Do we have a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy Note9 takes on the LG V40 ThinQ. Both of these smartphones are looking for a different type of user. The Note9 is a world class leader with its Super AMOLED Infinity Display and its business-like S Pen for jotting down notes, careful texting, or sketching out a design. The V40 ThinQ is loaded with five cameras and its four DACs and Boomsound speakers for the photographic/audiophile users. Once over those differences, they both have the same SD845 processor and Adreno 630 GPU, as well as the same RAM and expandable memory. Both devices retail price about the same, so there is no price factor involved. Many users are Samsung fans and some are LG fans, which may play a role with one's' decision. With the Note9 having stereo speakers and an excellent camera, it could be a replacement for the LG V40 ThinQ, but it would be harder to call the LG V40 ThinQ a Note9 replacement.
As both as these smartphones are different from each other, they have many of the same features. They both use a POLED display and OHD+ technology and resolution as well as an 18.5:9/19.5:9 aspect ratio. Both are HDR10 compliant, protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and incorporate the Always-on-Display (AoD) feature. Both use the same Snapdragon 845 processor, an Adreno 630 GPU, 6GB of RAM, and expandable memory. Both use multiple cameras – the Note9 using two main and one front-facing camera and the V40 ThinQ using 3 primary cameras and dual FFC. They both use rather large batteries, which are both non-removable and offer fast charging as well as wireless charging. They physical sizes are almost identical with the Note 9 weighing in at 32 grams heavier. They both have the usual suspects – NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth v5.0, and a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer. They both handle Google Pay, are IP68 Certified, contain Hi-Res audio, have a 3.5mm headphone jack, a rear mounted fingerprint sensor, facial recognition, and Gorilla Glass 5 backing.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and there you will see just how these two high-end Android smartphones stack up against each other. Which one is the better purchase by offering the most technology for the least amount of money? This question and more we will hope to answer in this comparison.
Samsung Galaxy Note9
The resemblance of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 to the Galaxy Note8 is very apparent, including the dual camera setup. It is also a given that the display is slightly larger and the dual cameras are improved. Of course, the processor/GPU has also been improved to the best that was available. Critics were waiting for Samsung to add stereo speakers to its smartphones and they answered by first giving them to the Galaxy S9 and now have passed them onto the Galaxy Note9. Each Note rendition improves on the S Pen and the Note9 even includes Bluetooth in its new S Pen that means it can be used as a remote 'clicker' to take a picture, click to forward a presentation, and so on. Many thought the Note9 would include a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display glass – but it was only moved below the camera lens to help prevent fingerprint smudges.
Manufacturers love to increase the size of the display every year – makes you wonder how large they will become 10 years from now. The Galaxy Note8 had a 6.3-inch display and the Galaxy Note9 increased to 6.4-inches. You will find Samsung's near bezel-less Infinity Display that sports a QHD+ resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels and a density of 516 pixels-per-inch (PPI). They keep an 18.5:9 aspect ratio for a taller and narrower display, making it a better viewing area for movies or gaming. It also creates two squares for multi-window tasking. Samsung has its excellent AoD to save battery life, but more importantly, allows the user to quickly check their notifications without having to open their phone.
The Galaxy Note9 packs the same processor and GPU as the Galaxy S9 – and most of the other 2018 smartphones – the octa-core Snapdragon 845 processor and the Adreno 630 GPU. It has a full 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable internal memory, although there is a 512GB memory option available. We are happy to report that Samsung packed a 4,000 mAh capacity battery, which should make it through and entire day. When you need a quick charge, Samsung's Adaptive Fast Charge or their quick wireless charging will do the trick.
Most of the new flagship smartphones have graduated to dual cameras and the Note8 was the first Samsung to sport one. It was improved on the Galaxy S9 and transferred to the Galaxy Note9. The dual cameras are both 12-megapixels using Samsung's new Dual Super Pixels and one incorporating 2x Optical Zoom. The main camera uses Samsung's new dual aperture – f/2.4 for bright shots and an f/1.5 for darker shots – with OIS, PDAF, and an LED flash. The secondary camera has a wider angle, an aperture of f/2.4, and live focus for the bokeh effect. The FFC is 8-megapixels with the large aperture of f/1.7 for better low-light selfies, auto-HDR, along with its own autofocus. This setup is a great for excellent selfies and video chatting.
