standard-bearer and pioneer in front design with maximum use of space for the screen offers in this LG V40 a masterpiece at the design level. Lightness, top quality finish and even resistance to water and dust with IP68 profile are the basis of a design that looks great in hand.
The LG V40 does not face a revolution to achieve outstanding design but it clings to an idea that has perfected. We have a glass back with an aluminum frame but where the finish that LG called Silky Blast gets a different feel. The special engraving on the tempered glass gives it a matt appearance while maintaining a certain level of brightness.
The result we love because it keeps the back very clean of traces and dirt , while allowing different and changing tones according to the light. But it is also that the LG V40 ThinQ gains a lot of grip with this finish, making it one of the phablets of almost 6.5 inches with which more comfortable one feels when handling it.
LG has achieved a comfortable design for its light weight and thickness, while attractive by the special finish of its treated glass back
To that great feeling in hand helps the light weight (less than 170 grams) and reduced thickness, in addition to not being a terminal especially elongated by work and grace of a good reduction of frames that also makes that when the screen is off we are with a pretty symmetrical front.
The rear has its own personality thanks to the camera module with the three lenses. Interestingly, the flash, which is not two tones, is relegated outside that module, which is strange. The good news is that the situation of this camera module is ideal: it does not stand out from the design, it is not close to the edges and it also maintains distances with the fingerprint sensor.
This fingerprint sensor is consolidated at the operational level as a simple and quick way to identify you in the LG V40. It is very fast registering the fingerprints and instant recognition and letting us access the system. Just put your finger on the sensor (without having to have the screen active) to be identified and receive a haptic response from the sensor itself, very subtle but appreciable.
There is also facial recognition in this LG V40. It works with the front camera and admits that it recognizes us with the screen off or we can demand the sliding of the finger on the screen after the recognition of our face occurs. If we compare the performance of face recognition with that of fingerprints, we are clearly left with the second. Except in very controlled and sufficient light conditions, the identification of our face has not convinced us.
Like other systems that rely exclusively on the use of cameras, there is an option in the settings to hinder the deception of the system but it slows down the recognition. And we can register more than one “version” of our face using different lighting, with or without a beard, glasses, etc.
In physical connections we have an exclusive button to invoke the Google assistant directly. You can remove that functionality in the corresponding menu of the phone configuration, but as we always say, having left the option to dizzy that button with another function more usual would have been appreciated.
That button is the most accessible of all, and you always have it ready to press when you take the terminal. But there is no danger of activating it without wanting thanks to its good construction and route.
The start is located on the opposite side, on the right, and something up for our liking. On that same side we have the removable tray of the nanoSIM card and the microSD. If we prefer, that second zone of the tray can be occupied by a second nano SIM, the LG V40 coming ready at the software level to efficiently manage that second mobile line in the phone.
Finally we must talk about what the lower frame of the LG V40 offers us. There we have proliferation of very important elements. It is of course the USB-C port for charging, but more important is the headphone output (despite the thinness of the phone) and the main speaker. They are two elements that, as we will see in the section on sound, are important and relevant to the multimedia experience with this LG V40.
Very accurate and customizable OLED
LG has decided not to marry any technology at the panel level of their screens and in the new LG V40 OLED technology returns, as it did in the LG V30. In between we had an LG G7 with IPS technology.
The screen of the LG V40 has a diagonal of 6.4 inches without just frames and with a notch something to diet but without reaching the levels of minimalism that we see more and more in the mobile phone market.
The OLED panel of the LG V40 is of a very high level, offering a more natural saturation while surprising for its spectacular
At the consumer level, the overall quality of the OLED screen of the LG V40 has no objection. The contrast is excellent, offers a high level of brightness, very good viewing angles and the view is a screen that is vibrant and spectacular . It looks great both indoors and outdoors, with a reliable and fast automatic brightness adjustment.The maximum resolution is 3120×1440 pixels , but we can adjust it to a value of 2340×1080 or even 1560×720 pixels. The good density is assured.
The panel of the LG V40 admits to alter in a wide way the screen color. Another six more are added to the automatic mode that we liked. And within those we can touch both the color temperature and the RGB levels. One of the most complete customizations in the sector.
