The high-end smartphone scene has more options than just Apple and Samsung. Google's second generation Pixel phones pack a solid punch in an understated skin, and LG's V30 is decked out for multimedia on the go. So which Apple-alternative or Samsung-substitute is right for you? New Atlas compares the specs and features of the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL against the LG V30.
Size-wise, the V30 slips in between the two Pixel 2 models, although it's far slimmer.
Again, the V30 is sitting in the middle of a Pixel sandwich when it comes to weight.
Google has opted for a muted color palette of mostly black and white, while LG has splashed out more with blue and purple options.
The Pixel 2 and 2 XL are cased in aluminum, while the V30 has glass front and back, ringed with anodized metal.
All three phones are water resistant enough for everyday use. The IP67 rating means the Pixel 2s can be dunked in 1 m (3.3 ft) of water for up to half an hour, while the V30's slightly-higher rating means it can survive that long down to 1.5 m (4.9 ft). Still, we wouldn't recommend testing this with anything more than a splash of rain.
The Pixel 2 XL and LG V30 have the same size screen, but the V30 has less wasted space top and bottom. The screen on the base model Pixel 2 is half an inch smaller, but size isn't everything.
The screens on the Pixel 2 XL and V30 are identical (at least in terms of straight resolution), while the 1080p screen on the Pixel 2 is far less sharp.
All three phones are made with OLED displays, allowing for deeper blacks and brighter colors. The Pixel 2 uses an Active Matrix OLED screen, which is designed to switch pixels on and off faster. The Pixel 2 XL and LG V30 are built on plastic substrates (the P in POLED), which makes for a thinner and more flexible screen.
Both the Google Pixel 2 XL and LG V30 have ditched the bezels, as the year's trend for high-end phones dictates. That makes the Pixel 2 look quite outdated, with its sizeable black bars around the display, particularly on the top and tail.
All three phones feature fingerprint sensors, since that's the standard way to unlock a phone nowadays. But LG goes a few steps further, allowing the V30 to also be unlocked with a face scan or voice command.
Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon processors power all three phones.
4 GB is what you can expect in most 2017 phones.
All three phones offer the same options for built-in storage too, with 64 GB as a generous standard and the option to double that, for a little more moolah. In LG's case, extra storage space is the only thing that makes the V30+ model… well, plus.
The V30 is the only phone here to offer the option of expanding that onboard storage with a MicroSD card slot.
Big-screen phone-owners often want that for more video-watching and game-playing, so to make sure the device sees out the whole day, both the Pixel 2 XL and LG V30 pack fairly meaty batteries. The Pixel 2 lags behind a little, but should still put in a solid day's work under moderate use.
Apple's decision to axe the 3.5 mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 was controversial, but a year on and Google has followed suit with the new Pixels. As such, there's now only a USB-C port on the bottom of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, so headphones need to be connected via Bluetooth or the included adapter.
All three phones can be fast-charged out of the box, for those times when you need a little battery boost before heading out.
If you feel like forking out for an extra accessory, the V30 can be charged wirelessly. Google doesn't offer the option, but honestly that's no great loss. Until the range can be extended, wireless charging is mostly an unnecessary gimmick.
LG is pushing photography as a key part of the V30, so the phone sports top-spec cameras. The main attraction is a 16 MP camera with a glass lens, designed to boost low-light snaps and sharpen colors. A second camera on the back is designed for wide-angle shots, with a field of view of up to 120 degrees. That said, the cameras on the Google Pixels are nothing to scoff at either.
Rear camera aperture
With its photography focus, it's no surprise that the main camera on the V30 has a wider camera aperture than Google's phones. That should make for better shots in low-light conditions and help your subjects pop from the background.
All three phones run the Android OS, but while the Pixel 2 and 2 XL come preloaded with the latest version, the V30 is still running Nougat for now. That will likely change with an update in the near future.
When you have a burning question while driving or just like to bark voice commands at your phone, the Google Assistant is the go-to in all three devices.
Android Pay allows the Google Pixel 2/2 XL and the LG V30 to make payments by tapping the phone to a terminal.
The LG V30 has been out in the wild since September, while Google is launching the Pixel 2 this week and the Pixel 2 XL next month.
The similarly-specced Pixel 2 XL and V30 are also close in price, with LG's phone about US$40 to $50 cheaper in both price tiers. On the other hand, you could splurge on the 128 GB model of the Pixel 2 and still save some dough from the cheapest V30.