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LG’s latest flagship uses your hand veins to unlock

We’ve already known about the G8 ThinQ for some months now. And a few weeks back, LG made the whole camera rig official, announcing that the handset would be getting a ToF image sensor on its front-facing camera, bring, among other things, advanced face unlock technology.
The company did manage to save a few tricks for the product announcement, including a strange little biometric addition. LG says the phone’s Hand ID tech is the first to use “advanced palm vein authentication” — which could well be accurate. Certainly it’s not a mainstream feature yet.

And I’ll give it to LG, Hand ID is a much catchier name than “palm vein unlock,” which is one of the creepier sounding smartphone features in recent memories. Still, the underlying technology is actually pretty cool here, once you’re down shuddering from how weird the whole thing is on the face of it.
From the company’s press materials, “LG’s Hand ID identifies owners by recognizing the shape, thickness and other individual characteristics of the veins in the palms of their hands.” It turns out, like faces and fingerprints, everyone’s got a unique set of hand veins, so once registered, you can just however your hot blue blood tubes over the handset to quickly unlock in a few seconds.

The Z camera also does depth-sensing face unlock that’s a lot harder to spoof than the kind found on other Android handsets. LG’s also put the tech to use for a set of Air Motion gestures, which allow for hands-free interaction with various apps like the camera (selfies) and music (volume control).
I played around with the feature, and if I’m being totally honest, it takes some getting used to. You’ve got to train yourself to get things just right, which could well dissuade most users from any sort of long-term adoption of features that can pretty quickly with accomplished with a tap.

Other notable features for the new flagship include a 6.1 QHD+ OLED display and a new video portrait mode, which lets users adjust bokeh on the fly.
The handset will hit the States “in the coming weeks.” Pricing is still TBD, but I anticipate that it will cost around the same a previous LG flagships.

LG’s latest flagship uses your hand veins to unlock

LG is releasing an Android One handset with near flagship specs

Android One is one of a handful of Google projects aimed at helping the mobile operating system run better on entry level devices. As such, those handsets that qualify for the program are generally pretty middling, at best.
But LG’s G7 One bucks the trend, with some specs that wouldn’t be out of place on a 2018 flagship. Leading the way is the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm’s top of the line processor, coupled with a 6.1 inch QHD+ display and a 3,000mAh battery. There’s also that familiar notch up top design that’s all the rage on flagships these days.
There are certain cost cutting measures. The bleeding edge dual camera tech that LG prides itself on isn’t on board here. The 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage are not great, but perfectly acceptable for most. The headphone jack is still in place — which is a good thing for a budget device — it’s silly to expect users to have to factor in the price of bluetooth headphones.
The handset will be debuting at IFA in Berlin this week. Price is still TBD, but LG promises an “exceptional” one. At the very least, that should mean it comes in well under the company’s flagships.
If LG is able to offer up something truly exception from a price perspective, it could be the thing the company needs to help stand out in a smartphone race that has largely left it behind. It’s a strategy that has worked well for OnePlus, and LG could certainly use the hook.

LG is releasing an Android One handset with near flagship specs