LG G7 ThinQ vs Samsung Galaxy S9: which phone is best?

How these two fantastic handsets stack up against each other

LG G7 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S9

The long-anticipated LG G7 ThinQ got its official unveiling this week, but before you hand over a substantial amount of cash for it you're going to want to know how it compares against the other big flagships of 2018 – phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, for example.

That's exactly while we're here: we're going to put the LG G7 ThinQ up against the Samsung Galaxy S9 in all the key areas that matter. Which of these big, bright, bezel-free smartphones is the one you should be investing in? Read on to find the answer.

LG G7 ThinQ vs Samsung Galaxy S9: design

LG G7 ThinQ

LG G7 ThinQ

We live in a bezel-free (or nearly bezel-free) world now, and the LG G7 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S9 are both evidence of this, with big and bright displays. The LG phone screen is slightly bigger, 6.1 inches to 5.8 inches, and it also has a notch in the top – which you can hide with a software tweak if you want.

The LG display is slightly taller, an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 rather than 18.5:9. Meanwhile, both LG and Samsung are boasting about the super-bright levels possible on these screens: 1,000 nits for the G7 ThinQ and 1,130 nits for the Galaxy S9.

We've got similar stylings around the back too, and there are even the same number of colours to pick from (though not the same actual colours). The LG G7 ThinQ is the slightly thinner phone, coming in at 7.9 mm (0.311 inches) as opposed to 8.5 mm (0.335 inches) for the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Smartphone design has become so uniform that you might struggle to tell these phones apart from a distance, but they're both elegantly crafted and won't cause you any embarrassment whichever one you pull out of your pocket. In this category it's just about honours even.

LG G7 ThinQ vs Samsung Galaxy S9: specs

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9

The similarities between the LG G7 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S9 carry over to the specs. Both are powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset, for example, though in some regions the Galaxy S9 carries Samsung's own Exynos 9810 chip (which is roughly on a par).

Both phones are available with 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, though the Galaxy S9 adds an extra 256GB option. Both support microSD cards for adding extra storage too. The LG G7 ThinQ is available with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, while the Samsung Galaxy S9 sticks with a single 4GB option.

As far as the camera goes, the Galaxy S9 can produce some impressive shots but is limited to a single-lens 12MP snapper. The LG G7 ThinQ goes dual-lens, with two 16MP sensors that can produce a variety of extra effects. However, the S9 does have a super slow-mo video mode that the G7 can't match.

Again it's hard to split these two phones – they even have the same capacity battery at 3,000 mAh. On paper at least, the LG G7 ThinQ just edges it, but software optimisations can make up for small differences in hardware. The bottom line is that both these phones are very capable and very speedy in use.

LG G7 ThinQ vs Samsung Galaxy S9: features

We've got plenty more features to talk about. There's waterproofing and dustproofing, for instance, and both the LG G7 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S9 are well protected with an IP68 rating that means they'll survive a dunk into liquid.

Both phones offer wireless charging, though it depends where in the world you buy them (this is only available on the US version of the LG G7 ThinQ). Both phones keep faith with the 3.5mm audio jack too, so you can carry on using your old wired headphones.

Speaking of audio, we should mention the LG Boombox speaker, which uses the space in the G7 ThinQ as a resonance chamber – apparently it can reach volumes up to 10 times that of a standard smartphone, if you want to pump out your tunes on the go. What's more, you can use any surface as a bass amplifier.

Both phones come with Android 8.0 Oreo on board, though with different skins from LG and Samsung – and we prefer the Samsung one in general. Both these phones are likely to get Android P eventually, but we haven't heard confirmed dates yet.

LG G7 ThinQ vs Samsung Galaxy S9: price and verdict

There's a big unknown here, because at the time of writing, we don't know exactly how much the LG G7 ThinQ is going to cost – so it could stack up very well or very badly against the Samsung Galaxy S9, depending on how Samsung prices it. If we had to take a guess, we'd say the LG G7 ThinQ isn't going to cost much less than the £739 or $719.99 you need to shell out to get your hands on a Galaxy S9, and may cost more.

Assuming LG ends up pricing its flagship along similar lines to the Galaxy S9, it would be another category where these phones are hard to separate from each other. If there is a winner between them, it's a close call.

Samsung arguably has the edge in terms of hardware and software design, while LG is slightly ahead in terms of the specs (and don't forget the S9 has been out for a couple of months now). If you're a Samsung fan there's also the option of the Galaxy S9 Plus, while LG fans might want to wait for whatever's replacing the LG V30.

The bottom line is that both these phones will serve you well and are almost certain to get on the list of best phones of 2018 come December time. It's going to come down to the specific features you're looking for, and how big and how tall you like your phone screens.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.