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LG V30 review: the V series is back with stunning design

Update: LG V30 shipping in Korea this week, North America and Europe next

LG just presented the LG V30 at IFA. It’s this year’s top smartphone from the manufacturer, and with high end specs and a certain something special, it’s sure to be a winner. We got the chance to test out a pre-production model in advance so we could share our impressions of the most important features with you. Plus, we now have more information on its release in the following section.

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LG V30 release date and price

According to LG, the V30 will being shipping in South Korea this week, followed by North America, Europe and other key markets shortly after. It could be just days or weeks before it lands in the US. The LG V30 will come in four colors: black, silver, blue and violet. The price varies depending on the market, of course, and there's no information about the price in the US or UK yet. In Korea, the V30 will cost 949,300 KRW, which is equivalent to $840. Since prices are usually relatively lower in the US, you can expect it to be a very affordable flagship compared to the iPhone X or Note 8. In addition to the standard V30, there will also be a V30+, which will come with 128 GB of internal storage (rather than 64 GB).

LG V30 design and build quality

LG already made a big change with the G6 by opting for glass on both the front and back along with a prominent metal frame. The V-series adopts this appealing design, which recalls the Galaxy S8 - the edges are curved, but LG's new device retains more of a metal frame. The corners are there to protect the device from falls. The front and back aren't quite as dramatically curved as the S8. At at 158 grams, it's even a bit lighter than the G6.

lg v30 frontside
The rounded edges make the V30 ergonomic. / © AndroidPIT

The bezels of the V30 have been reduced above and below the display to match those of the G6, and despite the large display, it's easy to fit in the hand.

Overall, the LG V30 is very easy on the eyes and you can sense the great build quality. Some of the things the LG G6 was criticized for have been fixed here, like the gap between the glass and metal parts of the frame. The V30 is IP68 certified against water and dust.

lg v30 colorsmix
The V30's many colors. / © AndroidPIT

LG V30 display

The V series used to be known for a secondary display that was mounted above the main one. LG has now done away with it, and instead, it uses a software solution in place of it. More on this later.

The 6-inch display of the V30 marks the first time in generations that LG has used an OLED display. It has a 2:1 aspect ratio and a 2,880 x 1,440 resolution. It left us with a very good first impression of its quality. We've yet to examine the HDR10 support.

lg v30 frontback
The V30 rocks an OLED display. / © AndroidPIT

LG V30 software

It ships from the factory with Android 7.1.2 Nougat, and an update to Oreo will follow. As usual, LG uses its own UI - LG UX version 6.0. It's much the same as previous versions, but adds some interesting features that aren't necessarily immediately obvious.

Here it's necessary to mention the lack of a second display, as it's been replaced by a Floating Bar. It's used for quick access to frequently used functions, or you can deactivate it if you prefer. In our brief time with the device, we thought it seemed practical - but we'll see for sure in a more full review if it's really useful in everyday life.

lg v30 colors frontback
The UI hasn't changed too much. / © AndroidPIT

LG V30 performance

For the G6, LG used a processor from the previous year, but the V30 is hitting the shelves with the current Snapdragon 835. This SoC has proven itself already in several smartphones, so it should provide more than satisfactory performance. In our hands-on test, the software seemed nimble and fluid.

In terms of memory, LG leaves it at a standard 4 GB. The competition seems to be concerned with providing 6 or even 8 GB of RAM, but they’ve yet to prove that amount is strictly necessary. Multitasking was quick in our testing of the device, and there was never any delay in changing between apps.

LG V30 audio

There is no surprise here in the audio department: LG had already announced that the Quad DAC we're familiar with from the G6 would be used. A headphone jack is located on the top of the smartphone. LG not only emphasizes the excellent sound reproduction, but also wants to ensure that sound recordings are of particularly high quality. Even in noisy environments, the V30 should deliver high-quality recordings.

Headphones are supplied by LG from Bang & Olufsen - but these aren't available in every country.

