Do we have a good one for you today – the Google Pixel 2 XL goes head-to-head with the new LG G7 ThinQ. The Pixel 2 XL hit the shelves in October 2017, while the new G7 ThinQ just arrived in May 2018. These two devices, arriving months apart, are the flagship devices for these two smartphone manufacturers. The G7 ThinQ is only a minor upgrade over last year’s LG G6, but technology changes so fast that there is a difference between the two models. These two devices do have a few things in common, that we will go over first – like using an AMOLED display, a great camera section, and a high price tag – then please look at the specification sheet before we go into detail about each device.
Even though these two devices are a half-year apart from one another, they do have many things in common – well, sort of. Both the physical size and the display are almost identical. Both are about 6-inches in size, both use the 18:9/19.5:9 aspect ratio, they both use the QHD+ resolution, and both are protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The displays on the Pixel 2 XL and G7 ThinQ use the Always-On technology, allowing the device to save on battery life and making it easier on the user to look quickly at notifications without turning on the device. Both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and Adreno GPU, but different models. Both sport 4GB of RAM and 64GB of base storage – only the LG G7 ThinQ has expandable memory – and both offer a 128GB memory option. The front-facing camera (FFC) is 8-megapixels on both devices and both offer a non-removable battery with fast charge capabilities. They both offer the usual WiFi, Bluetooth v5.0, NFC, and a 3.1 Type-C port for charging and data transfer. You will find Google Lens, Google Assistant, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on each device. Both come bearing Android 8 Oreo and will work on all major US networks.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two high-end 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.
Google Pixel 2 XL
The first Pixel lineup had an excellent camera and a high price tag, but little else to excite the smartphone world. Google did their homework and produced a worthy, if not expensive, second generation in the Pixel 2 series. In this comparison we look at the flagship Pixel 2 XL and just how it stands up to the new LG G7 ThinQ. Google designed the Pixel 2 XL to compete with the most modern looking flagships. It has a near bezel-less P-OLED display with an 18:9 aspect ratio for better entertainment viewing and using multi-windows. The Pixel 2 XL has two new functions – Active Edge that allows you to squeeze the sides of the phone to launch Google Assistant or silence an incoming call. The other, Google Lens, can identify details about photos, such as what kind of historic landmark you might be looking at through the camera or details about a movie via a poster about the movie. Although you can buy an unlocked Pixel 2 phone online, Verizon is once again the exclusive dealer, with pricing about $849 for the 64GB version.
The Pixel 2 XL sports a 6-inch P-OLED QHD+ display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels, giving it 538 pixels-per-inch (PPI). Google had the foresight to use the 18:9 aspect ratio and smaller bezels for a modern look. They also added an Always-On display (like the LG G7 ThinQ) for quick notifications and saving battery life. Gorilla Glass 5 protects the display.
The Pixel 2 devices uses the best Snapdragon produced in 2017, the SD835 octa-core processor clocked at 2.35GHz. Google paired that with an Adreno 540 GPU for excellent graphics. The Pixel 2 XL comes with 4GB of RAM and a base of 64GB of non-expandable internal storage. You can expand the internal memory to 128GB of memory for an additional $100. This combination works very good, but the newer SD845/Adreno 630 found in the LG G7 ThinQ is a definite upgrade.
Until the Google Pixel series, Google never much worried about the camera – it was more an afterthought. The original Pixel series had the highest ratings that DxOMark gave a mobile camera. Other cameras finally surpassed it until the Pixel 2 arrived and received the highest rating, but like all good technology, it too is now surpassed. What is even more amazing is that the camera does this with only a single 12-megapixel sensor. It has an aperture of f/1.8, uses both EIS and OIS for stabilization, both laser and PDAF for quick focusing, and a dual LED flash. For the FFC Google used an 8-megapixel lens with a fixed focus and a small, f/2.4 aperture. The Pixel 2 XL packs a large 3,520mAh non-removable battery that should easily last an entire day. It comes with fast charging when you do need a charge.
