Samsung Galaxy S9+ vs LG V30


A glance at the Samsung Galaxy S9+ next to the LG V30 wouldn't be enough to pick a favorite. It's just that both have so much in common: immersive OLED displays, dual cameras, glass-on-metal construction, and the list goes on. But while these two Android phones are similar, they're far from identical. Let us walk you through the factors setting them apart.

Design



Glass and metal are the fanciest materials you'll find on a mainstream smartphone right now. They're employed on both the Galaxy S9+ and the LG V30, which results in the undoubtedly premium look and feel of the two devices. Their glass backs shimmer beautifully in the light, while the rigid metal frames hold everything tightly together. Both are also resistant to dust and water ingress, as all premium phones should be nowadays. Just be sure not to drop them. Glass is fragile, you know.

One design difference between the two phones is that Samsung is offering the Galaxy S9+ in a broader range of colors, including lovely shades of blue and purple. In the US, the V30 can only be had in black or silver (pictured here is the purple version that Korea got). The S9+ also comes with a neat – and clickable – home button that is literally under the display itself, while the V30 relies on on-screen virtual buttons only.


Despite the minimal bezels around their screens, the Galaxy S9+ and LG V30 are still quite large physically. They do fit nicely in the palm thanks to their curvy edges and corners, and they do offer plenty of screen space for their physical size, but if you're looking for something compact, you better look elsewhere.

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Dimensions

6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches

158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.67 oz (189 g)

LG V30

LG V30

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches

151.7 x 75.4 x 7.39 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Dimensions

6.22 x 2.91 x 0.33 inches

158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm

Weight

6.67 oz (189 g)

LG V30

LG V30

Dimensions

5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches

151.7 x 75.4 x 7.39 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display



Samsung's displays are among the best you'll find on a smartphone nowadays. The Galaxy S9+'s 6.2-inch OLED display is bright, vivid, and sharp, delivering stunning visuals under any circumstances. We wish we could say the same about the LG V30's 6-inch OLED screen. It isn't bad by any means – it is bright, detailed, and colorful. However, it is held back by imperfections that become noticeable once you take a closer look at it: the uneven brightness, for instance, noticeable when a solid color is displayed on our review unit, or the stark color shifting even when the screen is viewed at a slight angle.

That aside, both screens come with perks you'd expect out of a high-end device. Always-on displays, for instance, are available on both phones, displaying the time and status information while the phones are standing by. Both are also HDR capable, allowing you to stream and enjoy HDR content from Netflix or YouTube.

Software and functionality



Out of the box, the Galaxy S9+ runs Android 8.0 Oreo, which gives it the lead when it comes to software updates. The LG V30 is only now gradually getting its Oreo treat in the US, adopting new features like picture-in-picture support and more functional app shortcuts.

As far as software goes, there's a lot of things the S9+ and the V30 have in common. For instance, both are highly customizable: they support interface themes, they let you rearrange the on-screen buttons to your liking, they let you adjust the size of the app grid, and the list of options goes on. Both come with virtual assistants: Samsung has Bixby while the V30 relies on Google Assistant. And while Samsung has Edge Screen, where you can place shortcuts and widgets, LG has its Floating Bar which does much of the same.


Samsung takes things further by throwing in its S Health fitness companion, DeX Station support, and AR Emoji virtual avatars. Plus, its Bixby virtual assistant has its own dedicated button, letting you access it easily from any time. So if a maximum number of out-of-the-box features is what you're looking for, the Galaxy S9+ has you covered.

Alas, the Galaxy S9+ is also closer to the point of being overwhelming with all its bells and whistles. The dedicated Bixby button – which is easy to press by accident and can't be set to do anything else – is a prime example of this.

Security and biometrics


As any other modern smartphone, both the Galaxy S9+ and the LG V30 come with fingerprint readers. These are situated at the back, below their cameras. Both are fast, reliable, and easy to reach.


There are 6GB of RAM inside the Samsung Galaxy S9+, as opposed to 4GB in the LG V30. More RAM usually translates to smoother multitasking, but it also makes a phone more future-proof, as apps' demand for resources are always on the rise.

Both the Galaxy S9+ and the LG V30 come with 64GB of on-board storage, which is adequate for a high-end phone, and if you need more of the stuff, both have a microSD card slot at your disposal. (Storage is doubled on the Sprint-exclusive LG V30+ and on the upcoming LG V30S.)

AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 247630
LG V30 174456
JetStream Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 60.189
LG V30 55.338
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 43
LG V30 19
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 3261
LG V30 2690
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 3781.66
LG V30 1903
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 8940
LG V30 6495

Camera


On the back of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ we have a dual camera setup comprised of a regular, 12MP camera and a 12MP telephoto cam. This arrangement is capable of providing 2x optical zoom and allows background blur (bokeh) effects to be added to the image. Furthermore, the S9+'s main camera has two aperture settings, which is a rarity among smartphones. The camera uses F2.4 in good lighting conditions for improved sharpness, but can go all the way down to F1.5 in low-light scenarios to absorb more light.


LG's camera approach follows the opposite path. On the V30 we find a 16MP standard main camera with fixed 1.6 aperture coupled with a 13MP one with a super-wide viewing angle. The regular camera is ideal for general photography, while the wide-angle one comes in handy if you want to fit more into the frame without having to step back. Bokeh effects aren't available, however.

Image quality


After a quick shootout between the two phones, we can conclude that both perform well if given enough light. But they do perform differently: the Galaxy S9+ tends to go for a warmer color tone, while the V30's images are neutral to slightly blueish in appearance. Also, the Galaxy S9+ tends to handle dynamic scenes better, preserving more detail in the highlights and shadows. On the other hand, it is not uncommon for the LG V30 to deliver a sharper image with a bit more detail when photos are compared at 100% zoom.

In low light, however, the results lean in favor of the Galaxy S9+. While the V30's low-light shots look okay, the S9+ tends to preserve more detail in the shadows and delivers an overall brighter picture. The difference is not dramatic, but it is evident.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 1
1.1
No data
No data
LG V30 1.6
2.15
641
649

As for their secondary cameras, it is impossible to directly compare the Galaxy S9+'s telephoto cam against the V30's wide-angle one since the two have the exact opposite applications. But we can say that they both come in handy from time to time. Don't expect these to be your main shooters as they're less sensitive to light.

Selfies


Somewhat similar is the case when it comes to front-facing camera performance. In broad daylight, both the Galaxy S9+ and the LG V30 can snap decent self-portraits. While the S9+ produces better detail, the V30's wide-angle selfie cam can fit more people in the frame, which could be useful in tricky situations. But in low light, the Galaxy S9+ tends to deliver clearer images.

Video


The LG V30 is marketed as a phone that excels when it comes to video recording. Indeed, its 4K videos do look good, but the Galaxy S9+'s 4K footage is stabilized better and has clearer sound. In addition, the Galaxy S9+ has more reliable autofocus and supports 60fps 4K recordings for even smoother motion. Videos out of the front-facing camera of the Galaxy S9+ also look better thanks to the camera's wider dynamics range, meaning that bright and dark areas are better exposed.

Multimedia


The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the first Galaxy S-series phones to feature stereo speakers. They are not necessarily the loudest we've ever heard, but the sound they produce is rich, clear, and with enough separation between the two channels. The LG V30's single bottom-firing loudspeaker is sufficiently loud, but the sound quality leaves us wanting more.

Unlike many other high-end phones, both the LG V30 and the Galaxy S9+ come with 3.5mm headphone jacks. However, the V30 comes with extra audio hardware – the so-called Quad DAC – capable of driving large, higher-end, high-impedance headphones. On the other hand, only the Galaxy S9+ comes bundled with a pair of decent-sounding headphones, while the V30 sold in the US doesn't have any in the box.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 0.75
LG V30 0.769
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 78
LG V30 74.1

Battery Life


A phone's battery life depends not only on how much charge it can hold, but also on how that charge is being consumed. In our case, we have the LG V30, holding a 3300mAh battery, outpacing the Galaxy S9+ and its 3500mAh cell by a considerable margin in our custom battery benchmark test. In reality, both phones should be perfectly capable of lasting through a day of normal usage, but the V30 would have an easier time taking you beyond that. To improve the battery life on either, consider disabling the always-on display feature.

Both the LG V30 and the Galaxy S9+ come with rapid chargers in the box, capable of refilling their cells in next to no time. Both support wireless charging as well, but only the Galaxy S9+ supports quick wireless charging through a compatible charging pad.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 8h 5 min (Excellent)
LG V30 9h 34 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 105
LG V30 108

Conclusion



As we mentioned in the beginning, the Galaxy S9+ and the LG V30 seem very similar on the surface. However, there are many things that separate the two, and a $100 price gap is one of them. Right now, the LG V30 can be yours for about $800, while the Galaxy S9+ costs around $900.

But you know what, if you're in the market for a large-screen, high-end Android smartphone, spending those extra $100 on the Galaxy S9+ would be worth it. Sure, the LG V30 is a good phone, but Samsung's offering tops it in a number of areas, including display quality, camera performance, and raw processing power.

