The best LG phones you can buy in 2019: high-end, midrange, and budget

The best LG phones you can buy in 2019: high-end, midrange, and budget
It's a dog-eat-dog world out there in the land of smartphones, and there are only a few top names that manage to both stay afloat and innovate every year. LG is among them — despite reporting the tenth consecutive quarter of mobile losses, the manufacturer has at least managed to produce two top-tier devices this year that seem to have won back the favor of smartphone fans and critics around the world.

But LG doesn't just have two flagships. It makes phones to fit most pockets and needs. So, let's check out what LG phones are most deserving of your money in 2019!

Categories:


Top-tier


LG G8 ThinQ



  • Display 6.1" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh(22h talk time)

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Boombox speaker design for enhanced audio
  • Accurate, secure face unlock
  • Ultra-wide-angle camera
  • Multimedia madness: enhancements for photography and videography, quad DAC
  • High-fidelity audio recording capabilities
  • Night camera mode
  • Great vibration (haptics)

Cons

  • Design is hit-and-miss
  • Stereo sound setup is weak

LG's flagship phone — the device that's supposed to represent it in the mainstream smartphone fandom. It's a very nice evolution on last year's design, as the G8 feels extremely sleek with no sharp corners or angles all around. Also — absolutely no camera bump. LG is the only mainstream phone maker to make a completely flush back. The G8's bezels are a bit thicker, which may not look as futuristic as Samsung's insanely thin-edged, curved phones, but it helps a lot with ergonomics. If ghost touches are the bane of your existence, the LG G8's design is the remedy. On the flip side, that notch and meaty chin are a bit of a turnoff.

The G8 also packs some sweet tech underneath the hood. Thanks to a new set of front-mounted scanners, the G8 ThinQ has an accurate and secure face detection feature, akin to Apple's Face ID. But to do one better, the G8 can also read the veins on your palm (also unique for every individual). It also has an Air Gesture control feature, which lets you activate apps or adjust volume just by waving in front of the phone. In all fairness, the latter is hit-and-miss and mostly an annoyance instead of a convenience. But we still enjoy the face unlocking of the G8 a lot.

The phone doesn't have stereo speakers like a lot of the competition. Instead, the bottom-firing driver uses the Boombox technology, which will resonate any wooden surface you put the G8 on, enhancing bass and beefing up the mids. There's no earpiece — LG uses the Crystal Sound OLED technology to vibrate the screen and produce sound this way. The latter is also used when listening to multimedia to add some treble to the sound picture.

As for cameras, the Western markets do not get a triple camera module. The LG G8 ThinQ sports two lenses on the back — a regular wide angle and an ultra-wide-angle one. This is a setup that'll be familiar to those that have stuck with LG since the G5.

 Buy on Best Buy 


LG V50 ThinQ



  • Display 6.4" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(26h talk time)

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Boombox speaker design for enhanced audio
  • This one has stereo speakers
  • Triple cameras
  • Multimedia madness: enhancements for photography and videography, quad DAC
  • High-fidelity audio recording capabilities
  • Night camera mode
  • Only 5G LG phone
  • Great vibration (haptics)

Cons

  • No Z Camera

The V series has always been LGs "flagship+" line. It has the powerful hardware of a G phone with a few added perks for those powerusers that just want that little bit extra. This year, the V50 is the LG phone to go for if you want a 5G modem. Its design is similar to the previous two generations of V phones — sleek and pretty with a nicely arched back and thin bezels, making it easy to handle despite the huge display.

The LG V50 ThinQ is also the phone to go for if you want to have a telephoto camera added to the wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle ones. Telephoto allows for a 2x optical (lossless) zoom and makes for better, more honest portrait pictures. On the front, the V50 adds another selfie camera, making for a setup of ultra-wide-angle and regular selfie cams. That's a callback to the good old LG V10 and V20.

If you go for the V50 you will miss out on the gasture-detecting, face-scanning front sensors that the G8 has. Also, the V50 has a regular ole earpiece, no fancy Crystal Sound OLED. The tradeoff is that you get two drivers actually firing off in stereo setup. So, the V50 is geared more towards the media-focused consumer.

 Buy on Best Buy (Sprint) 


LG V40 ThinQ



LG V40 ThinQ

  • Display 6.4" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(22h talk time)

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Matte glass back is nice
  • Boombox speaker
  • Triple cameras
  • Multimedia madness: enhancements for photography and videography, quad DAC
  • High-fidelity audio recording capabilities
  • Night camera mode
  • Great vibration (haptics)

Cons

  • No Z Camera
  • No 5G
  • No stereo

So, the LG V40 is last year's V series phone. It still holds a good price and counts as a top-shelf device. Basically, if you want a V phone but don't care about the 5G modem in the LG V50, give the V40 a look. The two devices look and feel very, very similar. We really appreciate the matte finish on the V40's back and were a bit disappointed that the V50 went back to glossy glass. Also, the V40's hardware may be a year old, but the phone is still a powerhouse.