The screen of the LG V40 includes accurate and pleasant haptic response technology. Accessing submenus does not require very strong touches on the panel, and the experience is very satisfactory.
I really liked the touch sensitivity that is the screen. I have been able to appreciate it when using the keyboard or to fine-tune in menu options. It is very difficult to miss the touch. Or for example the activation and deactivation of the screen with double touch can be performed in the softest way I remember in a phone, without implying accidental touches.
The front of the LG V40 ThinkQ is almost everything for the panel. At least in full screen mode, something we can achieve if we remove the Android virtual buttons. We can do it with double touch on the element to the left of the bar, being able to return later simply by sliding upwards.
Those home touch buttons can be customized. It is our choice the background color of the bar and the combination of buttons, including a handy button to display the notification bar and also one to swap SIM when we use the two available in this version of the LG V40.
The notch, which LG calls “new second screen”, admits quite a bit of customization. We can leave it as it comes by default or apply a series of modifications ranging from adjusting more or less pronounced the corners of the applications, to fill the notch not only with flat black but with different patterns of grays and even colorful.
The LG V40 does not lack the Always On mode, with manual or programmed selection mode. Among its options we have six screen styles and the possibility of accessing utilities and the music player by simply sliding over the row of icons on the Always On screen. This mode is recommended if you want to manage, for example, direct access to the camera, connectivity, flashlight or sound profiles.
Headset port and high level sound
You can count on the fingers of one hand (or even less) the terminals of the market that really mark differences at the sound level. The LG V40 is one of them, and in fact, the previous generation of this phone remained as the best sound terminal of the high range in our demanding comparison.
For starters, the LG V40 does not ignore the 3.5mm headphone port despite its thinness. That we have this port available is something already very strange in the high range of large manufacturers. But do not think of this feature as the one that makes the LG V40 the weird of the market but as the key element that adds value to those who consider the sound on a mobile phone to be quite important.
The audio configuration of the LG V40 is delimited by the 32-bit Quad DAC Hi-Fi that is activated when headphones are connected. We have at our disposal an equalizer with 14 predefined modes, surround sound DTS: X (the Dolby Atmos competition) and a preset of four 5 sound modes.
In the box of the model of series that we have tried we found some good headphones with cable of braided cloth, comfortable and of great sound.
But if we do not want to use either wired or wireless headphones, the LG V40’s speakers will leave us very satisfied. They are very powerful, defined and with good serious. Pity again that they are not stereo and we have only one lower exit that we are in danger of covering if we are not careful when picking up the terminal.
Power surplus (beyond the numbers)
That a high-end smartphone reaches the market at the end of January has a high risk when it comes to a performance comparison number by number. In a few weeks the Snapdragon 845 that moves this LG V40 will be surpassed by the new versions. It is the law of life and market.
Maybe at a media level, that in a few weeks, within the MWC, we see the first terminals with the new generation of the most powerful processor of Qualcomm can detract from this LG model. Or even overshadow a possible new terminal of the company itself.
But if we focus purely on the performance of the LG V40, there is no excuse for not choosing it at this time. The LG V40 has 6 GB of RAM that gives enough packaging for any task that we demand. Both interface and applications of all kinds or multitasking move with absolute fluidity on the screen of this Korean high-end.
As internal storage capacity we find the options of 64 or 128 GB, which can also be expanded with microSD cards if in the DualSIM versions you do not use that second line possibility.
In our case, the test unit was 128 GB DualSIM, which places it in a very good position against the competition.
Without Android Pie in 2019
The LG V40 that arrives today at the European market does it without the latest version of Android. The unit that we have been testing this last week has Android 8.1 as standard, and although it is expected that the update can be installed soon, for now it is not like that. And its bad news, not because Android 9 can contribute more than the current version, but because of the confidence that new versions will arrive on time in the future.
The interface remains clean without reaching the simplicity of a pure Android, very customizable and with peculiarities both in the configuration menus and in the management of notifications.
We have two working modes available (with followed desktop where applications are accumulated or applications box), floating bar with applications that drag from the side and a good deal of LG applications that no longer duplicate as much as in the past Google , but they are still pretty.
To highlight those that help manage the phone as Smart Doctor or the specific ones to get more out of the games (graphics, time of rest or game mode to avoid notifications or alerts) or the double SIM.