We have a great matchup for you today – the LG V30 goes up against the Sony Xperia XZ1. Can the dual cameras on the LG V30 stand up to the fabled Sony camera? LG redesigned its V30 to use an all-glass construction with a modern look on the front with its small bezels and 18:9 aspect ratio. Sony has refined, though kept, its boxier look with large bezels and metal backing – making it look rather retro when compared to the V30. Which one of these devices has what it takes to win in this comparison? These questions and more are what we hope to answer here. Before we look at each individual device, let’s take a look at what they have in common.
Despite the differences in their design, the LG V30 and Sony Xperia XZ1 do have some similarities. Both use Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 to protect their very different take on displays. The best processor available, the Snapdragon 835 along with the Adreno 540 GPU, is used by both devices, as is 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a base of 64GB of expandable memory. Both use a non-removable battery and both offer Quick Charge 3.0. Even their physical size is almost identical, as is their weight. These two devices offer Bluetooth 5.0, a USB Type-C port, a fingerprint sensor (disabled on Sony's U.S. models), Hi-Res audio, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and IP68 dust and water resistance.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two excellent Android devices stack up against each other. After that, we will look at each handset in more detail 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 the overall execution of design and functions.
There are many users who think of LG from past years when its devices were possibly subpar in performance, but this is a new LG that is putting out some pretty awesome handsets. LG is not afraid to push the envelope when it comes to technology and sometimes it fails like it did with the G5. However, it admitted to a mistake and bounced right back with a complete redesign of the LG G6. Even the LG V30 is a complete makeover of the somewhat successful LG V20, boasting a new all-glass look, it switched from an LCD to an OLED display technology, changed to an 18:9 display ratio, and upgraded the dual cameras found on the rear of the flagship. While it eliminated the removable battery, the company added wireless charging and an IP68 certification to its new offering. LG included the top Snapdragon 835/Adreno 540 GPU into the V30 and retained the Hi-Res audio with four DACs. The only place it skimped on was not including dual stereo speakers.
The display manufacturing division of LG is very familiar with OLED displays, but up until now, it has never included an OLED display into a flagship smartphone, with the LG G Flex being more of an experiment than a premium device. The new LG V30 sports a 6-inch QHD+ P-OLED display with an 18:9 ratio. It has a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels that result in a pixel density of 538 pixels per inch. LG uses ‘FullVision’ with Dolby Vision and HDR 10 support, like Samsung uses ‘Infinity Display’ for naming its new smartphone aesthetic. The LG V20 used a fixed secondary display for notifications, but LG switched that up with a ‘floating bar’ that can be moved around the display or completely swiped away.
The LG V30 packs the best processor available – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with four cores clocked at 1.9GHz and another four cores operating at 2.45GHz – the same one used in the Xperia XZ1. Processing the graphics is the Adreno 540 that can handle any video, movie, or game you can throw at it. The handset also boasts 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal memory expandable via a microSD card.
LG began using dual cameras on the LG V10 and has continued to improve them the past two years. The LG V30 uses a 16-megapixel sensor for its primary camera along with a large f/1.6 aperture, OIS, both PDAF and laser focusing, and a dual-tone LED flash. The secondary camera sports a 13-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle 120-degree field of capture and a smaller aperture of f/1.9. The front-facing camera is of the 5-megapixel variety – the same one used on the LG V20 – but now includes facial recognition support. In the V30, you will find a 3,300mAh non-removable battery that offers both Quick Charge 3.0 and wireless charging.
When LG redesigned the LG V30, it decided to go with a glass back. This seemingly small change brought with it a host of changes – no more removable battery, an IP68 certification, and wireless charging, while still maintaining its MIL-STD-810G standard. The LG V30 has the best Hi-Fidelity circuit in the business with four DACs, an equalizer with left-right balance controls, and a B&O Play certification. You will experience great sound through a pair of headphones, but do not look for stereo speakers on this device. The almost edge-to-edge P-OLED display really makes the V30 look modern and the improved camera area with facial recognition is another plus. The device measures 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.4mm and weighs in at 158 grams. The V30 comes in your choice of Cloud Silver or Moroccan Blue and ships with Android 7.1.2. The LG V30 will cost you approximately $840 outright.