Google’s Pixel 2 XL is a true flagship that holds up well against other LG and Samsung smartphones. However, when you consider that there is no memory expansion, no Hi-Res audio, and no 3.5mm headphone jack, the price does seem a bit steep. Even though its camera has been eclipsed by others, it does have a wonderful camera and stereo speakers. Its Active Edge is a great idea, but Google needs to do more with it if it is to be a real asset to the user. Google added IP67 water and dust resistance, but why not go all the way to IP68 like other manufacturers. It is running the latest Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and will receive the fastest updates. The Pixel 2 XL measures 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm, and weighs in at 175 grams. It is available in two colors – Just Black and Black & White. The Pixel 2 XL will cost about $849 with 64GB of RAM and $949 with 128GB of RAM and is available at the Google Store, Best Buy and as an exclusive through Verizon that will allow you to make monthly payments.
LG G7 ThinQ
While LG only did small makeovers on their devices this year, they did add ‘ThinQ’ to the end of their names. They started with the LG V30S ThinQ, moved on to the new LG G7 ThinQ, and finished up with the newest LG V35 ThinQ, which is currently an AT&T exclusive. By making the G7 ThinQ slightly taller and more narrow, this subtle redesign of the LG G7 ThinQ gives it sleeker, more modern look. LG increased the megapixel count on its dual camera setup, however, LG decreased the wider angled lens on the secondary main camera that will decrease the size of your group shots. Another question LG needs to answer is why did they include a notch in the display?
LG increased the display size from 5.7-inches to 6.1-inches that has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. This ratio helps when viewing entertainment content like movies or games and also in multitasking. LG calls their display, FullVision, to compete against Samsung’s Infinity Vision. It uses a QHD+ resolution IPS LCD display with 3120 x 1440 pixels and a density of 564 PPI – the same as its predecessor, the LG G6. Gorilla Glass 5 protects the display, as well as the back. LG continues to include Dolby Vision and makes it HDR10 compliant. The Always-On floating display is used for notifications and to save battery life. The new display can go up to a brightness up to 1,000 nits – it can hold that brightness for 3 minutes before dropping back down in an effort to save battery life.
LG waited long enough this year that they were able to go with the best processor this time around – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and an Adreno 630 GPU – this allows for a fast and smooth experience and unparalleled graphics. The SD845 is an Octa-Core processor clocked at 2.8GHz, supported with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable internal memory. LG decreased the battery capacity from 3,300mAh to a 3000mAh, but retained Quick Charge 3.0 and wireless charging.
LG’s dual cameras on the LG G7 ThinQ include a set of 16-megapixel sensors for both cameras – the primary camera has a large f/1.6 aperture, Laser and PDAF, OIS, and LED flash. The secondary camera can be used for group pictures or a landscape shot because it does have a slightly wider angle, but has a smaller f/1.9 aperture. As with most dual lens setup, the majority of pictures are taken using the primary sensor, reserving the secondary camera for wide angle shots or special effects. LG did pay attention to the puny FFC of only 5-megapixel with an f/2.2 aperture to a much larger 8-megapixel sensor with a larger f/1.9 aperture for selfies and video chatting.
LG, in their quest to be the iPhone of Android, insisted on including an notch the G7 ThinQ’s display. LG will include a useless notch on their display, but then they took away the on/off capability of the fingerprint sensor and replaced it with a typical switch on the side of the device. LG did use Gorilla Glass 5 all around and they did kept the 3.5mm headphone jack so the user can easily have access to the virtual surround sound. LG reconfigured the single bottom speaker so that it will resonant throughout the smartphone’s chassis to give you what LG is calling Boombox sound. LG bumped its Bluetooth to v5.0 and the built-in NFC will allow you to perform Android Pay mobile payments. Android 8.0 Oreo comes on the LG G7 ThinQ out-of-the-box. The LG G7 ThinQ measures 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 162 grams and comes in Platinum Gray, Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue, Raspberry Rose and it will cost you about $750 for the 64GB model.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
I can hear the Google Pixel owners shouting already, but the new LG G7 ThinQ is the winner of this comparison. The LG G7 ThinQ has a better processor, GPU, expandable memory, a dual camera setup offering more options, Boomsound, wireless charging, better sound through headphones, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and it offers this for a cheaper price. It is true it also has an LCD display that is packing a notch, but its other attributes and lower price make it the winner.
It is understood that the Pixel 2 XL came out last fall, thus its use of the Snapdragon 835 and Adreno 540. However, this is the pinnacle of what Google is competing with against the other flagships. Because of this, we are looking at last year's processor/GPU, less dust and water resistance, no 3.5mm headphone jack, but it does have stereo speakers. It uses a better P-OLED display technology, and for those that insist on a pure vanilla Android Oreo, you get it with the Pixel 2 XL...all for a higher cost.