The LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The name isn’t the most user-friendly moniker, but the setup of this phone is surprisingly useful. The case has two screens, with the one on the outside a simple monochrome display for your basic notifications, whilst there’s a full phone screen on the other side. You drop in the G8X ThinQ into the holder and you double your screen size and exponentially increase your productivity. The handset sits comfortably in the gap between substandard phones like the ZTE Axon M and the new generation of folding phones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. 

The double screen is an attention grabber for sure: be ready for confused glances as you pick it up and open it like a book, but it’s not quite as useful as you’d want it to be. Granted, it has a gamepad mode for an optimised gaming experience, but it’s just not inviting or as much of a game changer and you’d expect. Without the dual screen case, the phone isn’t up there with its competitors. With all that said, there are some cool features so let’s open things up and dive in.

Looking good

The handset is a bit more bulky that its market competitors, with the G8X measuring a third of an inch or 8.4mm. For the compromise on size you get a camera array that sits flush to the body and it does make it rather hardy; it matches MIL-STD810G standards and is rated IP68 for water resistance.

The display still has a small notch, which is a small tear drop shape as opposed to the cut-out design that the iPhone has. LG have achieved this by removing the sensors for sensor controls. Talking of sensors, the fingerprint scanner has been moved on-screen, making it a front-runner in modern tech, but there is a compromise in functionality – it’s not very fast and not really accurate. Adding to the pain of an inadequate fingerprint scanner is the baffling lack of face recognition for unlocking. 

LG G8X ThinQ. Image credit: 9to5google.com

Doubling up

LG is famed for their love of the quirky and unusual, and you get that in spades with the G8X ThinQ. Activate the dual screen function by slotting the phone into the case and the second screen comes alive through a USB Type-C connection that also pulls power into the second unit. Unlike some phones that need prying out of cases like a death grip, getting the G8X into and out of the case is surprisingly smooth and easy.

You can really tell that the designers at LG have worked on making the rig interesting, helpful, and fun to use. When you flip the phone around to landscape you have the option of Wide View that will show you Chrome across both screens, paying no mind to the physical screen split. Mobile gaming fans are well catered to with the Gamepad function. Similar to the setup of the Nintendo 3DS or the Twin View Dock 2 for the Asus ROG Phone 2, this mode makes the bottom screen a control pad and the top screen purely for gameplay. 

Image credit: engadget.com

You also get to use apps side by side, and the function works well, as you’d hope and even expect. There’s a special menu on the Dual Screen case which will let you control what you see through a shortcut, and you can make a nifty three finger swipe to move content from one screen to the other with ease.  

As much as it works well and is rather fun, it doesn’t distract from the size and weight of the phone. When you use the Dual Screen case you have a pretty huge, rather thick, and heavy phone that doesn’t fit into your jeans pocket well. You don’t have to use the second screen case; it’s easy enough to leave at home or drop into your bag, but that defeats the whole point of the phone. Without the second screen and the extra functionality, this phone just isn’t exciting.

Take a shot

The G8X has a paltry two lenses on the back, whilst most of the top-spec phones are going for three or four. You get a main lens that has a f/1.8 aperture and 2 megapixels, with optical image stabilization, plus a f/2.8 wide angle lens packing 13 megapixels. The selfie camera has a f/1.9 aperture and 32 megapixels. The cameras have a lot of features, such as 

  • Manual mode for photo and video shooting
  • Flash jump-cut for GIF making
  • Studio lighting modes

And plenty of others. 

Tapping into the latest trend on YouTube, there’s a quirky ASMR mode. If you’ve not come across them, these are videos that cause “brain orgasms” through autonomous sensory median response, basically using noises such as stroking, breaking things, and setting things on fire for your auditory pleasure. The G8X ThinQ has a super sensitive microphone that LG claims will help you make these videos without any extra kit added. 

Image credit: engadget.com

Sounds impressive

LG is loved by its fans for the audio experience they offer to users, it’s market leading for sure. It’s painful to say, but even the iPhone lags behind LG phones on sound quality. The G8X still has a 3.5mm headphone jack for you to plug your earphones into, so grab a decent quality pair and be ready to be astounded. The quality can’t be matched by other phones, and is on par with dedicated music playing devices. The Hi-Fi Quad DAC and hi-res file support makes the G8X ThinQ in a league of its own for a music listening experience.

Juiced up

Having the Dual Screen working continuously can be a battery sink, even with the substantial 4,000mAh battery. As a rough guide, without going hard out on the Dual Screen and with general use you should get from morning to bedtime and have 25% remaining. With the second screen being used a moderate amount throughout the day you’re going to be on low single digits as you ready to hit the hay.

Final thoughts

You can get your hands on the LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen from November 1 for $700. For that price you get the full package of the phone and Dual Screen case, so it’s decent value for money. The case boosts the phone into a different category, with no other phone having the features that it offers. How useful some of these features will be for you is oftentimes questionable. You’ll definitely draw attention with the handset, mainly because of its size and looks, but you’re not getting a great camera and the software experience just doesn’t quite hit the mark.

If you can really see the benefits of the Dual Screen to your way of doing things, then it’s worth buying. This is the unique selling point of the phone so be sure you’ll be using it; there are plenty of compromises that come with it. It’s a tough handset, but the biometrics aren’t great and the design isn’t exactly standout.