Sony Xperia XZ1
Sony has kept a particular smartphone design for years and that squared-off, large-bezel aesthetic is starting to look a bit dated. The Xperia XZ1 is not an ugly phone by any means, but it certainly looks old when compared to the new Samsung and LG models. While most manufacturers are increasing the size of their displays, switching to OLED panels, using a QHD(+) resolution, and going with smaller bezels, Sony has decided against all of these improvements. The Xperia XZ1 does, however, have the current internal technology with its Snapdragon 835/Adreno 540 GPU combo and an excellent camera and software, not to mention it's running Android 8.0 out of the box. Sony moved the antenna from the back to the sides, giving it a more solid look, rather than one that appears to have been pieced together. Unfortunately, Sony disables the fingerprint sensor on the U.S. versions of the phone that still only work on AT&T and T-Mobile, so it's no wonder that more Sony devices are not sold in the US.
The Xperia XZ1 stuck with the 16:9 display ratio using Sony’s 5.2-inch Triluminos IPS LCD panel. It uses only a Full HD display with a pixel resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and a pixel density of 424 PPI. Sony also uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protecting the screen, in addition to adopting metal backing. The Xperia XZ1 uses the top Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 clocked at 2.35GHz and the Adreno 540 GPU, the same one used in the LG V30. It packs 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM along with 64GB of expandable memory.
Sony has a long history of producing some of the finest lenses used in mobile devices; chances are a Sony camera module may be used by your device as well. This expertise was also applied to designing the Xperia XZ1's camera system. It uses a 19-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.0, PDAF and laser focusing, EIS, and a dual-LED flash. The front camera uses a large 13-megapixel sensor with the same f/2.0 aperture, EIS, and a wide-angle lens. The Xperia XZ1 will take some great photos but generally scores lower in test scores that some other flagships. Sony likes to use a small display and a small battery, so here we have a 2,700mAh non-removable unit. However, with a small FHD display and an efficient OS and processor, you should have no problems making it through the day with this flagship. When you do need a charge, Quick Charge 3.0 is willing and able to get your Xperia XZ1 back to full power in no time.
Although the Sony Xperia XZ1 looks a tad dated, Sony continues to make small improvements each year. This latest edition has nicely rounded sides, making it more comfortable to hold. The antenna has been improved by moving it to the sides and making for a more solid-looking device. The Xperia XZ1 carries an IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, stereo speakers, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC, which will allow you to use Android Pay, just not with your fingerprint if you're in the U.S. The Xperia XZ1 is available in Black, Warm Silver, Venus Pink, and Moonlit Blue, depending on the market. It ships with Android 8.0 Oreo, measures 148 x 73.4 x 7.4mm in size, and weighs in at 155 grams, with prices starting at approximately $700.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
This was one of the easier ones to choose. The Xperia XZ1 may cost $140 less, but we are picking the LG V30 as the winner of this comparison. The LG V30 is simply a better-looking device that will not seem dated when you take it out of the box, nor will it (probably) look like that two years from now. The LG V30 has a larger screen, a QHD+ resolution, a secondary software display for notifications, dual cameras, a larger battery, wireless charging, a fingerprint sensor that works in the U.S., face and voice recognition, and it's available on all major stateside networks.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 is a solid device and not at all ugly, just somewhat dated-looking with its large bezels. It does have stereo speakers, which are always a nice addition, but the smaller LCD panel with an FHD resolution reminds us way too much of 2015. Disabling the fingerprint sensor on U.S. models is also a tough pill to swallow. You will get Android 8.0 out of the box, but the LG V30 will eventually receive its update to go along with all of its other attributes as well, making the Xperia XZ1 a difficult recommendation between the two, unless you're specifically looking for a smaller screen.