LG flagship phone battery life sucked in 2018, here is why

LG flagship phone battery life sucked in 2018, here is why
LG was never known for making the phones with the best battery life out there: quite the opposite, really, but in 2018, when all other phone makers upped their battery game a notch, the LG G7 and the LG V40 stood out as sore losers. And all of that despite LG's claims that it is using some really efficient displays in those devices.

So what happened and how did LG end up in this mess?

First, though, let's take a look at the battery numbers. The LG G7 ThinQ not only has an unnecessarily weird name, it also comes with a quite meager 3,000mAh battery, a size that is smaller than most other competing phones. The LG V40 ThinQ is a much bigger phone, yet it also has a rather small, 3,300mAh cell (compare this to a 3,700mAh battery on the OnePlus 6T, a 4,000mAh battery on Note 9 and a 4,200mAh battery on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro). 

But even with those smaller battery sizes, we are still disappointed with the results:

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
LG V40 ThinQ 6h 21 min (Average)
LG G7 ThinQ 6h 32 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 8h 56 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 8h 5 min (Excellent)
OnePlus 6T 9h 52 min (Excellent)
Apple iPhone XS Max 9h 34 min (Excellent)
Google Pixel 3 XL 7h 39 min (Good)
Google Pixel 3 8h 22 min (Excellent)

With a scores of around 6 hours and a half on our battery test, the G7 and the V40 last much less than other flagship phones.


It turns out that this most likely has a lot to do with a poor implementation of the display. Earlier in the year, AnandTech measured that the G7 screen lives up to the company that the screen panel is nearly 35% more efficient than before, but it also found that the base power consumption is a surprisingly big number:


The G7 features an RGBW LCD display and the V40 features a totally different OLED display, but it shows similar and even worse base power consumption levels. In fact, AnandTech states that those base power consumption levels are the highest they have ever measured in a smartphone over the last five or so years!

LG V40 (left) vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (right)

LG V40 (left) vs Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (right)


It's hard to determine the exact reason for this poor performance and, interestingly, the G7 actually is more efficient than other phones when the screen is used at the highest brightness level, but the more commonly used dimmer settings are what bring both these phones down.

Interestingly, other phones with LG display panels also do not quite live up to the expectations: the Mate 20 Pro with its 4,200mAh battery could have been a beast, but its battery life is instead very good, but not extraordinary. And when you compare the Mate 20 Pro which uses an LG display with the LCD screen on the Mate 20, you can see that the latter is actually an absolute beast in battery performance, so it seems that the issue is not with software.

Whatever it is, LG remains one of the sore losers of 2018, with regressions in both camera and battery performance. Here is to hoping the company gets its act together and starts delivering in 2019!

Related phones

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)
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)

FEATURED VIDEO

25 Comments

1. shnibz

Posts: 506; Member since: Sep 18, 2011

How does the V40 compare to the V30?? I have the V30 which also has a 3300mah battery and the battery life has always been better than I expected, and in y'alls battery test last year it performed very well if i remember correctly.

2. Victor.H

Posts: 1043; Member since: May 27, 2011

The V30 actually did well in our test, but it is probably the only flagship LG phone in the past few years to get a good ranking.

4. DFranch

Posts: 521; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Yeah, the V30 gets amazing battery life. I regularly get 2 days between charges with mine, and that's after 14 months of use. I think in general battery life decreased with the SD 845 phones. Hopefully the SD 855 is a little better on that front, and hopefully LG fixes whatever issues they are having with display power drain.

8. lallolu

Posts: 731; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

I totally agree with you. SD845 is worse in battery life. It may be due to the increased clock rate. If I have an sd845 phone, I will definitely underclock it to sd835 level.

15. OneLove123

Posts: 841; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

The V40 is better in real-life. I can get 5-6hrs of screen on time, easily. The battery life is great.

3. gsengillo

Posts: 41; Member since: Sep 05, 2010

I use an LG G7 and yes the battery isnt the best. But it's no worsecthan my s8 I came from. The battery on this phone is decent enough to get my through a full day if needed. I would love to see the G8 use the same size hardware but throw in a massive battery.

