LG G8 review: A good phone lost among the greats

by birtanpublished on October 5, 2020

For the last couple of years it's felt like LG has just been playing it safe with minor upgrades to its phones while other manufacturers have become increasingly more competitive this year the g8 has a mature design with a larger battery a new speaker system and some gesture based controls but I'm not sure that's enough to pull LG out of Samsung's shadow I'm high on so Houston with Android Central and this is our review of the LG G 8 so first off the g8 is a pretty great-looking phone it's a minimalistic refined version of the same design language that's been around since the g6 with lightly curved glass along

The front and back and a new perfectly flush camera module that seems to just blend right into the body there's a traditional fingerprint sensor under those cameras and while it may seem a bit dated next to the in display tech on phones like the galaxy s 10 I'm much more a fan of this style until the latter has some time to improve especially since LG has finally added the ability to swipe down on the sensor to access your notifications inside the g8 has a Snapdragon 855 chipset as you'd expect from any 2019 flagship along with six gigabytes of RAM 128 gigabytes of

Expandable storage and a respectable 3,500 milliamp hour battery it's nothing remarkable compared to other high-end phones but there's also nothing to really complain about here the whole phone has a nice heft to it that wasn't there last year and it really makes the g8 feel substantial and well put together so let's talk about the front of the phone because there's a whole lot going on there that you might not notice at first glance front and center is a 6.1 inch P OLED display the first OLED panel in a G Series phone it's not quite up to par with Samsung's

Displays but it's still a nice panel with good color reproduction and plenty of daylight visibility there's a notch up top rather than the more recent hole-punch trend and that's there to house LG's new Z camera technology which uses a time-of-flight sensor aided by an infrared light for some of the g8 s new tricks that will circle back to in a bit if you look closely though you'll also notice that there's no earpiece speaker and that's because it's been moved underneath the display LG calls this tech it's crystal sound OLED which places an exciter under the glass that

Turns the display into a diaphragm for the speaker translation most of the sound actually comes out of the entire screen just like on the p30 pro pair this with the bottom firing boombox speaker and you've got yourself a stereo setup though I found it to be really lacking in the mid-range on the bright side crystal sound makes this one of the best sounding phones for actually making calls just keep in mind that since sound is emitting from a much larger area people around you will definitely be able to hear your conversations of course

In typical LG fashion this is also one of the best sounding phones when it comes to wired audio thanks to the dedicated quad DAC which sounds just as breathtaking as always so the software on the g8 is well let's not sugarcoat it it feels like using a phone from three or four years ago sure it's running Android Pi and overall performance is actually pretty good but just look at some of these design quirks I got a notification after setting up the phone warning me not to remove the back cover or battery if the phone becomes unresponsive in the default launcher you

Can toggle on the app drawer which is great but it doesn't sort alphabetically on its own you have to rearrange it every single time you install a new app and speaking of all of these apps under the first line randomly install themselves overnight and some even started sending me notifications now that last gripe can be blamed on AT&T in this particular case but it's only part of an overall frustrating experience that just makes me wish this were an Android one phone then we get to some of the g8 s new features that take advantage of the Z camera system tucked

Into the notch hand ID uses the g8 infrared light to see your veins in your palm for what LG says is a more secure authentication method that's extremely hard to forge it works in daylight or in a pitch dark room but it's finicky and slow and you have to be at the exact right angle and distance from the sensor for it to work and honestly I would much rather just use the g8 excellent 3d face unlock or fingerprint sensor to get into the phone instead the same goes for air motion which lets you jump into preset app shortcuts or control settings like music playback by

Hovering your hand about four inches away from the Zee camera and pinching your hand into a sort of claw shape if that sounds a bit ridiculous well that's because it kind of is again while the tech is cool and I especially like how accurate this finger tracking visual is air motion is extremely finicky to activate and the whole system just feels clunky and unnecessary the idea of adjusting your musics volume by turning an invisible dial really falls apart when it works so unreliably as far as cameras go the g8 features a 12 megapixel F 1.5 sensor with oh is backed

By the same ultra wide-angle lens we saw on the g7 MV 40 I love the flexibility of being able to go wider for landscape shots especially coming from a pixel 3 but here's the thing other manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei have also gotten on board with wide angle lenses lately and they're all doing it better than LG in daylight both cameras are passable with decent colors and good dynamic range but the wide angle is really lacking in detail and while it certainly adds a dramatic look to your shots with a minimum focal distance of about 2 feet you're really only gonna want to break

This out for landscapes and larger subjects low-light isn't particularly impressive either while I like that there's an adjustable night mode in the camera the results aren't anything competitive with the pixel 3 or the p30 Pro there's also a new portrait video mode that lets you blur the background behind a subject just as you would in a photo it's a neat trick that's made possible by the Snapdragon 855 inside but the background separation is really not great this isn't much better than the portrait mode built directly into

Instagrams stories that's actually a common theme here the G AIT's a fine phone it really is but there's just not much that it does better than other flagships and as phones from brands like Samsung and Huawei continue to make strides in design and camera performance that's not great news for LG maybe the g8 saving grace will be that it's already on discount at B&H bringing it down to just 700 dollars at pressed I'm assuming that price sticks around this phone becomes less of a Galaxy S ten competitor and almost more of an alternative to the

Oneplus 60 with premium features like water resistance and wireless charging to its advantage however you look at it though the g8 is just a pretty good phone competing in a market of excellent phones and while I wouldn't say you shouldn't buy the g8 I just recommend weighing your other options first thanks so much for watching everybody if you enjoyed this video be sure to subscribe and visit us over at android central.com to see andrew martynuk stake on the g8 my name is hi Otto huesemann and I'll see you next time

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