LG has experience with flexible screens, but does not release a foldable smartphone for the time being. Instead, the LG G8X ThinQ appears with an extra screen in a phone case, so users can choose this if they need more space.
There is something to be said for LG approaching this way. The Huawei foldable phone, the Mate X, would appear months ago, but was always postponed. The same thing happened with Samsung's Galaxy Fold, which is ultimately no longer released in the Netherlands.
LG does not have a foldable screen, but acknowledges that there is a need for more screen space from the user in order to be able to multitask, for example. That is why the company is releasing its new telephone with a renewed Dual Screen.
The G8X ThinQ is in itself a great device with a clear 6.4 inch screen, but the phone distinguishes itself from other brands because of the extra display. This screen looks the same as that of the phone, but is attached to a case. By clicking the G8X ThinQ in it, the display on the left is switched on and can be used side by side.
Remarkably, the extra screen has a small notch at the top of the screen, just like the G8X ThinQ. On the phone there is a selfie lens, but on the Dual Screen that notch is only there for the ornamental.
This is a bit confusing when using the front camera. If you open the camera app on the Dual Screen, you tend to think that the camera is placed above it. In reality, you look pretty much past it.
Different apps side by side
The extra screen is indeed useful for multitasking. For example, you put a YouTube video on the left, while you show Google Maps on the right. By turning the case in landscape mode, both screens are placed one above the other.
This gives a few options. This way you can run a web page in Chrome on the two screens. Also handy is that on the top screen the image of a mobile game can be shown, while you control the game on the bottom screen. This allows you to see everything well and your fingers are not in the way of the image.
It is not possible to run a video completely over two screens, as on a folding phone. This would also not be pleasant, because of the thick folding edge that separates the displays.
Extra space if needed
LG does not see this bundle as a folding phone, but treats the Dual Screen as extra space for when you need it. At the demo, a top man says that he usually uses the G8X ThinQ without the extra screen. "Only when I have to do a lot at the same time do I get it."
With the phone in the case, the device immediately becomes a lot thicker, because you stick two smartphones together. Switching is also somewhat impractical, because you must always have the Dual Screen with you and switch it on for use.
Changing apps was also a minor struggle during the short test. You can rearrange apps with a small virtual button on the side of the screen. That is a bit awkward and instinctively does not always make sense. Dragging apps from one position to another might be more convenient.
No more manual operation
The LG G8 ThinQ, released earlier this year, was equipped with touch-free operation. In addition, users could hold their hands above the selfie camera and make movements to control the phone. That felt like a gimmick and the option was therefore omitted in the G8X ThinQ.
It is striking that the G8X ThinQ has two lenses on the back: a standard and a wide-angle lens. Where many manufacturers opt for a third lens with zoom options, the top device from LG does not offer that. As a result, the telephone is slightly behind the competition.
LG must sharply praise the device to stand out among the top phones that are already on the market. Nevertheless, the Korean manufacturer knows how to distinguish itself with the Dual Screen. In terms of applications, we see why the extra screen is useful, although the way it works is not immediately convincing.
In addition, we wonder how much we actually miss an extra screen in daily use and whether the added value is worth it to always click the phone in and out of a case. In that case, the promise of a folding phone remains just a little more exciting.