Do we have a good one for you today – the LG V30 takes direct aim at the Samsung Galaxy S8. No one can complain that this is not a fair comparison, as both are flagship devices that can play on the same field. The Galaxy S8 is the bread and butter of the Samsung lineup, while the LG V30 is LG’s top device and is selling quite well, to put it mildly. Both of these devices are beautifully designed with their small bezels and all glass construction. The Galaxy S8 has a slight edge in looks with its curved and bezel-less sides. Inside, both devices use the same processor/GPU and share 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Both devices use Hi-Res audio with the LG V30 topping the Galaxy S8’s specs. Camera areas are excellent on both devices, but the LG V30 uses a dual-camera arrangement. Today we are going look at these two higher priced devices to determine a winner. Before we examine each individual device, we will first see what these two flagships have in common.
The LG V30 and Galaxy S8 do share many specifications – starting with the large displays and their use of OLED technology, an 18:9 ratio, a QHD resolution, a secondary display for notifications, and both are protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The US/China edition of the Galaxy S8 uses the same Snapdragon 835 processor and Adreno 540 GPU as the LG V30. Both have 4GB of LPDDR4 and 64GB of expandable internal storage. Both have a large, non-removable battery and both devices offer Quick Charge and Wireless charging. Both use Bluetooth v5.0, WiFi, a USB Type-C port, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. The LG V30 and the Galaxy S8 both have Hi-Res audio and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Both offer IP68 dust and water resistance, facial recognition, and an ‘assistant’ – LG V30 has Google Assistant and the Galaxy S8 uses Samsung’s Bixby assistant. Both run Android 7.0 Nougat but will get their Android 8.0 Oreo upgrades in the near future. You can get both of these devices on all major US carriers.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two high-end Android smartphones stack up against each other. After that, we will look at each mobile offering 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 overall specs, as well as the execution of design and functions.
LG and Samsung, its Korean competition, are in a constant battle to claim smartphone superiority – a commercial battle that Samsung is winning. LG continually tries new and innovative ideas, so it is no surprise that the LG V30 is a complete redesign of previous models. LG started with an all-metal stainless design for the LG V10 and then switched to aluminum on the V20. The new V30 is an all-glass design that takes away the long tradition of a removable battery, but it gains both an IP68 certificate and wireless charging. LG changed from an LCD display to an OLED design for better color and battery life. The LG also changed the V30’s display from a 16:9 aspect ratio to an 18:9 ratio. This design difference allows the V30 to have a larger display than the V20, but a smaller physical footprint, although the display is a little narrower. LG included a top processor into its new flagship, the Snapdragon 835, while also retaining the Hi-Res quad-DAC audio circuitry that works great with a pair of headphones, but for some strange reason, LG only includes a single speaker into the V30.
The LG V30 sports a 6-inch QHD OLED display with a pixel resolution of 2880 x 1440 resulting in 538 pixels per inch (PPI). LG came up with a new name for its display – ‘FullVision’ as competition for Samsung’s ‘Infinity Display’. The display specs include Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, giving the user a better entertainment experience. LG jumped from the 16:9 aspect ratio to 18:9 one and rather than use a fixed secondary display at the top of the main display like the LG V20, the LG V30 uses a ‘floating bar’ that can be moved or swept completely out of the way. The LG V30 uses the powerful Snapdragon 835 processor clocked at 2.45GHz that adds speed, more capabilities, and better battery life compared to its predecessor. It is paired with an Adreno 540 GPU for stunning graphics. The V30 retained the standard flagship RAM of 4GB and 64GB of expandable memory.
LG started the trend of using dual cameras on the LG V10, the V20, and now the LG V30. The primary camera will take most of your photos and sports a 16-megapixel sensor, OIS, laser and PDAF for focusing, dual-tone LED flash, and a large f/1.6 aperture for lowlight shots. The secondary camera is used for those wide-angle photos you want to take, and while it does not have all of the features of the primary camera, it has a 13-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle 120-degree lens which sports a larger aperture of f/1.9. The front-facing camera (FFC) is the same 5MP used on the LG V20, but now offers facial recognition to go along with selfies and video chats. The LG V30 uses a 3,300mAh non-removable battery that offers Quick Charge 3.0 as well as wireless charging. The downside is losing the ability to change batteries, but on the upside, you are getting IP68 water-resistance and wireless charging.
The LG V30 inherited the quad-DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter), the EQ with left/right balance controls and B&O Play certifications from the LG V20. Moreover, even with a glass back on the V30, you still get the MIL-STD-810G certification. The glass back forced LG to use a non-removable battery in the V30, but now offers IP68 water-resistance and wireless charging. The improvements start with the P-OLED display technology used on a larger display, which gives you blacker blacks and richer colors. The main camera area improves all around and now adds facial recognition to the V30’s voice recognition. The non-removable battery is slightly larger at 3,300mAh and will easily make it through a day. The device measures 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.4 mm and weighs in at 158 grams. The V30 comes in your choice of Cloud Silver or Moroccan Blue and will come with Android 7.1.2. The LG V30 will cost you approximately $840 outright.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Samsung needed to hit a home run in 2017 after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco at the end of 2016. Fortunately, the Galaxy S8 has proven to be a massive hit for the company this year with its complete redesign. The beautiful new Infinity Display is of the literal edge-to-edge variety as it curves along the sides of the Galaxy S8 and tucks nicely into the metal frame. There are no side bezels and even the top and bottom bezels are minimal. Samsung finally replaced its iconic Home button and placed the fingerprint sensor on the back – although it is right next to the camera lens. The navigation keys are now on the screen itself only when needed. The bottom bezel serves no visible purpose while the top bezel houses an FFC camera with facial recognition support, an iris scanner, earpiece, proximity sensor, and an LED notification light.
The Galaxy S8 sports a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display that comes with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, and a resolution of 2960 x 1440 that amounts to 570 PPI. It uses an always-on display for notifications – allowing the device to put less drain on the battery and makes it easier for the user to quickly look at notifications. Samsung uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5, front and back, for protection. Samsung sells two models of its handset – the US/China model uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 clocked at 2.35GHz and coupled with the Adreno 540 GPU. The EMEA model sold in most other regions around the world is powered by the Exynos 8895 clocked at 2.3GHz and the Mali-G71 MP20 GPU. The Galaxy S8 sports 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of expandable memory.
Samsung is doing a great job in their camera department and the Galaxy S8’s camera is one of the higher rated ones among smartphones. It includes a 12-megapixel sensor and sports a lens with a large f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), LED flash, auto HDR, and OIS. On the front, there is an 8-megapixel sensor with autofocus, a wide-angle lens with the same f/1.7 aperture, and Auto HDR support. The Galaxy S8 packs a 3,000mAh non-removable battery with support for Adaptive Fast Charging and includes wireless charging for both Qi and PMA formats.
Samsung devices include an IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, an iris scanner, facial recognition, Samsung Pay, a heart rate monitor, and a SpO2 sensor. Samsung added the Connect feature that allows you to control Samsung’s appliances and other home controls. Samsung included its own AI personal assistant called ‘Bixby,’ and like other personal assistants, you can ask Bixby simple questions as well as relying on it for more advanced features such as the ability to get information from a picture and do things like identify architectural landmarks. Also new is Samsung’s DeX module (sold separately) that allows you to hook up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to your phone for a ‘desktop’ experience. It is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Burgundy Red, and Maple Gold, depending on your market carrier or retailer of choice. It comes with Android 7.0 (Nougat) running out of the box, but should soon get its 8.0 Oreo upgrade. The device measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm, weighs in at 155 grams, and was listed at $760, but you can now find it for much cheaper than that.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
This was a very tough decision, especially because both devices bring so much to the table, but based on the better looks, the same internal specs, and a cheaper price, I have to pick the Galaxy S8 as the winner of this comparison. Yes, the Galaxy S8 is a little better-looking with the nicer display, but it also takes great pictures and has great sound through headphones. It offers Samsung Pay, a heart rate monitor and SpO2 sensor, a significantly better front camera, an iris scanner, and wireless charging for both formats.
The LG V30 offers incredible sound through headphones, dual cameras, a larger battery, a better-placed rear-fingerprint sensor, but also a larger price tag. The LG V30 is a solid device that packs four DACs and a body with the MIL-STF-810G military durability rating, but it also costs about $80 more and offers fewer features than the Galaxy S8. Either device should satisfy the most demanding user but the looks and features of the Galaxy S8, all at a cheaper price, make it the more attractive buy.