Today at IFA 2017 in Berlin, LG announced the V30, its latest flagship phone. In the looks department, it follows closely in the footsteps of the G6, the company’s other premium offering from earlier in the year, and very much adheres to the current trend for minimal bezels and a large screen. Gone is the niche secondary display of its predecessor. This is a phone that clearly wants to be taken more seriously by mainstream consumers.
LG is marketing the V30 as a “whole new video experience”, referring to both watching and recording video on the device. It’s hard to ignore the 6.0” Plastic OLED, Quad HD display with its 18:9 aspect ratio. It’s the first time LG has moved away from LCD panels (since the G Flex 2, anyway) and it should result in a more vivid viewing experience. It’s hard not to draw comparisons with Samsung’s S8 when looking at the front of this phone, and the curved 3D glass at the edge of the display certainly distinguishes the V30 from the G6. The Daydream compatible screen also benefits from Mobile HDR10.
While the screen might be the first thing you take note of, LG wants the camera to make a lasting impression. The main rear camera is constructed from 5 plastic lenses with an additional glass lens at the front, a first of its kind in a smartphone (they’re usually all plastic). A 4% improvement in light transmittance is the stated benefit. Another smartphone first is the f/1.6 aperture of the standard camera, which is 16MP and also has OIS and should produce photos with a much improved dynamic range.
The secondary camera has a 13MP wide-angle lens (120°) with EIS and the front camera is 5MP (90°). LG has slowly been shrinking its camera modules, and after a considerable reduction in the G6, the module on the V30 is 50% smaller than on its predecessor, the V20. There are also a few software tricks intended to improve the camera experience, including a manual video mode for easier post-editing and progressive digital zoom with zoom-to-point. The Cine Effect feature allows you to select from different presets before shooting video, and there’s even going to be an LG specific Google Assistant camera command.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 will ensure this phone keeps pace with its competitors. It also has 4GB of RAM and two storage options, 64GB or 128GB, which can be upgraded up to 2TB with a MicroSD card. The V30 will run Android 7.1.2 out of the box, and LG said they’d hope to be able to share their Oreo update plans “by the end of the year, maybe.” That’s a bit disappointing since the V2o was the first non-Google device launched with 7.0 Nougat.
If there’s one piece of news that’s sure to delight many, it’s that the V30 has a headphone jack. Audio from the V30 should sound good with Quad DAC and B&O Play branded speakers (plus bundled earphones in some markets). Lossless audio recording without distortion is made possible by 2 high-quality mics and a receiver. The phone is constructed from metal and glass to a military grade standard (MIL-STD 810G) and boasts Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 front and back.
Other features include a special voice unlocking command that can set by the user (‘open sesame’ was the great example used by LG). You may be wondering if the loss of the second screen was even touched upon. This had been replaced by an always on action bar on the V30’s screen, which turns into a floating action bar when the device is in use. This will offer similar functionality as the V20’s second screen, such as quick access to contacts, apps, and other tools.
In what could be interpreted as a not-so-subtle burn intended for Samsung, LG talked up the cooling panel and heat pipe in the V30, which should stop the device from overheating. As we’ve come to expect from modern flagships, LG’s latest has a water and dust ingress protection rating of IP68. Wireless charging is also on board.
There will be 4 color options to choose from when the LG V30 launches, the imaginatively named Aurora Black, Moroccan Blue, Cloud Silver, and Lavender Violet. There’s a Plus model that will be limited to certain regions globally, but the only discernable difference appears to be the extra storage of 128GB.