We are going to witness the confrontation of the Korean flagships: the heavyweight of Samsung, the Galaxy S9 Plus, against the intelligent of LG, the G7 ThinQ. Which will reach the top? I’ve been playing with the Galaxy S9 Plus and my partner Hans-Georg asked him to represent the LG G7 ThinQ.
Design: S9 Plus for its curves, G7 for the color
I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about the design of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, rounded, with the Bixby button under the volume controls: it’s a Samsung, yes, but what a Samsung! The smartphone giant has remained conservative with the S9 and has not changed much, but many things have been clearly improved.
Refined, elegant and well-balanced, even the S9 Plus, being larger, it handles well and can be easily slipped in your pocket. Despite being there, there with the Note 8 in regards to size, I always found it easy to use with one hand while you are in motion thanks to the uniform distribution of weight and curves.
Although the S9 is available in several colors, including the new gold model, I have to admit that I looked with envy at the turquoise back of the G7. Although, on the other hand, what does not give me any envy is the notch or notch of the LG, even if it can be camouflaged in the configuration.
After having held both phones, I have to admit that, at least for me, the S9 Plus seems more comfortable to use, despite being larger, thanks to the curved edges that help you move more easily and quickly with your fingers on the screen.
LG phones have never been famous just for their industrial design, but that changed with the LG G6. Now, with the G7 we see how LG has gone further to improve its design through the curved edges that impressed us so much in the LG V30. In addition, LG has added a variety of attractive colors.
In general, the G7 has a good grip on the hand although it is quite large and in my opinion, the G7 takes advantage in this to the Galaxy S9 Plus. What it is true that I did not like much is the back of the device, which feels hollow, and is that it really is. This is due to the large resonance chamber that provides that incredible portable stereo sound when you put the G7 in a special box.
Screen: Infinite vs … OK
The infinite screen of the S9 Plus is simply magnificent. In everyday use, sometimes I found it difficult to take my eyes off her, and I saw myself falling into the temptation to slide around the screen and menus for fun. The new weapon of Samsung is called Super AMOLED and the Galaxy S9 has one of the most beautiful screens I’ve seen in my life, so much that it is even addictive.
The only drawback that I see is that the curved screen, which is so attractive while browsing web content, is not so when playing video games or other similar uses, and has a small distortion at the edge of the image that you can embitter the experience.
LG has chosen a screen panel with a notch, apart from that, the G7 screen is fine. It’s nothing spectacular in terms of blacks or colors, but it does not disappoint either.
In terms of usability, I had my difficulties due to the excessive height of the G7 and its screen. In addition, the notch is quite uncomfortable when dragging the top panel to see the notifications area. LG also offers a special mode for when you are exposed directly to daylight in which the G7 increases the brightness to 1,000 nits, although this only lasts 3 minutes.
Camera: Is the LG AI capable of overcoming the Samsung experience?
There is no denying that the Galaxy S9 Plus has one of the best cameras for smartphones on the market, but whether it is your favorite or not, it depends on the tastes. In the in-depth test we did of the camera you can appreciate the refined details, but in my personal use I was a bit disappointed by the tendency to saturate the colors, as well as the tendency towards warm colors and, in particular, red . I have dark skin, for example, when I did selfies, it seemed that I had orange skin.
However, the main camera I liked much more than the front and, although the color saturation is quite remarkable compared to some competing devices, such as the iPhone X or Pixel 2, with the S9 Plus you can make beautiful photos, the bokeh works well and the focal length of 52 mm is a real advantage for making portraits.
As for the photography tricks that Samsung offers, I have to say that the AR Emoji is not something that I call too much attention, but rather I see it as something to play with for a while. I also have to admit that I’m pretty classic when it comes to instant messaging and that being able to send a 3D emoticon so that the message is understood perfectly is something great and fun.
The option of video to super slow motion, on the other hand, is very easy to use, since it detects the movement within the plane so that you can capture the moment well and, once you start using it, it is becoming easier to realize of things around to which it is worthwhile to also apply slow motion.
