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LG G7: Rumored specs, price, release date

LG will unveil the G7 on May 2. Here what's confirmed and rumored about the company's new flagship phone.

James Martin/CNET

Update: The LG G7 ThinQ has been officially announced. Read CNET's full review of the LG G7 ThinQ.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 may have kicked off 2018's phone season with a bang, but for Android fans, it's just the beginning. In March, Huawei launched its marquee P20 and P20 Pro phones and the Nokia 8 Sirocco wowed us with its sleek looks and clean Android One software. But what about LG?

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Last year's LG G6.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Citing a new shake-up for its mobile rollout strategy, LG didn't stick to its usual schedule this year. The Korean giant skipped out on unveiling the successor to its G6 phone at Mobile World Congress in February, and is opting to instead announce its LG G7 on May 2 in New York and Seoul. This comes at a time when LG is experiencing relatively low flagship sales compared to Apple's iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy line.

But even before LG announced its launch events, there have been a handful of rumors circulating about the phone's features, camera and more. Here's a rundown of the confirmed facts and most compelling rumors going around so far. Keep in mind this is an ongoing list and we'll add new info as it rolls out.

Update, April 24, 2018: This piece was originally published on March 16 and is updated frequently when new information surfaces.  

Now playing: Watch this: LG V30S ThinQ brings improved specs and a focus on AI
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Confirmed: LG will announce the G7 on May 2

After some speculation that the phone would launch either in May or in June, it's been confirmed that LG will unveil the LG G7 on May 2. Keep in mind that this still doesn't give us an exact timeline for a retail launch, but we can at least expect to be able to purchase the phone by mid-May at the earliest.

Confirmed: The G7 will have ThinQ software

Similar to the V30S ThinQ that LG showed off during MWC, the upcoming G7 will feature LG's artificial intelligence software platform that is integrated in a number of other LG devices, including smart appliances and TVs. The G7's implementation of the ThinQ service will progress on the V30S', and we can expect improvement on the phone's object recognition and voice assistance capabilities.

Remapping the Bixby button on a Galaxy S8.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Confirmed: It'll have a button for Google Assistant

On the left edge of the G7, there will be a dedicated button to call up the Google Assistant search assistant. This will make the G7 the first phone to commit a physical button to the Assistant (though you can it up on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL by squeezing their edges) and was corroborated by unconfirmed leaked images. This move is similar to later Samsung flagships, which have a shortcut key to call up Bixby assistant.  Unfortunately, the G7's button can't be customized to launch other apps, as the Bixby button can.

It could flaunt an iPhone X-style notch...

At an alleged closed-door meeting LG held at MWC, a G7 prototype appeared with a narrow notch running alongside the top of its screen, similar to the iPhone X. The notch design was later reported again from supposed leaked LG documents and proficient leaker Evan Blass also tweeted out two supposed promo images of the G7, which show the notch front-and-center.

Much to the chagrin of Android users, LG isn't the only phone company rumored to follow Apple's footsteps: The Huawei P20 and upcoming OnePlus 6 flaunt the notch, as well as the Essential Phone and Asus ZenFone 5. The developer preview of Google's latest Android P update also accommodates for a notched design, so don't be surprised if you see it in even more upcoming phones.

And while the iPhone X has the notch to house the phone's front-facing camera and FaceID sensors, there's no word yet about the functional benefit of the LG G7's supposed notch.

…Or not?

Another leaked image and video actually shows the LG G7 with an optional notch that can be turned on or off, rather like the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro. Turning on the notch stretches the phone's wallpaper up into the corners, while turning if off gives you the standard look with the time and battery status. At least it's an option for Android users bent on avoiding the notch. The disappearing notch was also reported in the aforementioned leaked documents from LG.

The phone may have a bunch of new camera upgrades

Aside from the AI smarts that the ThinQ platform will bring to the camera (like recognizing objects and landscapes to adjust the camera settings appropriately), the G7's camera will reportedly have several new goodies. According to the same leaked documents, these features include Google Lens support, dual 16-megapixel rear cameras, "superpixel" technology that combines multiple pixels, 3D and 2D camera stickers, Moving Live Photos, Portrait Mode and more.

The G7 will likely use a Snapdragon 845 chipset

In December 2017, Qualcomm introduced its Snapdragon 845 chipset. The new processing suite is faster and more efficient, supports 3D face mapping and 5G data speeds, is able to record 4K Ultra HD video and more.

qualcomm-snapdragon-845

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Expect it to be used in most upcoming flagship phones, including the LG G7. Although that's not always a guarantee. Last year, the G6 launched with the Snapdragon 821 chipset even though the 835 was already out and featured in phones like the Galaxy S8. With more time in its schedule though, LG would be remiss not to include it here.

It could be more expensive

LG's G phones generally go for slightly less than Samsung's Galaxy S and Note phones, but that might not be the case with the G7. An expected price bump on its Korean price equivalent to about $95, £70 or AU$120 pushes the phone's price closer to its main rival, totalling about $800 in the US. (For comparison, the G6 cost around $600-$720 in the US, depending on the carrier.)

This is a drag for those looking to save money, but apparently the higher price is going into premium features like additional AI smarts (similar to LG's latest V30S ThinQ phone) and quad-DAC audio technology.

It's not the only premium LG phone coming soon

Keeping true to LG's strategy of shaking up its phone schedule, the G7 may not be the only high-end phone the company is close to launching. Though the G-series still serves as LG's flagship line, its V-series family of phones is more premium, and it's rumored that the company is readying itself to release a V35 ThinQ at the same time as the G7 (meaning a May or June launch) and a V40 ThinQ in late summer or early fall. This would line up nicely with last year's V30 unveiling in August 2017.

LG V30S ThinQ: LG's Galaxy Note 8 rival is upgraded with more memory and AI.

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