The LG V30 is the latest smartphone from the South Korean brand. One that does a lot of things right at first sight. But does the smartphone also retain this idea in the longer term? And is it worth the introductory price of 899 euros?
LG has been making good smartphones lately, but for various reasons Android users do not often choose the brand. And that while the phones, if you look at the hardware and the design, almost never inferior to the competition. In fact, you could even say that LG has been at the forefront with a few trends, or at least has been reasonably at the forefront. But there are always hooks and eyes on such a LG smartphone and the V30 shows exactly what is and is not good on a LG phone in general.
LG V30 specifications
|Screen||6-inch, 2,880 by 1,440 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Storage memory||64 GB|
|3G / 4G||Yes|
|Cameras||Thirteen megapixel behind, five megapixel for|
|Battery||3300 mAh Lithium Polymer|
The LG V30 came out late last year and has the current standard for specifications for a high-end smartphone. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is still the best processor that you can use as a manufacturer in your smartphone. In addition, 4 GB of memory should be enough for many Android devices (more about that later) and you get on well with 64 GB of internal storage. Furthermore, the V30 is equipped with all kinds of modern conveniences such as usb-typ-c and of course bluetooth 5.0 .
LG V30 – hardware and design
The LG V30 enjoys one of the most beautiful designs in the smartphone field, even months after its introduction. It is a nice mix of metal and glass (even though that glass can cause some annoying fingerprints). The device not only looks premium, the package also looks high-end. Like many flagships from 2017, the V30 also has very thin edges. Not only on the side, but also on the top and bottom. This way LG can at least get the maximum out of the big screen.
The screen edges do not run across the side of the screen. You can take that both negatively and positively. On the one hand this makes the device wider than for example the Galaxy S8 but on the other hand it can also be easier to control. We prefer a smartphone that fits comfortably in the hand above one that is too narrow and therefore not comfortable in the hand, even though the narrow smartphone might be nicer. That does not mean that the LG V30 is ugly. It is the most beautiful smartphone of the brand so far.
Moreover, the device is very light and that is getting used to after the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and, in this case, also the OnePlus 5T . Smartphones that feel a bit heavier usually feel firmer. That said the V30 is pretty firm. On the whole device there are only three buttons: two on the side (volume up and down) and the on / off button, which is incorporated in the fingerprint scanner on the back. That scanner is under the dual camera system; the best place for a fingerprint reader.
The previous model of the LG V-series, the V20, was never released in the Netherlands. That model has a second screen at the top. This time, that second screen has disappeared and you have to do it with an elongated 6-inch display. It is a poled screen with a screen resolution of 2,880 by 1,440 pixels and screen ratio of 2: 1. This is therefore a FullVision display: a screen that almost completely covers the front. In any case, keep in mind that you can not operate everything with one hand.
That last criticism is not only reserved for the V30. Many smartphones with a separate display ratio (2: 1, 18.5: 9 or 19: 9) suffer from this. But in the meantime you could already be used to it. That LG in any case has returned to an OLED screen is good news, because that means that the colors are vivid, it has black deep values and a fantastic contrast can be observed. Moreover, such a screen can be set very clear, so that in every environment you have to see what is happening on the screen.
Unfortunately, we can not find all those features in the screen of the LG V30. The colors are slightly washed out. That does not stand out when you only look at the screen of the V30; but when you place it next to a Note 8 or OnePlus 5T * explains, white is not really white, some details fall away in the colors and it seems like there is always an evening mode on. No, that is not the case – when you switch on that mode, you see the difference. This is not the best screen that LG has delivered so far.
The LG V30 has connectivity options that you can expect from a smartphone in 2017 and 2018. For example, bluetooth 5.0 is present. That is a nice addition to the things that are coming, since bluetooth is also becoming smarter and more energy-efficient (plus: all previous versions work with the connection). In addition, you can of course count on wifi and 3g / 4g and there is room for a micro-sd card up to 256 GB. Furthermore, the device almost automatically has GPS, usb-c and luckily also nfc.
There is a mono speaker at the bottom of the smartphone. There is pretty inferior sound, compared to other smartphones in its class. You do not have to say this loud speaker to hear crackling and that is a shame, especially if you want to make video calls. In addition, the speaker puts in an unfortunate place where you often keep your finger during video calls or where you want to keep your hand when watching a video. The content may be understandable, but it does not sound like anything.
Most of the innovations put LG in the camera possibilities. That said, we have the much desired here in Europe ThinQ update not yet received. This update adds options based on artificial intelligence to the camera application, so the device can do much more than is currently the case. Later we will come back to this, but for now we look at the camera as it is. On the back is a very capable double camera system, which especially during the day makes beautiful pictures.
On paper, the V30 should also take beautiful pictures in the dark, thanks to the sensor of sixteen megapixels and a diaphragm of f / 1.6. However, the results are dirty and do not go beyond the quality that the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 have delivered. The images look very grainy and the quality looks like a photo with a pretty low resolution. There is a Pro mode that allows you to brush away some errors, but do not count on that, in general, you take beautiful pictures in dark environments.
