Close To Colosseum

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is an established, well-regarded camera phone. It takes great pictures, whether it’s day or night, and is an excellent purchase. The LG G7 ThinQ follows a long line of capable camera phones from Samsung’s competitor, and unusually has a wide-angle camera on the back. How do the two compare?

We found out during a trip to Rome, Italy, to see the Longines Global Champions Tour showjumping event, as well as take in some local sights at the same time. It challenged both phones to take photos in fast-moving environments, when the night fell, and in extremely bright sunlight.

Which phone turned out to be the one we were happiest to have by our side? Let’s find out.

Camera tech specs

Here’s how the two cameras match up on paper. The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus has two camera lenses on the back, both with 12 megapixels, and an unusual variable aperture. This swaps between f/1.5 and f/2.4, to best cope with changing lighting conditions. It has optical image stabilization, a 2× zoom without quality loss, and 960fps slow-motion video. It also has a bokeh portrait mode it calls Live Focus.

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with some artificial intelligence to enhance photos using scene recognition. We have not used it in the test photos here, but often took comparison photos at the time. We found the resulting picture was an alternative, and not necessarily better of worse. The feature is good, but not for the purposes of this challenge. On the back are two 16-megapixel lenses, the main lens with an f/1.6 aperture and f/1.9 aperture on the secondary wide-angle lens. The camera has optical image stabilization, and the wide-angle lens can take photos with a 107-degree angle.

Swimming pool