While Huawei and Samsung lead the high-tech charge on Apple for handset domination, “minor” smartphone brands like Sony and LG keep springing surprises. Especially in the camera department, both have been able to take advantage of massive research and development budgets that span, respectively, their electronics and appliances businesses.
Now, it’s LG’s turn, briefly, to set the smartphone agenda. Ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, where it is expected to launch the successor to its G7 ThinQ handset, it has sprung a timely surprise on South African users.
The V40 ThinQ is the successor to the V30, which didn’t quite match the magic of the earlier V20+, a delightful device that this column named Smartphone of the Year back in 2017. The V40 is the first device from a major manufacturer that offers 5 cameras, with three at the back and two in front. It optimizes the photographic process with artificial intelligence, helped along by Google Assistant.
We put the phone through its paces at the launch, but first asked Deon Prinsloo, general manager of LG Mobile South Africa, what a phone could be doing with five lenses.
“We need to understand the configuration of the three lenses,” he said. “One is a 16 Megapixel, 170 degree super wide angle lens without any blurring on the edges, so that it can do landscapes a lot clearer, instead of being limited by width. The second lens is a standard lens, but with an aperture of f1.5 for very clear, bright pictures. The third lens is a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. It has the ability to capture pictures far out and the images remain perfectly clear.
“Ultimately all three work together and one is able to capture a scene, zoom in on an object, or take dedicated portrait photographs, without moving. We are not slapping on cameras for the sake of cameras. Each lens serves a specific purpose.”
Click here to read about the coolest functions of the V40.