After helping kick off a new smartphone display trend that sees manufacturers shrink bezel sizes to levels we have never seen before, LG looks to take all that it has learned with the G6 and improve on it with the V30. From the looks of it, the V30 is poised to make a strong case as an alternative to the Galaxy Notes and iPhone 7 Pluses of the world.

Read more: Best LG phones

Then again, it would be foolhardy to ignore such phones. Samsung’s latest announcement of the Galaxy Note 8 looks to put the Note series back on track, while the iPhone 7 Plus helped further Apple’s reign over the US smartphone market. Of course, there are plenty of other options for folks to choose from, so we thought it would be fitting to pit the V30 against its biggest and baddest competitors.

Related reading: LG V30 hands-on | LG V30 specs | LG V30 price, release date, and carrier dealsLG V30 arrives on the scene

Starting with the display, we have to give LG plenty of credit in this arena. After putting a stretched-out 5.7-inch display on the G6 with minimal bezels, the V30 gets away with a larger 6-inch display with even smaller bezels. Both displays, as well as that of the Galaxy Note 8, feature QHD+ resolution due to their aspect ratios, while the Pixel XL and V20 stick to QHD. The iPhone 7 Plus’ 1080p display seems low-resolution by comparison, but apart from VR, the resolution is still more than enough.

Of note is the V30’s lack of a ticker display that was prominently featured in the V20. LG looks to replace it with a “floating bar” that is accessible with a swipe from the side of the screen, so keep that in mind if you found the dedicated display above the V20’s main display to be useful.

 LG V30Galaxy Note 8LG G6Google Pixel XLLG V20iPhone 7 Plus
Display6.0-inch POLED FullVision
18:9 aspect ratio
6.3-inch QHD+ AMOLED
18.5:9 aspect ratio
5.7-inch QHD+ FullVision LCD
18:9 aspect ratio
5.5-inch QHD AMOLED
16:9 aspect ratio
5.7-inch QHD LCD
16:9 aspect ratio
5.5-inch LCD
16:9 aspect ratio
SoCSnapdragon 835Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895Snapdragon 821Snapdragon 821Snapdragon 820Apple A10 Fusion
CPU4x 2.45 GHz Kryo 280 +
4x 1.9GHz Kryo 280
4x 2.35 GHz Kryo 280 +
4x 1.9 GHz Kryo 280 or
4x 2.3 GHz Samsung M2 +
4x 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
2x 2.35 GHz Kryo +
2x 1.6 GHz Kryo
2x 2.15 GHz Kryo +
2x 1.6 GHz Kryo
2x 2.15GHz Kryo +
2x 1.6 GHz Kryo
4x 2.34 GHz
GPUAdreno 540Adreno 540 or Mali-G71 MP20Adreno 530Adreno 530Adreno 530PowerVR Series7XT Plus
Storage64 GB
128 GB (V30 Plus only)
64 / 128 / 256 GB32 / 64 GB32 / 128 GB32 / 64 GB32 / 128 / 256 GB

We also need to bring up this HDR business. The displays on the V30, G6, and Galaxy Note 8 are all HDR-certified, but whereas the V30’s and G6’s are HDR 10-certified, the Galaxy Note 8’s uses the Mobile HDR standard specifically meant for smartphones and tablets. This use of different standards means that, while Netflix will display HDR content on LG’s devices, it will not do so on the Galaxy Note 8 – at least, not yet.

HDR content tends to be brighter with better contrast and a wider color gamut, but certain folks have certain specs for the technology. The market for HDR movies is still a niche one, but it will likely grow as more devices support the standard.

This is one trend that makes the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus look completely dated by comparison

This is also where we must mention design, mainly due to the recent trend of putting longer displays with smaller bezels on smartphones. This is one trend that makes the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus look completely dated by comparison, and with the likes of Samsung, LG, Google, and even Apple either putting out or eventually releasing phones with smaller bezels, it is clear that the 16:9 aspect ratio era of flagship smartphones could eventually be in the rearview mirror.

Where all the phones compete well against each other is with performance. All of the phones feature Qualcomm’s 2016 and 2017 flagship chipsets – the Snapdragon 820, 821, and 835, to be clear – whereas the iPhone 7 Plus sticks to Apple’s A10 Fusion SoC. Regardless of the processing package, all of the phones perform as well as you would expect them to, and the V30 gives us no reason to think the opposite of LG’s latest flagship.

