The LG V30 is the best iPhone X competitor


The iPhone X has finally been officially announced (along with the less exciting iPhone 8) and we’ve already compared it to a bevy of devices. There are a number of Android devices that can easily compete with the iPhone X. Chris wrote about why he thinks the Galaxy Note 8 is better than the iPhone X, but I’m going to argue for a different phone.

It’s not exactly difficult to have better specs than the iPhone. Even the Pixel, which is nearly 1 year older than the iPhone X, has more RAM. However, specs aren’t important to Apple and iPhone users. The experience of using the phone is what matters. That’s why I think the LG V30 is the best Android comparison to the iPhone X. It has both the specs and the spirit to compete.

Better Display

The most radical change on the iPhone X is the display. Apple finally ditched the chunky bezels and hopped on the bezel-less display train. The V30 also has a bezel-less display and it happens to be even better. Both the iPhone X and V30 have OLED displays, but the V30’s is higher resolution (1125×2436 vs 1440×2880).

Screen-to-body ratio is about the same, but the V30 has a big advantage: no weird sensor bar blocking part of the display. Apple put the iPhone X front camera and sensors in a sizeable bar, similar to the Essential Phone, but much wider. The sensor bar makes apps look weird and can even get in the way of videos.

I think the V30 is the clear winner here. Higher resolution, same small bezels, and no obnoxious sensor bar getting in the way. Also, the V30 actually has a home button. You have to use a gesture to get to the home screen on the iPhone X. That’s not a huge deal, and it probably works great when you get used to it, but I still like home buttons.

Face Unlock and Fingerprint Scanner

One of the big new features on the iPhone X is actually the removal of a feature. To make room for the bezel-less display, Apple ditched the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Now, you can use “Face ID” to scan your face to unlock the phone. Face unlocking is not a new feature, in fact, the LG V30 is one of the numerous Android devices that have the same thing.

It’s hard to get a feel for how fast Face ID is without using it first-hand, but it doesn’t appear to be blazingly fast. From what I’ve seen, you still have to swipe up on the screen to unlock after your face has been recognized. The LG V30’s “Face Print” feature can automatically unlock the phone after scanning your face. No extra input required.

The one thing I will say about Face ID is it’s supposedly even more secure than a fingerprint sensor. We’ve seen face unlocking methods get easily fooled in the past. The V30 has an option for “Advanced face recognition,” which you can enable to make it harder to fool, but it also slows down the detection. I’m willing to bet Face ID is still more secure.

Face unlock is cool and great when it works, but it’s not always the most convenient way to unlock your phone. The iPhone X doesn’t have any other biometric methods. You’re stuck with Face ID or using the backup PIN code. The V30 has a fingerprint scanner on the back (where it should be), and it’s usually faster and easier than putting your face in front of the camera. I wouldn’t want to give that up.

Dual Cameras

The iPhone X and LG V30 both have dual cameras on the back. iPhone X has two 12MP cameras, the V30 has a 16MP and 13MP camera. The interesting thing is that Apple and LG have taken almost the exact opposite approach to dual cameras. The iPhone X’s secondary camera is for zooming in, the V30’s secondary camera is for pulling back and getting more in the shot.

Which approach is better? I’m not sure. All I know is I’ve used every LG phone with a wide-angle camera and it comes in handy more than you might think. I also have the iPhone 7 Plus but haven’t used it very much. Wide-angle is going to be more useful to some people while a zoom lens is more useful to others. The important part is both devices offer a secondary camera with a unique skill.

Still Has a Headphone Jack

Yeah, yeah, everyone knows the iPhone doesn’t have a headphone jack anymore. It’s been talked about to death. Some people don’t mind, other people hate it. But here’s the real deal: it’s not something you ever have to think about with the V30. The headphone jack is there if you need it or you can use Bluetooth headphones. It doesn’t matter.

Apple got rid of something that wasn’t doing any harm. The V30 and countless other phones prove you can have a headphone jack and be waterproof. The V30 is even thinner than the iPhone X and it has a headphone jack. People say they can “learn to live without a headphone jack.” Why learn to live without something you can still have? Big points for the V30 here.

Clean Software

Software is one area where the iPhone is usually head and shoulders above Android. Apple doesn’t allow carriers to pre-install bucket loads of crapware like you’ll find on some Android phones. iOS on the iPhone is exactly how Apple intends it to be. No skins, no bloatware, just pure Apple.

This is going to be a shock to some people, but I think the LG V30 has very nice software. I know a lot of people hate LG’s custom Android UI, but it has improved a lot in just the last year. My V30 is a pre-production model, so it doesn’t have any carrier bloatware. The nice thing about Android is you can uninstall/disable unwanted apps. You don’t have to stick them all in a folder you’ll never open.

In my humble opinion, LG is second only behind Google in terms of Android UI. LG has added enough special software features to make their UI feel like a valuable part of the phone. It might not be as clean as the iPhone X, but in the Android world, the V30 is nice and clean.

Why is the V30 a better comparison?

Chris brings up a lot of valid points for why the Note 8 is better than the iPhone X, but I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. The Note 8 is firmly in the phablet category, whereas the iPhone X and V30 are only flirting with it. The S Pen also puts the Note 8 in a class of its own. I know that sounds a little nitpicky, but the V30 is just a bit more of an equal comparison.

A bigger reason why the V30 is a better comparison is something that’s hard to compartmentalize. It just “feels” more like an iPhone, and I don’t mean the physical sensation of touching the device. The Note 8 is Android at its Androidiest. Samsung has packed every smartphone feature known to mankind inside the phone. That’s a very un-Apple-like thing to do.

Apple doesn’t load up their phones with features that only a few people might use. That’s a big part of what makes the V30 one of LG’s best phones ever. They got rid of the Second Screen, which was popular among a few users, but not something most people cared about. By cutting out the fat they made a leaner, cleaner, and more polished device than Samsung.

What do you think?

How do you feel about the iPhone X and the Android competition? Do you agree that the LG V30 is the best comparison? Or do you think the Note 8 is a better contender? Let us know below!

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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