LG and Samsung’s battle in the flagship space occur on a bi-annual cycle, ever since LG first launched the V-series a couple of years ago to take on the hugely popular Galaxy Note line. With IFA 2017 rolling around, we now have the latest and greatest from LG and Samsung on hand. Today we’re comparing what many consider to be the true flagships from their respective companies. Join us as we take a quick look at the LG V30 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8!
- LG V30 hands-on – a mobile photography powerhouse
- Galaxy Note 8 hands-on – bigger and better where it truly counts
In terms of design, the influence of the LG G6 and the Galaxy S8 can be seen with their counterparts. While that has increasingly been the case for the Galaxy Note series since the Note 5, it is a first for the LG phone. With that said, if it is a design language that works and looks absolutely fantastic, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be done.
Starting with the Galaxy Note 8, you get the now signature metal and glass build and a gorgeous, curved Infinity Display up front that never fails to catch the eye. The curves along the back of the phone and the rounded corners aren’t as severe as what is seen with the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, and results in the Note 8 having a slightly squarer look.
The Note 8's Infinity Display never fails to catch the eye
This is definitely a large phone, but is still more manageable than what its 6.3-inch display size would suggest. However, one downside of retaining the same design is the location of the fingerprint scanner, which stays next to the camera setup, but is much harder to reach because of its large size.
While the V30 does look and feel like the G6, it shares very little resemblance with the V20 and V10 that came before it
LG hasn’t really settled on a signature look for the V-series. While the V30 does look and feel like the G6, it shares very little resemblance with the V20 and V10 that came before it. The V30 comes with a similar metal and glass build as the G6, but actually feels decidedly more premium in the hand. Slight curves along the sides of the back lets the phone sit nicely in the hand as well, and despite its size, doesn’t feel unwieldy.
Something that is going to become a point of conversation in the smartphone world is the screen-to-body ratio, as OEMs fight to get as close to a 100% as possible. In this case, the ratios are 83.2% and 82% for the Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30, respectively. The overall footprint of both phones are quite similar, with the LG V30 being the slightly shorter and thinner one of the two, while the Galaxy Note 8 is a hair less wide. However, it is worth noting that the Note 8 comes with a larger display.
Speaking of the display, both Samsung and LG continue the use of odd aspect ratios that both started with their previous flagships from earlier this year. The Galaxy Note 8 comes with a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 2960 x 1440 resolution for a pixel density of 521 ppi, while the LG V30 features a 6-inch display with a 2880 x 1440 resolution and a pixel density of 538 ppi. This P-OLED FullVision display is making its debut on the V30, and is also rumored to be included in the larger Pixel 2 device later this year. With either smartphone, the display experience is certainly not going to disappoint.
Whichever one you pick, you're not going to be disappointed on the display front
Both the Galaxy Note 8 and LG V30 are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, but while the latter sticks with 4 GB of RAM, Samsung bumps it up to 6 GB of RAM. 64 GB and 128 GB are the built-in storage options available with both, while a 256 GB iteration is also available with the Galaxy Note 8. Both smartphones also offer expansion via microSD card.
The V30 has a leg up when it comes to durability and audio
A lot of extra flagship-level features are available with both smartphones as well, such as wireless charging, fast charging capabilities with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support, and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. The LG V30 takes protection and durability another step further, also featuring MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection.
The LG V30 also has a leg up in the audio department, with there being a Hi-Fi Quad DAC on board which has been tuned by B&O Play. LG says that B&O Play headphones will be available in the box, but it is still unsure if that is market dependent. Audiophiles will appreciate the fact that the LG V30 is the first device to support MQA, which allows for streaming of high-resolution audio in a small file size with no loss of quality.
When it comes to extras, we aren’t talking about a Galaxy Note phone if the S Pen isn’t mentioned. A lot of the features from before are available once again, like screen capture and edit, note creation, smart selection, text translation, and Screen Off Memo. The main new feature in the S Pen is Live Message, which records the user’s path to writing a short message into an animated GIF, and added effects like sparkles and neon lighting give it more flair. It might not be the most productive addition, but is still fun to play around with.
These two smartphone lines have excelled in the camera department in the past, and this year is no different. This time, however, Samsung has made the jump to a dual-camera setup on the Note line.
Starting with the Galaxy Note 8, you get 12 MP dual pixel sensors with OIS in both, with one lens featuring a 2x optical zoom at f/2.4 aperture. 10x digital zoom is possible throughout with some loss in quality, but having OIS as part of the zoom lens is a big deal and helps mitigate issues with jitters as you zoom in. Samsung has definitely put some thought into how to best utilize the dual camera setup, and it already benefits from fast focusing dual pixels, OIS in both sensors, and every other mode that we’ve seen on previous Samsung phones.
With the LG V30, the main lens is a 16 MP snapper with a f/1.6 aperture and 71-degree field of view, and that’s paired with a 13 MP wide-angle lens with a f/1.9 aperture and 120-degree field of view. Unlike the Galaxy Note 8, it only has OIS on the main lens. There are a lot of fantastic additions here for photography and videography enthusiasts like Cine Log, GRAPHY, and a whole host of manual controls. We can’t wait to pit both these smartphone cameras against each other in more in-depth testing!
There are quite a few goodies in the V30's camera like Cine Log, GRAPHY, and a whole host of manual controls
|LG V30||Samsung Galaxy Note 8|
|Display||6-inch P-OLED display|
2880 x 1440 resolution, 538 ppi
|6.3-inch Super AMOLED display
2960 x 1440 resolution, 521 ppi
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdagon 835 processor|
Adreno 540 GPU
|Qualcomm Snapdagon 835 processor
Adreno 540 GPU
|RAM||4 GB||6 GB|
128 GB (V30 Plus only)
expandable via microSD
expandable via microSD
- Main: 16 MP Standard Angle sensor with ƒ/1.6 aperture, laser detection autofocus, OIS, EIS
- Secondary: 13 MP Wide Angle sensor with ƒ/1.9 aperture
- 5 MP Wide Angle sensor with ƒ/2.2 aperture
- Main: 12 MP wide-angle AF Dual Pixel sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture, OIS
- Secondary: 12 MP telephoto AF sensor with ƒ/2.4 aperture, OIS
- 8 MP AF sensor with ƒ/1.7 aperture
|Battery||3,300 mAh||3,300 mAh|
|Software||Android 7.1.2 Nougat||Android 7.1.1 Nougat|
|Dimensions||151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm|
|162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm
The competition for the best big-screened smartphone is closer than ever, and the V30 and the Note 8 are both top contenders. However, pricing may end up being a factor as well, but in either case, you certainly aren’t going to be disappointed with which smartphone you pick.
Want to learn more about the new LG V30? Check out our other V30 coverage here: