We won’t dwell too long on the fact LG has lost considerable ground to its fellow Korean company Samsung in the great smartphone race. Even if Sammy sells more units, LG still makes some very good phones.
After the failed modular G5, the G6 was a sparkling return to form and was one of the first phones on the market with an 18:9 tall display, a trend now in full force in the industry. It's latest phones include the V50 and G8X, both of which offer an optional dual-screen attachment as a budget-friendly alternative to the expensive foldables offered by Samsung and others.
While not yet on store shelves, the company has also unveiled the V60 - a refinement on the V50 that doubles down on the dual screen, 5G connectivity and integrates some G-series features into the mix too.
LG can often be given short shrift in comparison to other Android manufacturers these days but it’s quite unfair – although it can sometimes be hard to track down stockists as the company’s influence dwindles. But if you go for one of these phones we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
We haven’t reviewed any of the Q and K series phones, so the below recommendations are phones we have used extensively.
1. LG G8X ThinQ
If you’re not sold on the Dual Screen attachment, then the G8X is a fairly dull flagship for 2019 - decent specs and drab design combine for a handset that shouldn’t disappoint but won't do much to excite either.
For those intrigued by the possibilities of a second screen however, the G8X Dual Screen proves that LG might be onto something here. The bigger panel, better hinge, and front-facing notification display fix almost every pain point from the original design that accompanied the V50, meaning there’s less to get in the way of getting on with two things at once. It's great for multi-tasking and productivity, and helped by a brilliant battery life.
The camera is undeniably a disappointment - especially the blurry, borderline broken wide-angle lens - but fast performance, great sound options, and two beautiful screens pick up the slack. Throw in wireless charging and waterproofing, and the $700 price point begins to look like a steal.
It may not be as fancy as a folding phone, but LG’s on its second dual screen and so far only Samsung has put a foldable in people's hands - and for almost three times the price. Folding may be the future, but until then the G8X proves that the second screen has its place.
Read our full LG G8X ThinQ review
2. LG V40 ThinQ
This is the best LG phone you can buy. It's got sleek design, versatile cameras, an outstanding headphone jack DAC and full waterproofing.
The display is the best on an LG phone to date too and it has wireless charging. Performance is slick and LG's Android skin is at its most reserved even if it's not our favourite.
But you can only buy it in the US and Korea and it's very expensive, which might put some people off.
Read our full LG V40 ThinQ review
3. LG V50 ThinQ 5G
Taken on its own, the V50 ThinQ is basically just a 5G V40 with a processor upgrade. That means both good and bad: faster internet speeds and processor, balanced out by a thicker body and slightly reduced battery life, with the exact same triple lens camera setup.
We loved the V40, but almost a year on the V50 doesn't feel as competitive - the rest of the market has moved on faster than the V-series, so while this is competitive on internal specs it already feels slightly dated in design and other small features, which makes the steep price tricky to justify.
Then there’s the Dual Screen attachment. This is, to be blunt, a gimmick for most people, and a fairly silly one at that - which might explain why it isn't even available in the US. But it’s also a surprisingly novel way to bring the foldable experience to a much lower price point, and if you're a devoted multi-tasker then it actually works better than you might expect, if you can forgive a few niggling design flaws.
Read our full LG V50 ThinQ 5G review
4. LG G8 ThinQ
The G8 ThinQ has plenty going for it, but unfortunately not in the areas that count for most consumers.
The OLED display and 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC audio are both among the best in the industry, while the Snapdragon 855 and 6GB of RAM will keep up with just about anything you can throw at them.
Bland design and a so-so camera let it all down though, and for most people these are likely to be two of the biggest factors when picking a phone - especially when they're being asked to throw down $800 for a premium product.
LG seems to hope that gimmicks like Hand ID and gesture controls will set the G8 apart from its rivals, but if they do, it won't be in the way the company wants. Neither will change the way you use your phone, and before long you're likely to forget they're even there.
What you're left with is a phone that'll appeal to audiovisual nerds (myself included) but doesn't offer much for anyone else. At a couple of hundred dollars less it'd be an easier sell, but at full price this isn't the phone for you unless you already knew what 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC meant before you started reading this.
Read our full LG G8 ThinQ review
5. LG V30
There's a lot to like about the V30 becuase it's like LG has taken the G6 and upgraded it in key areas and even refined the already sleek design. Now the price is a more reasonable £599 we can highly recommend this phone which offers excellent design, screen, cameras and audio.
Read our full LG V30 review
6. LG G6
The G6 is still a solid choice even if the Snapdragon 821 is beginning to show its age a little. This was the first major phone to have an 18:9 display and it still looks great.
The wide angle camera allows for versatile shooting while the headphone jack and waterproofing keep features that most people will find useful. There are newer, shinier LG phones but the G6 is still worth a look.
Read our full LG G6 review