The Note9 has the usual bloatware that Samsung puts on their flagships – some are useful and others will never even be open. If you exercise, the heart rate monitor, the SpO2 sensor, and the new blood pressure monitor would be very useful. Those that make mobile payments will find Samsung Pay useful. Samsung, not to be outdone by Google, has its own AI called Bixby. Another great feature are the side panels that roll out to display your ten favorite contacts on one panel and you ten favorite apps on the second panel. The Note9's S Pen is improved with Bluetooth built in, which allows you treat the S Pen's clicker as a means to take a picture while you are in it or click through a group of pictures.
The Galaxy Note9 is available Lavender Purple, Ocean Blue, Midnight Black, and Metallic Copper depending in the area you live or your carrier. Android 8.1 Oreo is on the phone and upgraded to Android 9.0 Pie in the near future. The device measures 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm, weighs in at 201 grams and will cost you about $1,000 for the 6GB/128GB model.
LG V40 ThinQ
LG seems to have a marketing department that doesn't know what direction they want to go. One thing for certain with the 'V' series, LG is trying to attract users that are into photography and music. Earlier this year, they released an AT&T exclusive model called the V35 ThinQ, and now they are coming out with a V40 ThinQ. It has a larger display with a notch, two additional cameras, a new UI, LG UX 7.0+. The display still uses the P-OLED technology and a QHD+ resolution. The LG V40 ThinQ packs the latest SD845 processor and Adreno 630 GPU. Pricing is rather high at about $980, so wait for a deal at your carrier.
The display on the LG V40 ThinQ is up 6.4-inches and kept the P-OLED technology for richer color and blacker blacks for better contrasts. It uses the QHD+ resolution with 3120 x 1440 pixels and a density of 537 PPI. It comes with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio for better viewing of movies, videos, and gaming. It supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, includes the notch, and a simple version of AoD to help save battery life.
LG grabbed the best processor/GPU they could for the LG V40 ThinQ by using the octa-core Snapdragon 845 clocked at 2.8 GHz and an Adreno 630 for outstanding graphics whether it is an action movie or your favorite game. It packs 6GB of RAM for excellent multitasking and 64GB of base expandable internal memory. LG brought forward the same 3,300 mAh capacity battery, Quick Charge 3.0, and quick wireless charging.
The new camera area is like walking through a maze with five cameras – three main cameras and two FFCs. The main camera uses a 12-megapixel sensor with a large f/1.5 aperture for lowlight settings, OIS, Laser and PDAF and an LED flash. One of the secondary cameras is also a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with a smaller f/2.4 aperture, a 2x Optical zoom, OIS, PDAF, and an LED flash. The third camera is a larger 16-megapixels with an ultra-wide angle and an aperture of f/1.9, an LED flash, and no autofocus. In an odder upgrade – also seen on the Pixel 3 XL – two FFCs – one is an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/1.9 aperture and the second camera uses a 5-megapixel sensor and a f/2.2 aperture with a wide-angle lens.
The Samsung Galaxy Note9 is geared more toward the business user or someone that likes to keep things in order. The LG V40 ThinQ is designed for those into photography and those that use their headphones for music – a good reason that LG kept their 3.5mm headphone. Their Boombox speaker is okay, but to enjoy the four DACs, you have to use the headphones. The V40 ThinQ comes running on Android 8.1 Oreo, but will be upgraded to Android 9.0 Pie. It measures 158.8 x 75.7 x 7.6 mm, weighs in at 169 grams and comes in Aurora Black and Moroccan Blue. The device is now shipping for about $980 for the 6GB/64GB model, although some carriers are running it on sale for $780.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
The Galaxy Note9 is the winner of this comparison, and I can hear the LG users saying, "Come on, look at the five cameras on the LG 40 ThinQ versus the Note's three cameras!" However, the top smartphone is more than the number of cameras it has. It has to do with the display, the processor, the GPU, the memory, the dual speakers, the features, the S Pen, how good the photos are taken, the size of the battery, etc.
The LG V40 ThinQ does have more cameras than the Note9, but other than that, the Note9 rocks. It has the most beautiful Infinity Display, more memory, a larger battery, quick wireless charging, adaptive aperture, Samsung Pay, AKG stereo speakers, Intelligent Scan, Iris Scanner, heart rate monitor, SpO2 sensor, and an S Pen with Bluetooth.