PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
LG G7 VS NOTE 9
The LG G7 has arrived on the smartphone scene as the true successor to the LG G6, which was released last year. While this phone is similar to the V30S ThinQ released at MWC in 2018, it’s got some important differences that we’ll be diving into.
We’re going to be stacking it up against the Note 9, the device set to inherit some of the best features of the Galaxy S9+ which we consider one of the best phones available at the moment.
Both of these phones are set to be outstanding devices within a market where the world’s best mobile manufacturers are all fighting for the top spot, which is a compliment in itself.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
LG hasn’t announced any pricing details ahead of the G7’s launch, but this obviously going to have a large impact on how it compares to the rest of the market on the value front.
We expect the G7 to launch at around the £599/US$599 mark, but it could easily creep up into the £650 range or more.
The phone will launch in Korea initially, and then come to the UK in late May, and the US in early June. Have a look at the latest information in our release date article.
The Note 9 will not be a budget phone to say the very least. The Galaxy Note 8 launched at £869 to the shock of many people, but we thought it was worth the price in our review. Samsung prices also have the tendency to fall a couple of months after the launch of a new phone, so if you’re thinking about picking one up keep that in mind.
We’re expecting the Galaxy Note 9 to come in at the same price of £869.
DESIGN AND BUILD
The LG G7 has stuck with the design theme seen on the LG G6, but is also making some important refinements.
The device will be protected back and front by Gorilla Glass 5. We’ll be seeing the curved back make a return, as seems to be the staple for 2018 flagship phones, but unlike some competitors we’ll be seeing wireless charging from this too.
Other manufacturers have removed the headphone jack from their phones in favour of IP68 water resistance, but LG have managed to include both to the delight of many people. We’re not entirely sure why the 3.5mm jack ever went away, but LG are keeping it firmly in place next to the USB-C port on the bottom of the phone.
The screen notch makes an appearance here following in the footsteps of Apple, Huawei, OnePlus to name a few. The notch houses an 8Mp selfie camera and the earpiece speaker, plus an ambient light sensor.
The screen space either side of the notch is being referred to as a ‘second screen’, and you’ll be able to find some customisation options to adapt this area of the display to your liking.
While nothing concrete is known about the Galaxy Note 9 yet, we can make some very well educated guesses.
We’re expecting to see an all glass display (that’s right, no bezels) with a fingerprint scanner built into the glass itself, which would be a major step forward for phone design. We’re slowly moving closer towards a point where an all glass display will become common place.
There have been a couple of patents submitted that include a notch for the Note 9 too however, so we’ll have to see which one makes it to market. It’s been said before that the fingerprint scanner struggles with consistency issues when built into the glass, and if there is one thing you want from the method for unlocking your phone, it’s consistency.
Regardless, the Note 9 will look like a gorgeous phone following on from Samsung’s minimalist design philosophy. Be sure to check our Galaxy Note 9 rumours for the latest information.
SPECS AND FEATURES
The LG G7 will feature a 6.1in, 19.5:9 screen with a resolution of 3120×1440. The display will be MLCD+ will add a white pixel boost to increase brightness without drawing any more power.
This does mean that the numbers for resolution is a bit of a red herring, as a quarter of the pixels are only there to increase the brightness and not display an image – but the picture is still beautifully sharp regardless.
The screen will default to quad HD out of the box, but you can lower the resolution to prolong battery life should you so wish.
The rumours for the Note 9 screen are suggesting an AMOLED 6.32in screen, which will be covering the entire face of the phone.
Processor, memory and storage
As with most new Android flagships in 2018, the G7 will feature a Snapdragon 845 for its processor. The UK model will feature 4GB/64GB for RAM/storage, and will of course come with a MicroSD slot so the storage can be expanded easily. The 3000mAh battery could be considered a little small, but the screen is more power efficient that some rivals so LG think it’s sufficient.
