News: Introducing the LG Q7 — Flagship Display & Audio at a Budget Price

Introducing the LG Q7 — Flagship Display & Audio at a Budget Price

In July 2017, LG announced a new smartphone lineup, the Q series. These devices focus on providing some flagship features at a more affordable cost — features such as an 18:9 1080p display. LG's goal here seems to be adding value for the more budget-conscious users, and in 2018, they've continued the series with the Q7.

With the new Q7, LG will borrow from its flagship lineup again, introducing many to features that were previously out of their price range. While LG didn't release all information about the newly-announced device (more on that later), we do know quite a bit, including what to expect if you decide to pick one up.

Specs

  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Dimensions: 5.66" x 2.73" x 0.33"
  • Weight: 5.11oz
  • SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 1.5 or 1.8 GHz
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB (expandable via microSD)
  • Display: 5.5" 18:9 Fullvision Display
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1080 (442 PPI)
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP
  • Front Camera: 8 MP or 5 MP 100­­° Wide Angle (region-dependent)
  • Battery: 3,000 mAh
  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2 LE
  • Water and Drop Resistance: IP68 and MIL-STD 810G Compliant

3 Unique Variants

Once again, the Q7 will come in three different variants. The entry-level variant is the Q7a, which is available in one color (Moroccan Blue). It will come with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage (microSD is supported). The rear camera is 13 MP, while the front is a 5 MP Super Wide Angle (100°).

The Q7 is the second variant. The only confirmed change is the availability of an 8 MP (non-wide angle) selfie camera. Depending on the region, either the 8 MP or the 5 MP Super Wide Angle will able available in the Q7 variant. However, RAM and storage are the same.

What isn't confirmed is the SoC and which variant will use the 1.8 GHz version of the Qualcomm chipset or the 1.5 GHz. As for the former, ETNews backed our speculation that each device will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450.

As for the clock speed of each variant, our guess is the Q7a will use the 1.5 GHz version, while the Q7+ will use the 1.8 GHz. As for the mid-tier variant, we would speculate it will also get the 1.8 GHz version, because otherwise, there isn't much of a difference between its and the low-tier option.

The Q7+ is the highest-tier variant with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The rear camera is upgraded to 16 MP and retains the same choices for the front-facing camera between 8 MP and 5 MP Super Wide Angle. Finally, the Q7+ is the only device to include a Hi-Fi Quad DAC (similar to the LG G7 ThinQ and V30S ThinQ), but unlike the flagship series, will not carry a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Image via LG

Audio Enhancements

The biggest upgrade to the Q series from last year's model is the audio enhancement. The Q7 has brought over many of the improvement found in the flagship G7 ThinQ, including the DTS:X 3D Surround Sound. This creates a virtual 3D surround sound effect (up to 7.1) when using any headphones. Unfortunately, unlike its bigger brother the G7 ThinQ, there is no 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Additionally, the Q7+ includes a Hi-Fi Quad DAC. The DAC will allow the Q7+ to deliver more vibrant sound, reduce distortion, and better drive high-quality headphones. To truly enjoy this tool's benefit, we would recommend finding a quality pair of USB-C headphones to go with your Q7+.

Fullvision Display Returns

One of the most standout features in last year's Q6 was the inclusion of the 18:9 FHD+ (2160 x 1080) display, a new design that was adopted by smartphones that same year. The 5.5" display will make a return in the Q7, allowing for your phone to feel much smaller in hand, despite its larger screen.

Image via LG

Q Lens

While this will not share the ThinQ branding, make no mistake, LG hasn't wholly forgone the new AI enhancements. Q Lens, which made it debut with LG V30S ThinQ, will be available on the Q7.

Q Lens operates similarly to Google Lens, analyzing pictures and providing information about the things within them. For example, Q Lens can detect a product in an image and locate the nearest business offering it at the lowest price. You can also learn the history of buildings and find the bio page of your favorite celebrity.

Image by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

IP68 & MIL-STD 810G

Unlike the Q6, the Q7 will include IP68 dust and water resistance. With this rating, it will be able to survive in up to one and a half meters of water for 30 minutes. It's also effectively dust-proof. This the highest rating available to smartphones and usually is not found at this price point.

Furthermore, the Q7 passed fourteen of the MIL-STD 810G tests, allowing it to receive their certification as well. Like the G and V series, this certification was designed by the United States military to evaluate smartphones performance in severe environments.

What We Don't Know

Even though LG has officially announced these smartphones, they haven't released all information. Currently, we don't know what chipset they are using beside the manufacturer being Qualcomm. LG confirms the return of Qualcomm's Quick Charging, which is only available to devices using their chipset. Based on the clock speed and core count of these devices, our best guess is the Snapdragon 450, as its the fits in line with what we know and can clock as high as 1.8 GHz. ETNews backed this guess up, but no official confirmation has come from LG.

A recent Geekbench testing listed the MediaTek Helio P10 as SoC of choice. The Helio P10 makes more sense, as typically OEMs will not name SoC from this manufacturer because of customers' unfamiliarity.

LG also didn't announce which of these devices will arrive in the US. We assume that the Q7 will be the variant we receive, as the mid-tier Q6 was what arrived on US shores last year. However, we are crossing our fingers for the Q7+ and the Hi-Fi DAC.

Pricing was also not announced. The Q6 launched at $299 (although initially, it received a price cut to $229 as part of Amazon's Prime Exclusive phone deal). We speculate that the new phone will arrive with a modest price increase of $50 to bring the total to $349.

We also have no clue about when it will release, as LG only announced that European markets would receive it in June, with other countries (such as the US) following later on. Last year, the phone was announced in July and didn't arrive on US shores until October, but hopefully, LG speeds things up with the new model.

The Q7 has shown to be another pleasant surprise from LG. It's again changing the way we view budget devices by offering flagship features at lower pricing, slowly chipping at the divide between these types of devices. What do you think of the LG Q7? Are you interested in the Q series? Let us know in the comment section below.

Cover image via LG, screenshots by Jon Knight/Gadget Hacks

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