Let me start with this statement: It’s been ages since LG built a phone this good. LG has always felt out of place in the technology race dominated by Apple and Samsung. But the company’s new LG V30 smartphone just might be able to change that. Announced on Thursday 31st of August,2017 at IFA, the V30 is meant to be as much a creative tool as it is a device for taking phone calls.
This time, though, LG wisely excised some gimmicks, leading to a device that, after a week of living with a pre-production model, feels more polished and more focused than expected.
A lot of that is thanks to the LG V30’s clean, comfortable design. The V20 and the G6 seemed to revel in their boxy frames, but the LG V30 has rounded edges and slightly curved panes of Gorilla Glass 5 wrapped around a glossy metal frame. It’s pleasant in hand, almost shockingly light and a pleasure to look at.
some of the features of the LG V30
- Dust and water resistant (IP68)
- Micro SD support (up to 2TB)
- ROM 64GB/128GB
- RAM 4GB
- USB Type C
- 3,300mAh Battery (Non-Removable)
- 3mm Headphone Jack
- Dual Back Camera (16mp complete with f/1.6 aperture lens and 13mp Wide angle camera)
- Fingerprint/Home Button at the back
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset
LG didn’t skimp on the niceties as they did an excellent job with the V30’s fit and finish, and things get better when you fire the phone up.
LG V30 Design and display
The LG V30’s 6-inch OLED screen takes up almost all of the phone’s face; the bezels here are narrower than the ones flanking the Note 8’s massive display. So far, it’s plenty bright, with great viewing angles and colors that are vivid but not overdone. And, just like the G6, the display here is typically long: It runs at 2,880 by 1,440, which means it’s twice as long as it is wide. LG’s argument is that this provides ample room for split-screen multitasking, and that’s definitely true.
LG’s decision to go with a nearly edge-to-edge screen means there was no room for a secondary display, a hallmark of earlier V-series phones. Having a little extra space above the rest of the screen for notifications and app controls was neat in theory, but it always felt more gimmicky than valuable. Instead, LG put all those second-screen shortcuts into a “floating bar” that you can invoke by tapping a button on your home screen. Having the option to quickly skip songs or add an event to your calendar is nice, but the phone has to be unlocked and on before you can access those shortcuts; that makes the whole thing even less convenient than before. No wonder LG leaves this feature off by default.
Software and Performance
LG took a restrained approach with the rest of its software. The LG V30 runs disappointingly on a version of Android 7.1.2 instead of an Android 8.0 Oreo which was just recently launched. It’s 7.1.2 shows that it has been lightly painted over with LG’s custom interface. For the most part, LG does a very good job at giving you access to Nougat’s core functions without getting in your way. The biggest change to the stock Android experience is the iPhone-style home screen setup — by default, all your apps live on your home screens rather than in a separate launcher window. (You can bring back the classic launcher easily if that’s more your speed). When you swipe down on a home screen, you’re treated to a Google-powered search bar that peeks inside your installed apps to find whatever you’re looking for. This in-app search feature actually debuted on the V20 last year, but it’s as useful as ever.
LG’s light touch with software also keeps the phone running smoothly, though to be fair, there’s a lot of horsepowers here. The LG V30 uses the ubiquitous Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip paired with 4GB of RAM, making it an exceptionally snappy performer. It performed excellently well in the area of multitasking and gaming.
Now, about that dual camera. Unlike the G6, the LG V30 pairs a 16-megapixel main camera (complete with f/1.6 aperture lens) with a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera for when you want to capture more of the action in front of you. That’s a little different from the dual cameras we’ve recently seen in phones like the Essential PH-1, but I’ve always preferred this approach since it’s way more flexible in the field. (Snapping photos with different perspectives without even having to move is also lots of fun.)
Naturally, photos taken with the main camera seem a touch crisper and more nuanced since the sensor captures images at a higher resolution. The wide-angle camera is no slouch either; it was great for shooting landscapes. Not all is perfect, though. So far, the V30’s cameras suffer from a lot of hazy, soft edges in low light — even the main camera with its wide aperture had trouble producing crisp images. The Galaxy S8s seem more capable in the dark.
Really, though, LG built the LG V30 to shine when shooting video. For non-auteurs, LG’s CineShot movie mode packs features that approximate high-end cinematography without any effort. Applying color presets to your footage is helpful for capturing the right atmosphere in a scene. It even has a Point Zoom feature. You can basically tap anywhere on the screen to lock your focus and zoom in and out, even when your subject is lurking in the corner of the frame.
If you’re a vlogger or a YouTuber or someone who wants to try shooting serious footage with a smartphone, you’ll want to stay in the manual mode for full control over your footage. All the usual settings are there — you can tweak shutter speed, exposure, ISO and more — but you have options for changing your frame rate and bitrate. Cinematographers (or wannabes) will also enjoy the ability to export footage in LG’s CineLog format, making color grading easier once they get the files off their phones.
Meanwhile, plugging in a pair of headphones allows to you use the built in HiFi Quad DAC — you know, the one the US version of the G6 didn’t get. So far, it has made a notable, if not overwhelming, difference. You can change how much of an impact the DAC has with some handy presets, too, and it’s worth taking the time to get the settings just right. The LG V10 from way back when offered some more nuanced controls, but no matter: The LG V30 still makes for great listening.
Sure, LG made some compromises, and I can imagine some long-time V-series fans not being pleased with the company’s shift in strategy and design. That’s fair, but I can’t get too upset: In the process, LG has managed to build what certainly feels like its best phone in ages.
LG V30 Full Specifications and Price
- 2G/GSM: GSM 900 / 1800
- WCDMA: HSDPA 900 / 2100
- 4G LTE: LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 13(700), 17(700), 20(800), 28(700), 38(2600)
- SIM Type: Dual Micro SIM
- Dimensions: 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.4 mm
- Display Size: 6.0 inches
- Weight: 158g
- Screen Resolution: 1440 x 2,880 pixels P-AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 5
- Body Build: Full metal with glass back, MIL-STD-810G compliant
- IP68 certified – dust/water proof over 1.5 meters and 30 minutes
- CPU: 64-bit Octa-Core 1.3 GHz
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset
- GPU: Adreno 540
- RAM: 4 GB
- Internal Memory: 64 GB
- External MicroSD: Yes Expandable up to 250GB
- Sensors: G-Sensors, Proximity Sensors, Fingerprint, Gyroscope, Compass
- OS Version: Android 7.1.2 Nougat
- Back Camera: 16mp complete with f/1.6 aperture lens and 13mp Wide angle camera
- Front Camera: 5-megapixel camera with LED flash
- Bluetooth: v5.0
- WiFi: YES [Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct]
- GPS: Yes
- USB: USB v3.1
- SMS/MMS: Yes
- IM: Yes
- Email: Yes
- Alert Type: Vibration, MP3 ringtones
- Loudspeaker: Yes
- Connecting Port: 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Audio Type: Dolby Vision/HDR10 compliant
- Battery Type: Non-removable 3300mAh Capacity
- Standby Time: Up to 2days
- Talk Time: Up to 1.5days
- Fast Charging: Fast battery charging: 50% in 36 min (Quick Charge 3.0)
- MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
- FM Radio
- MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
- Document viewer/editor
- Preloaded applications
- Facebook, Opera Mini, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, etc
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
- Price: $
- Availability: Coming Soon
- Where to buy: