Verdict

The LG G7 ThinQ is a completely unsurprising, risk-averse smartphone, returning the power button to the side where it belongs and giving us another all-screen display, enveloped by a typical glass body. It even rides the popular notch trend that’s prevalent among almost all new Android phones right now.

The LG G7 ThinQ gets bright, ideal for direct sunlight. But it doesn't have too many hallmark features. It's good at the basics.

The LG G7 ThinQ gets bright, ideal for direct sunlight. But it doesn't have too many hallmark features. It's good at the basics.

Its 6.1-inch display gets extremely bright, and its single speaker is plenty loud. The rest of the big highlights are left up to AI software, most notably the 16MP dual-lens rear and 8MP front-facing camera. Here, the G7 is competitive, even if it's shy of best camera phone quality and its machine learning prowess isn’t completely convincing. It's the wide-angle photos LG should trumpet, not software tricks.

And that’s it. The G7 doesn’t take any big chances – it’s not curved, doesn’t feature a leather back, and doesn’t attempt to move all of the buttons from the side to the back of the phone like we saw with the LG G4. There’s no hot-swappable battery or modular technology here either, as in the LG G5. And this is LG’s third flagship with an all-screen display – that’s not new anymore one year after the LG G6. 

And yet, it may be LG’s best flagship smartphone in years if all you care about are the basics, and if it’s priced right in your region. At launch, in key countries like the US, this isn't the case; you can buy Samsung's newest flagship for slightly cheaper and get better results and a flashier device. 

The LG G7 is ready for its close-up where it's a good value in the world, but where it's more expensive than it should be, it's ready to blend into the background.

Who's it for?

Someone who wants a top smartphone that's good at the basics and isn't flashy. It has a premium build, useful wide-angle camera, and powerful single speaker. These are enough to recommend the LG G7, if you can get it for an affordable price.

LG's smartphones have typically undercut Samsung on price. But in the US, it's more costly than it should be. Bargain hunters who wait out a price drop are suitable for this one, too.

Should I buy it?

Yes, if you're looking for one of the best non-Samsung smartphones and can find an LG G7 deal. At launch, early adopters, especially in the US, should be wary of almost immediate price drops. Verizon is even offering $100 off its 24-month payment plan, giving the G7 a temporally cheaper price. That incentive makes this phone much more tempting, and where LG should have been priced it from the start. If you can find it for a good price, you won't regret it.

Samsung Galaxy S9

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a flashier phone from LG's South Korean rival. Its curved display, Super Bright-rivaling bright screen and superb cameras make it an easy choice if you're an Android user who wants the best phone on sale right now.

The LG G7 does the basics well, but is overshadowed by Samsung's photo quality and its price, at least in the US.

iPhone X

The iPhone X  has some tech that you won't find in LG's new flagship phone. The 3D True Depth camera powering Face ID fares better than LG's clone of the hardware. It also has a chin-less all-screen OLED display vs LG's LCD that has a bottom chin. And then Apple's software and App Store, which are better in many cases.

Of course, you're going to have to be okay with spending a lot more money. Apple's iPhone X is more expensive than the LG G7 (even in the US), and there's no fingerprint sensor on this one.