Price (RRP): $1728
The LG V50 ThinQ 5G practically
It practically takes Occam’s Razor to foldables, cuts them in half to avoid the screen cracks plaguing early models and adds a separate, clip-on screen to its terrific flagship LG V50 ThinQ 5G phone. Simplicity personified.
Dual screens are not unique, but none made much of a market impact. One using e-ink on the back of the phone made such an impact I cannot remember its name. ZTE has the Axon M (never mind the fact President Trump killed that company before doubling down on Huawei) but it was big, heavy and bulky. NEC, Kyocera and others have had ‘Japan only’ efforts.
To be fair to the earlier efforts – Android was simply not up to the task. Android 9 has lots of smarts for foldables. I hope foldables progress but let me tell you – after a couple of weeks of use I do not care about the minor gap between screens – I care about the wonderful screen real estate that I can do so much more on.
LG nailed it with a light and thin clip-on second screen making the LG V50 ThinQ 5G a folio style. Thanks Mr Occam.
How we rate smartphones
We use comprehensive paradigms to measure against and then slot them into market segments.
Our original four categories have grown to seven, and we review against different paradigms for each category.
- Foldable $2500+
- Premium Flagship $1600-2499 (usually a flagship with more memory/storage, additional camera lens and now 5G)
- Flagship $1000-1599 (account for about 10% of sales)
- Premium mid-market $800-999 (10% and often last year’s flagship at run-out price)
- Mid-market $500-799 (about 25% of the market)
- Mass-market $200-499 (about 25% of the market)
- Value pre-paid <A$199 (about 30% of the market – good for pre-paid and children)
The LG costs $1728, is a foldable (or folio), it has 5G, and meets or exceeds all premium flagship specifications. You can tell it is a 10-out-10 from its thoughtful design, full features and its premium finish.
Buy here – or you will regret it
We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware to work on Telstra’s 5G network and can make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM.
The only Australian model is LM-V500EM (global version), and it has TEL (e.g. Telstra firmware) on the box label. It also has The Australian C-tick in settings, General, Regulatory and Safety screen.
International models are not for Australia and may at best be able to access 4G only.
Telstra 5G network
Telstra is an early 5G adopter. Its network is embryonic – Telstra admits this. There are currently 125 small cells over ten cities. You can read more here. You can also read GadgetGuy’s 5G guide here and why we say it is better to buy a 4G handset in 2019/20/21 and save money now – at least until the network has grown and you have a use case for it.
We have valiantly tried to get a 5G signal in spots on Telstra’s coverage maps but have been less than successful. The one signal we got in Surry Hills was very erratic and nowhere near advertised speeds.
We are not knocking the Telstra 5G network nor discouraging you from buying a 5G phone – it is just that for most of us it will be a very expensive 4G phone. Perhaps your next phone in 2022 will be 5G.
Review: LG V50 ThinQ 5G Model LM-V500EM TEL
- Australian Website here.
- Manual here.
- Telstra Website here. Telstra has 24/36 month purchase plans for $72/48 plus its new voice/data plans.
In the box
- Handset and clip-on second screen
- Charger 5V/1.8A and 9V/1.8A (16W) QC 2.0 compatible
- USB-A to USB-C cable
- 3.5 mm earbuds and mic
- Clear plastic bumper case
The first impression
As a single screen phone, it has an almost flat, full-face pOLED screen with slightly curved edges, quite a wide top notch and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The piano black (Aurora) back has three flush mount cameras under glass, a