The LG G8 has some intriguing features, including advanced hand-scanning tech for aerial gesture controls and even authentication. But its unveiling is a bit overshadowed by the V50’s 5G capability given the industry’s excitement with the high-speed communication system.
Regardless, LG has followed most other phone makers in announcing a flagship handset with a few new bits to charm casual consumers, while also introducing a phone poised to harness 5G for customers eager to buy cutting-edge tech.
- First look at the LG DualScreen, the company's alternative to foldable phones
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G might beat the other 5G phones to market
- HMD unveils the 5-camera Nokia 9 PureView
LG G8: gestures to the max
The LG G8 looks to be a suitable flagship with a couple novel advances. The phone uses a depth sensor (which LG is calling ‘Z Camera’) combined with time of flight tech to intricately track hand movement in front of the camera.
This system, if it works well in its final software, can scan through skin to identify users by the shape of their veins, a unique biometric identifier LG calls Hand ID.
The logic? Facial identification can be fooled by 2D images, but vein identification is far harder (it requires a pulse, for one). This system also tracks hand movements, allowing users to use midair gestures for certain controls.
The phone also lacks a front speaker, opting instead to channel sound through the front display, which LG is calling Crystal Sound OLED. It packs a 6.1-inch QHD+ display and a flat (no camera bump) rear cover.
LG V50 ThinQ: the first 5G
The LG V50, on the other hand, packs several cutting-edge components to link up to 5G (whenever network infrastructure is built out enough to deliver 5G, anyway). The phone packs the brand-new Snapdraon 855 chip with a Snapdragon X50 5G modem along with a Qualcomm connectivity chip to enable the phone to connect to WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.
The V50 is highly-specced in every other department, packing a 6.4-inch QHD+ OLED display, a 4,000mAh battery and even a vapor chamber to keep the phone cool while engaging in demanding activity, like streaming media or playing games.
The LG V50 will be available from Sprint exclusively in the coming months, per an official press release. Other service providers will eventually get the phone; Verizon has already announced it will carry the phone “this summer" in the US, which means by September.
- MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world’s largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar’s world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.
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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.