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LG V40 ThinQ lets you add a splash of motion to still photos

It can work beautifully. But with the wrong touch of the finger, it could go oh so wrong.

This cinemagraph is an example of LG's Cine Shot feature done right. 
Roger Cheng/CNET

LG's next flagship smartphone, the LG V40 ThinQ, hasn't even been officially announced yet, but that's not stopping the company from touting one of the device's marquee features. 

The upcoming smartphone will be able to take cinemagraphs, which are still photos with minor bits of repeated movement. Creating a cinemagraph normally requires the composition of a series of photographs or video and is a painstakingly detailed, long process. But with LG's Cine Shot, creating one takes a few seconds. 

Now playing: Watch this: The LG V35 ThinQ has a gorgeous screen and an AI camera

The result is a potentially eye-catching image, with just enough motion to warrant a second, longer look. 

Cine Shot is one of the highlights of the camera system, which will play a starring role during the launch of the V40 on Wednesday. LG is hoping the V40's five cameras, teased last week, will get consumers to give its products a chance. The company desperately needs some attention, with its smartphones failing to compete the crush against higher profile players such as Samsung, Apple and Huawei. 

An example where the wrong touch of the screen can lead to some horrifying results. 

Roger Cheng/CNET

It remains to see how the overall phone fares, but Cine Shot at least adds a new tool in your photo repertoire. 

It's not like Apple's live photos, where the entire photo moves for a few seconds. 

Cine Shot is one of the shooting modes on the camera, similar to portrait or standard. You shoot a three-second video, and the phone brings up a static preview. Using your finger, you can "paint" the areas where you want to see motion, leaving the rest of the video static. For the photo above, I placed my finger down on the area around the record player, leaving everything else alone. 

The wrong swipe of a finger can ruin the whole thing. That's an issue if you have particularly wide fingers, since the precision isn't that great. Just check out this image to the right. 

Because I swiped only the inside of my face, only that part moves, leaving an unsettling image. I tried swiping further around my head, but little cars flew in and out my head. It didn't work. 

These are minor nitpicks for a feature that could potentially yield some cool imagery. 

The Cine Shot ends up as an MP4 video file, but you can convert that into an animated GIF. 

For our full coverage of the LG V40 ThinQ, check back with CNET on Wednesday. 

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