LG G6 vs. Google Pixel: LG Crushes in Camera Face-Off

The Google Pixel is easily one of the best smartphones available. It always has the latest version of Android OS, and it offers strong performance and Google Assistant. But the Pixel's camera is also pretty great, delivering crisp 12.3-megapixel photos and strong HDR+ images in all sorts of conditions.
The Pixel's 12.3-MP is good, but the dual 13-MP shooters on the G6 are great. Credit: Sam RutherfordThe Pixel's 12.3-MP is good, but the dual 13-MP shooters on the G6 are great. Credit: Sam Rutherford

However, the Pixel faces a strong challenger in the LG G6, which features two 13-megapixel rear cameras, one of which shoots captivating wide-angle images with a 125-degree lens. In fact, the G6's camera took down the iPhone 7 Plus in a recent shootout. Now, it’s Google’s turn to square off against the latest from LG. To compare images, just drag the dividing line between the photos shot by the G6 and the Pixel.

Flat Iron Building

The LG G6’s camera impresses here by picking up greater details in the building. Overall, it’s a sharper image with slightly more contrast. It also picked up more details in the shadows. The Pixel’s camera handles highlight well, but the image looks a little underexposed and the colors aren’t as saturated.

Winner: LG G6

Lego Man

The Lego store had this fellow near the window and we couldn’t resist. The white balance on both images ran a little bit warm, and the Pixel had brighter exposure. The green on the tree behind the figure looks closer to what I saw with the naked eye, though.

Winner: Draw

Bowl of Fruit

Our assistant photo editor put this to me pretty bluntly: “The overall quality [of the Pixel] is not as good as LG.” And it shows here, as the image from the G6 offers richer colors (even though they’re on the warmer side). The LG’s camera also did a better job of balancing shadows and highlights. On the Pixel, the highlights look a little too hot.

Winner: LG G6

Empire State Building (No Zoom)

The real difference in this shot is the color. Once again, the Pixel provided desaturated colors with highlights that were just a bit overexposed. And the white balance went a little cold. The G6's image looks warmer and more inviting while picking up more detail in the buildings and street.

Winner: LG G6

Empire Sate Building (Full Zoom)

This one is no contest. In a zoom shot taken of the Empire State Building, the G6 produced a better image, while the Pixel’s results look muddier. The Pixel also didn’t zoom in nearly as far, maxing out at 4x, compared to 14x for the Pixel. Let’s hope the rumored dual-lens Pixel 2 fares better.

Winner: LG G6

Low Light

Taken in our office stairway, this image reveals that the G6 is capable of picking up good detail in shadows, and the white balance performed pretty well. By comparison, the Pixel's photo exhibited noise in the shadows and blown-out highlights. When we zoomed in on our desktop, the photo looked pretty crummy.

Winner: LG G6

Overall

The Google Pixel has a very good camera — it's one of our top camera phones, in fact. But it's hard to argue with LG winning 5 out of 6 rounds. The G6 is the better shooter based on our testing.

Photo comparison credits: Tom's Guide

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20 comments
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  • EljefeNorm
    To me this comparison is just flat out backwards. On my 27-in. monitor, the G-6 was only superior on one shot; the "No Exit sign." Perhaps clarity and focus was not the goal of the comparison, but I know which one I would choose, hands down; notwithstanding the narrative. VERY one-sided view of the G-6!
    4
  • Ferrocanis
    Im sorry, but camera alone does not make a phone killer (even though im a huge LG fan), the most important advantage pixel has is the fact that you get updates straight from google, and no other android phone can beat that. tom's guide please atop making click bait titles, im blocking your notifications if i find another one
    2
  • Ferrocanis
    Eddit: my apologies to the author, your article did not had a clickbait title, but the push notification did, so can this person please stop that.
    0
  • JoeCo
    I don't know what you're smoking.... the pixel wins in every single shot...
    5
  • Ifixtheinternet
    I agree that this is backwards.
    Viewing these on a calibrated Samsung DLP in 1920x1080.

    Maybe it's the G6 aperture, but the first two images do not appear to be taken from the same place.

    However in the first picture there is more color variation in all the buildings taken with the Pixel. Particularly on the far left, where blacks on the building show as black on the Pixel, not gray like the G6.
    Also notice the window lines are all clearly defined in the Pixel example, whereas most taken with the G6 are blurry, despite being zoomed in / closer. The overall picture looks brighter on the G6.

