LG attacks the mid-range with media-focused Q8
Adding to its portfolio of 2017 smartphones, LG has launched the LG Q8, a sub-flagship handset that tweaks the LG V20 template to create a smaller phone that packs just about as much of a punch.
If you're a little lost with LG's plans for 2017, the LG V20 is expected to be followed by an improved LG V30 within the next month, but in the meantime the company has unwrapped the LG Q8. It keeps most of the V20's key features and puts them in a more compact, waterproofed package.
It has the same Snapdragon 820 processor, the same 4 GB of RAM, and the same secondary ticker-style display above the main screen. However, that main screen shrinks from 5.7 inches to 5.2 inches, while keeping the same 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution.
That means no sign of the elongated 18:9 aspect ratio that's already graced the LG G6 and the smaller LG Q6 this year.
The battery size shrinks too, from 3,200 mAh to 3,000 mAh, and unlike the V20 the battery isn't removable on the LG Q8. On the plus side, the Q8 does offer an IP67 dust and waterproof rating, enough for it to be safely immersed in water up to a meter in depth for up to 30 minutes without getting damaged.
The same 32-bit quad DAC is included in LG Q8 as in the LG V20, for playing high-quality audio formats with minimal distortion, something we noted as a stand-out feature of the V20. Again, two lenses make up the rear-facing camera, one 16 MP and one 8 MP.
Why such a minor iteration? One reason is for marketing purposes. The V20 isn't available in Europe, which is where the LG Q8 is launching first. After that, the Q8 will hit Asia, but LG hasn't confirmed whether it'll ever arrive in the US.
LG says the phone shares the "DNA" of the V series, with a focus on high-quality photos, videos and audio recording, while putting it in a smaller and more robust package.
With this announcement out of the way, all eyes are on the LG event scheduled for August 31 when we should see the LG V30. At the moment we don't know too much about it, but we're expecting a similar batch of features as its predecessor with a faster processor inside and a refined design.
That will leave LG with two flagships for the rest of the year – the more conventional-looking LG G6 and the more experimental LG V30 – with the LG Q6 and the LG Q8 mopping up buyers who would rather pay a little less for their smartphones.
In fact, the LG Q8 is very close to being a flagship in its own right – it's really only held back by using last year's Snapdragon processor-of-choice. A lot will depend on its price point, but we're still waiting for prices to be confirmed by LG.
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