The LG G8 ThinQ and Xiaomi Mi 9 are both flagship-grade phones which were announced back in February. These two phones are the very best LG and Xiaomi have to offer, not counting the LG V50 ThinQ, as that is a 5G handset, and it's not that far from the G8 ThinQ in terms of quality.
Xiaomi and LG have used similar materials in order to bring these two smartphones to life, but other than that, these two phones are considerably different in comparison. That applies for both their internals, their design, and software that comes pre-installed on the two devices.
These two phones do come with the same version of Android, but skins from their respective OEMs are different, while the two phones also come with a different price tag which will certainly have an impact on decision-making for some of you. We will compare the two phones across a number of categories, just to see how they compare.
Both of these phones are made out of metal and glass, though they feel considerably different in hand. The Mi 9 offers more curves on the back, and it's a bit more slippery than the G8 ThinQ, while it's also considerably larger than what LG has to offer.
The LG G8 ThinQ is considerably shorter, narrower, and thicker than the Mi 9, and that's mostly due to its smaller display. Its size makes it easier to use in one hand, so if that's something you strive towards, the G8 ThinQ is a better choice.
Both devices have a "chin" below the display, and both of them come with a display notch, though the Mi 9's notch is considerably smaller than the G8 ThinQ's. The LG G8 ThinQ offers a regular notch, while the Mi 9 comes with a tiny, waterdrop display notch. If you're looking for a tougher phone out of the two, the LG G8 ThinQ is MIL-STD-810G certified, and it also offers IP68 certification. The Mi 9 is splashproof, but it doesn't offer a proper certification for that.
The back side of the Mi 9 looks considerably more appealing than the G8 ThinQ's, as it's much cleaner in terms of the design. There are three vertically-aligned cameras in the top-left corner included on the back side of the Mi 9, while the G8 ThinQ includes two horizontally-aligned cameras, with a fingerprint scanner below them, and more text / branding than the Mi 9.
So, who wins here? Well, objectively speaking, the Mi 9 is the better-looking device here, not only does it have a nicer-looking back, but it also comes with a considerably smaller notch than the LG G8 ThinQ. If you need a smaller device, that is easier to use in one hand and tougher at the same time, though, the G8 ThinQ is a better choice.
Winner: Xiaomi Mi 9
The LG G8 ThinQ and Xiaomi Mi 9 both use OLED displays, but the difference between them is quite noticeable. The LG G8 ThinQ utilizes a 6.1-inch P-OLED QHD+ (3120 x 1440) display, while the Xiaomi Mi 9 comes with a 6.39-inch fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) Super AMOLED unit.
Both of these panels are HDR10-certified, while the LG G8 ThinQ's comes with Dolby Vision support as well. LG opted to include a sheet of Gorilla Glass 5 on top of its panel, while Xiaomi opted for Gorilla Glass 6.
Both devices use the same display aspect ratio, 19.5:9, and the Mi 9's screen-to-body ratio is a bit higher than the LG G8 ThinQ's. Both displays are capable of providing really punchy colors, deep blacks, and everything you'd expect out of OLED displays.
Viewing angles on both displays are really good, and we did not notice any other issues. The LG G8 ThinQ's display is more compelling, though, it is sharper, and side-by-side, it's definitely a nicer panel of the two, which is why the G8 ThinQ will win this category.
Winner: LG G8 ThinQ
The LG G8 ThinQ and Xiaomi Mi 9 are both fueled by the Snapdragon 855, the very best processor Qualcomm has to offer at the moment. On top of that, both devices come with 6GB of RAM, while the Mi 9 is also available in an 8GB RAM variant.
On top of that, both phones ship with Android 9 Pie out of the box, but both devices include skins as well. The LG G8 ThinQ comes with LG UX 8.0, while the Mi 9 includes Xiaomi's MIUI 10 skin.
Both devices perform really well, in general, though we noticed a bit more issues on the G8 ThinQ, than on the Mi 9. With the G8 ThinQ a bit of lag was introduced when scrolling through lists, and more stutters happened on that phone than we experienced on the Xiaomi Mi 9.
Both skins look somewhat different than stock Android, and it's all up to you. Both are feature-packed, though some of those features are quite gimmicky, like those Air Gestures on the LG G8 ThinQ, as they just don't seem to work as they should.
Due to less stuttering and less gimmicky software features, we'll opt for the Xiaomi Mi 9 here, even though both devices are really, really good when it comes to performance.
Winner: Xiaomi Mi 9
In terms of battery life, well, neither of the two phones are amongst the best out there, but they're not bad in this regard either. The LG G8 ThinQ comes with a 3,500mAh battery on the inside, while the Xiaomi Mi 9 includes a 3,300mAh unit.
For the vast majority of users, both phones will last through the day. Heavy users, however, may have issues doing that, as neither of these two devices will provide you with great battery life, and make sure you hit like 7+ screen-on-time… well, maybe in some rare instances. The two phones were pretty close in terms of longevity in our testing, though your mileage may vary.
As far as charging is concerned, the Mi 9 is the better choice. The device offers 27W fast wired charging, and 20W fast wireless charging. The LG G8 ThinQ, on the other hand, can provide you with 21W fast wired charging, and 9W fast wireless charging. So, all in all, both phones can be charged up rather fast. All in all, we do think these two phones are on par in the battery life department.
What about camera performance? Well, both phones are really good in this department, but they cannot measure up to the Huawei P30 Pro or the Pixel 3. The LG G8 ThinQ comes with two rear-facing cameras (at least the US model), while the Xiaomi Mi 9 packs three cameras on the back.
The LG G8 ThinQ includes a main camera, and a wide-angle unit, while the Mi 9 has those two, plus a telephoto one. Both phones are quite capable when there's enough light in an image, they can provide color-rich images, with really good dynamic range… those shots do end up looking quite good.
In low light, neither of these cameras are great. The G8 ThinQ's night mode does not work as it should at all, its auto mode is actually able to provide better shots in some situations, as it provides similar results to the Night Mode in low light. The Mi 9 actually pulls ahead in some scenarios when there's not plenty of light in a shot, but it's a tossup, it all depends on the shot.
The LG G8 ThinQ does offer a better front-facing camera setup, though, even though the Mi 9 is not far behind in that regard either. It's really difficult to decide between these two devices when it comes to camera quality, they're both good, but not great, though the G8 ThinQ is better in the manual mode if that's what you're looking for. All in all, this is a tie.
Smartphone audio is quite important to some of you, and yet often overlooked by OEMs. Between these two phones, the LG G8 ThinQ is definitely the winner. The LG G8 ThinQ does offer a 3.5mm headphone jack, while the Xiaomi Mi 9.
That's not all, though, of course. LG's offering also comes with DTS:X Surround Sound support, and it can provide you with 32-bit/192kHz audio. If you have a proper pair of headphones, the LG G8 ThinQ does have a lot to offer in the audio department.
Both devices ship with a single speaker, though, and both are okay, but nothing special. The G8 ThinQ's actually sounds a bit better than Xiaomi's, so it kind of wins in that regard as well.
Winner: LG G8 ThinQ
So, which of the two phones should you choose? Well, it all depends on what your preferences are. If you're in the market for a smaller device, which is water and dust resistant (with proper certification), and also has great audio, the LG G8 ThinQ is the phone for you.
If what your smartphone looks like is really important to you, and you need a larger display, plus you'd like to experience a bit better performance, the Xiaomi Mi 9 may be a better choice. The two devices are quite close as far as camera quality and battery life aspects are concerned, so… it's up to you. For us, however, this is a tie.