The IFA 2017 is underway in Berlin, Germany. This event had been hailed as the perfect for announcing the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but the phone was made official a week earlier in order to grab the attention of those attending the show.
Even with the Galaxy Note 8 still dominating the headlines, the new LG V30 is worth a place on the list of top 3 announcements at the IFA 2017. This phone is here to take on not only the Galaxy Note 8, but also the iPhone 8 and Google Pixel 2 XL, which should be announced later this year. LG has confirmed that the V30 will start selling in South Korea as from September 21 and later on expand to other markets, including Kenya.
The LG G6 was the first phone to come with a near bezel-less design and new display aspect ratio this 2017. And this is the same direction the LG V30 has taken with a massive 6-inch OLED FullVision screen with a QHD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9, same as the G6. Also, the V30 happens to be the first in a series of LG phones to come with an OLED display screen instead of the typical LCD.
Despite the change in display size from 5.7 inches on the LG V20 to 6 inches on the V30, the latter is still 8mm shorter and 3mm narrower than the former. The phone measures just 7.3mm thick and weighs 158g, making it the lightest of any smartphone with a 6-inch display screen or more.
Like last year and any of its recent flagship phones, the South Korean company is keeping up with the dual-lens camera trend. The LG V30 has a 16MP+13MP setup on the back, which is not strange at all. But what makes the V30 unique is the f/1.6 aperture, the largest ever on a smartphone. With this, the camera will let in more light and thus deliver the best shots possible, even when in low-light conditions. The phone also comes with a glass lens that promises more accurate colors and vibrant images than using a plastic lens.
One unique feature about the LG V10 and LG V20 is the presence of a secondary display just on top of the main screen. Well, this is no more and instead, the company has replaced it with an always on display and a floating bar, where you can access shortcuts to quick tasks and the music player as well, even when the screen is off. As for the floating bar, you can customize it with up to five apps for ease of access.
The LG V20 and LG G6 have some amazing features aimed at audiophiles – and so is the LG V30. You’ll come across a 32-bit Hi-Fi Q-DAC and a pair of B&O PLAY earphones by Bang and Olufsen alongside a 3.5mm audio jack, a feature that a number of OEMs have recently been ditching. The phone also supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology for high-res audio streaming purposes.
Unlike last year where the LG V20 was the first phone to come pre-installed with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, the LG V30 only gets Android 7.1.2 Nougat, which is not bad at all, considering that only Google Pixel and Nexus phones are currently installed with this OS – via an update. Like last year, though, we expect that the V30 will be among the first phones to get Android Oreo update, probably before this year comes to a conclusion.
If you are a fan of VR, the LG V30 comes with Daydream support out of the box, something that Samsung has only been able to add to the Galaxy S8 via a software update. Google has also managed to convince LG to allow the Assistant to come pre-installed on the V30.
Other specs of the LG V30 include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB/128GB storage that is expandable using a microSD card of up to 2TB and a 3300mAh battery unit that supports fast charging via a USB-C port as well as wireless charging. The V30 not only comes with an IP68-certified body that protects it from dust and water, the body is also MIL-STD 810G compliant. The phone also comes with fingerprint, voice and face recognition sensors, with the latter making use of the front-facing camera.
Speaking of the front camera, this is perhaps the most puzzling feature of the LG V30. While other OEMs have stepped up the game to at least 8MP sensors, LG is still sticking with 5MP on the selfie shooter, same as last year’s V20. Even though the shooter has a wide-angle lens of 90 degrees and an aperture of f/2.2, it should struggle against the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, both of which have an 8MP sensor with a much bigger f/1.7 aperture.
Why LG would opt for a smaller megapixel count and aperture is still unknown, but on paper, the V30 is already losing the battle when compared to other top flagships, including the Nokia 8 (8MP) or even the OnePlus 5 (16MP). Of course, the megapixel count doesn’t always affect the quality of photos, but more megapixels mean more details in the photos, which is where the V30’s sensor might drop some points. The LG V30 will be available in Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Lavender Violet and Moroccan Blue.
The price of the V30 has not been confirmed yet, but don’t expect anything below $699 for the base model, which should translate to well over Ksh 70,000. At the moment, you can grab the V20 at a price of Ksh 49,999, which is still a decent deal.
Are you excited about the new LG V30? Let us know in your comments below.