5. panrt321

Posts: 100; Member since: Aug 23, 2018

Camera is better than Huawei Mate 20 pro!!

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2531; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

That's adorable...

6. Knownhost

Posts: 78; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

I loved the V series with its quirky design choices and excellent hardware, but subpar battery life in the V20, even with the replaceable battery, finally convinced me to switch brands. The V30 and V35 almost lured me back, but the design offered little difference from the S8 plus. The overwhelmingly poor reviews in terms of battery life of the V40 convinced me to stick with Sammy.

17. OneLove123

Posts: 841; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

The V40 battery life is better than your s8 plus. I am talking about real life usage not YouTube or phonearena dumb test. It's even better than my Note 9.

7. almostdone

Posts: 423; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

LG makes great phones but their battery life has been a big let down according to many battery test such as GSMarena. Only reason I don't buy LG phones.

20. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Not only they have the worst battery but they have strange bugs in the phones. My LG G6 always gives a msg that moisture detected in USB port, although I never put it in any moist area. That is a bug plaguing LG phones and no website or a reviewer ever talk about this issue. LG is a loser company and they don't know how to make a good phone. It is very good to hear that you don't opt for lg phone. I also will never buy again.

9. MarmiteTheDog

Posts: 188; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

You must remember that PA's battery testing is absolute pants. They tested the V30 being better than the V35 which is identical, save for the V35's more efficient SD845 SoC.

11. hazard1

Posts: 231; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

I agree that their battery testing is rubbish. But phones using the SD 845 used more battery than those using the 835. So that result does not surprise me.

12. HarysViewty

Posts: 57; Member since: Apr 04, 2015

The truth is... Their synthetic auto script battery benchmark sucks! https://youtu.be/3H9M3ay7GvQ https://youtu.be/f7PkMoStV9Y https://youtu.be/b5sBlXgXK2k Samsung default 1080p LG 1440p & +/- 6db louder Razer default is 120hz Poco 4000mAh

13. dimas

Posts: 3286; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

LG= low grade components. Owned g4 and tried to forgive them with g6 and g7. Threw g4 for bootloop issues, g6 and g7 went to my non-power user cousins. Htc phones are even better than lg. Quality is degrading, no more lg for me.

14. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

LG makes bad displays. Their TVs are bad too. Samsung makes the best displays. Yet some oems are using LG displays which are bad and pawn their phones off as premium. Samsung makes the best OLED options. And yes they cost more because they are better. LG is an option to vet the best possible lowest costing option, so you can role in profits and give less quality because it's good enough to fool a fool who doesn't know any better

16. OneLove123

Posts: 841; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

I would have to disagree with you guys on the battery life. My LG V40 has some amazing battery. It's better than my Note 9 and iphone 8 plus.

19. Taphius

Posts: 95; Member since: Aug 20, 2018

Mine is doing pretty damn good, better than my s9+ but not quite note 9. Very similar to my XS Max.

18. kennybenny

Posts: 203; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

The LG G3 I had was probably the worst phone I had! The worst battery life and the thing would heat up even when doing light tasks.... Wish I had kept my Moto G 1st gen.... That's the last LG phone I will ever buy!!!!!

24. hazard1

Posts: 231; Member since: Feb 11, 2017

That was because the G3 had a QHD display and the SD801 which was not powerful enough for that display. The following year, they went with the SD808 in the G4 (again a compromise because of the SD810 debacle). The decisions LG makes....

21. Epicness1o1

Posts: 300; Member since: May 30, 2013

One of the most interesting articels in a while I have a V30 for almost a year,always getting 2 day battery life with no problem

22. cheetah2k

Posts: 2185; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Coming from the V30+, the 2018 flagships really sucked.. pity for LG, they lost a lot of market share again..

23. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1306; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

So if Google had gone with a Samsung panel instead of an LG one with the pixels, they would get up to 3 more hours of usage time.

25. markusinfinite

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 05, 2016

My Stylo 4 has excellent battery life.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.