DualScreen was introduced on the V50 in the Spring and is now making its way to the G series. LG is saying that the snap-on extra display gives you the best of both world - additional screen estate when you need it without the extra bulk when you don't.
Bulk it does add - with the accessory attached, the ensemble measures 165.9x84.6x15.0mm in its closed state. The extra 134 grams add up to a total of 326g which does make a pretty good case for leaving the DualScreen at home, when not using it.
The flipside of the extra heft and bulk is that you get a second display, obviously. It's the exact same 6.4-inch OLD panel as the one on the phone itself compete with the camera notch (minus the actual camera, and minus the fingerprint reader, obviously). Some will complain about the notch being there without the need for a camera but we can see how it makes sense from a manufacturing standpoint, plus we appreciate the symmetry and continuity between the two displays.
So, the DualScreen accessory is basically a much-improved flip case. It coves most of the phone's back, leaving a generous window for the cameras and the G8X branding. The second display, implied in the name, is on the inside of the cover flap and it can swing the full 360 degrees so you get displays facing opposite directions.
Over on the front of the cover, there's yet another display - the aptly named Cover Display. It's a 2.1-inch monochrome OLED panel for notifications and keeping track of time.
The phone slides into the accessory, bottom end first, so that the case plugs into the G8X's USB-C port - the add-on has no battery of its own and draws power from the phone. Since it now occupies the port, charging the G8X while inside the DualScreen can take place either wirelessly (the case doesn't get in the way of that) or by using the supplied adapter which mates to the pogo pins on the bottom of the DualScreen.
LG's assessment that the DualScreen adds 20% to 30% to the battery draw and, assuming you won't be using it all of the time, the 4,000mAh battery should be enough for when you do want to use it.
Now, when will you want to use it? LG was keen to point out a number of possible use cases for the DualScreen, and even put up a wall of DualScreens to illustrate them.
There's the obvious side-by-side multitasking where you can have navigation or a video playing on one screen, and a browser on the other, for example. Then there's the gallery, which lets you sift through your thumbs on the right and quickly slide an image to the left to view fullscreen, wile keeping an eye on the thumbs.
You can also have the LG Smart Keyboard occupy the entirety of one of the screens for more productive typing. And to further boost productivity, you can set up your favorite second-screen apps to open automatically once you flip it open.
Then there's the use case you're likely going to care about the most - gaming. Having two screens lets you keep the controls on one giving you an unobstructed view of the action. LG's Game Pad has been tailored for all sorts of games including shooting, racing, action, and sports. We'll be sure to test out how it compares against dedicated gaming phones and accessories like the ones for the ROG Phone II and the Black Shark 2, if we get a chance.
The G8X ThinQ appears to be a minor update to the G8 from the Spring, if it can be considered an update at all - the way we see it, it's meant to complement, rather than replace. As such it's not really all that exciting a device, but we can appreciate how it could have some people interested, in no small part thanks to the DualScreen.
We're a little bit more intrigued by the promise for a new LG UX, and the early mockups we saw looked really nice. Wouldn't it be great if a G8X ThinQ was to arrive for review sometime soon so we can experience the new software while also doing the usual thorough testing? Yes, yes, it would.