LG Velvet vs. OnePlus 8: Budget Flagship Throwdown
Quality Android smartphones are increasing in number by the year, and thanks to LG and OnePlus, 2020 is no exception. Both firms have released flagships this year in the form of the LG Velvet and OnePlus 8, providing specs that give the likes of Samsung and Apple serious competition, yet at affordable prices. Both phones offer pretty much everything you’d expect from a smartphone in 2020, from strong performance and sharp displays to battery stamina and flashy software.
However, as evenly matched as the LG Velvet and OnePlus 8 seem at first glance, one is better. In this article, we compare the two phones against each other over a range of categories. This should help you decide which Android offers more value, and which is more to your liking.
|Size||167.2 x 74.1 x 7.9 mm (6.58 x 2.92 x 0.31 inches)||160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm (6.31 x 2.87 x 0.31 inches)|
|Weight||180 grams (6.35 ounces)||180 grams (6.35 ounces)|
|Screen size||6.8-inch P-OLED||6.55-inch AMOLED (90Hz)|
|Screen resolution||2,460 x 1,080 pixels (395 pixels per inch)||2,400 x 1,080 pixels (402 pixels per inch)|
|Operating system||Android 10 (under LG UX 9)||Android 10 (under OxygenOS)|
|MicroSD card slot||Yes||No|
|Tap-to-pay services||Google Pay||Google Pay|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
|RAM||6GB, 8GB||8GB, 12GB|
|Camera||48-megapixel wide-angle, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP depth, 16MP front||48-megapixel wide-angle, 12MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro rear, 16MP front|
|Video||Up to 4K at 30 fps, 1080p up to 60 fps||Up to 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 340 fps|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes (under display)||Yes (under display)|
|Water resistance||IP68||No (IP68 on T-Mobile and Verizon models)|
Fast charging (25W)
Fast wireless charging (9W)
Warp Charge fast-charging (30W)
|App marketplace||Google Play Store||Google Play Store|
|Network support||U.S. carriers to be finalized||Verizon, T-Mobile|
|Colors||Aurora White, Aurora Green, Aurora Gray, Illusion Sunset, Red, Pink||Onyx Black, Glacial Green, Interstellar Glow, Polar Silver|
|Review score||3.5 out of 5 stars||3 out of 5 stars|
Design, display, and durability
The LG Velvet and OnePlus 8 are both good-looking smartphones. They both feature rectangular shapes with subtly curved edges and corners, and they both feel lightweight at 180 grams each and comfortably thin. They even come with a similar green color variant.
That said, the OnePlus 8 pulls ahead of the LG Velvet when it comes to display quality. It offers a few more pixels per inch (due to its slightly smaller screen size), and it also offers a refresh rate of 90Hz, something the Velvet can’t match. This makes a noticeable difference during use, with the higher refresh rate equalling a smoother, more fluid visual experience. It makes even everyday use slicker, and makes the OnePlus 8 feel like a slightly more modern phone.
On the other hand, the OnePlus 8 loses ground by virtue of lacking an official IP68 rating (except on its Verizon and T-Mobile models). By contrast, the LG Velvet does have an IP68 rating, indicating it’s resistant to submersion in water of a depth of up to 1.5 meters. On top of this, its additional MIL-STD 810G rating also signals it can withstand a fair amount of physical abuse.
Admittedly, this might not make a big difference to certain users who are never likely to immerse their phones in water, or who take extra special care not to drop them. Still, given the durability of the LG Velvet compensates for its relatively less polished display, we’re calling this round a tie.
Performance, battery life, and charging
There’s a significant difference between the two phones in terms of performance. The OnePlus 8 offers 8GB of RAM as standard, with the option of 12GB for an extra $100. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 865 chipset, and with the Fnatic-sponsored gaming mode activated, lag and slowing is noticeably less common. It’s also upgradable to 256GB, while offering 128GB of internal storage as standard.
The same can’t be said for the LG Velvet. It has a less powerful processor, and offers 6GB of RAM as standard, with a possible upgrade to 8GB. This puts it level with the OnePlus 8’s default amount of RAM. At the same time, it offers only the option of 128GB of internal storage. As such, it may not handle the latest games and apps as well as the OnePlus 8, and it may also struggle to hold as much media as you’d like.