It has a similar camera setup, too — wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto on the back; regular and wide-angle on the front. The amazing vibration motor is here as well, so is the Boombox speaker. Unfortunately, there's no stereo setup.


Mid-range


LG G7 ThinQ



LG G7 ThinQ

  • Display 6.1" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(20h talk time)

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Boombox speaker for enhanced audio
  • Wide-angle cameras
  • Multimedia madness: enhancements for photography and videography, quad DAC
  • High-fidelity audio recording capabilities
  • Night camera mode

Cons

  • Not great battery life
  • Design is uninspiring

LG's 2018 "mainstream" flagship — LG G7 ThinQ sports the most current top-tier hardware that's commercially available and builds on the design language that started with the LG G6. An extra-long 19.5:9 display, a glass back, metal frame, water-resistance, and wide-angle lenses on the secondary back-facing camera and the selfie snapper. We've also got some upgrades, with a super-large F1.6 aperture for the main camera — first seen on the LG V30 —, the new night shot mode — as seen on the upgraded V30s ThinQ —, a notch design for the phone's front — like it or not —, and while we did not get stereo speakers here, the phone's new Boombox is definitely impressive. The G7 also now has a hardware button dedicated to the Google Assistant, which is extra-convenient when you want to call it up when the phone is asleep, for example.

Obviously, if you want the best from LG, the G7 should definitely be on your radar. It's currently up for pre-order for $750 with some of the large carriers.

 Buy on Amazon 


LG V30 and V30+



LG V30S ThinQ

  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(16.5h talk time)

Pros

  • Ergonomic, lightweight build
  • Water-resistant
  • Multimedia madness: enhancements for photography and videography, quad DAC
  • High-fidelity audio recording capabilities
  • Good battery life
  • Still has great haptics

Cons

  • Aging, don't expect an Android update
  • Harder to find

The V30 generation is a couple of years old by now, but it's still a very appealing phone. It's slim and lightweight and a real pleasure to handle despite having quite the large screen on it. Unlike the older G series phones, the V30 has an OLED panel, which holds up quite nice and is capable of delivering those super-punchy colors or subdued tones depending on your preference. You get a dual camera setup on the back — LG's signature super-wide-angle lens and a regular one, a very thin and light phone, amazing haptics, and a pretty good price. At the time of writing this, you can nab one from Fry's for $250. There's no 2019 entry level phone that can give you the features of the V30 for $250. So, that's a no-brainer.

 Buy on Fry's 


LG G7 Fit



  • Display 6.1" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(14h talk time)

Pros

  • LG G6 hadware, G7 body
  • Water-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Still a pretty competent phone

Cons

  • Sub-par battery life
  • Aging processor

LG launched the G7 Fit towards the end of 2018 and it was kind of a surprising device. It has the looks of an LG G7 ThinQ, but with downgraded internals. But it wasn't beaten with the nerf stick too much — the G7 Fit is still powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, which used to be a top-tier processor a couple of years ago. In fact, the LG G7 Fit feels a lot like an LG G6 in new clothes. So, you can save a few bucks while still getting an LG phone that looks modern and performs a-ok.

The G7 Fit has a slightly smaller battery than the G6, which is a bit of a concern since the latter wasn't a battery champ itself. But the G7 Fit is technically a "newer" phone, so if you care about new Android updates more, this is the one you should be looking at.

 Buy on Best Buy 


LG G6 ThinQ



LG G6

  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(20.5h talk time)

Pros

  • Compact and comfortable
  • Water-resistant
  • Price unlocked has dropped to $200-ish
  • Still a pretty competent phone

Cons

  • Sub-par battery life
  • Aging processor
  • Don't expect a new Android update

LG's G6 was the 2017 flagship, but it went by largely unnoticed. Sporting an older Snapdragon 821 processor — reportedly because LG preferred to take their time optimizing the phone to work with the hardware, instead of jumping on the Snapdragon 835 while it was fresh out of the oven — it got a lukewarm reception from the powerusers. The general userbase, on the other hand, was captivated by Samsung's Galaxy S8 and its massive marketing campaign. But still, the G6 is a pretty competent phone, with great wide-angle cameras for vloggers, and its price makes it a great midrange offer nowadays.

 Buy on Amazon 


LG Q7+



LG Q7+

  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(15h talk time)

Pros

  • Midranger with an 18:9, all-screen front

Cons

  • Weak-ish processor

Carrying the legacy of the Q6 forward, the new LG Q7 is a midranger with a wide screen and minimal bezels. This time around, we actually do get a fingerprint scanner, which was missing from the Q6. The LG Q7 will launch in three variants, depending on region — Q7+, Q7, and Q7a. They all have their slight differences in hardware and probably price. The US gets the LG Q7+ as a T-Mobile (and Metro) exclusive.

