Google Pixel 2 XL vs LG V30: first look


With the introduction of the Pixel 2 XL, Google gave the duty of manufacturing the phone to LG – a departure from last year's choice with HTC. The switch is pretty significant, especially now that the LG V30 has been making considerable waves since first being introduced at IFA 2017 not too long ago. Needless to say, these two smartphones are going to draw comparisons, since we're dealing with phones that stack up nicely against one another.

Design


From the front, these two closely match each other to the tooth with their breezeless designs and sloping edges. Honestly, it's tough to really tell them apart! Flip them around, however, that's when we begin to see the difference. While the two share a metal meets glass construction, the Pixel 2 XL doesn't feel as fragile as the V30 – due to the all-glass surface of the V30. Then again, the V30 looks and feels more premium because the so-called metal surface of the Pixel 2 XL feels rather plastic in texture.

For the Google Pixel 2 XL, we're glad to see that it features dual front-firing speakers, which are far more suitable than just the single one in the V30. That one has a tendency of being covered by accident, resulting in muffled tones when watching video. Despite that, the V30 puts the Pixel 2 XL to shame because it's able to incorporate a 3.5mm headphone jack into its svelte body. If the V30 can do this, why couldn't the Pixel 2 XL follow suit? Who knows, but it's a convenience that we appreciate with the V30.

Display


The resemblance between these two titans is evident once again when we pay attention to their displays. From their size, to their aspect ratios, and display technology, it's a splitting image between them. That's a 6-inch 2880 x 1440 POLED display with an aspect ratio of 18:9, so the specs are identical from the looks of it. We were astounded by the V30's display, so it’s no shock that we share the same sentiments here with the Pixel 2 XL. Both are gorgeous, making it really tough to prefer one over the other until we get more intimate time with the two phones together. 


User Interface


This certainly an area of contention, mainly because it's almost impossible to dislike the stock Android experience. Being a Pixel and all, the Pixel 2 XL benefits from a vanilla Android 8.0 experience from the get-go – while also being treated to some additional software features that places more emphasis on the power of Google Assistant. From its new "at a glance" widget on the homescreen that keeps you up-to-date with reminders, to the enhancements made to Google Lens, and even the novel feature of squeezing the phone to initiate Google Assistant, there's a lot going for the Pixel 2 XL that you won't find in the V30.

Don't get us wrong, the LG V30's software experience is still more than functional, but given that we're dealing with a Pixel phone here, the V30 might not be able to keep up with feverish rate that the Pixel 2 XL will see with software updates.

Processor and Memory


Well, it's no shock that they come packing the same kind of heat under the hood. Leverage the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM, they both exhibit the same level of responsiveness from the get-go. Who knows what it'll be like after months and years of continuous use, but chances are the Pixel 2 XL won't shed any of its zip. That may potentially can be the same with the V30, but only time will tell.

Sadly, though, there's no storage expansion of any kind with the Pixel 2 XL – so you're stuck with either its 64GB or 128GB capacities. Even though the storage options are the same for the V30, it benefits greatly from having a microSD card slot for expansion.

Camera


Now this is an interesting area to look at, just because on one hand, we have a phone that offers extensive manual controls, while the other aims for performance and simplicity. The LG V30 is undoubtedly going to attract content creators thanks to its dual-cameras – a 16MP main sensor and a wide-angle 13MP one. Add to that the cool LG Cine modes it offers, as well as true manual video controls, the V30 has a versatile camera system in place for would-be filmmakers.

In contrast, the Google Pixel 2 XL forgoes the dual-camera implementation, opting instead to stick with just a single 12MP rear camera. Some might be concerned by this, but given how the Pixel XL managed to exceed expectations with its impressive photo capturing qualities, there shouldn't be any cause for alarm here. In fact, it’s able to even pull off an impressive portrait mode of sorts by software-based learning to produce that bokeh effect to background elements.

We can’t pass judgment just yet, obviously, but we're itching to know which of them will pull ahead in the camera department! 


Battery


Over in the battery department, the Google Pixel 2 XL has a slight advantage on paper with its 3520 mAh battery cell – in comparison to the V30's 3300 mAh capacity. It's not a huge difference, but it'll be interesting to see whether or not that equates to significant longevity for the Pixel 2 XL. It's worth nothing, however, that the LG V30 with its metal meets glass construction offers the convenience of wireless charging – whereas that's not even an option for the Pixel 2 XL.

Expectations


Diving into the pricing of these two top-tiered smartphones, the LG V30 seems to have the advantage as it's slapped with a starting price of about $800 in US, which is less than the $850 asking price for the Pixel 2 XL. Indeed, there are pros and cons found between the two phones, but there's one thing we can all gladly agree about – LG is a winner regardless of the outcome. From a software standpoint, the Pixel 2 XL gets the nods from us, which it should given that stock Android is always preferred. However, the LG V30 is an incredibly features rich phone with a stunning design to match.

Related phones

V30
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3300 mAh(16.5h talk time)
Pixel 2 XL
  • Display 6.0" 1440 x 2880 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3520 mAh

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38 Comments

1. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

V30 All the way. - Better screen to body ratio and 10% lighter - MicroSD card expansion - Wireless charging - Higher IP68 water rating - Hifi Dac + Headphone Jack - Dual Camera setup for wide angle photos - Much more feature-packed skin - Still cheaper despite all of the above Only thing going for the Pixel 2 XL is the front-facing speakers and maybe battery life and camera quality, but would have to see a side-by-side comparison before drawing any conclusion on the latter 2.

