When it launched on October 30th, you could have bought both the LG G8X ThinQ and the accessories for the second screen for $ 700, $ 750, and $ 780 on the LG, Sprint, and AT&T. At this price point, I’ve reviewed and recommended the phone to those interested in the G8X and its novel dual-screen design. I thought that was a lot for the price, and I was thrilled to recommend this best-of-both-worlds phone and case.
However, I have noticed that these offers are only offered for a limited time, which wrinkles my initial approval. For example, after December 5, AT&T will sell the G8X as part of its “AT&T Installment Plan” for $ 780, and the dual screen will cost an additional $ 199 – a total of $ 979. Sprint also confirmed that the offer of the G8X’s dual-screen attachment as a free gift (with the purchase of the phone) will also be limited, but did not confirm an end date for the sale.
Even so, some retailers like B&H and Best Buy still sell both for less than $ 700, but those deals may not last forever, and you still have to sign up with a carrier separately for the phone to work. My opinion on the phone is still the same: the G8X is great, and if you can buy both the LG G8X and the second screen for $ 780 or less, it’s an affordable alternative to the fully foldable Galaxy Fold ($ 1,980 at Best Buy). Outside of that price range, however, I would highly recommend this phone.
Editor’s note, November 27th: Updated with pricing information from carriers. The original review, published October 30th, follows below.
If you’re curious about the latest trend in foldable phones like thisor But you’re not ready to get involved with the novel design or the high prices (both cost more than $ 1,000). The LG G8X ThinQ is a worthy alternative. Like the other foldable phones, the G8X doubles its screen size by opening like a book. Instead of having a flexible screen, the G8X is a regular 6.4-inch phone that hooks up to another 6.4-inch screen using a special case.
It’s a similar arrangement to 2017(if someone actually remembers that phone) and the one to come that they are really just two phones or screens connected to each other. However, the G8X gives you the freedom to take the phone out of your pocket as well, so you have a regular premium phone if you want.
LG createdfor the that launched in February. In contrast to this version, the G8X and its screen attachment are available in the USA. The phone is unlocked or available through AT&T and Sprint.
It is true that the G8X doesn’t have the super sleek and novel design of the Galaxy Fold or Mate X. It’s quite awkward to carry around and you can’t watch videos on a seamless screen with a single tablet.
But the G8X is a long-lasting middleman solution. And the best part is the price of the phone. For a limited time, LG, Sprint, and AT&T are selling the G8X for $ 700, $ 750 and $ 780, respectively. Airlines also have deals that cut costs even further (Sprint, for example, has a total plan for $ 270). At that price point, it’s pretty much on par, if not a tad cheaper, of most high-end phones these days. But LG and these carriers intend to sell the whole, the second screen and everything, at these prices during launch. International pricing is not yet available, but the $ 700 price is roughly equivalent to £ 545 or AU $ 1,020.
Even without the second screen, $ 700 is a good price for the G8X, which is fast, reliable, and takes good photos. But throw in two screens for the same price and LG has a compelling phone to offer.
LG G8X Design: Double the screen, double the size
I caught a few glances while using the LG G8X at a farmers market. I’ve mostly told people who wondered why I was taking pictures of products with a big, silver Nintendo DS, but after a while I got used to being bold about the G8X in public. After all, people are buying chunky portfolio cases for their iPhones all the time. So at some point I stopped feeling out of place.
Speaking of chunky, the G8X is so thick it reminds me what it’s like to use an extremely tough Otterbox phone case. Putting the phone in my pocket or a small clutch was out of the question unless I just wanted to use the G8X myself. Pressing the volume buttons or the Google Assistant button on the left side of the phone with the second screen open is also tricky because the hinge bothers my fingers.
While the front cover is useful for showing the time and notifications, it does catch fingerprints like crazy – I wiped it clean many times. Also, at first I thought I couldn’t charge the phone inside the case, but LG came with a magnetic USB-C accessory that plugs outside the case and plugs into a charging cable.
Other design takeaways
- The G8X can be charged wirelessly. You can also charge it wirelessly in the case. (For some reason my personal Qi charger wasn’t working when I charged the G8X with its case, but I used two other colleagues’ charging pads and it worked just fine.)
- Like other LG phones, the G8X has a headphone jack – a rarity among premium phones these days.
- The phone has an on-screen fingerprint reader so you can scan your finger directly on the display. It works fast enough, but it doesn’t feel as instantaneous as that .
- The phone is rated IP68 for water resistance, but the second screen lacks such protection.
- Despite the teardrop notch on the second screen, it doesn’t have a front-facing camera. (LG used the same G8X display as the second screen to save money.) You can hide that teardrop notch with a black band in Settings.
Living with the dual screen of the LG G8X
Despite my initial reservations that the dual screen was a gimmick, the accessories were actually more useful than I thought. Since the second screen bends all the way back, I can configure it as a stand at any angle. I put the phone down to watch videos and set it up like a book so I could take photos remotely. The second screen was also handy for multitasking. I can use it to navigate to a restaurant on Google Maps and use the other screen to search for other options on Yelp.
Playing games like Call of Duty was more convenient thanks to the “LG Game Pad,” a mode that turns the main screen into a separate game controller. There are several preset controls to choose from, such as one with a steering wheel for racing games. Not every game in the App Store works automatically with these preset controllers. So expect to customize your own controller for some games (I had to do this with Call of Duty to make it work with the gamepad).