 Buy on Metro by T-Mobile 


LG Stylo 5



LG Stylo 5

  • Display 6.2" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon SDM450, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh(14.5h talk time)

Pros

  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Large, sharp display
  • Capacitive stylus included

Cons

  • Weak processor

The Stylo 5 comes equipped with its own stylus, but don't jump for joy thinking it's Samsung S Pen-level sophisticated — it's just a regular, run-of-the-mill capacitive stylus. That said, the Stylo 5 rocks a spatious 6.2-inch display with a 1080 x 2160 pixel resolution. It's powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 450 and has 3 GB of RAM while a 3,500 mAh battery keeps the lights on.

In other words, it's a midranger through and through. Tied to Cricket, you can have it for $230 per month, which is an easily justifiable price tag. Still not as good as getting the V30 for $250, though.

 Buy on Cricket 

 

Entry level


LG K30 / LG Aristo 3


LG K30

  • Display 5.3" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(12h talk time)

Pros

  • Fingerprint scanner

Cons

  • Weak processor
  • Low-resolution screen
  • Not a great deal for the price

Available on T-Mobile, this is one of LG's many entry-level handsets dispersed across various carriers and retailers. It suffers in the screen resolution and processor power departments, but should be OK for basic tasks. Though, the price of $170 might not be ideal for what you are getting.


LG Tribute Empire / LG K8S



LG Tribute Dynasty

  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Octa-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2500 mAh(15h talk time)

Pros

  • Most affordable, sub-$100 price

Cons

  • Low-power processor
  • Low-resolution screen


This is probably the most affordable phone LG has put out in 2019 yet. For a sub-$100 price, you get an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 SoC, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage. Yeah, it's not much, but it's an entry-level phone. Don't be fooled by the pad-like power button on the back, there's no fingerprint scanner there.

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20 Comments

1. andriodfanboy1

Posts: 164; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I hate big names putting cheapest processors in their mid range.

7. andriodfanboy1

Posts: 164; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Wow PA showing my comment oct 26 2017

8. Phonehex

Posts: 754; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

The best LG phone to buy right now at any price - NONE !

3. BadAssAbe

Posts: 507; Member since: Apr 22, 2011

Pro tip LG G6 unlocked at some Walmarts for $299 In store only

5. KingSam

Posts: 1398; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Steal.

4. warrenellis93

Posts: 540; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

Your not going to wait for the next lg Stylo phone in June?

6. dirtydarko

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 03, 2014

Just for the record the LG X venture does have a fingerprint sensor

9. panrt321

Posts: 100; Member since: Aug 23, 2018

LG in low end HD and cons in low resolution, iPhone XR is highend and hd+ resolution and no cons low resolution! Why PA ? And other low end Samsung 6" and HD!

10. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

I now understand why LG chose the name ThinQ. It's how the Koreans pronounce Thank You. It's basically like Lg g7 thank you!

11. jellmoo

Posts: 2541; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

General rule of thumb: never buy a mid range or budget LG phone. Pick up one of their older flagships instead at a deep discount.

12. Pureviewuser1

Posts: 148; Member since: Mar 28, 2016

I had an lg g3 got it over a samsung note 4 how i regret that de ision the g3 turned out to be the worst phone ive had never getting another lg.

13. antroid

Posts: 375; Member since: Jan 24, 2018

Why lack of 5G is a con? Either way most likely you won't be able to use it right now

14. j_grouchy

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 08, 2016

The theme I see with LG phones is inferior battery life. It was true with my G3...and true with my G6 and, it seems, true with the current crop of flagships. Seems like LG needs to address this above anything else...at least in my opinion. I can't bring myself to ever buy LG again until they deal with this and get their updates out quicker.

15. shield

Posts: 824; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Why no new LG W series or LG G8s?

16. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 650; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Preslav - This is what you just wrote about the LG G7 (2018 model phone) above: "Obviously, if you want the best from LG, the G7 should definitely be on your radar. It's currently up for pre-order for $750 with some of the large carriers." I didn't know they were re-issuing this model for 2019. For $750, I'd rather buy just about anything else...

18. Zohan

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

The V40 has Stereo speakers. At least mine does? And its the same phone as V50 minus 5G. Which you cant get anyways! Very cheap to buy now too.

20. Medevac1

Posts: 15; Member since: Sep 06, 2017

I've owned a number of LG phones over the years including the G4, the iconic V20 and the functional, feature-filled and fun V40. The LG devices I purchased always delivered and are some of the most underrated devices on the market in my humble opinion. If LG could get their marketing strategy together maybe more prosumers would get to experience the joy of owning some of these quality, more bang for your buck devices. The V40's camera/audio/video set up is 2nd to none and allows the mobile photographer the ability to tap into his/her inner Spielberg and can be had at bargain prices to boot. I also own a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 so I'm no LG fan boy. I just know what I want from my device and go with the manufacturer that offers it at a price I am willing to pay. Offer Up and Swappa offer good bargains if you're in the market for one of these gems.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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