“The LG V30 is the first step towards redemption for the brand”
This year we’ve seen big-name brands like Samsung and LG invest a lot of effort into making their smartphones look attractive. Be it the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus (review) or the LG G6 (review), the focus is now on a taller, leaner display, which is – arguably – the most important part of the phone. Furthermore, these displays have zero to minimal bezels around them, adding a little more zing to the “wow” factor.
Now, after checking out the V30 at IFA in Berlin this year, I am convinced that 2017 has been a fantabulous year for Android phones.
Note: My initial impressions of the V30 are applicable for V30+ as well because the only distinguishing factor between the two devices is the amount of internal storage available to the end user. You will get 64GB on the V30 and 128 gigs if you go for the V30+. This is a strategy I cannot fathom by the way.
The V30 is a stunner and that is a fact. It all starts with the large, really attractive display. The 6-inch P-OLED panel uses the same 18:9 aspect ratio like the G6. It has as many as 1440 x 2880 pixels for you to gawk at, and it translates to a pixel density of 537ppi. Also, as is the trend this year, bezels are almost non-existent on all sides of the V30’s display. The curves are edged nicely and despite the massive screen it sits comfortably in the palm. While the metal runs along the sides, the rear of the phone has a layer of glass. In the little time that I spent with the phone, the LG V30 attracted a lot of smudges. In fact, I had to ask a booth attendant to clean the phone every time I wanted to capture a picture of the V30.
On the rear you have two cameras. This time the 16-megapixel camera comes with an f/1.6 aperture, which should ideally mean better pictures in low light. Additionally, there is 3-axis optical image stabilisation as well. The secondary camera can, in typical LG flagship phone fashion, do wide-angle shots. Now, I managed to capture a few images around the booth but it wasn’t enough for me to judge the quality. I’ll definitely need more time with it to come to a final conclusion. However, the 5-megapixel front camera was a letdown and I doubt that my opinion will change in the final review. Although, that isn’t too surprising considering the G6’s front camera was no great shakes either. Selfie lovers look elsewhere, LG doesn’t want to indulge you.
Internally, the phone is loaded with specs that are flagship-grade. You get a Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4 gigs of RAM, and a 3,300mAh battery, which could be bit of an issue for power users. However, the one spec that should perk your ears up – quite literally – is the fact that it now comes with a Quad-DAC setup tuned by Bang and Olufsen. I managed to try it with my go-to pair of in-ears, the 1More Triple Driver and it just shines. The Quad-DAC definitely helps improve the sound quality in that you get a wider soundstage and a little more detail from your preferred audio gear. That said, the single firing speaker at the bottom does massive injustice to its audiophile legacy.
Another surprise factor is that the V30 doesn’t come with Android Oreo out of the box, which is completely baffling to me. Especially considering the fact that the Sony Xperia XZ1 and the Xperia XZ1 Compact ship with Android Oreo. More importantly, the LG V20 was the first phone to ship with Android Nougat. But this is not a major issue considering LG will push out an Oreo update sooner than later.
To conclude: with the V30, LG took all the good things about the V20 (review) and made it even better. And that’s not it, it also found a way to make the phone more appealing to the general masses looking for a good flagship experience, no stones unturned. Although, you will have to keep a look out for a more detailed review as soon as the phone launches in India.