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LG announces V40 ThinQ with versatile five-camera setup and 6.4-inch OLED screen

LG’s new V40 ThinQ smartphone has just been announced... again. The company previously confirmed that the V40 — let’s just ignore the ThinQ part starting now — would have three rear cameras and a 6.4-inch display. Today the full list of features is official, and the end result is LG’s best attempt to compete against the Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS Max. Big OLED screen? Check. Powerful specs? Yep.

The V40 also retains LG’s signature hi-fi Quad DAC and brings over the “boombox” speaker that debuted with the G7 earlier this year. But like its top-end rivals, the V40 has a very premium price and will range between $900 and $980 from US carriers when it’s released on October 18th in black or blue color options.

Verizon: $980
AT&T: $950
T-Mobile: $920
Sprint: $960
US Cellular: $900

To make that price easier to swallow, LG is offering a pretty excellent preorder bundle: you’ll get a DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal — something the vloggers will love — and a SanDisk 256GB microSD card for free.

The 6.4-inch, notched OLED panel doesn’t have the same “super bright” mode you can find on the G7, with brightness topping out between 500 and 600 nits. But LG says the phone is noticeably lighter — more than an ounce — than both the Note and XS Max.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

The new three-camera setup on the back of the V40 offers a lot of versatility. It includes:

  1. Standard f/1.5 12-megapixel camera with 1.4μm pixels that are 40 percent larger than the G7. Remember that bigger pixels are a key reason for the improved camera performance in the iPhone XS, so hopefully LG fans will see a similar uptick in quality over the G7.
  2. Super-wide-angle f/1.9 16MP camera with 107-degree field of view. Identical to G7.
  3. 12MP f/2.4 telephoto/portrait camera, which basically amounts to a 2x optical zoom compared to the regular lens. LG has added new lighting effects such as “natural, studio, contour, stage, stage mono.”

With the move to three sensors, LG is also introducing two additional software features that take advantage of this system. A new “triple preview” feature will show you a live preview from all three cameras simultaneously, letting you quickly pick the right one for the shot you’re trying to get without having to switch between them. And “triple shot” captures all three angles with a single press of the shutter button; it saves a GIF of the transition between them and also saves each individual shot. So I guess if you’re very indecisive about which camera is best at a given moment, this might give you more flexibility for editing later on.

Like the G7, the V40 has the same ThinQ AI camera features for automatically adjusting saturation and other settings — now including shutter speed — based on what’s in the camera’s frame, and it offers built-in Google Lens functionality. (And yes, there’s still a dedicated Google Assistant hardware button on the phone.)

If you’re curious about battery life, the V40 has a 3,300mAh battery that LG says delivers longevity that’s only around 10 percent less than the Note 9.

Other specs:

  • Snapdragon 845
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB storage (expandable with microSD)
  • Standard (8MP) and wide-angle (5MP) selfie cameras
  • 32-bit quad DAC
  • Headphone jack
  • Boombox speaker
  • IP68 water / dust resistance
  • Qi wireless charging
  • Android Oreo
    (LG refuses to give a timeline for when the V40 or G7 will be upgraded to Android 9 Pie.)

Is the V40 worth it versus the Note and big-screen iPhone XS Max? Check out our full review for the verdict.