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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.