LG G7 ThinQ vs the competition: How does LG’s best fare against the rest?

By | 3rd May 2018

LG G7 ThinQ vs competition

The brand new LG G7 ThinQ is the company’s first big step in adopting its new mobile strategy. It’s not the biggest hardware revision we’ve seen, but it has the makings of a capable 2018 flagship, from the latest Snapdragon processor to the controversial notch.

How well does LG‘s latest and greatest stack up to the competition, namely the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, Google Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and the iPhone X? Let’s take a closer look at the on-paper differences between these handsets.

Read more: LG G7 ThinQ hands-on: Amplified | LG G7 ThinQ specs

The LG G7 ThinQ bucks the OLED trend, opting instead for a 3,120 x 1,440 resolution IPS LCD display. The Galaxy S9 Plus, Pixel 2 XL, P20 Pro, and even the iPhone X all feature OLED displays. Whether that is a good or bad thing depends on your taste. OLED displays are known for their inky blacks, saturated colors, power efficiency, and superiority for VR purposes.

OLED also tends to be more expensive and more prone to screen burn-in than LCD. It has a tendency to exaggerate colors, too.

 LG G7 ThinQSamsung Galaxy S9 PlusGoogle Pixel 2 XL
Display6.1-inch LCD FullVision display
3,120 x 1,440 resolution
1,000-nit brightness
19.5:9 aspect ratio
6.2-inch Curved Super AMOLED
2,960 x 1,440 resolution
529ppi
18.5:9 aspect ratio
6.0-inch P-OLED
2,880 x 1,440 resolution
538ppi
18:9 aspect ratio
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 845Global: Samsung Exynos 9810

U.S.: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
GPUAdreno 630ARM Mali-G72 (Exynos)
Adreno 630 (Snapdragon)
Adreno 540
RAM4/6GB6GB4GB
Storage64/128GB
microSD expansion
64/128/256GB
microSD expansion up to 400GB
64/128GB
No microSD slot
CamerasRear
Main camera: 16MP sensor, f/1.6 aperture, 71-degree field of view
Secondary camera: 16MP sensor, f/1.9 aperture, Crystal Clear lens, 107-degree field of view

Front
8MP sensor, f/1.9 aperture
Rear
Main camera: 12MP sensor, f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures, OIS
Secondary camera: 12MP, f/2.4 aperture, OIS, telephoto (2x zoom)

Front
8MP sensor, f/1.7 aperture
Rear
12.2MP sensor, f/1.8 aperture, OIS

Front
8MP sensor, f/2.4 aperture
AudioBoombox Speaker
DTS:X 3D Surround Sound
Hi-Fi Quad DAC
3.5mm headphone jack
3.5mm headphone jack
Stereo speakers
Tuned by AKG
No headphone jack
Audio over USB Type-C
Front stereo speakers
Battery3,000mAh3,500mAh3,520mAh
IP ratingIP68IP68IP67
SoftwareAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Dimensions and weight153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
162g
158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm
189g
157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm
175g
ColorsPlatinum Gray, Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue, Raspberry RoseMidnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple, Titanium GreyJust Black, Black & White

On the topic of displays, the G7 ThinQ, P20 Pro, and iPhone X feature notches, while the Galaxy S9 Plus and Pixel 2 XL do not.

Unlike with the iPhone X, the LG G7 ThinQ and P20 Pro allow you to “turn off” the notch by blacking out the status bar. The P20 Pro’s notch-less setting will probably look better than the G7 ThinQ’s in the real world, thanks to the deeper blacks OLED provides. Of course, we can’t definitively say this yet.

The notch allows the G7 ThinQ’s display to sport a very tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The screen’s 1,000-nit brightness means you can view it under virtually any lighting condition.

The G7 ThinQ’s Boombox Speaker uses the phone as a resonance chamber to emit louder sound. The phone actually vibrates when playing music and can use a flat surface as a bass amplifier.

Unfortunately, this is all through one external speaker. From the Galaxy S9 Plus to even the iPhone X, every other phone in this comparison sports stereo speakers. The Galaxy S9 Plus, P20 Pro, and iPhone X use the earpiece as the second speaker, while the Pixel 2 XL is the only one to feature front-facing speakers.LG G7 ThinQ vs competition

Where the LG G7 ThinQ will have an advantage is with the headphone jack. LG equipped the phone with a Hi-Fi Quad DAC and support for DTS-X Virtual Surround Sound, which should make listening to music with your wired headphones a pleasing experience.

The P20 Pro, Pixel 2 XL, and iPhone X all did away with their headphone jacks. The Galaxy S9 Plus retains it, though sharper ears might appreciate the G7 ThinQ’s sound more.

