If you're in the market for a big, beautiful, and brand-spanking-new smartphone this autumn, you have some obvious choices – the Google Pixel 2 XL, Apple iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, of course.
But if none of those do the trick, you've got a couple more appealing options: the LG V30 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. LG's G6 mostly impressed us earlier this year, but it was quickly surpassed by a deluge of competitors. The V30 builds upon it with an even nicer design and loads of high-end perks.
Meanwhile, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro packs in plenty of power and some A.I. tricks, and stands out thanks to an extra-large battery that helps it outlast rivals. Both of these phones are a little less hyped than some of their peers right now, but they might convince you with their unique advantages.
Which of these phones is best? Here's what we think, now that both of our comprehensive reviews are complete.
Design: Two of a kind
At a glance (interfaces aside), could you really tell these phones apart?
Both of them look a fair bit like the Samsung Galaxy S8, albeit with flat screens instead of curves along the sides. They both sport extra-tall displays that dominate the face and don't have buttons or sensors on the bottom front.
Flip around to the back and you'll find the fingerprint sensor on each, along with the dual-camera setup and a bit of branding. Both of them even have glossy glass backings that capture the light and can showcase some dazzling colours.
Small differences set them apart, but they are close overall. And we like both of them a lot!
Screen: Not so obvious
Turn the screens on, however, and you might notice a key difference between these displays: only one of them goes for the Android flagship-grade Quad HD resolution, and that's the LG V30. The 6in AMOLED panel, at an 18:9 aspect ratio (2880x1440), is plenty crisp plus it supports HDR10 playback for compatible media.
Meanwhile, the Mate 10 Pro opted for the power savings of a 1080p panel, and at the same 6in size, you're more likely to catch some pixels than on the V30 here. It's also an OLED screen and it likewise supports HDR10 – but this 18:9 screen maxes out at 2160x1080 resolution.
Here's what we didn't expect, however: the V30 panel has some issues. While it's pin-sharp and punchy looking, we encountered "grittiness and unevenness to the lighting that is pretty nasty, with desaturated colours you just wouldn’t expect from OLED," as explained in our review. And other reviewers have confirmed similar issues with their handsets.
We initially expected the V30 to take this category, and without those issues, it would've done so. And you may well encounter a V30 that doesn't have the problem. But it was enough of a downer for us to really sink the experience.
Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Camera: Two on two
As with a lot of top flagships of late, both the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and LG V30 pack in dual-camera setups on the back, but there are some key differences between these.
The Mate 10 Pro has a 12-megapixel main sensor and a 20MP monochromatic sensor, with f/1.6 aperture on both. Meanwhile, the LG V30 has a 16MP main sensor, also at f/1.6, with a 13MP wide-angle sensor (f/1.9) alongside.
Both cameras let in plenty of light thanks to the wider aperture, which is a notch better than anything on the market right now, and both are plenty speedy with shots as well. Similarly, both cameras only have optical image stabilisation on the main sensor.
But while we were pretty impressed with the Mate 10 Pro's camera system, the V30 underwhelmed a little with its still photos. Shots were sharp but often looked overprocessed - more so than with the Mate. Meanwhile, the HDR struggled in complex scenes, and low-light shots lagged behind what you'd see on the Pixel 2 or latest Samsung and Apple flagships.
With video shooting, though, the LG V30 has a unique advantage. It offers Cine Video presets, using wider colour gamuts and dynamic range to colour-grade your footage, plus it has target-based zoom for cool effects. The phone also has two AOP microphones and 24-bit lossless audio recording to ensure your clips sound as good as they look.
Those are perks, but the ability to shoot great everyday stills takes a bit more precedence, so we'd say the Mate 10 Pro still wins the camera battle here.
Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro