LG G7 ThinQ

Cool factor 4/5

Usability 5/5

Value for money 4/5

LG last week unveiled its latest flagship device in SA — the G7 ThinQ (pronounced "thin-queue") smartphone.

Like Sony and many others, LG has the formidable task of competing for market share with the three or four more dominant mobile manufacturers — especially in the upper reaches of the smartphone market.

Both LG and Sony have been more successful in their other product tiers, despite consistently producing good phones. When it comes to market-leading smartphones, buyers are brand loyal, and the aspirational quotient of particular devices is hard to counter.

So where does that leave the next-tier brands?

The G7 is a competitive device for LG. It’s an attractive handset with Gorilla Glass 5 front and rear, slim bezels and a bright screen.

It has a little edge where the glass meets the metal frame and, while I’m not at all sure this was the intention, that edge makes for a comfortable and secure one-handed grip.

LG is rightfully making a big fuss over the G7’s artificial intelligence (AI) add-ons. The camera, for example, has an "AI Cam" function that offers 19 shooting modes. And the G7 has a dedicated Google Assistant button — just under the volume buttons — that will automatically launch Google Assistant with a single press.

A double press opens Google Lens, a feature that recognises objects and will provide further information on them, or even translate text on signs, in real time.

LG has incorporated a quality Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 845, and the G7 has 4GB RAM and 64GB storage (expandable with a microSD card) — so it’s equipped for demanding tasks.

The rear camera is a two-lens combo that offers up to 16MP, and you’ll get 8MP selfies from the single-lens front camera.

South Africans can expect the G7 ThinQ to arrive in shops in early June, and the cash price starts at about R13,999 — right in line with the Sony Xperia XZ2 that the FM reviewed last week, as well as devices like the Huawei P20.