“Do I really need five cameras in a smartphone?”
I wouldn’t blame you if that was the first thing you asked upon hearing about the signature feature in the LG V40 ThinQ, the latest premium flagship smartphone from the South Korean electronics maker.
Specs-wise LG’s new $900 (on up) phone is in line with other Android smartphones in this class. It is water and dust resistant and has a phablet-sized display, a 6-4 inch OLED variety in this case (with a notch), framed by thin bezels.
Inside is powerful Qualcomm processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, expandable (up to 2-terabytes) through microSD. It also has a standard headphone jack – and these days, that is worth cheering.
And I should point out that while the phone has a solid feel, I found it to be a tad slippery and a magnet for smudges.
Still, what you keep coming back to is that camera quintet, broken out as follows: The rear of the device sports a module with three different lenses: 16-megapixel super wide, 12MP standard, 12MP 2X telephoto zoom. The front of the device has a camera pair comprised of a standard 8MP lens and 5MP wide angle.
I plan to reserve my full judgement until I’ve had an opportunity to take more pictures and determine whether most of the camera features border on being more fun and helpful, or quite frankly more gimmicky. Sorry, LG, but at least with some of the features here I’m leaning towards the latter.
One feature I find useful, at least some of the time, is that you can preview what a shot will look like taken with any of the three rear cameras.
And if you choose the aptly named “Triple Shot” mode, you can capture an image taken with the rear trio in consecutive fashion, with the idea being to focus on an object in the center of your scene and holding the camera still until all three photos have been taken. A few seconds later, the camera generates a GIF. You’ve also of course captured pictures from all three cameras and can save and/or share any or all three.
Yet another feature, the “Flash Jump-Cut” mode, also generates a GIF, by shooting photos 3 seconds apart. You get to choose just how many pics will be the underpinning for this GIF (4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 images).
Maybe the most interesting feature to highlight is called Cine Shot, or the ability to create a “living photo” or cinemagraph. What this essentially means is you’re capturing a still image, except, that is, for a chosen portion of the picture that remains animated, something like a babbling brook behind an otherwise frozen subject. It’s a cool effect done right, but I found the process is a little tricky. You have to remain still to capture three seconds of video, then after shooting “paint” over the portion of the image with your finger where you want to retain motion. The feature works with both the rear and front cameras.
As for the front cameras, you can toggle between them to grab your standard selfie, or shoot a wider angle picture that captures not only your face, but also the mugs of all your buddies.
Other photo features on the V40 are also found on rival phones, including portrait effects that let you blur the background while focusing on your main subject.
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