All the listed phones also feature at least 3 GB of RAM, though the Galaxy Note 8 really stands out with 6 GB of RAM

All the listed phones also feature at least 3 GB of RAM, though the Galaxy Note 8 really stands out with 6 GB of RAM. The V30, G6, Pixel XL, and V20 are tied for second with 4 GB of RAM, while the iPhone 7 Plus comes in last with 3 GB of RAM. None of the phones really leave us wanting for more RAM, and the same is more or less true about internal storage.

The V30 and company feature a selection of storage options, with the highest being 256 GB of memory. Apart from the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus, all of the phones also feature a microSD card slot for additional memory, so we doubt you will be left wanting for storage with any of the available options.

 LG V30Galaxy Note 8LG G6Google Pixel XLLG V20iPhone 7 Plus
Cameras16 MP f/1.6 with OIS + 13 MP f/1.9 wide angle rear
5 MP f/2.2 wide angle front
12MP f/1.7 wide + 12MP f/2.4 tele rear with OIS & 2x zoom
8 MP f/1.7 front
13 MP f/1.8 + 13 MP f/2.4 wide angle with OIS rear
5 MP f/2.2 wide angle front
12.3 MP f/2.0 rear with OIS
8 MP front
16MP f/1.8 + 8MP f/2.4 rear with OIS, laser & PDAF
5MP f/1.9 front
12 MP + 12 MP f/1.8 rear with OIS & 2x zoom
7MP f/2.2 front
Battery3,300 mAh
3,300 mAh
3,300 mAh
3,450 mAh
3,200 mAh
2750 mAh (est)
Fast ChargeQuick Charge 3.0YesQuick Charge 3.0YesQuick Charge 3.0No
IP RatingIP68IP68IP68NoNoIP67
3.5 mm audioYesYesYesYesYesNo
ExtrasUSB Type-C, Wireless Charging, HDR display, MIL-STD-810G certified, 32-bit Advanced Hi-Fi Quad DACUSB Type-C, Bixby, Facial Recognition Wireless Charging, Samsung Pay, HDR display, Bluetooth 5USB Type-C, Wireless Charging, HDR display, MIL-STD-810G certifiedUSB Type-CUSB Type-C, MIL-STD-810G certified, 32-bit/192kHz audio, removable batteryLightning Port, 3DTouch
OSAndroid 7.1.2Android 7.1Android 7.0Android 7.1Android 7.0iOS 10

The V30 continues to employ the same dual-camera setup as the G6 and V20 – one camera is for regular stills, while the second is a wide-angle sensor. Samsung and Apple, meanwhile, elected to use the Galaxy Note 8’s and iPhone 7 Plus’ second cameras for portrait and telephoto images. Finally, the Pixel XL gets by with only one camera, though the phone remains one of the better options for smartphone camera enthusiasts.

Because the V30’s and G6’s cameras are somewhat similar, we expect the former to deliver somewhat similar images when compared to the latter’s. However, the V30 should deliver better low-light images, particularly with the wide-angle sensor. The real competition will be with the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 7 Plus, but the V30 should be just fine when it comes to images.

The V30 really sets itself apart as a multimedia powerhouse when it comes to audio and video

The V30 really sets itself apart as a multimedia powerhouse when it comes to audio and video. Beginning with audio, the V30 features a new Hi-Fi Digital Filter and Sound pre-set, as well as Hi-Fi Streaming with MQA. In short, this means you can listen to high-fidelity audio in a file size that makes it small and easy to download and stream without losses typically associated with traditionally-compressed audio files.

On the video front, the V30 offers Hi-Fi video recording with RAM (receiver as a mic). Finally, the V30 builds on the V20’s DAC with a new 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, as well as tuning by Bang & Olufsen in certain markets.

You will also not need to worry too much about dropping the V30 when listening to music or recording video – its MIL-STD-810G certification helps the phone withstand drops and extreme conditions, so it is not farfetched to say that the V30 is a multimedia powerhouse.

Whether the V30 lives up to that billing is something that will have to wait until our full review, but in the meantime, make sure to check out our hands-on and availability posts.

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