Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG V20

Cory Comp April 18th


Do we have a good one for you today – The new Samsung Galaxy S8 takes on the intriguing LG V20. The Galaxy S8 with its large Infinity Display and all-glass backing takes on the updated all-metal LG V20. Does the new Galaxy S8 have what it takes to outclass the revised LG V20 with its dual cameras and four DAC sound? Samsung completely revised its Galaxy S series while LG did an in-depth makeover job with the LG V20. When it comes to their design and specifications, just how do these two smartphones stand up to one another. Let’s take a look and see just what these two devices have in common and then we will look at each one in greater detail.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG V20 have a few things in common. The displays of the two devices are only 0.1-inch different in size, but the larger displayed S8 is smaller in physical size by 11mm and weighing in at 19 grams lighter than the LG V20. The displays use a different technology, but the same resolutions, and different Gorilla Glass for protection. Although both devices use Snapdragon and Adreno, they use different model processors and GPUs. They pack the same amount 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offer the same amount of storage at 64GB with the means to expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas and the front-facing camera (FFC) areas could not be more different – the Galaxy S8 uses a 12MP camera, and the LG V20 uses one 16MP sensor and one 8MP sensor – but both take great pictures. The FCC on the Galaxy S8 uses an 8MP while the LG V20 uses a 5MP sensor. Both have a rear-facing fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as NFC for authorizing mobile payments, including Android Pay. They both have rapid charge capabilities, but the Galaxy S8 has a non-removable battery and the LG V20 has a removable battery. The Galaxy S8 is IP68 certified and the LG V20 is MIL-STD-810G certified. They come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v5.0 in the S8 and v4.2 in the V20), GPS, NFC, and the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer.


Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below, and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.


Samsung Galaxy S8


Samsung introduces us to their new Infinity Display on the Galaxy S8. It has no left or right bezels and curves on both sides, making it look completely different from its predecessor. The long-standing physical ‘Home’ button is gone, as are the ‘Back’ and ‘App’ keys – all located on the lower part of the display that has 3D Touch capabilities. Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back and awkwardly located it near the camera lens. Thankfully, Samsung added a couple of easier ways to unlock the device by way of facial recognition and an iris scanner. The physical appearance of the Galaxy S8 may be enough to win you over, but did Samsung upgrade the specifications enough, and just how does it stack up to the LG V20.

The Galaxy S8 jumped its display size from the flat 5.1-inch display used on the Galaxy S7 to a much larger 5.8-inch Infinity Display, but keeping the Super AMOLED technology. The new display uses an 18.5:9 aspect ratio that makes it taller, slightly narrower, and causes it to have a QHD+ display resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels with 570 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The new display takes up 83.6-percent of the front of the phone as it goes edge-to-edge with very small bezels on the top and bottom. Samsung set the default resolution to 2220 x 1080 to conserve battery life, but you can easily go into the settings and move it up to 2960 x 1440. Samsung continues to use the ‘always-on’ screen to help save battery life but more importantly, making it easier and quicker to check notifications. Samsung uses the newest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the front and back of the device. The Galaxy S8 is the first high-volume smartphone to use the 10nm technology found in the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor and is clocked at 2.35GHz with an Adreno 540 GPU rounding out the model coming to the US. The other countries will use Samsung’s excellent Exynos 8895 octa-core 10nm processor with four cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and a Mali-G71 MP20 for graphics. The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and has 64GB of the faster UFS 2.1 expandable memory via a microSD card.

Samsung took a rather bold step and just brought forward the excellent camera from the Galaxy S7 and instead, Samsung decided to concentrate on making advancements to their imaging software, and so far, the picture quality looks excellent. The Galaxy S8 uses with a Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with a large aperture of f/1.7, a 26mm lens, PDAF, LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. Samsung change the FFC by enlarging it from a 5MP to an 8MP sensor and then Samsung added the FFC its own autofocus. It still is a wide-angle lens, the same f/1.7 aperture, and Live HDR. Samsung also kept the same sized non-removable 3000mAh battery that features Quick Charge and still offers Quick Wireless Charging.


The Galaxy S8, as usual, has many features crammed in and some are more useful than others are. It continues to be IP68 certified against dust and water, it has a heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor for those that exercise, and the new Samsung Health replaces Samsung’s S-Health. Samsung introduces its own personal assistant called Bixby. You can either ask Bixby simple questions or get the camera involved by pointing it at a historical building to receive some facts regarding the structure or if you aim the camera at a sign written in a foreign language, Bixby will translate it for you. The Galaxy S8 sports a new Samsung Connect feature that will hook up with Samsung’s appliances, SmartTVs, thermostats, and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Samsung added a DeX Station that will interface the Galaxy S8 with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to give you a near desktop experience. You can use Android Pay as well as Samsung Pay, which allows Galaxy S8 users more freedom to make mobile purchases. The Galaxy S8 will arrive one of two ways – with Android Nougat 7.0, followed by a quick upgrade, or it may include 7.1 by release time. It measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, weighs in at 155 grams, is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold depending where you are located. The Galaxy S8 will cost about $720 outright and is now available for pre-order with delivery no later than April 21.

LG V20

The difference between the LG V20 and LG G6 is a little more blurry than it was with the V10 and G5 – the V10 was more a standard smartphone and the G5 was LG’s modular device. However, both the V20 and G6 are non-modular devices and LG included dual cameras in both and included a similar Hi-Res audio. LG did away with the angular look of the stainless steel LG V10 and turned to aircraft quality aluminum with a smoother and more refined look on the V20. The silicone backing is gone, but LG still used silicone to create a pair of bumpers on the top and bottom of the LG V20. LG stuck with the secondary display for notifications, but the V20 uses a much brighter one. The LG V20 is attempting to find a home for those users interested in experimenting with photography or that demand a great sound through their earphones. It is really a crime that LG did not include stereo speakers with these kinds of audio specs.


The primary display on the LG V20 sports a 5.7-inch IPS Quantum QHD panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and results in 513 PPI. The secondary display for notifications measures 1040 x 160 pixels with the same density of 513 PPI. The purpose of these ‘always-on’ secondary displays is to save battery life by allowing the primary display to stay off while the smaller display feeds you notifications. LG put in the best possible processor that Snapdragon offered – an 820 quad-core processor that uses dual cores clocked at 1.6GHz and 2.15GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and an expandable 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage.

The LG V20 uses a dual camera arrangement that includes a 16MP primary camera and another 8MP wide-angle lens that acts as a secondary camera. The 16MP will take the majority of your pictures, but those times you want to take a group shot or a vast landscape shot, the 8MP wide-angle sensor can step in. For the V20, LG included both laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), added a large f/1.8 aperture on the primary camera and smaller f/2.4 for the secondary 8MP sensor, along with OIS, and a dual-tone LED flash. The FFC uses a single 5MP sensor with an f/1.9 aperture for social selfies or video chatting with friends and family. LG increased the V20 battery size to a 3200mAh removable battery that should last you throughout the day. The user has the option of using Quick Charge 3.0 for a fast charge, or you can simply replace the old battery with a new one.

LG is targeting those that are into photography with the dual camera setup and those that enjoy get sounds by being the first smartphone to include four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters). The V20 has an EQ with left/right balance controls and includes B&O Play certification. When listening through a good set of earbuds, your ears will thank you, but we still are wondering why LG held back and only included one speaker on the bottom of the device. The LG V20 was awarded an MIL-STD-810G certification due to its rugged build and the V20 also retained the IR Blaster that LG left out of the LG G6. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 174 grams and cost about $600. The LG V20 is available in Titan and Silver, and it is running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.


…And The Winner Is…

The Final Word


The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the winner of this specification comparison, if for nothing else because of the advancement in its processor and GPU. We can start with those two major items and move on to the SUPER AMOLED 18.5:9 Infinity Display and its smaller footprint, not to mention wireless charging. The Galaxy S8 has facial recognition, iris scanning, IP68 certification, a heart rate monitor, Samsung Connect, Samsung DeX, and Samsung Pay. You get all of this for about $100 more than the LG V20, although special deals and freebies help make up some of the difference.

The LG V20 is a great looking smartphone and while it has an interesting secondary display, it really is no better than Samsung’s ‘always-on’ display feature. It’s the same with the camera area, while the LG V20 has dual cameras, the Galaxy S8 takes top-notch photos. The only area the LG V20 wins out is the four DAC’s they use for sound, so if you are always listening music over a set of earbuds, then the LG V20 may be for you.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is one sexy looking device that has the internal specs to backup those good looks. If you must have a removable battery or need the four DAC sound, then the LG V20 is the only one for you out of these two. However, if you want the most advanced phone in both looks and performance, then you will have to get the Galaxy S8.