The truth is that I like almost everything that includes the G7, but, for me, the camera is what makes the balance tilt towards one of the sides. The thing is that with the G7 you’re not going to get the best camera on the market, in fact, you could say that it is quite loose compared to those of other flagships.
But the G7 has two interesting features that are, in fact, quite useful. Of course, there is the wide angle, which is a delight when it comes to taking pictures that other phones would be impossible to do (the Galaxy S9 in our case). It is ideal for architectural photos, strange perspectives of animals or food, as well as group photos with friends. Sometimes you do not get the best detail or color in the photo, but it is the perspective that makes the difference when taking a good photo.
On the other hand is the AI Cam, which consists of two parts, one is magnificent and the other not so much. Let’s talk about the worst part first: the AI Cam is a mode in the G7 camera application that detects the scene and chooses the photo mode that best suits it, be it the food mode or a mode that improves colors in the pictures of babies. All this sounds wonderful, but in fact it is quite inefficient because the colors are too far from reality, so you usually want to put aside this tool and stay with the classic automatic mode.
However, it also has something positive, and that is that LG detects objects and scenes in the photo gallery and organizes them using some 1,200 labels, all automatically.
Tools: buttons for digital assistants
When LG introduced the button for the digital assistant in the G7 ThinQ it seemed that it was following the example of Samsung, since the Korean company has been integrating a button to call its own assistant Bixby for some time.
But, to be honest, Bixby has never been able to rival other attendees such as Siri, Alexa or, more importantly, Google Assistant, which can be accessed through a button on the G7. Frankly, my experience with the Bixby button in the S9 Plus basically consists in wanting it to disappear, since I squeezed it unintentionally a few times instead of giving it control of the volume.
If something is true about these special buttons to call the assistant, such as Bixby or our beloved Google Assistant, is that, in reality, nobody needs them, but they can be useful.
Normally I use a Pixel 2 XL and use the Active Edge to start the Google Assistant. What if I could live without him? Yes, but I do not want to. LG has not been able to secure Google’s (or HTC’s) Active Edge technology, so it has opted for a button that works just as well. They have even worked with Google on that decision for design. In summary: if you use Google Assistant or Bixby, having a button to start them is useful.
Samsung Galaxy S9 + vs. LG G7 ThinQ – Technical specifications
|SAMSUNG GALAXY S9 +||LG G7 THINQ|
|DIMENSIONS:||158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm||153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm|
|WEIGHT:||189 gr||162 gr|
|BATTERY SIZE:||3500 mAh||3000 mAh|
|SCREEN SIZE:||6.2 inches||6.1 inches|
|SCREEN:||2960 x 1440 pixels (531 ppi)||3120 x 1440 pixels (563 ppi)|
|FRONTAL CAMERA:||8 megapixels||8 megapixels|
|REAR CAMERA:||12 megapixels||16 megapixels|
|ANDROID VERSION:||8.0 – Oreo||8.0 – Oreo|
|RAM:||6 GB||4 GB
|INTERNAL MEMORY:||64 GB
|REMOVABLE MEMORY:||micro SD||micro SD|
|CHIPSET:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Samsung Exynos 9810
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 845|
|NUMBER OF NUCLEI:||8||8|
|MAXIMUM SPEED:||2.7 GHz||2.8 GHz|
|CONNECTIVITY:||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0|
Conclusion: thanks LG, but no
Do you have money that is burning your hand and want to get the latest in Korean manufacturing? In that case, the Galaxy S9 Plus could be a slightly higher investment, since it costs $ 839.99 (64 GB released), while the G7 ThinQ costs, practically, $ 100 less ($ 749.99). However, LG has a history of having an excess of confidence after launching their products, so in terms of profitability, it will probably be better to waste something more for the S9 Plus if you want to get one of the flagships, or wait for the price of G7 to go down in a few months to get you some offer.
In summary, it seems that the Galaxy S9 Plus offers a better offer right now. You will pay something else, but you will also get the best camera and the best screen. The G7 is still a good phone, but it can not compete in the price range it has. If you manage to get one that has a good discount, you still have to deal with the disappointing camera that counts.
What do you think of these two phones? What do you think LG should do to be able to compete with Samsung globally?