Similar to last year, LG is mixing up its releases. Instead of the G series in the first half of the year and the V series in the second half, LG is releasing both heavy hitters together. However, unlike last year, this is a true upgrade from its predecessor, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.
What helps separate the V50 ThinQ 5G from the G8 ThinQ is that "5G" part at the end. This is LG's first 5G phone, which means faster cellular data speeds that rival Wi-Fi 6. But with carriers slow to roll out their 5G networks, these phones will have to spend some time using 4G while they wait for a 5G connection, which consumes the battery. To combat this and additional heat, LG has beefed up the battery and cooling system to make this one of the best V series phone in years.
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The V50 ThinQ 5G is the first 5G phone from LG. It includes a 4,000 mAh battery, a first for the V series. Cooling the device is a new Vapor Chamber, a heat dissipating device which is 2.7x larger than the heat pipe in its predecessor. It will also be the first device to run on Sprint's 5G network, which will launch sometime in the first half of 2019.
The LG V50 ThinQ 5G was announced on February 24, 2019 at Mobile World Congress alongside the LG G8 ThinQ. Like the new G series, neither a pre-order nor a release date was announced, although we do know the V50 ThinQ 5G will be the phone to launch Sprint's 5G network when it comes active in the first half of 2019.
- Release date: March–June 2019
- Preorder date: Unknown
- Announced: Feb. 24, 2019
The V50 ThinQ 5G is limited to one storage option, 128 GB. This storage is expandable via microSD up to 2TB, although at the time of this writing, only 1TB cards are available.
- Storage available: 128 GB
- Expandable storage: yes, up to 2TB microSD
LG didn't announce pricing for the device but don't expect this to be cheap. With its predecessor priced at $900, when you factor in all the improvements and the support for 5G, we expect this phone to easily cross the $1,000 mark.
- Price: Unknown
The body is essentially a carryover from its predecessor, with both front and back covers using glass with an aluminum frame. Gorilla Glass 5 covers the front, while the back is protected by the new Gorilla Glass 6 for extra strength. It comes in only one color, Astro Black.
- Frame: aluminum
- Finish: astro black
The V50 ThinQ 5G will launch on Sprint as the first phone on its 5G network. With the Sprint variant, that also guarantees support for RCS Messaging. It is nearly identical in height and width to its predecessor, with the only major increase being the depth thanks to the battery. IP68 water and dust resistance and MIL-STD 810G certification return, making the V series once again a phone you can take in any environment.
- Height: 6.27 inches
- Width: 2.99 inches
- Depth: 0.33 inches
- Weight: 6.46 ounces
- Dust/water resistance: IP68 and MIL-STD 810G
- Supported carriers: Sprint, Verizon
- Infrared blaster: no
The LG V50 ThinQ 5G will run Android 9 Pie out of the box. This is the latest version of Android and comes with a number of changes, including a heavy focus on privacy and digital wellbeing.
- Version: Android 9 Pie
As with all LG phones, the V50 ThinQ 5G runs LG UX. While we don't know the official version number of this skin (by our count, it would be 7.0), it will be an upgraded version based on Android 9 Pie. It includes all the Android 9 Pie features, such as gesture navigation, private DNS, and much more.
- Version: LG UX
The V50 uses an LG-developed POLED display. While this display had some issue when it debuted, it has gotten much better, bridging the gap between themselves and Samsung's AMOLED display. It's a 6.4-inch 3120 x 1440 screen which supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. This means you can enjoy HDR content no matter which standard is used by the video. The notch does make a return, housing the dual front-facing cameras and earpiece.
- Screen size: 6.4 inches
- Screen resolution: 3120 x 1440 pixels
- Total pixels: 4,492,800 pixels
- Pixel density: 537 ppi
- Screen type: POLED
- Notch: yes
- Screen-to-body ratio: 83.0 percent
- Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
- Minimum brightness: Unknown
- Maximum brightness: Unknown
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz (60 Hz for touch-sensing)
- Color temp: Unknown
- Color gamut: Unknown
Similar to basically every flagship Android phone in 2019, the processor (SoC) will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. This is the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, and it offers a significant performance increase over its predecessor. It is also able to handle 5G, another key feature of the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
- Chip size: 7 nanometer
- CPU frequency: 2.84 GHz (Gold) + 2.41 GHz (Gold) + 1.78 GHz (Silver)
- CPU cores: 8 (4 Gold + 4 Silver)
- GPU: Adreno 640
With the 5G radios generating more heat and consuming more battery, LG needed to come up with a way to combat this. The result is a 4,000 mAH battery, the largest ever in any V series phone, and a new vapor chamber, a heat dissipating component which is 2.7x larger than the heat pipes in the LG V40 ThinQ. It supports wireless and wired charging, and both at a faster speed, with the former supporting up to 10W charging and the latter supporting QC 3.0 and USB PD.