 LG G7 ThinQHuawei P20 ProApple iPhone X
Display6.1-inch LCD FullVision display
3,120 x 1,440 resolution
1,000-nit brightness
19.5:9 aspect ratio
6.1-inch Huawei FullView OLED
2,240 x 1,080 resolution
408ppi
18.7:9 aspect ratio
5.8-inch Super Retina AMOLED
2,436 x 1,125 resolution
458ppi
19.5:9 aspect ratio
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 845Huawei Kirin 970Apple A11 Bionic
GPUAdreno 630ARM Mali-G72Apple GPU
RAM4/6GB6GB3GB
Storage64/128GB
microSD expansion
128GB
No microSD slot
64/256GB
No microSD slot
CamerasRear
Main camera: 16MP sensor, f/1.6 aperture, 71-degree field of view
Secondary camera: 16MP sensor, f/1.9 aperture, Crystal Clear lens, 107-degree field of view

Front
8MP sensor, f/1.9 aperture
Rear
Main camera: 40MP sensor, f/1.8 aperture
Secondary camera: 20MP monochrome, f/1.6 aperture
Tertiary camera: 8MP telephoto sensor, f/2.4 aperture, OIS

Front
24MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture
Rear
Main camera: 12MP sensor, f/1.8 aperture
Secondary camera: 12MP sensor, f/2.4 aperture, telephoto, OIS

Front
7MP sensor, f/2.2 aperture
AudioBoombox Speaker
DTS:X 3D Surround Sound
Hi-Fi Quad DAC
3.5mm headphone jack
No headphone jack
Audio over USB Type-C
Stereo speakers
No headphone jack
Audio over Lightning
Stereo speakers
Battery3,000mAh4,000mAh2,716mAh
IP ratingIP68IP67IP67
SoftwareAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
EMUI 8.1
iOS 11.3.1
Dimensions and weight153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
162g
155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm
180g
143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
174g
ColorsPlatinum Gray, Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue, Raspberry RoseMidnight Blue, Black, Pink Gold, TwilightSpace Gray, Silver

The G7 ThinQ and Galaxy S9 Plus also both have a dedicated virtual assistant button. The Galaxy S9 Plus’ brings up Bixby. The G7 ThinQ’s brings up a slightly customized Google Assistant.

The G7 ThinQ is far from the only phone to feature more than one camera.

Neither button is reprogrammable out of the box, though LG said it might allow for customization in a future update. Either way, expect apps to fill the gap and allow you to reprogram the G7 ThinQ’s button.

On the camera front, the LG G7 ThinQ sports two 16MP cameras, one standard and one wide angle. The Galaxy S9 Plus and iPhone X use their second 12MP cameras to zoom in on subjects, while the Pixel 2 XL gets by with one very excellent 12MP camera.

The P20 Pro grabbed headlines with its triple-camera system and 5X Hybrid Zoom. You could argue that you do not need three cameras on a smartphone, but I’m not sure our trip through Paris would have been the same without them.

Under the hood, the LG G7 ThinQ runs with the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset. The Galaxy S9 Plus sports the same chipset in the U.S., though it features Samsung’s Exynos 9810 in other markets.

The P20 Pro is slightly behind that with the Kirin 970, though it still delivers great performance. Similarly, the Pixel 2 XL features the older Snapdragon 835 and is still plenty powerful.

The iPhone X features Apple’s A11 Bionic chipset, which features the first Apple-developed GPU.

No phone in this comparison lacks RAM or storage. The G7 ThinQ features either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of expandable storage.

The Galaxy S9 Plus and P20 Pro feature 6GB of RAM, though the P20 Pro is only available with 128GB of storage. You can get Samsung’s offering in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB flavors. The Pixel 2 XL offers 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of non-expandable storage. Finally, the iPhone X gets by with 3GB of RAM and either 64GB or 256GB of storage.

The G7 ThinQ stumbles a bit in the battery department. The phone only includes a 3,000mAh power pack — the second-smallest offering in this comparison. It should get you a full day of use, but nothing more.

Even though the G7 ThinQ will get updated, LG is notorious for slow Android updates.

The P20 Pro leads the pack with a huge 4,000mAh battery in its frame, while the Pixel 2 XL sits at number two with a 3,520mAh battery. The Galaxy S9 Plus matches the G7 ThinQ with a 3,000mAh battery. The iPhone X gets by with a 2,716mAh battery.

Finally, the G7 ThinQ runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. The Galaxy S9 Plus also runs Android 8.0, while the P20 Pro and Pixel 2 XL run the slightly newer Android 8.1. Finally, the iPhone X predictably runs iOS 11.

All of these phones will get updated over time, though the frequency and consistency of those updates will differ greatly. LG, Samsung, and Huawei are notorious for slow Android updates, though Project Treble should help a bit. The Pixel 2 XL, meanwhile, is guaranteed to receive three years’ worth of major Android and monthly security updates.

The LG G7 ThinQ seems like the right move for a company that needs a win. LG’s mobile division lost almost $127 million during Q1 2018, though the company predicted better results when the G7 ThinQ launches.

There is significant hope on LG’s flagship, and only time will tell whether the phone delivers the goods. It faces stiff competition from the Galaxy S9 Plus, Pixel 2 XL, P20 Pro, and the iPhone X, and whatever else gets announced in 2018. Still, the G7 ThinQ has the makings of a proper flagship. We’ll have to wait and see if that is enough to move some units.