LG’s phones are good, sometimes even great, but often get swept aside by more sensational phones from Samsung, Apple, Google, and even OnePlus. That doesn’t mean they don’t get a lot of things right, as JerryRigEverthing’s Zack Nelson remarked in his durability test. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get something wrong, too, as Nelson also discovered in a follow-up teardown. Long story short, the LG G8 ThinQ is not the phone you’d want if longevity is your long-term goal.
The LG G8 ThinQ has a lot going for it. It’s durable, it has a headphone jack, and its touch-free hand gestures sound promising. And if you’re not in the US, you can even get three cameras instead of just two. Overall, it’s a pretty dependable phone but even the most dependable consumer electronics product will eventually fail.
When that time comes, the G8 ThinQ’s biggest problem will reveal itself. Yes, it’s all glass and glue, making it hard to open up, but by this time, experienced repair technicians can easily do that in minutes. Parts like the charging circuit, headphone jack, and cameras are modular and even the unique sound emitter isn’t directly glued to the screen, making replacement and repairs easier.
The problem, however, is the battery, one of the first components to degrade and cause problems over prolonged use. LG warns not to remove the battery and the teardown reveals why. The company has used a generous amount of permanent glue, making it extremely difficult and dangerous to pull it out for replacement.
Unless LG distributes a super secret substance that loosens up the glue to its authorized service centers, this means that even those will probably stay away from replacing G8 ThinQ batteries. So when the time comes when the phone’s battery starts to fail for one reason or another, owners might be advised to just replace the entire phone with a new one. Planned obsolescence at its finest.