Backside of a blue LG G8 ThinQ held in a hand
Slick camera design.

Samsung and LG stand as two monolithic companies in their homeland of South Korea. Both companies have revealed their flagship phones for the first half of 2019, first Samsung with the Galaxy S10 followed by LG with the G8 ThinQ. Though each phone is part of a larger family, these two models go head-to-head in terms of size, price, and features.

The S10 slots into Samsung’s lineup between the smaller S10e and larger S10 Plus. For many, the S10 may be the goldilocks phones that is just right. The G8 is more advanced than LG’s Q-series, but not quite as powerful as LG’s V-series. That means it, too, may serve as the right-fit-for-me device from LG.

In boxing, we’d call this a bout between light heavyweights.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs LG G8 ThinQ: Specs and features

LG and Samsung took surprisingly similar paths toward the same goal. That means much of what’s packed inside the G8 and S10 will appear to be the same. Not all roads are even.

LG G8 ThinQSamsung Galaxy S10
Display
LG G8 ThinQ:
6.1-inch OLED
3,120 x 1,440 resolution
564ppi
19.5:9 aspect ratio
Samsung Galaxy S10:
6.1-inch AMOLED
3,040 x 1,440 resolution
551ppi
19:9 aspect ratio
Processor
LG G8 ThinQ:
7nm octa-core Snapdragon 855
Samsung Galaxy S10:
8nm octa-core Exynos 9820
7nm octa-core Snapdragon 855
RAM
LG G8 ThinQ:
6GB
Samsung Galaxy S10:
8GB
Storage
LG G8 ThinQ:
128GB
Samsung Galaxy S10:
128/512GB
MicroSD
LG G8 ThinQ:
Yes, up to 2TB
Samsung Galaxy S10:
Yes, up to 512GB
Battery
LG G8 ThinQ:
3,500mAh
Non-removable
Samsung Galaxy S10:
3,400mAh
Non-removable
Cameras
LG G8 ThinQ:
Rear:
16MP f/1.9 ultra-wide
12MP f/1.5 standard

Front:
8MP f/1.7 standard
Z Camera (ToF)
Samsung Galaxy S10:
Rear:
16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
12MP f/1.5 and f/2.4 dual pixel with OIS
12MP OIS telephoto f/2.4

Front:
10MP f/1.9 dual pixel
Wireless charging
LG G8 ThinQ:
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Samsung Galaxy S10:
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
Water resistance
LG G8 ThinQ:
IP68
Samsung Galaxy S10:
IP68
Security
LG G8 ThinQ:
Capacitive fingerprint reader, Hand ID vein recognition, 3D face unlock
Samsung Galaxy S10:
Embedded Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, 2D face unlock
Connectivity
LG G8 ThinQ:
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5
3G, LTE 4G
Samsung Galaxy S10:
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5
Cat20 LTE, 7CA, 4x4 MIMO
SIM
LG G8 ThinQ:
Nano SIM
Samsung Galaxy S10:
Nano SIM
Software
LG G8 ThinQ:
Android 9 Pie
Samsung Galaxy S10:
Android 9 Pie
Dimensions and weight
LG G8 ThinQ:
151.9 x 71.8 x 8.4mm
167g
Samsung Galaxy S10:
149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm
157g
Colors
LG G8 ThinQ:
red, black, gray
Samsung Galaxy S10:
blue, green, black, white, pink

On a spec-by-spec basis, the G8 and S10 could almost be fraternal twins. They’re so similar, it almost makes you wonder what sort of corporate espionage is going on between LG and Samsung.

The display’s are close, but not quite the same. While both are OLEDs that measure 6.1 inches across the diagonal, the G8 has a notch at the top and the S10 has a punch hole for the camera. LG’s display is 80 pixels taller, hence the 19.5:9 versus 19:9 aspect ratios. Quad HD+ resolution and HDR support is on board for each. It boils down to notch or punch hole.

frontside photo of a LG G8 ThinQ with display turned on

Qualcomm’s top-tier Snapdragon 855 processor provides the number-crunching power within both phones. LG and Samsung haven’t shared the clock speeds for their 855s, but it’s a safe bet they are identical. LG is being less generous with the RAM. The G8 ships with 6GB of RAM standard while the S10 ships with 8GB standard. Same goes for storage. The LG comes only with 128GB of internal storage, while the S10 comes with either 128GB of 512GB. On the flip side, the G8 supports microSD cards up to 2TB, while the S10’s support is limited to 512GB. You give a little, you take a little.

