LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1: two of the biggest phones from MWC 2019, head to head

Does the LG G8 ThinQ or the Sony Xperia 1 deserve to be your next upgrade of 2019?

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1

MWC 2019 may have drawn to a close but the phones we saw launched there will be with us for many years to come – and two of the best of those phones are the LG G8 ThinQ and the Sony Xperia 1. Here we're going to put them head to head in all the key categories.

If you're thinking about an upgrade, which one is right for you is going to depend on what your needs are: do you need a big screen for watching movies? Or superior sound for listening to podcasts? Or long battery life that's going to see you through the whole day?

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1: design

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1

LG G8 ThinQ

Both these phones are easy on the eye, but the Sony Xperia 1 is the bigger and taller one, with its 6.5-inch, 1,644 x 3,840 pixel display and rather unusual 21:9 aspect ratio. That matches up against the 6.1-inch, 1,440 x 3,120 pixel, 19.5:9 aspect ratio LG G8 ThinQ. The Sony phone is also a shade heavier.

In terms of the aesthetics of the Sony Xperia 1 and the LG G8 ThinQ, the LG phone uses a teardrop notch, whereas the Sony handset goes with a perfectly rectangular screen. The Xperia 1 has a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button on the side, while the LG G8 ThinQ sticks with the fingerprint sensor on the back.

Your colour choices are red, black and blue for the LG G8 ThinQ, while you can pick from black, grey, purple and white when it comes to the Sony Xperia 1. You can see the different designs of the phones here in the pictures we've embedded here, but for our money the Sony phone is slightly more appealing.

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1: specs

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1

Sony Xperia 1

What about the grunt under the hood? Both the LG G8 ThinQ and the Sony Xperia 1 make use of the latest Snapdragon 855 processor, while both are fitted with 6GB of RAM as well. Storage-wise, both phones are available with 128GB of storage, while the Sony Xperia 1 can be bought with just 64GB of storage instead. Both phones come with a memory card slot that lets you add up to 512GB of extra storage space.

In other words, both these phones are powerful enough to cope with just about everything you're going to be able to throw at them – and that'll be the case for several years to come yet. It's difficult to split them in terms of specs, and indeed the internal components in these phones are almost identical.

When it comes to cameras, the LG G8 ThinQ sports a 12MP+16MP+12MP triple-lens rear camera, whereas the Sony Xperia 1 has a 12MP+12MP dual-lens rear camera. Despite the extra lens on the LG phone, and a bit of extra photo trickery, we'd expect them to be pretty well matched in terms of the quality of the actual shots.

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1: features

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1

LG G8 ThinQ

When it comes to the features available on these phones, again it's a close match. Both the Sony Xperia 1 and the LG G8 ThinQ come with tweaked versions of Android 9.0 Pie on board, so you get all the benefits of Google's mobile operating system – digital wellbeing tools, more intelligent battery management, and so on.

Both phones offer the highest IP68 level of waterproofing, so they should survive a drop in any form of liquid, and both phones are capable of fast charging and wireless charging, so you can take your pick. One difference is in the inclusion of a headphone jack: the Sony Xperia 1 doesn't have one, but the LG G8 ThinQ does.

In terms of other features, the Sony Xperia 1 is notable for including some of Sony's Bravia television tech in its phone's display, whereas the LG G8 ThinQ features a "Crystal Sound" screen that vibrates to double as a speaker. The LG G8 ThinQ can also log you into your phone based on the veins of your palm print, if needed.

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1: verdict

LG G8 ThinQ vs Sony Xperia 1

Sony Xperia 1

As you'll have seen from the sections above, it's a close match between these two phones, as they carry the same underlying version of Android and more or less the same internal specs too. The screen and size is one way to tell them apart, with the Sony Xperia 1 more suited to bigger hands and fans of bigger screens.

If you're picking between them then the aesthetic design might be one way of choosing – which design you prefer – and the software design could be another. Both LG and Sony put different spins on Android, which means a different feel to the software experience.

Finally there's price – check the widgets on this page to get some idea of how much you're going to have to spend to get these handsets. In the end the best phone for you might be the one you can get the best deal: if you're able to shave off a significant chunk of cash by going for a particular phone, then that's really going to add to its appeal.

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.