LG V30 camera

As usual, LG has chosen a dual camera, and it uses one normal and one wide angle lens. The former has an f / 1.6 aperture, which can be used in low light conditions. It has 16 MP, while the wide angle lens has 13 MP and an f / 1.9 aperture. LG has significantly reduced distortions from the wide angle camera, and it's immediately noticeable in a direct comparison.

lg v30 cameras
The camera module has gotten a bit smaller. / © AndroidPIT

The camera is now covered with Crystal Clear Glass, designed to provide more consistent color. In addition, LG wants to reduce distortions with the wide angle camera. The V30 is equipped with both electronic and optical image stabilization, as well as laser autofocus.

While we weren’t able to test it extensively in this preliminary review, the initial results of our first test photos left a positive impression. The improvements to the wide angle lens are immediately apparent, and you can switch between the two lenses as usual.

LG V30 battery

One cannot tell much about a battery from a brief hands on test, but it has a capacity of 3,300 mAh, which probably won’t provide sufficient power to the large display and Snapdragon 835 past the one day mark. There's a USB Type-C port with Quick Charge 3.0 support, and wireless charging.

LG V30 technical specifications

Dimensions: 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm
Weight: 158 g
Battery size: 3300 mAh
Screen size: 6 in
Display technology: POLED
Screen: 2880 x 1440 pixels (537 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 7.1.2 - Nougat
User interface: LG UX
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.45 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0

Early Verdict

The LG V30 is a smartphone with amazing looks. And while it's not the most innovative thing out there in terms of features, it's on the whole very compelling. 

There are some improvements, like the Floating Bar, which is a seemingly practical and logically intuitive way of perpetuating the second screen idea further. The display and camera also got some attention from LG. The OLED display may be huge, but the device is still comfortable in-hand. LG keeps to having two focal lengths for its dual camera, and that's enormously practical in day-to-day life.

There's often a bitter aftertaste with LG smartphones, but for now, we were absolutely convinced by our first impressions of the device.

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9 comments

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  • I don't know what all the griping is about this phone. They made major improvements with the camera and the video is fantastic. Like others have said the removable battery is dead.. Pun intended. I would sacrifice losing the option to swap batteries for IP68. Then again I buy a smartphone for the camera and not for the basic functionality of a phone. So with that being said I can definitely wait for December cause my V20 is still kicking.


  • Burcet 2 days ago Link to comment

    It's looking good .


  • Another failure from LG. It used to be the only brand for power users (with swappable battery). I'd love to replace my LG G3. The G4 was no major improvement, the G5 had a smaller screen (nobody downgrades) the G6 has no removable battery either, hence it's basically an expensive & slow Oneplus 5. I would have bought the V20 if it were available in Europe. V30 is just like all the others but too late & too expensive. You can just as well buy a cheaper Chinese flagship. RIP LG mobile division!


    • Get used to it. removable batteries are dead.


      • You are clearly right. There are more stupid customers than intelligent ones. There are also way more people who buy a smartphone to show off than power users. LG used to have a great niche market of all the power users in the world. I’m sure that in spite of losing money in the mobile division as a whole, they made a lot of profits on some flagship models. Heck the LG G3 is still manufactured and the development costs were amortized years ago. The removable battery is dead – so is LG’s mobile division. If they oblige us to buy junk, we might as well buy cheaper Chinese junk. I will have to use a power bank – I can also go on vacation with a Ferrari with a trailer to store the luggage. Such a shame.


      • B and L 2 weeks ago Link to comment

        Cry more. Go pick up a nice used Note 4 from fleabay and have fun.


  • Mark
    • Admin
    3 weeks ago Link to comment

    When is LG going to learn how launch a phone. Not rolling out until the 3rd week of October in Korea and not till December in the US, everybody will have forgotten it by then. Don't announce a phone if you can't deliver it in a few weeks. LG shoots them selves in the foot again.


    • B and L 2 weeks ago Link to comment

      Nobody cares Mark


    • What sucks is ... I WAS actually thinking about this phone. LOL. If it does come out in December, I'm going to say screw it and just get something else. It was between Essential Phone, LG V30, Pixel 2, iPhone X. Now it looks like the ones in the running will be Pixel 2 or iPhone X. I'm not waiting until December.

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