Apple iPhone 8 full review
LG's G7 ThinQ is a smart-looking, well-specced flagship Android phone which is comparable to the iPhone X in a number of areas. But price-wise it's likely to sit closer to the iPhone 8. How do the two devices compare for design, features, specs and pricing? Our head to head will help you decide which is the right phone for you.
Note that the term ThinQ doesn't designate a variant model, only the standard G7. So we will sometimes refer to the device as just the G7.
Price & availability
The iPhone 8 launched on 22 Sept 2017 and is available to buy now. It costs £699/$699 for the entry-level model with 64GB of storage, or £849/$849 for the upgraded 256GB version.
You can buy the iPhone 8 direct from Apple, from a UK carrier such as EE or Vodafone, or from a US carrier such as Verizon or T-Mobile. Alternatively take a look at our list of the best iPhone 8 deals.
We don't yet have a release date for the G7. LG has only told us that it will launch in the UK in "late May" and arrive in the US on 2 June. It will launch in Korea first of all but again, we don't have a date for that.
Price-wise we expect the G7 to launch at around £599/US$599, but that hasn't been confirmed yet.
Design & build quality
There's a huge difference between the design philosophies behind these two devices. The iPhone 8 looks back fondly on the past four years of Apple phone design, whereas the G7 is part of the forward-thinking vanguard.
Partly this is because of the way they fit into their respective product lineups. The iPhone 8, along with its Plus sibling, was launched as the conservative alternative to the groundbreaking iPhone X, which ditched the Home button and Touch ID, and added a 19.5:9 edge-to-edge screen with a notch at the top. This is the phone for Apple fans who are happy with the classic look and don't want to chuck out either the baby or the bathwater.
The G7, meanwhile, is LG's new flagship and gets a modern look to match. It follows the iPhone X with the tall edge-to-edge screen, and features a notch too - although the firm is a lot more flexible than Apple about letting people hide the notch through a simple settings toggle that adds a black bar either side of the notch so you essentially end up with a smaller, notchless screen.
(Apple doesn't do this, and in fact goes so far as to instruct app developers that they absolutely must not disguise the notch through onscreen graphical elements. It wants to make an icon feature of the notch, not apologise for it.)
Because of its far larger screen, the G7 is bigger and heavier than the 8, but not by a huge margin. It weighs 162g to the iPhone 8's 148g, and the biggest gap in the dimensions is the length, at 153.2mm to the 8's 138.4mm. It's only 0.6mm thicker.
The iPhone 8 comes in lots of colours! As well as the standard gold, silver and Space Grey options available at launch, Apple has since added (Product) Red, a vibrant scarlet finish that also contributes to AIDS prevention and treatment.
The G7 is available in three colours: Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue and Platinum Grey. Sadly the red version, Raspberry Rose, won't be sold in the UK.
iPhone 8 in pictures
Aesthetics being a personal thing, it might be best to show you some pictures of these devices and let you make up your own mind. iPhone 8 first:
LG G7 ThinQ in pictures
And now the G7:
There's no comparison between the two devices' screens: the G7 has a display that is a lot larger, sharper and brighter. Don't be fooled into thinking that 326ppi, the 8's pixel density, indicates a bad or indistinct screen - by the standards of a few years ago it would seem plenty sharp enough. But standards have gone up.
They are both LCD screens, which means you miss out on the costlier OLED tech in the iPhone X and others - OLED bringing better colours, darker blacks and reduced power consumption, but also the small danger of screen burn-in.
The G7 follows the current trend for extremely long screens - indeed its 19.5:9 aspect ratio, made possible by the extra bit of screen around the notch, is even more stretched out than the more common 18:9 and 19:9 offerings elsewhere. This particularly widescreen setup is great for movies.
The iPhone 8 takes excellent photos in good shooting conditions and decent ones in even fairly poor conditions. But it doesn't have the twin-lens setup of the G7 (and cannot offer a portrait mode through software means either), nor does it have the facial recognition wizardry of the X (and therefore cannot offer Animoji).
The LG is specced a little higher, with its rear lenses topping out at 16Mp to the iPhone's 12Mp and the selfie camera offering 8Mp to the iPhone's 7Mp. Apple makes a comeback on slo-mo mode - 1080p at 240fps to the LG's 720p at 240fps - and while both offer 4K video, Apple offers this at up to 60fps to the LG's 30fps.
LG has also provided some interesting new modes and AI processing options. Our colleagues on Tech Advisor, for instance, tried out preproduction versions of the software and saw inconsistent but sometimes startling results with the low-light mode. The G7 also has a separate AI Mode which applies a range of filters and brightness controls based on which one of 19 scene types it thinks you're shooting.
Here are the tech specs.
You'll note that the LG is ahead across most of the key areas, despite being (probably) a bit cheaper. This is pretty standard when comparing iOS and Android devices at a similar price point, and Apple often claws back much of this advantage via the better integration of software and hardware. It can usually get almost as long a battery life from a far smaller battery capacity, for example.
iPhone 8 specs
- A11 Bionic processor chip with 64bit architecture and M11 motion coprocessor
- 2GB RAM
- 64GB or 256GB of storage
- 4.7in Retina HD screen (1334 x 750 at 326ppi), 1400: contrast ratio, 625 cd/m2 max brightness, True Tone, 3D Touch
- 12Mp rear-facing camera, f/1.8, 5x digital zoom, OIS, flash, panorama up to 63Mp, 4K video at up to 60fps, slo‑mo video at 1080p and up to 240 fps
- 7Mp front-facing camera, Retina Flash feature, 1080p video
- 1,821mAh rechargeable battery, wired and wireless charging, fast charge, claimed battery life 12 hours
- Second-gen Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, Lightning port (no headphone jack)
- IP67 water- and dust-resistant
- iOS 11.3
- 138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm; 148g
LG G7 ThinQ specs
- Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 processor (eight cores: 4 x 2.8GHz Kryo 385 Gold, 4 x 1.7GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
- 4GB RAM or 6GB RAM
- 64GB storage or 128GB storage
- 6.1in LCD screen, 1440 x 3120 resolution at 564ppi, 19.5:9, up to 1,000 nits brightness
- Dual-lens rear-facing camera: 16 Mp, f/1.6, OIS), and 16 Mp (f/1.9). LED flash, 2160p video at 30fps
- 8Mp front-facing camera, f/1.9
- 3,000mAh rechargeable battery, wired and wireless charging, Quick Charge 3.0
- Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, face/voice recognition
- 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, USB-C port (3.1), 3.5mm headphone jack
- Quad-DAC audio
- IP68 water- and dust-resistant
- Android 8.0 (Oreo)
- 153.2mm x 71.9mm x 7.9 mm; 162g