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I'd go pixel, I like that it actually has a bit of bezel and software is bound to be faster and smoother despite it lacking in features compared to LG's custom skin. I always go for better battery life as well. I do hate that it lacks wireless charging though. Either way I don't think you can really go wrong between the two.

11. cheetah2k

Posts: 2256; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Google phones.. We always seem to be Android beta testers.. so faster/smoother, might not be totally true, but I do agree - both awesome phones, but that price tag you wont beat the LG V30, even the V30+ for that matter... The V30 just needs to come already! Hurry up LG!

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Don't sign up for beta testing, problem solved.

36. renotough

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Just use the Nova launcher if you don't like the LG skin. I use the LG skin and actually like it.

38. user890

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 07, 2017

Faster an smoother?? well mybe 0,0000000001 ms differences. Phone with with the older sd820 or effen sd650 runs already fast and smooth let alone the ones with SD835.

7. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

I highly doubt the camera will be that much better than the LG V30. At this point every flagship has great cameras .

17. emjoigently

Posts: 152; Member since: Aug 22, 2017

Low light. Ive read that the V30 camera is great while the light is good, but it's small sensor falls down when it gets darker.

31. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

From what I've seen, the thing still did well in low light. The wide angle lens has a f/1.9 and the same 1.12micron pp, so you could theoretically use it with a steady hand. Look at gsmarena and their photo comparison tool... LG and their software are a serious win in lowlight.

37. renotough

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

LG has the biggest aperture at 1.6f of ANY smart phone and is the best for low light situations you may want to check your sources...

10. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Yes! No brainer

14. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Kicking the headphone jack and nano SIM out of the device, I'll go for the V30.

15. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

WTF, no SIM card slot either? So, you can only use it with carriers google has partnered with? That's a major downside if actually true, gonna look more into this. EDIT: No, they support both eSIM and nano SIM, so, that's actually another + for the Pixel 2 XL: https://www.androidcentral.com/pixel-2-doesnt-need-sim-card-long-you-use-project-fi

27. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Yeah they support both but the initiative done to take them out will slowly roll out to succeeding devices after it.

18. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

You also have -free full resolution photo/video storage -always listening music identifier -faster updates -more responsive GUI -no bloatware -OIS+EIS -compatible on Google Fi Hardware is half the package, software is the other half, and I think Google blows LG out of the water in that regard.

26. limporgyuk

Posts: 360; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

I'd go pixel as well, water proofing always ruins the speaker quality and would much rather have stereo front speakers

33. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Pixel 2 XL for me. No amount of features on an LG phone will persuade me to buy one with their history of terrible software optimization and poor software updates.

2. PryvateiDz

Posts: 443; Member since: Jul 31, 2011

This has been my decision choices of smartphones for this 2nd half of this year. I've been debating. I'm fully confident the Pixel 2 XL will have better still photo quality. LG hasn't really implemented any upgrade to the camera department in a while, as far as quality that is. They've used some of the same camera sensors, up until the LG V20. The LG G6 has a older camera sensor at w/ the Sony IMX 258. LG this time did say more about camera improvements for quality, such as the clear glass lens, and the 10-bit HDR sensor, but is using the Sony IMX351 sensor, which is the same on my HTC U11's front-facing camera, which is pretty meh in quality. However, price and audio, video features and modes is what has leaned me towards the LG V30. The fact that I have 2 High speed 128GB microSD cards, with LG having the microSD card slot is really a factor too.

3. EC112987

Posts: 1215; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Im all for stock Android but the V30 seems like the better option. I do love the XL though. It looks pretty sexy lol

4. fyah_king unregistered

I wonder if the pixel 2 XL will catch up to the iPhone 8 in the speaker department. Since, the iPhone is miles ahead according to phonearena.

8. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

The iPhone 8 does have great speakers , better than anything I have seen on other mainstream flagship phones.

19. Scott93274

Posts: 6033; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, I'm happy with my 2-year-old Nexus 6P speakers so if it's comparable to that then I'll be content.

23. fyah_king unregistered

Ever heard of moto x pure? Axon 7? They are one of the best.

5. PostmanLV

Posts: 44; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

Bonus for the v30, there will be a big price drop very quickly

9. newbey123

Posts: 701; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

Pixel XL 2 for me, bigger battery, better camera and pure android.

13. Sparkxster

Posts: 1228; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Both the V30 and pixel 2xl are great phones can't go wrong with either of them! Personally leaning more towards the pixel 2 xl.

16. combatmedic870

Posts: 984; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

I agree, if you listen to wired headphones, don't worry about updates, SD and want a free 2 year warrant vs $149. Ip68 and milstd V30 for you Vs Stereo speakers, fast updates, free unlimited photo storage, 128gb internal ufs2.1. Xl 2 is for you.

20. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

V30 ftw........I pray to God they start bringing back removable batteries. That is bar none my favorite feature on android. Love my note 4 and it's the reason it's so hard for me to let go of it. The note4 is a workhorse

21. Ahsanzafar

Posts: 36; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

Pixels are soo out of the competition ! except for camera they have nothing! they are ugly they are slow they sound bad they represent bad! would buy v30 anyday over pixel

29. baldilocks

Posts: 1505; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

What world are you living in??

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