Moving to the battery, the LG Velvet equals the OnePlus 8’s 4,300mAh capacity. In theory, both smartphones should therefore keep you going for roughly the same amount of time. However, our reviews found the OnePlus 8 lasts a little longer than the Velvet, enduring into a second day without a charge, while the Velvet struggles to see out the first. In addition, the OnePlus 8 boasts its 30W Warp Charge capability, which can replenish its battery to 50% in around 20 minutes, with 100% coming in just over one hour.
To be fair, the LG Velvet has wireless charging (at 9W), while the OnePlus 8 doesn’t. Nonetheless, with better performance and better battery life, the OnePlus 8 is the clear winner in this category.
Winner: OnePlus 8
Looking purely at the numbers, the OnePlus 8 and LG Velvet offer cameras that seem fairly equally matched. The OnePlus 8 comes with a 48-megapixel wide-angle main lens, coupled with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 2-megapixel macro lens. Likewise, the LG Velvet provides a 48-megapixel main wide lens, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 5-megapixel depth lens.
Camera hardware is one thing, but camera software is quite another. In practice, the OnePlus 8 fares better overall when it comes to actually taking photos. It isn’t an astounding camera phone, but the pictures it takes are generally of good quality, offering vibrant colors, good edge detection, and effective dynamic range in most modes. By contrast, the LG Velvet is a little inconsistent. Its wide-angle lens captures sharp photos, but its main lens has an occasional tendency to take photos that aren’t as sharp and as clearly defined as you’d expect.
The situation doesn’t improve with video. The OnePlus 8 can record 4K at 60 fps and 1080p at 340 fps, while the LG Velvet can muster 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at only 60 fps. Those who want super-sharp and super-smooth video may end up disappointed by the Velvet, and together with the sub-par camera performance, this round can only be a win for the OnePlus 8.
Winner: OnePlus 8
Software and updates
The OnePlus 8 operates on OxygenOS 10.5, which is built on Android 10. It has gained many plaudits from users due to its balanced combination of a stock Android design and unique customization options. Similarly, the LG Velvet runs on its own proprietary Android 10 overlay, LG UX 9. It’s well laid out and user friendly, and provides a responsive control system. That said, its app animations can sometimes be a tad slow.
Software updates are one of OnePlus’ strong suits, seeing as how it has usually been quick to bring Android updates to its devices. As for LG, it has in the past been a little slow to bring Android updates to its phones, so LG Velvet owners might potentially have to wait a little longer for updates than OnePlus 8 owners. However, while this puts the OnePlus 8 fractionally ahead in this round, we’re going to declare a tie, seeing that both smartphones offer a comparably satisfying software experience.
On its own, the LG Velvet doesn’t provide any notable special features. But if you don’t mind spending extra money, LG has released a separate Dual Screen case for the phone. As the name implies, it equips the Velvet with a second screen, enabling you to run an extra web browser or app in conjunction with the main display. This can be very handy in certain cases, yet aside from the extra expense involved, it also makes the Velvet 129 grams heavier, which some may not appreciate.
Much like the LG Velvet, the OnePlus 8 doesn’t have as many knockout special features. It does include Zen Mode, which helps users manage the time they spend on the phone. It may not be groundbreaking, but by effectively locking you out of your phone (except for making calls and taking photos), it is very good at helping you concentrate on more important things in your life than Instagram and Twitter.
However, when 5G does actually become more widely available, users will be happy to find that the LG Velvet and OnePlus 8 are both 5G-ready. Taken with the fact that neither phone offers a really killer special feature, this means this round is also a tie.
Price and availability
The OnePlus 8 begins at $700 for the 128GB version with 8GB of RAM. You buy it at OnePlus or from a local Verizon and T-Mobile store. As of writing, the LG Velvet isn’t officially available in the United States yet, although LG is expected to soon announce a release date and carrier list. In Europe, the model with 6GB of RAM costs €650, which converts to around $735.
Overall winner: OnePlus 8
For a slightly cheaper price and better overall performance, the OnePlus 8 is the winner of this head-to-head. It’s well designed and has good internal hardware, a sharp screen, a solid camera, user-friendly software, and a long battery life. Yes, the LG Velvet is a good Android phone, but it falls just a touch short in too many of these categories. Put simply, if you’re looking for the most affordable Android flagship, you’ll struggle to do better than the OnePlus 8.