Front side photo of the Samsung Galaxy S10 held in a hand

At 3,500mAh and 3,400mAh, respectively, the batteries of the G8 and S10 are essentially the same. Both support rapid wired charging and rapid wireless charging, but only the S10 supports Wireless Power Share — the ability to send power from the phone to other devices such as Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds headphones.

The cameras are another differentiating factor. Where the G8 has a dual-camera configuration on the back, the S10 has a triple camera configuration.

The G8 includes a 16MP wide-angle and 12MP standard-angle setup. It can capture bokeh portraits and night shots, as well as real-time bokeh video. That’s actually quite exciting. It has an 8MP camera on front that works together with a 3D ToF camera to generate portrait selfies.

LG G8 ThinQ held in a hand

The S10 has a 16MP wide-angle, 12MP standard, and 12MP telephoto setup. It can capture bokeh portraits and night shots, but lacks the real-time bokeh video function. The phone has a 10MP selfie camera and uses software rather than depth information to create bokeh portraits. The G8 has slightly better f-stops on its wide-angle and selfie cameras. That may play a role in low-light shooting.

On the security front, the phones each offer something special. The G8 includes 3D facial recognition and Hand ID — both thanks to the ToF camera. The phone generate 3D images of your face that are used to secure the phone in a way that cannot be fooled by 2D photos. The G8 can also see the hemoglobin in your blood to create vein recognition. That’s a unique one. The G8 includes a regular fingerprint reader on the rear. The S10 puts the fingerprint reader under the display glass. It’s an ultrasonic reader that sees 3D view of your finger, rather than simple take a picture of the counters.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus in-display Fingerprint reader

As for odds and ends, the G8 and S10 come up fairly even. You’ll find 3.5mm headphone jacks, USB-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, NFC, and GPS/GLONASS on both devices. The G8 and S10 each supports fast LTE 4G, and IP68 water resistance is available from LG and Samsung,

Details in the design

With specs that are so similar, exactly what helps these two phones stand apart? Not overmuch.

The G8 has a Gorilla Glass front and back with an aluminum frame in the middle. So does the S10. LG anodized its aluminum frame and gave it a glossy coat, while Samsung polished its aluminum and left it shiny. The G8 is slightly bigger at 151.9 x 71.8 x 8.4mm (versus the S10’s 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm) and heavier at 167g (versus the S10’s 157g).

As noted above, the G8’s screen has a notch and the S10’s has a hole punch. This is probably the most obvious visual difference between the two — as long as the screens are on.

Frontside of a LG G8 ThinQ in front of a mirror.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Google Pixel 3 XL notch and punch hole
Samsung Galaxy S10 vs the flagship competition

Even the button configuration is the same. On both phones, the power button is on the right, while the volume buttons and assistant key are on the left. Of course, the G8’s assistant key opens Google Assistant, while the S10’s key opens Bixby (unless you remap the button.)

LG plans to sell the G8 ThinQ in black, red, and gray. The Galaxy S10 will come in black, white, blue, green, and pink.

Pie in the sky

Google’s Android 9 Pie serves as the core platform for the G8 and the S10. LG and Samsung each have a skin for Android, though LG’s is less in your face.

Front side of the LG G8 ThinQ held in a hand.

LG offers a clean look to its phones and provides a wealth of options when it comes to customizing the basic experience of the G8. For the moment, it’s hard to dive into specifics, as LG hasn’t provided too much detail about the G8’s software.

The S10 ships with Samsung’s brand new One UI. Initial impressions of One UI show that Samsung has learned to tone things down a bit while offering more functionality. After our brief time testing out One UI, we can say we like what we see.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Android Pie

Is one better than the other? I’d say this comes down to a matter of taste.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs LG G8 ThinQ: Price and which should you buy?

The LG G8 ThinQ launched with a price tag of $820. However, the phone is frequently on sale, currently going for as low as $650. The S10 is more expensive, retailing for $899 (8GB/128GB model) and $1,149 (8GB/512GB) model. 

It’s incredible, really, how neck-and-neck the G8 and S10 are. You can’t judge them on a spec-for-spec basis, as they’re nearly identical. The G8 has a notch while the S10 has a hole punch; the G8 has a bigger battery while the S10 has Power Share; the G8 has two front cameras where the S10 has one, and the G8 has two rear cameras where the S10 has three.

After testing out both phones, we’d say the Galaxy S10 is the better device overall. However, the LG G8 is still a great option for a lot of people, especially because its cheaper. It also has a few advantages over its rival, including an extra camera up front and a few other things mentioned in this post. Therefore, which device to go with depends on the price as well as the features you value more.

Which do you have your eye on? Let us know in the comments!