Five camera shootout: LG V40 vs Galaxy S10 Plus

It was just a couple of years ago when we had one front camera and one rear camera on smartphones and today we see multiple cameras on the front and the back. The Galaxy S10 Plus is not the first to have five cameras so we took it and the LG V40 out shooting to see which performs best.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

LG was one of the first to launch multiple cameras on the back with the LG G5 in early 2016. It also launched dual front-facing cameras on the LG V10 in late 2015. Today, we have the LG V40 released about five months ago that is going toe-to-toe with the new Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus that also has three rear cameras and two front-facing cameras.

Both of these devices have similar specifications that include a 3.5mm headset jack, microSD card slot, wireless charging, a dedicated hardware button for an assistant, and more. The S10 Plus starts at $999 while the LG V40 is currently priced at only $600. The V40 is five months old, but at $600 it is a great option to consider.

Also: Galaxy S10 Plus review: Long battery life, shareable wireless charging, and Samsung's One UI make this a leading business phone

Camera hardware

Let's take a look at the cameras on each phone and compare what we see in each position on the back and front of these two phones.

PhoneS10 PlusLG V40
Rear right 16MP ultra-wide, 123 degrees 12MP standard
Rear middle 12MP standard, dual aperture 16MP wide angle, 107 degrees
Rear left 12MP telephoto 12MP telephoto
Front right 8MP RGB depth 8MP
Front left 10MP selfie 5MP wide angle, 90 degrees

As you can see in the table above, the new Galaxy S10 Plus has a slighter wider field of view with the ultra-wide angle rear camera. Samsung also uses that lens in a wide-angle panorama function to help you capture more. However, the front-facing second camera on the S10 Plus is just a depth sensor while the V40 has standard and wide-angle cameras.

The Galaxy S10 skips the second front RGB camera and the S10e then removes the 12MP telephoto lens. All three S10 models have the standard and ultra-wide lenses on the rear and a 10MP selfie camera on the front.

Camera software

Portrait mode using the front and rear cameras of both phones is supported. LG copied the Apple iPhone with various lighting condition options while Samsung has its own special effects available with Live Focus mode. Both phones also include AI composition technology so that the software can adjust to the various scenes and attempt to optimize the camera capture experience.

There are a ton of options and controls available in the camera application for both the S10 Plus and LG V40. The S10 Plus has intelligent features such as scene optimizer, shot suggestions, and flaw detection. You can enable motion photos, stabilize videos, and much more. Available camera modes include Instagram, food, panorama, pro/manual, live focus, photo, video, super slow motion, slow motion, and hyperlapse. You can also use Bixby Vision and AR emoji in the camera application.

Three easily accessible buttons are present to switch between the ultra-wide angle, standard, and telephoto lenses. You can also pinch to zoom through the different camera lenses if you do not want to tap to switch cameras. The S10 Plus standard camera also has a physical dual-aperture to help capture photos in various lighting conditions.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: review pics and sample output

The software for the LG V40 ThinQ is similar to the S10 Plus with three buttons to switch between the three lenses and the capability to pinch to zoom between all three rear lenses. There are far fewer available quick modes on the V40, including Google Lens, portrait, triple shot, and AI cam. In order to switch to other modes, including cine shot, cine video, manual, food, slow motion, panorama, flash jump-cut, and AR stickers you need to reach up and first top on the mode button.

Settings for the LG camera include super bright toggle, HDR, steady recording for video, live photo, voice shutter, grid, and ability to add a signature. There are less options in the LG camera software than on the Samsung S10 Plus.

While the S10 Plus supports 960 fps super slow motion, the video experience is much better on the LG V40. The V40 has manual video with advanced mic tracking and a very cool cine video capability that helps you capture movie-style video content, including an awesome dynamic zoom functionality not seen on any other phone. The V series phones are built for creators and the V40 won't let you down here either.

LG V40 ThinQ first take review: in pictures

Usage experiences

I applaud LG for continuing to push smartphone camera technology forward, but in my opinion the S10 Plus captures better photos in the same situations. Check out my full resolution Flickr album to compare the shots yourself.

Having telephoto and wide angle cameras on the back of both of these phones means you don't necessarily need external lenses and you should be able to capture just about every situation with either phone. It is fun to try using the different lenses to capture content and both are solid choices for the smartphone photographer.

One distinction that I have found with Samsung is that its ability to capture macro photos is unsurpassed in the smartphone world. You can capture objects up close with no external lenses with most of the recent high end Samsung flagships.

The LG V40 is very strong when it comes to video performance and if you take more videos than still photos then you may want to look to this phone instead of the S10 Plus.

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