LG V30: A Peek at What’s to Come

Can we all agree that this has been a banner year for smartphones? The other day we finally got all the details for the iPhone 8 and X; Samsung has come out with their S8 and S8+ and the Note8, and now we have the LG V30 to look forward to. The darling of IFA, LG’s newest Android flagship phone is impressive.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

photos by Chloe Becquet

I was given a pre-release version, so while it doesn’t have the Bang & Olufsen logo on the back like I’m assuming the retail version will, this is basically the phone that will be offered to the public soon. Let’s take a look at 10 things that you can expect when this phone is released.

1. Measuring ~6″ tall by 3″ wide by 0.3″ thick and weighing 5.5 ounces, the LG V30 manages to pack a host of features into a light phone that fits comfortably in hand. The phone is similarly sized to an iPhone 6 or 7, but it has a screen that is larger than an iPhone 7 Plus’; think about that for a moment. This phone doesn’t feel top-heavy; it feels perfectly proportioned. I am able to text one-handed with ease, and the phone will slide into just about any pocket. If I have any complaints about it — and I know I’ll be in the minority — I wish it were just a little bit heavier. Others I know who have handled it say it is weighted perfectly, so I’m obviously the outlier.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

The Always-On display is great if you want to be able to check the time or your notifications without having to turn on the phone or press any buttons to wake it. You can personalize it with different styles or content.

2. The LG V30 retains the 3.5mm headphone jack, so you’ll have options when you want to watch or listen to media. Prefer wireless through the use of Bluetooth? You can do that. But if you forgot to charge your headphones, you can simply use their cable. On top of that, the LG V30 will have Hi-Fi Quad Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) premium sound by B&O; in other words, it sounds fantastic over headphones (wired or wireless), but you won’t notice much of a difference when listening from its external speakers. Speaking of speakers, like the iPhone 7s and up as well as several other newer phones, the ear speaker also functions as a playback speaker along with the speaker on the bottom of the phone when listening to media.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

The top of the LG V30 has a microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack, and you can see the two antenna bands.

I should also mention that at the IFA keynote, it was mentioned that the V30 would ship with B&O Play in-ear earphones.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

3. The phone has a 6″ QHD+ FullVision OLED display with an 18:9 ratio (2880 x 1440 pixels). The colors it produces are glorious; the screen is brilliant, sharp, and everything shown on this display looks very good.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

Westworld on HBO Now

Reading Kindle eBooks, one of the things I like to be able to do without having to break out a tablet or my Kindle, is a pleasure on the LG V30. Here’s a comparison of the screen on it vs the iPhone 7 Plus; I have the fonts set so they show the same amount on each phone, but look at how much whiter the screen is on the V30; I have them both set to max brightness for this photo.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

The LG V30 is on the left, and the iPhone 7 Plus is on the right; which would you rather read on?

4. The LG V30 has an IP68 rating, which means that it can handle dirt and water; it’s water-resistant for up to 1.5 meters (or almost 5′) for up to 30 minutes, so you can take it to the pool with you without buying a special waterproof case.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

The LG V30 has a tough H-beam aluminum frame construction.

The V30 has also passed 14 different military standard tests to earn a MIL-STD 810G rating. In other words, this is a phone that you won’t need to baby or worry about. Its body is composed of Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back with an aluminum frame and bezel. The corners are softly curved, and the edges of the screen are tapered in. If you drop it hard (as I, unfortunately, did at some point), the screen will likely survive the crash, but you may pick up a ding on the metal.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

You can see the result of the drop that “my” tester unit survived — the screen is FINE, but I have a little ding in the metal.

5. The LG V30 will be the first LG device to support Google Daydream Virtual Reality. What is that, and why would you want it? When you have a Daydream-ready phone, you can use it with a Daydream View headset to enjoy exciting virtual reality experiences and content. Check out this video for more information …

6. While mine is not a retail ready phone (it is an unlocked [no carrier branding] model that came in a plain brown box with no accessories), it is still very close to what the final version will be. This phone is the LG-US998 model; it is running Android 7.1.2, with 3.6GB total system memory and 64GB internal storage. It can accept either a single SIM card and a microSD memory card, and I suspect that it can also accept two nano-SIMs. This is a handy feature if you are an international traveler who likes to pick up a local SIM, or if you have to carry both business and personal phones with separate numbers. The downside of using two SIM cards, though, is that you can no longer use a memory card when both are plugged in — it’s just something to keep in mind — assuming I’m right about the Dual SIM capability, of course.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

7. If you are one of the lucky few that lives in an area with 5G coverage, the LG V30 is ready. On the AT&T network, for example, it is the latest of six phones that are cable of those speeds. However, right now AT&T only has 5G networks in parts of Austin and Indianapolis, but they say more metro areas are coming this year.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

The LG V30 uses a USB Type-C charging cable.

8. The LG V30 has a non-removable 3,300 mAh battery; I have found that with my type of regular use it manages to last all day with a bit left over. This includes checking social networks constantly, watching a couple of YouTube videos friends have shared, reading interesting news dispatches as they pop up, listening to Spotify, reading from my Kindle, editing articles in WordPress, writing and answering email … things like that. I’m not a heavy phone gamer, and I don’t usually watch entire movies without plugging into an outlet or battery pack, so for my use, the battery has been excellent.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

The fingerprint reader is solid — it hasn’t missed reading mine yet.

On top of that, the V30 offers fast wired and wireless charging, the latter with Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

9. The LG V30’s camera deserves a lot of accolades. First of all, it’s a lovely wide-angle that gets so much into the picture. Then there are all of the new features that went into making this LG’s best camera yet. The LG V30 “incorporates an F1.6 aperture camera and an actual glass lens element in the dual camera,” which makes this the largest aperture and clearest lens ever in an LG phone.

LG’s first F1.6 lens delivers 25 percent more light to the sensor compared to an F1.8 lens. The glass Crystal Clear Lens also offers greater light-collecting ability than a plastic lens as well as better color reproduction.

LG V30: A Peek at What's to Come

Are you ready to see some examples? This is a slideshow of unretouched photos that I took with the V30 (just click one of them, and it will start). Pay attention to the gorgeous colors — and the fact that the zoom on the phone was able to capture people on a stage from over 50 yards away.

The camera on whatever phone I happen to be carrying is one of the most important things I have to consider because I use it at shows to take photos, at my desk to take review photos, and in life for mementos and social media. The LG V30 camera is excellent, and pictures taken with it look even better when reviewed on the LG V30’s screen.

If you like to fiddle with your photos, you’ll love all of the many tweaks and adjustments for camera and video that can be made on the phone as you are capturing images.

If you like taking selfies and you are one of those who usually would run them through an app like Facetune (no judgment!) before posting, you might not have to do that anymore. There are so many built-in filters that one of them is bound to give you the effect you want.

The LG V30 is made for those of us who believe that the best camera is the one we always have with us; it does not disappoint!

10. One last thing that I want to bring up is that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform processor is fast on this phone. Not once has it ever lagged — even with over 20 apps open at the same time. The processor was put into this phone because it perfectly drives the advanced video and camera, it allows for immersive gaming and graphics, it has lightning-fast connectivity, and most importantly — because it is great on battery life.

So there you have it! The LG V30 is durable, sleek, fast, long-lasting, and it has a gorgeous 6″ screen. If you have been debating which flagship phone you’re going to put your money on this year, it is definitely one that you should consider. The V30’s release date will be in late September, and I will update with pricing once it is known.

Source: This pre-release LG V30 was loaned to me for testing by the manufacturer.


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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.