LG's latest smartphones might not be the most revolutionary devices on the market, but they do provide solid AI-powered cameras, swift performance and a wide range of features for media lovers.
However, LG's lineup is a bit confused at the moment, with several flagship phones — the G7 ThinQ, the V30S and V35 ThinQ — appearing in the last nine months. With so many choices out there, you might be wondering which one of LG's phones is right for you. Here's how the different models compare.
The LG G7 ThinQ is the one you've probably heard the most about, with its iPhone X-aping notch, superbright LCD screen and loud speakers. The G7 is available from all major carriers except AT&T, starts at around $750 (pricing varies between carriers) and comes equipped with Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.
Before the G7 launched in May, however, the company's previous flagship was the LG V30. This device debuted in late 2017, with Qualcomm's older Snapdragon 835 chipset, 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. Another variant, called the V30+, doubled storage to 128GB.
You can still find the V30 at some retailers, and the device can be found as low as $549 on Amazon. But LG has since moved on to two newer revisions with identical designs: the $729 V30S ThinQ and $899 V35 ThinQ.
The V30S has the same processor and 128GB of storage customers used to get in the V30+, but adds another 2GB of RAM for a total of 6GB. Meanwhile, the V35 ThinQ also has 6GB of RAM, but includes the G7 ThinQ's Snapdragon 845 CPU and improved cameras. (All of the phones listed here have dual-lens shooters, but the ones in the G7 and V35 are newer and work better in low light.)
|LG V30||LG V30+||LG V30S ThinQ||LG V35 ThinQ||LG G7 ThinQ|
|Price||$729 (opens in new tab)||$849 (opens in new tab)||$629||$899 (opens in new tab) ($699 for Prime subscribers)||$649 (opens in new tab)|
|Release Date||December 2017||December 2017||April 2018||June 2018||May 2018|
|Screen Size (Resolution)||6-inch OLED (2880 x 1440)||6-inch OLED (2880 x 1440)||6-inch OLED (2880 x 1440)||6-inch OLED (2880 x 1440)||6.1-inch LCD (3120 x 1440)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 835||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 845|
|Rear Camera||Dual: 16 MP (f/1.6) with OIS; 13 MP wide angle (f/1.9)||Dual: 16 MP (f/1.6) with OIS; 13 MP wide angle (f/1.9)||Dual: 16 MP (f/1.6) with OIS; 13 MP wide angle (f/1.9)||Dual: 16 MP (f/1.6) with OIS; 16 MP wide angle (f/1.9)||Dual: 16 MP (f/1.6) with OIS; 16 MP wide angle (f/1.9)|
|Front Camera||5 MP, f/2.2||5 MP, f/2.2||5 MP, f/2.2||8 MP, f/1.9||8 MP, f/1.9|
|Battery Size||3,300 mAh||3,300 mAh||3,300 mAh||3,300 mAh||3,000 mAh|
|Size||5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches||5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches||5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches||5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches||6.03 x 2.83 x 0.31 in|
Got all that? See, LG's lineup can be tremendously confusing. However, there are still many similarities between all these models.
How LG's Phones Are Alike
The G7 and every version of the V30 and V35 have dual-lens rear cameras with AI-aided scene recognition. (The AI functions are built into the G7, V30S and V35; they're coming via a software update on the older V30 and V30+ models.)
All of LG's phones also support wireless and rapid charging and have microSD slots that allow users to expand storage by up to 512GB.
While many manufacturers have ditched the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, all of LG's flagships have retained it. Even better, LG has fitted each of these handsets with a quad digital-to-analog converter that ensures studio-quality sound over headphones. (Though, of course, you'll need a decent pair in the first place if you want to get the most out of the feature.) And no matter which of LG's flagships you choose, they all have IP68 water resistance.
How They're Different
While LG lavishes all its flagships with Gorilla Glass 5 backs and aluminum frames, the G7- and V-series designs are quite different from each other.
The G7 is narrower, with a 6.1-inch display at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, compared to the 6-inch, 18:9 setup employed by the V30, V30+, V30S and V35. As for the screens themselves, the G7 employs an LCD panel with a higher peak brightness than any other phone we've ever tested, surpassing 900 nits. The V35 and its predecessors top out at about 470 nits. However, the V series features OLED technology for more saturated colors than the G7 can provide.
Additionally, the G7 is the only one of LG's devices to include a notch. In contrast, the V-series exteriors are more like Samsung's Galaxy S9, with slightly curved front panels and minimal bezels at the top and bottom, but nothing intruding on the display.
Despite the G7's futuristic looks, it's actually the V35 that is the most powerful: It has 6GB of RAM, while the G7 has just 4GB. Meanwhile, the V30, V30+ and V30S are all powered by the last-gen 835 chipset, making them the least powerful of the bunch.
The G7 also has the smallest battery, rated at 3,000 mAH, as opposed to the 3,300 mAh you get from the other LG phones. Comparing the results of our custom battery test, the V35 lasted for 9 hours and 11 minutes, while the G7 shut down after 8 hours and 35 minutes. (As a rule, LG's phones don't really shine on our battery test, where the average smartphone lasts for 9:48.)
Finally, while all of these phones have the aforementioned quad DAC components, only the G7 has LG's loudest speakers — enhanced by acoustic chambers — inside the device.
Aside from spec differences, carrier exclusivity is something to be mindful of with LG's lineup. The V30, V30+ V30S and G7 can all be bought unlocked as well as through your wireless carrier (although AT&T isn't selling the G7). Initially, the V35 was available only to AT&T and Google Project Fi subscribers; however, Amazon recently began selling an unlocked Prime Exclusive variant for $699, only for its Prime customers.
Which to Buy?
So what's the best LG phone for you? There's an argument to be made for each one, depending on your needs.
LG G7 ThinQ: The LG G7 ThinQ strikes the best balance between performance and price for the majority of users, and it's the widest-available model LG offers. Even AT&T customers who can't get the phone directly from their carrier can still pick up an unlocked model and use it on their plan that way. Some vendors, like B&H (opens in new tab), are currently selling the G7 for just $629.
LG V30: If you want to save even more, look for a V30, V30+ or V30S. These models have been out the longest and have the oldest processors, so they're not among the fastest phones out there anymore. However, they're still plenty quick for most people, and you probably won't notice slowdown in applications or even most games. Just be aware that these devices may not see updates after Android P, and their window of support is likely shorter because they have been on the market since late last year.
LG V35 ThinQ: While the V35 ThinQ may technically be LG's most powerful handset, at $899, it's simply too expensive for the slight boost in performance it offers over the G7. Furthermore, because you have to be on AT&T or Project Fi to use it, you'll have to stomach being locked in to a specific carrier. Really, the only people who should pick up the V35 are Amazon Prime customers who can buy unlocked versions and save $200 in the process.
Our Pick: The G7 is LG's best device for most people. It offers the best mix of features, highlighted by an AI-powered camera; a nearly bezel-free display; and exceptionally loud speakers, at a good price. We also like its broad support among carriers and the fact that its update window is wider than what you'd get with a V30 variant.