On the other hand, the LG V30 is likely to last you longer between charges, all while being just as fast with day-to-day activities. But all things considered, the LG V30 would be worth picking over the Galaxy S9+ only after a considerable discount.


Samsung Galaxy S9+

Pros

  • Better photo and video quality
  • More camera modes, including bokeh effects and Super Slow-motion
  • More processing power
  • Higher-quality screen
  • Great stereo speakers

LG V30

Pros

  • Costs less
  • Wide-angle cameras can be useful
  • Better battery life
  • Comes with 2-year warranty in the US

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11 Comments

1. Xtraflossy

Posts: 31; Member since: Mar 13, 2018

The more I see of the V30, the more I like it. The next price drop I might have to pick one up.

2. crankthisup

Posts: 11; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Just picked up my V30 for half of the price of the S9. So far I am loving it; only the limited viewing angle of the screen and the 'meh' front facing camera could have been better. The battery life is exceptional, got over 6 hours of SoT yesterday :D It's also very smooth and fast so far.

3. Ayman123

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 01, 2017

If u r using V30 .don't forget to install Google Camera to have a HDR+ and Portrait mode on both lenses...it's clearly improving the camera on V30 and V30 selfies (with GCam) are totally wonderful..

4. shield

Posts: 834; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

LG V30 is best, More camera modes, including bokeh effects S9? What, LG V30 with Cine-Video, Point Zoom, best manual setting in video, best audio recording.

5. sissy246

Posts: 7087; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

v30 is not a bad phone at all, the S9+ is a lot better.

6. Valinor

Posts: 174; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I have the v30 for 3 months now: Screen is great. Later issues dont have the uneven brightness. Only problem is the blue color shift at an angle.( personally i never look at my phone at an angle...) Front camera: the worst. You expect bad but its even worse than what you thought. I like taking photos with my friends and front camera is useless. Back camera: ok, automodus not the best. shutterspeed slow. Alot of motion blur. Autofocus when filming also not that great. Manual modus is awesome though. AND WIDE ANGLE RULES. Audio: its great but was expecting more because of the whole quad dac hype (Klipsch x11i and sony mdr100abn headphones) Feeling in the hand: the best. Perfect size, perfect looks. Also the screen is nice and wide, samsung is way to long and slim. And personally i like that the menus are basically like the iphone. Not a fan of the app drawe and it was an easy switch from the iphone. Also the guy that gave the gcam tip is right. Been using the modded app for a while now, selfies look better than stock app (still crap though) and you get portrait mode! Works great

7. Valinor

Posts: 174; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I forgot the battery life..... AMAZING. coming from the iphone i was used at charging my phone halfway through the day, always carrying a powerbank. Not anymore, all my powerbanks are collecting dust. This phone actually gets you through the whole day at normal usage and i mean like unplugging at 7am and getting home at 11pm.

8. ShortbusOK

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 16, 2017

The V30+ is *not* Sprint-exclusive. I got mine from T-Mobile. It not only has headphones in the box, but also has double storage. LG v30 vs Galaxy S9 or v30+ vs s9+ would have been a more fair comparison.

9. philip_1

Posts: 46; Member since: Jul 28, 2009

More or Less I cannot say..Honest review,, However, My comments and I believe all LG Users will agree,, 1: LG Camera capture exactly what you can see ,, and what you will like to see, so more natural colors, night time vibrant colors and bright what is bright and dark when is really dark..Lovely results since V10 and V30 no matter how much was blamed from various tech sites ...it is just impressive..From the photos taken as samples I love LG night shots.. Ok.. someone may like more the S9 tone or lights..fare enough. 2: V30 has full manual Video mode, and many other mentioned by others (You have Omitted from Pros) 3: V30 weight much less.. (You have Omitted from Pros) 4: Video with wide camera..no comment.. 5: None of the user mention the "Screen Issue which most probably only your testing device have. Tried everything nothing verified, Verizon users too..Strange.. 6: DAC is really making the difference with good speaker or headphones. 7: V 30 is drop resistant too..- MIL-STD-810G compliant 8: Night shots with wide camera and Graphy (tripod)..Impressive Anyway I am happy that V30 can be compared and stand the fight with a just new released flagship...

10. dimas

Posts: 3347; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Day light- s9 Low light- s9 Day light selfie- v30 Low light selfie- s9 And they say v30's selfie cam is the worse.

11. MasterZorkon

Posts: 1; Member since: May 02, 2018

How can I stay informed about price drops for the LG V30? Thanks.

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