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October 4, 2018

LG V40 ThinQ vs. Samsung Galaxy S9+: Which should you buy?

by John_A

We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. We live and breathe Android phones, and do extensive research to find all of the best choices.

LG V40 ThinQ

All-arounder

v40_thinq_black_generic_a-1_rgb_hr.jpg

$900+ at LG

Pros

  • Fun and interesting triple camera setup
  • High-quality headphone DAC
  • SD card slot and wireless charging
  • Simpler software with Google integrations

Cons

  • Phone this large should have a bigger battery
  • No high storage option
  • Secondary cameras struggle in low light
  • Arguably too expensive

LG has made a great all-around capable flagship phone, hitting all of the big points with no real downsides. The V40 has all of the latest specs and features, plus an intriguing five-camera array and huge OLED screen. The only potential worrying point is the proportionately small 3300mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy S9+

The standard

gs9-plus-render-front.jpg

$815 at Amazon

Pros

  • Amazing display
  • Great pair of cameras
  • SD card slot and wireless charging
  • Stereo speakers
  • Available with 128 or 256GB storage

Cons

  • Software can be cumbersome
  • Slower wired charging

The Galaxy S9+ is the flagship phone all Androids are measured by. It consistently outsells the competition for a reason: it has everything people want, with few caveats. Build quality, performance, specs and features are all here, plus a fantastic camera and well-known brand to wrap it all together.

The two South Korean phone makers have arrived at very similar conclusions with their latest flagships. The V40 and Galaxy S9+ are nearly identical in so many areas, choosing between them comes down to just a handful of points — and most of all, personal preferences.

Which phone is right for you?

lg-v40-vs-galaxy-s9-plus-7.jpg?itok=hofn

In the hardware, specs and core features of the smartphone experience, you get basically the same package from either the V40 or Galaxy S9+. They’re near-identical in physical dimensions, and sport the same metal-and-glass construction. Both have good speakers, water resistance, a convenient fingerprint sensor, headphone jack, SD card slot, wireless charging and a huge display.

Operating system Android 8.1 Oreo Android 8.0 OreoSamsung Experience 9.0
Display 6.4-inch OLED, 3120×1440 (19.5:9) 6.2-inch AMOLED, 2960×1440 (18.5:9)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM 6GB 6GB
Storage 64GB 64/128/256GB
Expandable MicroSD MicroSD
Rear camera 1 12MP, OIS, f/1.5, 78-degree lens, PDAF 12MP, OIS, f/1.5 or f/2.4
Rear camera 2 16MP, f/1.9, 107-degree lens 12MP, OIS, f/2.4
Rear camera 3 12MP, f/2.4, 45-degree lens, 2X zoom n/a
Front camera 1 8MP, f/1.9, 80-degree lensFixed focus 8MP, f/1.7Auto focus
Front camera 2 5MP, f/2.2, 90-degree lensFixed focus n/a
Audio BoomBox speaker3.5mm headphone jack32-bit Quad DAC Stereo speakers3.5mm headphone jack
Battery 3300mAhNon-removable 3500mAhNon-removable
Charging Quick Charge 3.0Fast wireless charging Quick Charge 2.0Fast wireless charging
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Security Fingerprint sensor Fingerprint sensorIris scanning
Dimensions 158.8 x 75.7 x 7.6 mm169 g 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm189 g

Even the areas where these phones differ are merely small differences in implementation or personal preference, which means choosing between these phones comes down to the finer points.

They go toe-to-toe in every respect — the differentiation comes in the minute details.

Both phones have great, high-resolution OLED screens — Samsung’s is simply a little better. Both have solid, but unspectacular battery life, though the Galaxy S9+ battery is 10% larger. You can argue Samsung’s main camera is better, but LG offers more variety with its wide-angle camera and dual front-facing shooters. The V40 can charge faster thanks to Quick Charge 3.0 tech, but the jump over the GS9+’s Quick Charge 2.0 isn’t necessarily perceptible. The V40 has a higher quality DAC for headphone listening, but you may not even notice or know what a DAC is in the first place.

These phones have the hardware and specs to be an Android phone you’ll love to use every day.

Really, both of these phones have the hardware and specs to be an Android phone you’ll love to use every day. There are a few differences to take note of in the software department, though. If you haven’t use an LG phone in a few years, it’s worth resetting your expectations with the V40. LG has cleaned up and simplified its experience to the point where it’s generally less cluttered and cumbersome than Samsung’s take on Android — and that is, of course, a good thing. The V40 still has its quirks, but you can turn off its most-annoying features and don’t have to grapple with tons of duplicate apps and bloat. The Galaxy S9+ is infinitely customizable, but the number of features and options can be daunting if you’re just looking for something simple.

Finally, you have to look at the price. With the Galaxy S9+ being several months old, it’s regularly available around $750-800. The new V40 starts at $900, and U.S. carriers have it for as high as $980. Depending on where you go it’ll be about a $150 premium to pick up the V40 — that may be a tough sell for you considering just how similar these phones are.

LG V40 ThinQ

All-arounder

v40_thinq_black_generic_a-1_rgb_hr.jpg

$900+ at LG

A great all-around phone with very few shortcomings, and a fun camera combination.

LG made an amazing flagship phone, and did so by simply following Samsung’s lead. The V40 is effectively a Galaxy S9+, with a few tweaks to make the camera experience a bit more rewarding and the software a bit less annoying. It goes toe-to-toe with the GS9+, and in a few ways bests Samsung’s latest.

Samsung Galaxy S9+

The standard

gs9-plus-render-front.jpg

$815 at Amazon

The benchmark Android phone that does it all, and looks great doing it.

It’s hard to argue with Samsung’s formula. The hardware is beautiful, well-built, and filled with top-end specs and features. The GS9+ has an industry-leading display, fantastic camera and every feature a phone buyer wants. The software just requires some massaging to work the way you need it to.

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