The second camera also has a sensor of thirteen megapixels and a diaphragm of f / 1.9. You can take photos with a wide angle and with a corner that you’re used to with smartphone cameras (all of its dual cameras have now become the norm). The front camera has a five megapixel sensor. These photos are colorful and well exposed, but are also a bit smeared. With the already existing softweave functions you can unfortunately do little to raise the quality to a level; that is unfortunate to see.
If you have enough light, then the LG V30 has a very nice camera. Through the available modes it is possible to get the best out of your photos. So you have influence on light, color and contrast, with the press of a button. Moreover, there is also the aforementioned Pro mode, with which you can set all the components yourself. The smart functions are therefore not present yet, so the smartphone does not automatically show certain scenes the best; so we have to wait for that.
Until now, the batteries in LG devices were replaceable, but unfortunately this is not the case here. That is because the device is waterproof. That said, 3,300 mAh is enough to get through the day. If you take it easy, you could theoretically last even longer. And it takes about one and a half to two hours before the battery is fully charged again. If you only have an hour, then it is good to know that you can charge about 66 percent of the battery capacity within an hour.
LG V30 software
It is now March 2018 and the LG V30 is still not provided Android 8.0 Oreo . And that is pretty bad LG. That Android is not completely up-to-date may not be the worst. The fact that the security update has lingered in September (!) 2017 also makes LG more angry. Then you get such a nice device in the house where you have many expectations and then it here and there somewhat disappointing, you also get to do with a security of a very low level.
You get, therefore, a year after the LG G6 was released Android Nougat and that is very unfortunate. Not because this is a bad operating system – least of all. But because it is now an old OS that needs to be replaced, since Oreo does a number of things better and pieces are safer. About Android P we currently only dare to dream for this device. Do not bet on anything. We had hoped that LG would take the interface a bit, since it is slow at times.
Moreover, we notice now that the layout of that interface is outdated and unnecessarily unclear – but it is just what you are used to. It is not as bad as it seems, but an adjustment would not have been out of place. In addition, a lot of applications are supplied by LG. Apps that you will probably never use or that you already use other things for. In the field of software, the LG V30 is quite disappointing; a lot can still be won for the company here.
LG V30 – in use
The present mono speaker may be nothing to write home about, the built-in quad dac is. Read all about what a dac is exactly here. If you connect a wired headset, you probably hear a difference between the V30 and the device that you would have in another hand. The sound seldom sounds as rich, deep and compelling on a smartphone as with the V30. The only point of criticism that you could still have is the placement of the connection; for the rest it sounds almost perfect.
In the missteps that LG makes with the V30, we must also remain honest. The device looks very nice and is very nice in the hand. That is also worth something. But whether it is worth anything to you is of course a second. In addition, it is very nice that there are no unnecessary buttons (we look at you S8 and Note 8, and yes: even the Galaxy S9 ) and that LG has understood where you can best place the fingerprint scanner. The fact that this is also the on-off button is, in our opinion, all better for daily use.
Although the specifications are just good, we can also call them standard today. In general, you can expect devices with a Snapdragon 835 processor and 4 GB of RAM to perform quickly and quickly, but unfortunately this is not always the case with the V30. Sometimes it falters a little and visibly has trouble with smooth animations. The few times that this happens is suddenly leading, but in general you notice very little of it. There is no app that the V30 can not handle, in any case.
LG V30 – conclusion
The LG V30 is anything but a bad smartphone. It is one that perfectly matches the expectations of an Android smartphone user and one that meets the requirements regarding the hardware. If you look at the design of the device and the placement and use of the fingerprint scanner, LG is still at the forefront. The device is also very light and that is partly due to the use of a plastic oled screen. A screen that may also be slightly scratched a little earlier.
But as is often the case with smartphones from LG, there are elements that drag the device through the mud – and then little remains of the story ‘that the design is so beautiful’. In fact, you could even cautiously conclude that this is the only aspect that LG can really compete with. The available hardware is standard, but sometimes it performs sub-optimally. Moreover, this is not the best screen of the company, while that is always an asset of the manufacturer who, arguably, makes the best television screens.
That the quality of the screen is so incredibly disappointing, is incredibly unfortunate. Because this could have been an Android flagship. Fortunately, LG provides the best experience when it comes to listening to music via the built-in quad dac and it is so that you can work with the device very well for daily use. But there is also the outdated and sometimes unnecessary cluttered software and the use of recent security updates (which Google releases every month, LG).
The LG V30 has the specifications that a high-end smartphone at the time of the release (and still has) to have. The design is beautiful and the device lies comfortably in the hand. But there are a lot of parts on which LG has unfortunately made the wrong decision or simply does not pay attention to it and that would be just the parts that could be a decisive factor. The V30 is not bad on paper, but in reality it is disappointing. If you still have him on one eye, then the V30 slowly reaches its ideal price point.
* A comparison with the OnePlus 5T was not in place at the time of release. But now that this device is off and the V30 has dropped in price, we can not do anything other than make the comparison.