- LG introduced the G7 “ThinQ” smartphone on Wednesday.
- ThinQ – meant to be pronounced as “think” – is LG’s artificial intelligence that’s designed to recognise what you’re pointing at with the phone camera, and then adjust the camera settings for the best shot.
- I tried it during a demo before LG’s announcement, and it worked surprisingly well.
LG announced the G7 “ThinQ” smartphone on Wednesday, and it’s not immediately obvious what the “ThinQ” part means.
Anyone who’s heard of LG’s ThinQ – meant to be pronounced as “think” – is likely thinking of the company’s smart internet-connected appliances, like washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, and even vacuum cleaners, which have carried the ThinQ branding in the past.
On the LG G7 and the V30S, where the ThinQ branding first appeared on a smartphone, it’s a little different. ThinQ is also LG’s name for its own artificial intelligence (AI) on smartphones, and it’s being put to work on its recent smartphone cameras.
Specifically, LG’s ThinQ AI is being tasked with recognising what you’re taking a picture of and adjusting the camera settings for the best possible shot. With the G7, it can recognise 18 different objects and subjects, including a person, flowers, pets, food, sunsets, sunrise, landscapes, cityscapes, babies, animals, beverages, fruit, sky, beaches, snow, people, low light, and “basic” auto mode.
It sounds like a camera’s automatic mode, which is made to do pretty much the same thing. But no camera’s automatic mode comes close to recognising as many different subjects, objects, or scenarios.
Other smartphones use their own AI to recognise objects through their camera lenses, but few actually adjust the camera settings based on what the object is. Huawei’s P20 smartphone has an AI that adjusts camera settings, but we won’t see that model in the US. More often, AI and smartphones cameras are used to bring up information about whatever you’re pointing at with the phone’s camera so you can search without typing.
I had a chance to try the ThinQ AI camera at a demo event before LG’s announcement, and was surprised to find that it did a great job. The LG G7’s ThinQ AI camera automatically recognised that I was pointing to a plant, and it reassured me that it knew what I was pointing at by floating the words “green,” “leaf,” and “close-up.” It didn’t exactly recognise the plant as a “plant.” But all those key words were accurate, and it took a great shot as result.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the photo with me to show you, as the units we were using were pre-production models and wouldn’t show the finalised result that you would see after buying the phone.
Still, I managed to capture a GIF of how it worked. Check it out:
Once I get my hands on a review unit, I’ll be comparing how well AI photos come out compared to normal auto mode shots. You can read more about my first impressions with the LG G7 ThinkQ here.
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