For many consumers, choosing a new smartphone is a difficult decision that usually boils down to a few prominent devices. With the current generation of smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and the new LG V30 are likely to be among the most popular options for consumers looking for a large screen device. The Galaxy S8+ is widely considered one of the best Android-based smartphones on the market. And although it was just announced a few days ago, we have already spent some hands on time with the LG V30 and figure it's lining-up to be a fantastic Android flagship device that is worthy of serious consideration as well.
With high-end phones that feature similar processors and have comparable internal hardware, camera performance often becomes a critical differentiator. We want to help you make up your mind, at least in regard to camera performance, so we have put together a quick shootout with similar images taken from each smartphone for you to compare and contrast as you make a decision.
Before we get into the shots, we should explain how this comparison was set up. The LG V30 is a pre-production prototype device with pre-pro camera software. That means that the final production device and software may perform differently than what we tested, though we'd expect final shipping hardware to perform somewhat better as LG tweaks and tunes the setup in preparation for a retail launch.
Both the V30 and the Galaxy S8+ were set to full auto mode with Auto HDR enabled. One of the V30 screen shots here does show manual mode and graphy, but we did not use these settings for the shot -- they are just shown for reference on the camera software.
All of the images you will see are at maximum resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. We included a wide angle shot from the V30 of a rock wall just to show its capability (directly below). None of the photos have post-production touch-up work performed -- they are as the camera took them.
As you'll see, the LG V30 low light and indoor shots below seem to be more vibrant and better exposed with better saturation than the Galaxy S8+. However, the V30 outdoor shots do seem to be a bit overexposed in high brightness situations. That is certainly something you could fix by going manual, but we used full auto as previously stated and think most people will be using full auto mode themselves, the vast majority of the time.LG V30 camera's performance is roughly on par with GS8+ in most situations, but with the notable advantage of better indoor / low light performance, with better saturation and color balance, which can most likely be attributed to the V30's superior f1.6 aperture and higher resolution 16MP sensor (the Galaxy S8+ has a f1.7 aperture and 12MP sensor). The differences between the two phones are most visible in the shot of the living room above, but there are subtle differences in all of the images if you inspect them closely.