iPhone X vs LG G7 ThinQ
Another day, another flagship Android phone with designs on the iPhone X's crown. LG's G7 ThinQ boasts high-end audio, dual cameras and, on paper at least, generally far better specs for the money than the X, but how does it compare in reality?
In this comparison review we weigh up the iPhone X and LG G7 ThinQ for design, features, specs and pricing, to help you decide which is the right phone for you.
Note that this isn't a variant model: ThinQ is simply a new branding that is applied as standard. So we will sometimes refer to the device as just the G7.
LG hasn't yet announced a price for the G7. We expect it to launch at £599/US$599, but it could be £649 or more, and this will clearly affect our views on whether it can dethrone the iPhone X.
The iPhone X launched back in the autumn of 2017 and is available to buy now.
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.
Design & build quality
The iPhone X made a big splash because by Apple's standards it was such a radical change, but phones of that approximate design - no Home button, edge-to-edge screen, 18:9 or longer aspect ratio - are relatively common in the smartphone market at large. And the G7 ThinQ is a classic example.
Both have a notch taken out of the top section of the screen, although there's an interesting difference in the way the two companies have approached this. Whereas Apple has tried to make a feature of it, instructing app developers that they absolutely must not disguise the notch through onscreen graphical elements, LG's can be hidden very easily with a simple toggle in the settings. (This adds a black bar either side of the notch so you essentially end up with a smaller, notchless screen.)
The iPhone X comes in only two colours, if that's even the right word: silver and space grey. It didn't get the usual gold offering (either old gold or the newer pinkish version), and it also missed out when the iPhone 8 got a new red option earlier in 2018.
You get more choices with the G7, which is available in Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue and Platinum Grey. Sadly the red version, Raspberry Rose, won't be sold in the UK.
iPhone X 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 X first:
LG G7 ThinQ in pictures
And now the G7:
The iPhone X has the largest screen of any iPhone yet released, at 5.8in, with an unprecedented resolution (2436 x 1125) and pixel density (458ppi) to match. But as ever we must acknowledge that bigger things exist outside Apple's walled garden, and the LG is specced higher in all three departments: 6.1in, 3120 x 1440, and 564ppi.
Whether this translates into much of a difference in real-world use is debatable; certainly you'll find that the 458ppi screen is superbly sharp at any viewing distance and it's hard to imagine those switching from LG to Apple being disappointed by the loss of resolution.
The slightly larger screen will be better (or better still, we might say) for gaming and watching video, but this comes with a sacrifice - the LG's chassis is very slightly longer, wider and thicker. Interestingly the LG is lighter than the iPhone although again the difference is not huge.
The iPhone X features an OLED screen to the LG's cheaper LCD offering, and in most respects OLED is a better choice: it means brighter whites, deeper blacks, more vibrant colours all round and (perhaps most importantly) reduced power consumption. But you should note that OLED has been known to cause problems with screen burn in a small number of cases.
Both devices follow the current trend for extremely long screens - indeed their 19.5:9 aspect ratios, made possible by the extra bit of screen around the notch, are even more stretched out than the more common 18:9 and 19:9 offerings elsewhere. This particularly widescreen setup is great for movies.
The LG is specced a little higher on the cameras front too, 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.
Both devices have dual-lens cameras on the rear, and in both cases this enables an attractive portrait mode that blurs out background detail for a 'bokeh' effect. And in fact both offer bokeh selfies too.
We're at the point now where even mid-range phones offer cameras that won't let you down in most shooting conditions, and we've got some great shots with both of these devices. It's worth looking into some of the interesting new modes and AI processing options offered by LG, however. Our colleagues on Tech Advisor, for instance, saw inconsistent but sometimes startling results with the low-light mode. (And that was working with pre-production software.)
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. Results were mixed with this - and there's a three-second delay before you can take another shot - but again this may improve for the final release.
The complexity and sophistication of the iPhone X's front-facing sensors mean its facial recognition tech (Face ID) is state-of-the-art, although the G7 does offer face recognition too (accompanied, unlike on the X, by backup options for voice and fingerprint recognition). Face ID isn't infallible but in our opinion it is about as good as facial unlocking gets right now. You also get Animoji, of course.
Here are the two devices' respective specs lists.
They are both extremely high-end devices that are unlikely to let you down, but you'll note that in a few areas the LG is ahead, despite being (presumably) a far cheaper product. This is relatively common when comparing iOS and Android devices, and Apple often claws back much of this advantage via the better integration of software and hardware that means, for example, that it can usually get almost as long a battery life from a far smaller battery capacity.
iPhone X specs
- A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, Neural engine, Embedded M11 motion coprocessor
- 3GB RAM
- 64GB or 256GB internal storage
- 5.8in (diagonal) 'Super Retina HD' all-screen OLED Multi-Touch display, 2436 x 1125 resolution at 458ppi, 19.5:9, 3D Touch, True Tone
- Dual-lens rear-facing camera: 12Mp wide-angle, ƒ/1.8, and 12Mp telephoto, ƒ/2.4. Optical zoom, dual optical image stabilisation, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, Quad-LED True Tone flash, 4K video up to 60fps, slo‑mo video 1080p at 240fps
- 7Mp front-facing 'TrueDepth' camera, ƒ/2.2, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting, Animoji, 1080p HD video
- 2,716mAh rechargeable battery: claimed life up to 21 hours (talk time), 12 hours (internet use); fast-charge up to 50% charge in 30 minutes (claimed); wireless charging (with Qi-certified chargers)
- Face ID face-recognition
- 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Assisted GPS, Lightning port (no headphone jack)
- Stereo speakers
- IP67 water- and dust-resistant
- iOS 11
- 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm; 174g
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
LG's G7 might be less of an exciting update than previous efforts from the company, but it still has plenty to recommend it.
It's fast, it's lightweight, it's got a tall and extremely bright screen. And we like the wide-angle and standard camera lenses on the rear, accompanied by promising (although at time of testing, still pre-production) photo processing software that already delivers good results but needs more consistency and could do with a speed boost too.
Whether it's got enough about it to storm the top of the phone charts depends partly on how much LG can fine-tune that camera software, but mainly on how the firm prices it. In any case it's difficult to imagine it costing anywhere near as much the iPhone X.
If you've got the budget for it, the X is a terrific piece of consumer tech with consummate design, slick performance and great features. The G7 doesn't offer quite the same package - the LCD screen is one example of a corner being cut - but it's still a great phone and almost guaranteed to be a better choice in terms of value for money.