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Capacity: 4,000 mAh
- Wired charging: yes, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (18W), USB Power Delivery 2.0
- Wireless charging: yes, Qi wireless charging (10W)
The dual front-facing cameras of its predecessor make a return with an 8 MP standard lens and a 5 MP wide-angle lens. While the pixel size is the same (at 1.4 µm), the apertures are different, with the standard lens using ƒ/1.9 and the wide-angle using ƒ/2.2.
- Resolution: 8 MP + 5 MP
- Aperture: ƒ/1.9 (standard), ƒ/2.2 (wide-angle)
- Pixel Size: 1.4 µm + 1.4 µm
- Zoom: no
- Flash: Unknown
- Image stabilization: no
- RAW support: no
- Object detection: Unknown
- Formats: Unknown
The V40 was the first phone in the series to include triple cameras. This array makes a return with a standard lens, telephoto lens, and LG's signature ultrawide lens.
- Resolution: 12 MP + 12 MP + 16 MP
- Pixel size: 1.4 µm + 1.0 µm + 1.0 µm
- Aperture: ƒ/1.5 + ƒ/2.4 + ƒ/1.9
- Zoom: yes, 2x optical
- Flash: yes, LED
- Image stabilization: yes, OIS (standard + telephoto)
- RAW support: Unknown
- Lens cover: Unknown
- Object detection: Unknown
- Formats: Unknown
The LG V50 once again shines in the video department. Full manual mode makes a return along with the ability to edit video on the device itself.
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, and 4K
- Max frame rate: 60 fps for 1080p and 60 fps for 4K
- Slow motion: yes, 1080 at 240 fps
- Time-lapse: Unknown
- Photos: Unknown
- Zoom: Unknown
- Flash access: Unknown
- Image stabilization: yes, gyro-EIS
- Object detection: Unknown
- Autofocus: Unknown
- Audio: 24-bit/192 kHz stereo sound
- Formats: Unknown
Besides videography, the main selling point of the V series is the audio performance, and the V50 does not disappoint. Stereo "Boombox" speakers? Check. 3.5 mm headphone jack? Check. Hi-Fi Quad DAC? Check. DTS:X Surround Sound and Meridian Audio-tuned sound? Check and check. There aren't many differences between the V50 and its predecessor in the audio department, but why change something which is already excellent.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: yes
- Stereo speakers: yes, Boombox
- Mics: Unknown
- Max speaker volume: Unknown
The V50 ThinQ 5G supports all the same file types supported by the Android operating system.
- Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY
- Video: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM
The V50 ThinQ 5G comes with the usual set of sensors.
- Accelerometer: yes
- Ambient light: yes
- Barometer: yes
- Color temperature: no
- Compass: yes
- Gravity: no
- Gyroscope: yes
- Hall: no
- Infrared: no
- Laser: no
- Pedometer: no
- Proximity: yes
In additional to the normal GPS sensor for North America, there is support for Glonass (Russia's version of GPS) and Galileo (Europe) for improved coverage.
- GPS: yes
- aGPS: yes
- Glonass: yes
- BeiDou: no
- Galileo: yes
- QZSS: no
Wi-Fi is limited to Wi-Fi 5, or 802.11ac, the version most supported by routers at the time of this writing. There is a USB Type-C connector, which not only enables data transfer but allows for USB PD, a much safer fast-charging system.
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- NFC: yes
- Cellular: nano-SIM
- Port: USB Type-C
We are still waiting for information about the cellular bands included. We do know it will have 5G bands and will be the first phone to use Sprint's 5G network. Additionally, we learned the V series will be LG's only 5G phones, while the G series will remain on 4G for the foreseeable future, lowering the price and helping separate the two series (especially since the other difference, use of OLED, seems to have disappeared).
The V50 ThinQ includes a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
- Fingerprint scanner: yes, rear-mounted
- Face scanner: yes, via front-facing camera
- Iris scanner: no
- Manual authentication: password, PIN, pattern, swipe
We currently don't know what the retail box includes.
LG will also be selling a case for the phone which adds a second screen. Instead of spending money in foldable displays, LG is opting for a second screen which provides similar functionality for a far lower price. The Dual Screen adds a 6.2-inch 2160 x 1080 POLED which connects using 3 Pogo Pins. It does uses the V50 ThinQ 5G's battery so if you plan on using this setup, we recommend investing in either a second charger or power bank.
- Dual Screen