A handful of photos of the upcoming LG G8 ThinQ wrapped in a protective case emerged through SlashLeaks earlier today. The case is clear and the device carries the color black, but on the most part, the smartphone looks very similar to the previously leaked renders showcasing it in gray. One key difference lies in the rear camera configuration where the LED flash now appears to be flanked by the two offset cameras. Previously, the flash was located to the right of both sensors which in turn seemed to be housed in a separate enclosure.
The LG G8 ThinQ, as envisioned in these leaked photos, looks rather familiar and somewhat unambitious compared to other flagships expected to hit the shelves this year. It still has a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor meaning there’s no in-display fingerprint sensing onboard, but LG previously confirmed that the device will be equipped with an Infineon REAL3 front-facing camera which could be used for face unlock. This is the same image sensor that was previously employed by various Google Tango devices.
Unlike most other cameras used for photography in the mobile industry, the Infineon REAL3 sensor captures infrared light, meaning that it can scan 3D images in a variety of lighting conditions. Perhaps this is the reason why LG has retained the rectangular display notch for the G8 ThinQ rather than transitioning to a teardrop or punch-hole design like other OEMs have done in the previous months. Although relatively small especially for its prowess, the Infineon REAL3 image sensor is still fairly sizeable compared to the usual front-facing “selfie” cameras found in most handsets.
Moving towards the bottom edge of the device, it appears to carry a USB Type-C connector, a speaker, microphone, and a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. Aside from the two volume buttons and power key, the device also seems to accommodate a fourth button likely dedicated to launching the Google Assistant. Like several LG high-end devices released over the past few years, the LG G8 is expected to carry the ThinQ brand, denoting the inclusion of the OEM’s AI platform.
So far the LG G8 ThinQ doesn’t seem to want and impress through a revolutionary design, but this can potentially work in the OEM’s favor to some degree because LG will surely attempt to sell the device based on other features and technologies rather than how it looks. It’s worth noting that because there is no LG branding present in these images, this is likely a dummy unit used by the case manufacturer for measurements and marketing purposes.
LG will be present at MWC 2019 on February 24 and the LG G8 ThinQ will likely make an appearance on stage on that same date. Interestingly, the OEM’s “Premiere” video for the event published a couple of weeks ago prominently featured the “Goodbye Touch” slogan in conjunction with a floating hand, suggesting that there will be an emphasis on technologies powering air gestures.
This could mean that LG might update its proprietary software to include gesture-based controls in conjunction with the REAL3 image sensor, but whether or not this will be a good idea in practice remains to be seen. Other OEMs have attempted the implementation of touch-less gesture navigation – including Samsung several years ago – but it turned out that the benefits of tactile feedback are not easy to replace.