    In picture 2, look at the Lego Hat in the dark areas around the rim.
    The Pixel picks up the light colored legos around the edge whereas with the G6 they are blended and are almost invisible. There is also generally more detail in the picture, again, being further out than the G6.
    Look through the window in the back, the G6 cannot cope with the light variation and the colors are washed out.

    In picture 3 there is more detail in the wood grain, the carpet in the background, and the fruit with the Pixel. There is also better contrast, as it picks up both the black shadow in the background and the light colors in the basket better.

    In The Empire No Zoom shot, the building and windows are clearly defined with the Pixel, again.
    The sky gradient from light to dark has more contrast in the photo taken with the Pixel.

    I see more detail, better contrast, and generally a more constant result with the Pixel.
    In the first shot the G6 looked too bright and washed out, but the rest were too warm and colors were too saturated and not accurate.
    3
  • Horus12
    Agreeing with others here - the is maybe one shot where the G6 wins out but most of these shots the Pixel is a landslide win.
    3
  • muzafar_1
    I say that whenever the new phones arrives these critics start favouring the new ones even if it not good as the old one .
    0
  • Mitchell_31
    Everything on the phone looks more zoomed in which is why the Lego guy has more detail. The low light test to say lg won that is not accurate at all when on the pixel it looked like the red was more illuminated which if your looking for an emergency exit isn't that what you'd want? And of course the zoom test the LG won with two camera's when any phone that has one can't zoom in as accurate.
    1
  • Mark Spoonauer
    Thanks for your comment. The Pixel does have a very good camera, as we said in our review, but the G6 won this contest based on our analysis, which included working closing with our photo editor to analyze each image at full size and zoomed in.

    Anonymous said:
    To me this comparison is just flat out backwards. On my 27-in. monitor, the G-6 was only superior on one shot; the "No Exit sign." Perhaps clarity and focus was not the goal of the comparison, but I know which one I would choose, hands down; notwithstanding the narrative. VERY one-sided view of the G-6!
    -2
  • 7Robin
    For me, bar the first one, I preferred the pixel.
    1
  • foomanchoo80
    Your analysis is inaccurate because shots were taken at different positions/angles which has a profound impact on light and shadow...You might want to hire a different photo Editor
    1
  • Murrzeak
    Directly opposite, hands down. Pixel had an overall better colour balance across the board and an outstanding HDR result. LG's shots are prone to have more red in them and sometimes quite a bit of blur.
    2
  • Doug70
    I understand now why people say that tom's guide became nothing more than a paid joke years ago. The iPhone 7 and the pixel both are obviously better than the G6. A position supported by almost ALL other review sites. All I can say is, I hope the checks are good.

    I've only recently joined your site, but have no need to waste my valuable time with your paid, whitewashed drivel. Goodbye, and happy check cashing.
    2
  • AndrewGM
    In every single comparison shot, I prefer the Pixel. The images contain more information, have better resolution and contrast, and more realistic colors. The LG pics all look a bit muddy/lo-res to me, with unappealing colors. Any issues with the Pixel, such as darkness in the Flatiron Bldg pic, are easily adjusted in a photo-editing app.
    1
  • Doug70
    Agreed. SMH.
    0
  • Ben_186
    Thanks, did you try any photos of subjects in motion? Many of us want a camera that can get quick shots of toddlers or pets without blur.
    0
  • Shaun_35
    I don't trust anyone who can't tell the difference between a tree and The Statue of Liberty.
    0
  • Giacomo_4
    Lol I have a V20 but anyone can tell they the Pixel wins, at least in this comparison. Maybe once you bring manual mode into the picture the G6 will put up a shot, but as for this comparison the Pixel looks much better.
    0
  • D co
    Please test with a reference SLR. Else this is just an opinion piece.

    It should all be about reproduction of images compared to an established professional reference camera. Then we can see how well they both do compared to those images, not each other. Comparing to each other does not tell us if they got closest to accurately reproducing the shot.

    (Granted a reference SLR is not 100% true to scene, but it's better than imagining what it would be like or jus going off your comments)
    0
  • Jeff_145
    There's a key difference between these two phones. The Pixel has been out a lot longer. Therefore, there's a higher chance the comments posted here have a higher percentage of Pixel owners than G6 owners. Gee, do you think that you might have a bias towards the $700 device you purchased recently?

    I own neither and agree with the analysis detailed in the article.
    0