t:LG introduced us to the 18:9 t:extra-wide t:smartphone display on the t:G6, but the panel on the T;V30 isn’t just a simple rehash of that screen. While we’re looking at another screen with a pixel-dense 2880 x 1440 t:resolution, instead of an LCD like on the t:G6, the t:V30 goes with a low-latency t:OLED display. Beyond spelling support for t:Google t:Daydream, that means the promise of t:super-saturated, t:extra-bold colors.
Even though the company builds some of the finest t:OLED televisions on the market, LG has stuck to t:LCD panels for its flagships phones recently. That all changes with the V30, which features an OLED display instead.
OLED panels offer more vivid colours, deep blacks and in general display more punch than the LCD counterparts. The t:6-inch 2880 x 1440 ‘Full Vision’ t:HDR 10 t:panel here looks immediately better than the one on the G6. It boasts the same 18:9 aspect ratio and t:QHD+ resolution, but visually it appears much more t:colourful.
Previous entries in the ‘V’ series paired a smaller display with the main one, which acted almost like a shortcuts bar. I’m sure it had its fans, but I’m glad it’s gone here. It always felt like wasted space; besides, it really wouldn’t have worked with the new t:design.
LG V30 – Performance, software and audio
By trying to get the phone onto shelves before Samsung unveiled the t:Galaxy t:S8, LG had to t:forego including the latest t:components inside the t:LG G6. There have been no such compromises here. The V30 features the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC, t:4GB of t:RAM and either t:64GB or t:128GB internal storage.
I will save my full performance impressions for the final review – but predictably, the V30 feels quick.
t:LG’s downfall has often been software. Too many times it’s layered t:Android with an ugly skin that not only looked odd, but slowed down the handset in question. I don’t think LG has done a complete about-turn in this area, but there has been plenty of improvement.
LG’s skin is built over Android 7.1.2 and it retains many typical Android features. There are a couple of additions to t:stretch apps to fit the long display and a better battery saver mode, but most of LG’s work has resulted in altering the icons, t:native t:apps and the notification panel. None of the changes are overly offensive, but it isn’t as good-looking as t:vanilla Android on a Google Pixel, for example.
During the phone briefing, LG distanced itself from confirming when Android 8.0 Oreo would hit the V30. The company seemed to suggest it would be within six months; hopefully, before the end of the year. Neither is too positive, and considering t:Oreo is out already, I’d like to see it much sooner.
While the t:iPhone 7 and t:Moto Z2 Force are ditching the headphone jack, LG is actively improving and championing the port. Not only do you get a nice pair of t:B&O t:earbuds in the box in certain markets, but there’s a t:quad-DAC inside the phone that seriously improves sound quality.
LG V30 – Camera
The camera on the LG V30 is absolutely stacked with features, making it an exciting prospect.
Like the LG G6, there are two cameras on the rear. The ‘main’ camera is 16 megapixels with t:OIS and a wide f/1.6 aperture that should help low-light photography. Next to that sits a wide-angle camera that captures pictures with a t120-degree field of view. This secondary camera lacks optical image t:stabilization, but it still has a wide f/1.9 lens.
Personally, this is my favourite combination of t:cameras. You might not get the ability to losslessly zoom or enter a t:bokeh enhancing ‘Portrait Mode’ – a feature LG simple calls gimmicky and would be reserved for cheaper devices – but the variation of shots achievable with that wide camera is far more useful in my opinion.
I took some sample shots in a dark hotel and the results were good, but I’ll need to use it at greater length to really get an idea of just how good this camera is.
LG’s second big push is in the area of video, with the V30 boasting a number of recording options that I haven’t seen before. The biggest of these is a new file format called LG Cine Log, which essentially allows you to t:colour grade your footage with a number of pre-made filters. These range from ‘t:Blockbuster’ to ‘t:Noir’; and in my short time with the phone, they look good. LG will ship 15 filters with the V30, and I’m sure there will be scope to add more.
Another new feature is ‘Point t:Zoom’, which lets you lock onto a target when you’re filming and softly zoom directly on the subject.
The only part of the camera that hasn’t been updated is the front-facing sensor. It remains a t:5-megapixel unit, with LG basically admitting that it’s sacrificed the selfie-taking skills of this phone to rid the bezel.
LG V30 – t:Battery life
There’s a 3300mAh battery to keep the LG V30 going, which is the same size unit included in the smaller LG G6. It’s far too early to judge the battery capabilities of this phone, but hopefully the more efficient CPU will help it perform better than its sibling. It charges via USB-C and supports fast as well as wireless charging.
I don’t say this often, but I’m excited by the LG V30.
It looks gorgeous and focuses on areas that other phones just don’t. The quad-DAC sounds exceptional and the included B&O earbuds are better than any other boxed headphones I’ve experienced to date. As someone who listens to a lot of music via my handset, I appreciate a good audio setup.
The camera, with its f/1.6 aperture, sounds great too. I’m slightly more interested in its photographic capabilities than video, but the new Cine Log recording and t:colour-grading feature that go along with it do sound interesting.
Depending on how much it eventually costs, the LG V30 could be an Android t:smartphone that ticks all the boxes – and one that really takes on the Samsung t:Galaxy t:Note 8.
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