Apple's 2017 iPhones have been grabbing a lot of attention lately, but there are plenty of good options for those not wanting to commit to the Apple ecosystem. With LG about to launch its multimedia-focused V30, how does it stack up against the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X?
The V30 scrapes into phablet territory, towering over the iPhone 8 and X but falling a little short of the 8 Plus.
The V30 tips the scales partway between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, but the iPhone X's extra innards and glass back make it more of a heavyweight. That said, we're only talking tens of grams across the board, so the difference isn't going to be too noticeable in your pocket or purse.
The V30 is available in the usual lineup of colors – black, silver, blue and purple – although LG apparently likes to give them fancier-sounding names. The new iPhones are currently limited to two options.
The back of the V30 sports an aluminum shell, while Apple has gone with glass front and back, ringed with a stainless steel edge on the X and aluminum on the 8 and 8 Plus.
Apple's latest lineup is rated IP67, meaning they can survive a splash of rain or a quick dip in water down to 1 m (3.3 ft). The V30 goes one further, with its IP68 rating allowing it to be submerged to 1.5 m (5 ft) for up to 30 minutes. These ratings bring peace of mind in the event of an accidental dunking, but we still wouldn't recommend taking any of them swimming.
At 6 inches, the LG V30 packs a bigger screen than anything on an iPhone – and that makes sense, given the model's focus on entertainment and photography.
Likewise, that screen is far sharper than Apple's offerings.
With the premium iPhone X, Apple has finally made the switch to an OLED display. However, the the V30 and iPhone X use slightly different technologies – the V30 boasts a P-OLED (Plastic OLED) display, while the iPhone is AMOLED (Active Matrix OLED). Most of the differences lay in the manufacturing process, and while some differences may be noticeable in a side-by-side comparison, both will provide bright colors and deep contrast.
The V30 and iPhone X follow this year's trend of pushing the screen all the way to the sides of the device, and shrinking down the space at the top and bottom.
The V30, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus can all be unlocked with a quick scan of the user's fingerprints – a technique that's all but standard now. The iPhone X did away with that feature in favor of a precise facial recognition system called Face ID, which allows users to unlock the phone "at a glance." Although it's likely not as secure as Apple's, the V30 has its own facial recognition system and throws an extra cherry on top: the option to unlock the phone with a voice command.
The 2017 iPhones are all powered by Apple's latest chip, the A11 Bionic, which includes an integrated GPU to enable machine learning capabilities. The V30 is powered by Qualcomm's latest, the Snapdragon 835, supplemented by an Adreno 540 GPU.
Most Android phones nowadays pack 4 GB of RAM, but the latest iPhones top out at 3 GB. That said, Apple runs a very tight ship and is known to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of its devices, meaning the difference won't be too noticeable, if at all.
The entry-level standard for onboard storage across Android and Apple phones alike is now 64 GB. Those looking for more space can opt for the 128 GB model of the V30 (called the V30+), while the three new iPhones double that again with the option of 256 GB.
If 128 GB isn't enough, LG has included a MicroSD card slot, allowing that storage space to be expanded. Apple, as usual, hasn't offered the option.
Apple is sticking to its guns after controversially removing the headphone jack from last year's iPhones. A single Lightning port is all that remains on the bottom of the phones, primarily providing power but also audio out with the use of an included adapter. LG's new phone charges through a USB Type-C port and retains the tried-and-true 3.5 mm headphone jack, pumping high quality sound with the use of a new Hi-Fi Quad DAC chip inside.
Apple doesn't like to discuss the specifics of battery capacities in its devices, and it's not entirely surprising: when reports reveal those figures, they always sound lacking compared to the competition. But as with RAM, Apple has carefully optimized its OS to make sure that under regular use, iPhones can last just as long as its rivals' devices.
All four phones let users quickly top up their phone's battery with fast charging, but while the V30 can do so out of the box, there's a caveat with the iPhones: the feature requires the separate purchase of both a USB-C Power Adapter and a USB-C to Lightning Cable, which can add about US$85 to your bill.
Wireless charging is also common to all four phones, through separate accessories. Apple has its own wireless charger on sale, but the iPhones can make use of any third party device that uses the Qi wireless technology. LG meanwhile has made the V30 compatible with two competing technologies, Qi and PMA.
As part of its entertainment focus, the V30 packs two high quality cameras in the back, with 16 MP and 13 MP resolution. LG says the new glass lens – as opposed to the usual plastic – also improves the quality of the shots by letting in 4 percent more light. The iPhone 8 Plus and X sport dual 12 MP cameras in back, while the X's front-facing camera has unique depth-sensing capabilities to allow for Face ID.
Rear camera aperture
The main camera on the LG V30 has a wider aperture of f/1.6, gathering more light to improve close-up and low-light photography. At f/1.8, the iPhones are no slouches in that department either.
Although the newest version of the Android OS, Oreo, is beginning to roll out, the V30 is running 7.1.2 Nougat. The three iPhones come preloaded with iOS 11, the newest software that represents one of the biggest updates for Apple's mobile OS in recent memory.
Apple stalwart Siri is present and accounted for on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, while LG has again borrowed the Google Assistant for the V30.
iPhone users can pay for items using Apple Pay, while the V30 makes use of LG's version of Android Pay.
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launched earlier this month, while the LG V30 is out now in South Korea and is set to follow in the US sometime in the next month or two. The special edition iPhone X will launch worldwide in November.
While LG hasn't officially revealed the price of the V30 outside Korea yet, leaks suggest it will retail for around US$749. That places it squarely between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus' price points, and on par with the Samsung Galaxy S8. The premium iPhone X carries a similarly premium price tag, at well over $1,000 for the 256 GB model.
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