LG G7 ThinQ vs. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: Clash for the heavyweight title

lg g7 thinq hands on back full window
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The dust has cleared — LG’s new phone is finally here, and it’s called the LG G7 ThinQ. But it’s not the only contender vying for your money in the mobile marketplace. Samsung’s mighty Galaxy S9 Plus got here first, and it’s revving up to take on the G7 ThinQ in a battle for the ages.

Which of these two titans will be left standing after this clash? We took a look to find out.


LG G7 ThinQ Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Size 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm (6.03 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches) 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm (6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches)
Weight 162 grams (5.71 ounces) 189 grams (6.67 ounces)
Screen size 6.1-inch IPS LCD 6.2-inch AMOLED display
Screen resolution 3120 x 1440 pixels (564 pixels per inch) 2960 x 1440 pixels (529 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo
Storage space 64GB, 128GB
64GB, 128GB, 256GB
MicroSD card slot Yes, up to 2TB Yes, up to 256GB
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay, LG Pay (in South Korea only) Google Pay, Samsung Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Camera Dual 16MP (with OIS) and 16MP wide-angle rear, 8MP front Dual 12MP (with OIS) and 12MP (with OIS) rear, variable aperture, 8MP front
Video  Up to 4K at 30 frames per second 2,160p at 60 frames per second, 1,080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 3,000mAh

QuickCharge 3.0 (4.0 with adapter not included)

Qi wireless charging


QuickCharge 2.0

Qi wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Colors Aurora Black, Platinum Gray, Raspberry Rose, and Moroccan Blue Midnight Black, Coral Blue, Lilac Purple
Price Starting at $750 $840
Buy from Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Sprint Samsung, Amazon
Review score 3.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

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

It’s a dead heat in performance, at least on paper. Both of these giant phones are equipped with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, and have similar amounts of RAM. While we haven’t had chance to put them head-to-head yet, we anticipate that we’ll see similar performance from both.

The LG G7 ThinQ is equipped with a respectable 3,000mAh battery, but it’s dwarfed by the 3,500mAh battery on the S9 Plus. That said, we saw fairly average battery life during our S9 Plus review, so the jury will definitely be out as to whether LG’s battery optimizations for the display can put in the work needed to trump the S9 Plus’s sheer battery size.

The G7 ThinQ is likely to be the phone that’s on the charger for less time, with QuickCharge 3.0 doing the business over the QC 2.0 on the S9 Plus. The G7 ThinQ also has support for QC 4.0, but you’ll need to buy a special adapter. You’ll also be able to pop both of these on a Qi wireless charging pad too.

This is a tough category to call, at least until we’ve had chance to test out the LG G7 ThinQ’s capabilities properly. We’re going to leave proper judgement on this until we’ve had a chance to play with both side by side.

Winner: Tie

Design and durability

lg g7 thinq hands on sound screen
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’ll find 2018-worthy looks on both of these phones. You’re likely familiar with the design of the S9 Plus, since it’s essentially identical to the S8 range before it. That’s not a slur — it’s still a gorgeous phone, and we really like the curved edges. The LG G7 ThinQ looks similarly good, but some users are likely to hold the inclusion of an iPhone X-style notch against it. We’re warming to the notch, but it’s likely that some will hold it against the G7 ThinQ. In all fairness, there’s an option to add black bars around the notch to mask it.

Durability-wise, you’re looking at Gorilla Glass 5 on both phones — get a protective case to keep these safe just in case. They’re gorgeous, but both phones could be prone to physical breakages. It’s a better story in water-resistance though, as both the G7 ThinQ and the S9 Plus come with IP68 water-resistance.

This category is tough to judge, since beauty is often in the eye of the beholder and both are neck-and-neck in durability. For us, the Galaxy S9 Plus edges it with its stunning good looks, and takes it on the strength of its design.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus


Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Galaxy S9 Plus

The LG G7 ThinQ is packing a 6.1-inch display running a huge 3120 x 1440 resolution — higher than the 2960 x 1440 resolution on the 6.2-inch S9 Plus — thanks to LG’s super-long 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The LG phone also has a sharper display than the Samsung phone, rocking a high pixels-per-inch measurement of 564 over the S9 Plus’ 529ppi.

The real difference here comes in screen tech. While the G7 ThinQ’s IPS LCD screen comes with one of the brightest screens ever made (capable of 1,000 nits for three minutes), the display just can’t match the sheer scope of vivid colors and deep blacks available on an AMOLED display, like the one on the S9 Plus. The S9 Plus can also get incredibly bright as well. LG puts up a good fight with a stunningly sharp screen and HDR 10-bit support — but we’ll probably have to wait until the LG V40 until we see an LG display that matches the S9 Plus.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus


lg g7 thinq hands on camera app 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

LG is known for its use of a wide-angle camera on its phones, and it’s no different on the G7. Hardware-wise, the rear camera is a pair of 16MP lenses, comprising an f/1.6 aperture main lens and an f/1.9 aperture secondary wide-angle lens. The former features optical image stabilization, and the wide-angle lens can take photos with a 107-degree angle and no distortion (according to LG). But the G7 ThinQ has some artificial intelligence injected into its camera.

Take a picture in low-light and LG’s Super Bright Camera mode kicks in, which makes darker areas brighter by enlarging the image’s pixels — this drops the picture’s resolution of course, but it really helps with low light. We used this mode in the LG V30S, and LG claims that the G7 ThinQ’s can make it two-times brighter. The G7 ThinQ also comes with A.I. Cam — point the camera at an object, and the A.I. will attempt to identify it  (sunrise, food, plant, etc) and suggest a tweaks to improve it. It’s something we’ve seen on the Huawei P20 Pro, though it usually ends up cranking the resolution.

There’s also a Portrait Mode now available in the G7 ThinQ, and while it works pretty well, we noticed some over-application of background blur to foreground objects. It does seem to work well with the selfie camera, though.

We’ve done many, many tests with the Galaxy S9 Plus’s camera, and its reputation as a solid shooter is well-known. The mechanically variable aperture is impressive, but we’re anxious to see how it holds up against some of LG’s software tricks. We can’t judge this yet — there’s still too much to be determined.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

lg g7 thinq hands on full notification shade
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the G7 ThinQ and the S9 Plus come with Android 8.0 Oreo, each with its own manufacturer skin laid over the top. Upgrades to the upcoming Android P could be more of an issue, with neither company having stellar records when it comes to getting Android’s latest builds to its customers. While Project Treble could change that, Samsung has a slightly stronger record in getting updates out. Last year’s LG G6 only just received an Oreo update, while the 2-year-old Galaxy S7 range already got the update.

LG did open a new software update center, so we’re crossing our fingers that it can deliver updates faster.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Special features

It’s all abut A.I. at the moment, and these phones are no different. Samsung’s Bixby is something of a swing-and-a-miss, with most users simply opting not to use it, or its dedicated button. The G7 ThinQ will also sport a dedicated A.I. button, but since this is tied to Google Assistant, it may have more success. LG has gone further with the A.I. too, with the A.I. Cam from the LG V30S ThinQ, and A.I. that learns your behavior and aims to deliver you apps at the right time of your day.

In other areas, Samsung’s Dex capabilities are useful, but it requires a bunch of expensive accessories and a dedicated setup. While LG doesn’t have a direct equivalent, the G7 ThinQ does pair up easily with LG’s ThinQ appliances, and you can control these appliances straight from the phone’s notification drawer.

What tips the win to the G7 ThinQ is its Boombox Speaker. LG only has a mono, bottom-firing speaker, but the company removed the module covering the speaker, and turned the whole phone into a resonance chamber. The audio feels like it’s bursting throughout the phone, it gets incredibly loud — louder than the S9’s stereo speakers — and it sounds great.

Winner: LG G7 ThinQ


The Galaxy S9 Plus costs $840, which puts it in a heady cost bracket, but T-Mobile has announced it will sell the phone for $750. That slightly cheaper price may sway your decision.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The Galaxy S9 Plus may have won this battle, but the real result comes down to which wins the war for your heart. The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is simply one of the best large-screen smartphones in the world right now, and it’s hard for the LG G7 ThinQ to compete with it in that space. The G7 ThinQ, however, is cheaper, just as powerful, and has that inimitable LG charm.

While the Galaxy S9 Plus is the better overall phone for us, we’re equally sure you’ll be happy with either of these two phones.

Product Review

With the S10e and S10 Plus, do we really need the Samsung Galaxy S10?

The Galaxy S10 is the middle child in this year’s Galaxy S10 range, between the Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s no striking reason to buy it, but it’s still an excellent phone you’ll be happy with.
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.

The Moto G7 Power, with its massive battery, is now available for purchase

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.

Scientists wreck a smartphone in a blender, but not just for fun

It’s oddly mesmerizing to watch a smartphone get torn apart inside a blender. Researchers recently did just that in a bid to find out which materials make up a handset, and also to encourage people to think more about recycling.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.

This $76,000 Grand Seiko watch has something in common with a plug-in hybrid car

How can a watch that costs $76,000 possibly have anything in a common with any car, let alone a plug-in hybrid? It's all about the complex, technically incredible Spring Drive movement inside this Grand Seiko watch.

The excellent Apple iPad gets even deeper price cuts on Amazon

The humble iPad from 2018 is still one of the best tablets around -- and a solid choice for most people. Amazon has seen some great price drops for these tablets recently, and now you can own an iPad for even less than before.

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.

Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for and start using with your iPhone

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.

Apple Arcade might be the new game subscription service worth signing up for

Apple Arcade will launch this fall bringing a new game-subscription service with cross-platform support for iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. At launch, the service will feature more than 100 exclusive games, with more added to the service regularly.

Check out 22 of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers for your shiny new phone

The iPhone 7 might be attractive, but it’s not rugged. To keep your device in pristine condition, you really need to think about proper protection. That's why we've rounded up some of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers available.