LG G7 ThinQ vs. Google Pixel 2 XL: A brains-versus-brawn comparison

The LG G7 ThinQ is the latest and greatest smartphone from LG that not only adopts more modern design trends, but also features cutting-edge tech under the hood. Of course, it’s not the only flagship phone out there right now — there’s also the much-loved Google Pixel 2 XL, which is perhaps one of the smartest smartphones to date.

But how do the two phones compare? And which one should you go for? We put them head to head to find out.

Specs

LG G7 ThinQ  Google Pixel 2 XL
Size 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm (6.03 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches) 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 162 grams (5.71 ounces) 175 grams (6.17 ounces)
Screen size 6.1-inch IPS LCD 6.0-inch P-OLED
Screen resolution 3120 x 1440 pixels (564 pixels per inch) 2880 x 1440 (538 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo
Storage space 64GB, 128GB 64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slot Yes, up to 2TB No
Tap-to-pay services Android Pay Android Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
RAM 4GB, 6GB 4GB
Camera Dual 16MP (with OIS) and 16MP wide angle rear, 8MP front 12.2MP (with OIS) rear, 8MP front
Video Up to 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 120 fps Up to 4K at 30 fps, 1,080p at 120 fps, 720p at 240 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-Type C USB Type-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Water resistance IP68 IP67
Battery 3,000mAh

Fast charging, wireless charging (Qi standard)

3,520mAh

Fast charging

App Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support All major carriers All major carriers
Colors Aurora Black, Platinum Grey, Moroccan Blue, Raspberry Rose Just Black, Black & White
Price Starting at $750 $850
Buy From Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Sprint Google, Best Buy, Amazon
Review Score 3.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Google Pixel 2 XL in hand ok google
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the LG G7 ThinQ and the Google Pixel 2 XL are flagship smartphones — but they were released around six months apart, and the result is a slightly different spec-sheet. The Google Pixel 2 XL features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is Qualcomm’s flagship chip for 2017, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. The LG G7 ThinQ on the other hand, steps things up to the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, and pairs it with either 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Safe to say, with the better chip and the option for more RAM and storage, the LG G7 ThinQ is simply the more powerful device.

The battery capacity on these two devices is also pretty different. The G7 ThinQ features a 3,000mAh battery, with both fast and wireless charging, while the Google Pixel 2 XL steps things up to a 3,520mAh battery, but it does away with wireless charging — so you’ll have to plug in a USB-C cable to charge it.

Because of the better performance and wireless charging, the LG G7 ThinQ is the winner here.

Winner: LG G7 ThinQ

Design and durability

lg g7 thinq hands on logo 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

As mentioned, the LG G7 ThinQ features a much more modern design than previous LG phones — though not everyone will like it. Why? Well, the phone features a “notch,” popularized by the iPhone X and now adopted by plenty of Android manufacturers. Of course, thanks to the inclusion of the notch the display covers a large majority of the front of the phone, which is very nice. On the back of the phone, there’s a dual-sensor camera, under which you’ll find a fingerprint sensor. On the sides, you’ll find a power button and volume rocker — but you’ll also find a dedicated Google Assistant button, something the Pixel 2 XL doesn’t offer. The G7 also features a glass back.

Switching to the Google Pixel 2 XL, it also features a large display, but there are fairly large bezels above and below it. There’s also no notch — which some might prefer. On the back of the phone, there’s the Pixel’s signature part-glass back, with a camera in the top left corner and a fingerprint sensor right under the glass portion of the back.

When it comes to durability, there are a few things to consider. Because the LG G7 ThinQ features a fully glass back, it’s much more likely to shatter if dropped. With water, however, the G7 ThinQ fares slightly better — it offers IP68 water-resistance, compared to the Google Pixel 2 XL’s IP67 water-resistance.

Winner: Tie

Display

Google Pixel 2 XL
Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends

The display on the LG G7 ThinQ is slightly bigger than the Google Pixel 2 XL’s display, coming in at 6.1-inches compared to the Pixel’s 6.0-inches. The shape of the display, however, is different — the G7 features a 19.5:9 display, which is a lot longer than the Google Pixel 2 XL’s 18:9 aspect ratio, but there is a notch carved out of the top of it. That’s why the resolutions on the two phones are slightly different — while they both have “1,440p” displays, the LG G7’s display comes in at 3120 x 1440 pixels, while the Google Pixel 2 XL offers a 2880 x 1440-pixel display. The result is a slightly higher pixel density on the LG G7 ThinQ.

There’s another factor to consider here, and it could make the difference. LG has chosen to stick with an LCD display for the G7 ThinQ — while Google has instead opted for an OLED display. OLED displays feature deeper blacks, and can save on battery. Because of that, we’re awarding Google the win here.

Winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Camera

lg g7 thinq hands on back top half angle
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

These days, the camera is one of the most important aspects of a phone — and both of these devices offer some serious competition in the camera department. The Google Pixel 2 XL features a single 12.2-megapixel rear-facing lens with optical image stabilization and an aperture of f/1.8. The LG G7 ThinQ, on the other hand, offers a dual-sensor rear-facing camera with a 16-megapixel primary lens and a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens, along with optical image stabilization and an aperture of f/1.6.

In theory, the LG G7 ThinQ’s camera should be better — but Google’s camera tech is pretty darn smart, and offers some sweet features — like a very nice portrait mode — because of it. In fact, in the end, we think the G7 ThinQ’s camera just doesn’t measure up to the likes of the Google Pixel 2 XL — which is why we’re awarding this one to Google.

Winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Software and updates

lg g7 thinq hands on smart bulletin
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the Google Pixel 2 XL and the LG G7 ThinQ feature Google’s latest and greatest mobile operating system — Android 8.0 Oreo. That isn’t the whole story, though. While the Google Pixel 2 XL features stock Android, LG has tweaked the user interface a little to better fit with LG’s style. It’s not a terrible look, though stock Android fans may prefer to stick with the Pixel. The G7 ThinQ also offers a few LG apps, which you may or may not use.

Then there are updates, and there’s no doubt Google is the best at pushing those. The Pixel 2 XL will get the fastest updates of any manufacturer, and it should get Android P and Android Q, when they’re released. LG isn’t terrible with updates, and it has promised to be better by opening up a new software center — though whether it will actually deliver quick updates remains to be seen.

Winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Special features

lg g7 thinq hands on speaker grill
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

When it comes to special features, both phones feature a few of them. For starters, on the Google Pixel 2 XL, you can summon the Google Assistant by squeezing the sides of the phone — though on the LG G7 ThinQ, you can obviously summon Assistant with the dedicated Assistant button.

The G7 ThinQ also has a few other features — for example, it boasts a new “Boombox” speaker, which delivers much louder audio than other phones on the market. In our review, we found that the phone sounded more like a small Bluetooth speaker than a phone — which is a good thing.

Winner: LG G7 ThinQ

Price

While the Google Pixel 2 XL starts at $850, you can get the LG G7 ThinQ for cheaper at $750. It’s the price T-Mobile is selling it for.

Overall winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

Perhaps surprisingly, the less powerful phone is the winner here. Why? It’s a better all-around device. If you’re looking for the most powerful phone you can find, the LG G7 ThinQ is a solid choice. If you want a powerful phone with a great camera, relatively long battery, an OLED display, and the latest Android updates, then the Google Pixel 2 XL is the right choice for you.

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