LG has unveiled its first flagship phone of 2018: The LG G7 ThinQ (that ThinQ is the added AI smarts, by the way). With a vivid, 6.1-inch screen, top-end specs and some software tricks, it's hoped to go head to head against the best phones of the year from the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Let's start with the specs. You get a 6.1-inch, 3120 x 1440 pixel LCD screen (a 19.5:9 aspect ratio), while inside there's a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM, and 64 GB or 128 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card). There is a notch on the display, by the way, but you can hide it with a software setting for a smoother top border.

So far, so premium – you'll struggle to find better specs this year. The rear-facing camera offers a 16 MP + 16 MP dual-sensor setup, with one of those featuring a wide-angle lens to get more in each shot. It's IP68-rated for water and dust resistance, supports wireless charging, and packs in a 3000 mAh battery. Android 8.0 Oreo is on board.

In terms of what could actually make the LG G7 ThinQ stand out from the pack of phones with similar internal components, LG is touting the display's maximum 1,000 nits of brightness, just a shade below the claimed figure for the Samsung Galaxy S9 phones.

The audio also packs a punch, with a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC on board and a "Boombox" speaker setup that's optimized to make the most of the phone's speakers. It can crank the volume up to four times higher than the LG G6, apparently, and can use flat surfaces as an amplifier for its bass as well.

When it comes to the artificial intelligence lurking under the ThinQ moniker, a lot of this AI goes into photo processing. For example, the default camera app will suggest a shooting mode from 19 different options, based on an analysis of what's in the frame. AI algorithms will also be used to enhance low-light shots, LG says.

The LG G7 ThinQ also features Google Lens, for recognizing objects and text in photos, and the familiar Google Assistant. Neither of these are exclusive to the LG flagship, but here they can be launched with a dedicated AI button on the side of the device. LG has also worked with Google to create some LG-exclusive voice commands for the Assistant, such as one that takes a photo in low-light mode.

As yet LG hasn't revealed any pricing for the phone, but it's coming to most major markets in the coming weeks, with South Korea getting first dibs. The available colors are gray, black, blue, and rose.

On paper (which is all we have to go on right now) this looks like another solid effort from LG – and this is undoubtedly its best phone yet – but the pricing, the quality of its photos and videos, and its performance will all help determine whether it proves a hit.

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