The Note 9 is also rumoured to feature the Snapdragon 845 (and potentially the latest Exynos chip in certain territories) along with 6GB of RAM. There are also rumours of a beefy 4000mAh battery to power the device, which is a nice step up from the 3300mAh cell in the Note 8.
The G7 is competing in the great camera arms race of 2018 by throwing multiple cameras into the device, this time featuring one standard and one wide angle lens.
The standard camera has a 71 degree field of view, a 16Mp sensor and optical stabilisation. The wide angle camera has a 107 field of view.
The AI mode on the camera will attempt to identify difference scenes, and apply colour filters, brightness and will recommend which camera to use. This is a separate shooting mode, and so it’s enforced when you’re taking photos.
The Super Bright Camera works fantastically in the dark, as is its purpose, but you’ll be getting 4Mp photos rather than 16Mp.
On the video side, the G7 tops out at 30fps in 4k but you are able to record in HDR. There is also a ‘Cine Video’ mode which can apply some nice looking filters to make your footage to look more cinematic.
The phone has the option for slow motion capture too, although it’s only 240fps at 720p which is a little bit lacklustre at this price point.
The Note 9 will inherit a lot of the features from the Galaxy S9+ and we’re making the assumption that the camera will come along with that too.
The camera would be a 12Mp model, but will also feature an innovative mechanical aperture similar to what would be seen on a DSLR. This will allow the automatic adjustment between f/2.4 down to f/1.5 depending on the available light.
The second lens on the camera is a 12Mp telephoto variant, with an f/2.4 aperture which allows you to get a closer shot without a digital zoom.
Software and Apps
The LG G7 tweaks to Android 8 are pretty thorough, and you’ll be able to find them in the settings app divided into useful categories for easy navigation.
LG’s smart bulletin new features as opposed to Good Now, which shows up when you swipe left. This holds a combination of useful quick links, alters, reminders, music etc.
There are a few pre=loaded apps such as LG Health, LG’s music and gallery apps and a file manager and smart cleaning. These are all useful in their own right, well designed and lightweight.
LG’s new brand for any device featuring AI (and we use the term AI fairly loosely here) is the ThinkQ – pronounced Think-You – phrase. This helps the device become ‘hyper personalised’.
We can also assume the Note 9 will have Samsung’s modified version of Android 8 Oreo loaded, which has gone through several different version of refinement. It’s now in very good shape with several pre-loaded apps from Google and Microsoft. We still wish you could uninstall these apps, not just disable them.
LG G7 ThinQ: Specs
- 6.1in 19.5:9 (3120×1440, 564ppi) MLCD+ display, Gorilla Glass 5
- Android Oreo 8.0 with UX 6.0+ and Google Assistant
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 4 / 6GB LPDDR4
- 64 / 128 UFS 2.0, microSD up to 2TB(?)
- 16Mp f/1.6 + 16Mp f/1.9 wide-angle cameras, 8Mp f/1.9 selfie camera
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C (3.1)
- IP68, MIL-SPEC 810G compliant, 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, face/voice/fingerprint recognition
- 3,000mAh, wired and wireless charging, Quick Charge 3.0
SHOULD I BUY LG G7 THINQ?
It’s difficult to know how these phones will shape up against each other as we don’t have any hard costs. However, we can make some base assumptions on previous models.
The LG G7 should be less expensive than the Note 9, as the specs are ever so slightly worse. The Note 9 will also be benefitting from the tweaks made for the Galaxy S9 series software, so it should be stable out of the box.
LG still has some work to do on its camera software, but they are more than capable of sorting that out before the phone’s global release.
We know that the Note 9 will cost roughly the same as it’s processor at £869, while the LG G7 will likely cost something around the £599 mark. This would make the LG G7 a very attractive option if it does indeed come out at that price range.
It’s not quite at the very top tier of the elite Samsung offerings, but considering the price difference, you’re getting 90%~ of the performance for 60%~ of the cost.