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LG V30 Review
LG V30 review new flagship is as much a successor to the G6 as any other phone, achieving the fundamentals of smartphones.
And delivering a short presentation in an attractive chassis. Once again. LG’s sole dual-camera setup provides excellent low-light performance and its best wide-angle shooter yet.
And best of all, there is no extra BS – the headphone jack is alive and well, and better than ever with a Quad DAC.
The fingerprint scanner is present and easily accessible. And despite some low-light oddities, LG’s OLED panel is imposing.
LG V30 Hardware
- Primary, let’s deal with the proverbial elephant in the room: Yes, the V30 looks like a Galaxy S8. From the curved corners, minimal bezel.
- And brushed metal trim to the extra tall aspect ratio, you might mistake it for a Samsung phone, at least from a distance.
- Up close, many differences become apparent: the V30 has a 6-inch screen and is smaller in all directions than the S8 Plus. Also, it uses a shorter but quite tall 18: 9 aspect ratio.
- Nonetheless, it’s also flatter, thinner, and lighter, and that gives it a distinct feel in hand – it’s a bit easier to hold than its contemporaries from the Samsung field. It is not as absurdly tall as the Galaxy Note 8.
- By way of you’d expect from a flagship smartphone from the post-bezel era, almost the entire front face of the V30 is taking up by its display.
- The screen is a P-OLED panel after LG Display, the first on an LG phone since the 2015 G Flex 2. Back formerly, LG’s OLED technology was, well, wrong.
- Very bad. (That’s aside from the detail that the G Flex 2 was a disaster overall, but I digress.) report that the company has made significant progress in the past two years.
- To the point where the V30’s display is almost as good as Samsung’s SuperAMOLED.
- That sounds like weak praise, but I’m more than satisfied with what LG has brought to the table here. The Galaxy S8 is no sound but surprisingly close, and that’s an achievement in itself.
- Samsung is still the king of smartphone screens, and there’s no question about that. But LG’s latest display, with Quad HD + resolution.
- In any case, the biggest weakness of this screen is the low light. It has an unfortunate tendency to squash shadow details at lower brightness levels.
- It is a disappointing holdover from previous OLED efforts, and it’s easily fixed in software by simply raising the floor for brightness, but that’s not exactly ideal.
LG V30 Cameras
- LG smartphones have an excellent track record in camera performance, and the V30 is another LG phone defined by its photography skills.
- The main specification is a 16-megapixel primary camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), behind an f / 1.6 lens, a first for a smartphone camera.
- Here secondary wide-angle shooter has a 13-megapixel sensor, like the G6, only now behind a brighter f / 1.9 lens. And that makes for a powerful photo duo, building on the strengths of the G6 and V20.
- Despite having tiny 1-micron pixels, the V30’s primary camera takes phenomenal photos. The bright, high-resolution lens, plus OIS, can capture clear. Sharp images even in low light, with fidelity and sharpness to match the Galaxy S8.
- 1 quirk I’ve noticed in this early firmware is that the V30 tends to underexpose night shots in some situations.
- So I’ve occasionally had to increase the exposure a bit manually. However, with a little tweak, the V30 is on par with the best phone cameras available.
- Fortunately, LG has also cut down on the G6 and many older cameras’ gratuitous excess sharpness, meaning more fine detail is preserving with fewer artifacts.
- There’s a mess of shooting modes to explore, as is often the case with the best smartphone cameras, although most of the time, you’ll want to use full auto.
- If you want to play about with the creative photo modes, the manual shooting mode has been updating to include Graphy.
- A new app with downloadable ISO, shutter speed, and white balance presets for different types of shots.
- As good as the V30’s primary camera is perfect, the most significant improvement could be in the wide-angle camera.
LG V30 Software
- The camera is obviously where most of the software effort has been put into the V30, but the handful of other software tweaks that give this phone a bit more polish than the G6 are also worth mentioning.
- The tactile response has been beefed up, making the V30 feel much faster than its six-month predecessor. And the V30’s haptic has improved a lot, too.
- Responses to vibrations now feel much sharper and not as loud as their precursors. It’s a minor change, but one that contributes significantly to the phone’s presentation as a whole.
- LG’s answer to fans who don’t have the second old V20 screen is the new floating bar, a cross between the old ticker screen and Samsung’s Edge screen.
- Tap the little tab in the screen’s corner to open the app’s shortcut and screenshot features like the new GIF recorder and music controls.
- Some of the other second screen features have been carrying over to the always-on screen, giving you quick access to settings. Music controls, and notification icons even when the screen is off.
- For me, this is one of those limitless useful functions that I never got to use regularly.
- Too many taps and swipes are needed to smoothly use the floating bar. And it animates too slowly to save time.
- Fortunately, LG made it easy to turn the floating bar off once you inevitably decide it’s not for you. A simple swipe up will rule it out forever.
LG V30 Battery Life
- We’ve seen many phones this year with battery capacities of around 3300 mAh powering relatively large displays.
- (A notable example is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Which puts the same battery capacity in a phone with a 6.3-inch screen).
- Cheers to more efficient CPUs and displays. You can get a full day from this kind of battery capacity, even on the phone with a large monitor.
- It’s no wonder, then, to see the LG V30 comfortably handle a full day of reasonably heavy use on a single charge.
- The V30 has regularly brought me to the end of a 16 hour day with up to 4.5 hours of screen time. With some variations depending on the cellular signal’s strength.
- (In areas with weaker reception, you can reduce that screen-on time to about three hours.)