LG’s V30+ released in October of last year (2017) isn’t exactly a brand new phone, hitting right at seven months since it’s release – but that’s not at all old either by smartphone cycle standards.
The Feburary to mid-April update to Android Oreo has brought it (almost) up-to-standard in the latest Google-ly features, but LG has also brought in it’s ThinQ software; This brings the V-series into LG’s A.I. for IoT and smart appliances ecosystem.
The LG V30+ has alot going for itself , although the only difference between it and the original V30 is the latter has twice the amount of internal storage and comes with LG’s Quadplay headphones in the box. With double the storage over the original variant and new A.I. features, does the V30+ still hold it’s own in 2018?
Answer: Like A Boss.
The 6-inch, QHD+ OLED FullVision Display packs in 5xx pixels at 2880 x 1440 resolution that can be bumped down to 1080p to consume battery life. It retains the same 18:9 aspect ratio that LG brought to the industry with the LG G6, although the V30+ is a bit wider and taller – though thinner and lighter.
Blacks are deep, with the navigation bar blending into the otherwise thin bezels flawlessly. Colors pop with a true to life vibrancy, but the “cool” calibration tends to give whites a bit of a blue hue:
I personally prefer a cooler color profile rather than warmer – smartphone screens tend to either lean towards blue – others red (like Samsung) – which tends to favor screen burn-in on AMOLED screens anyway. LG phone displays tend to have this “character trait” as seen in the Pixel 2 XL, though the screen in the V30+ is clearly a generation or two improved.
It’s worth mentioning that the secondary screen that the V series was known for is replaced by what LG is calling the Floating Bar: a software version of the actual second screen of the V10 and V20 thatst tucked away to the side by default
All in All, the floating bar retains the functionality of the missing secondary screen while keeping the display true to the 18:9 ratio. It provides more functionality, while taking up less space than Samsung’s Edge Display – for example. When activated, you can also swipe to answer calls.
Hardware: Glass and Metal Sandwich , Dual-Wide Lens Camera , Quad DAC Audio
The internals are nothing to scoff at either, the V30+ comes armed with the Snapdragon 835, 4GB Ram, and 128GB of internal storage. This time of the year, smartphones (like the G7 ThinQ) are being shipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 – so the V30+ may seem a bit behind the curve – but the 835 is no slouch at all. It introduced features like smaller, more energy-efficient cores and faster gigabit LTE speeds – the 845 is to the 835 what the Snapdragon 821 is to the 820 (an overclocked version if the same chip). The looks are fairly unitarian, with the usual metal band sandwiched between the Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back of the device. The glass curves and meets the metal band, creating a unibody design.
After around a week of use in the humid spring climate of Houston, I noticed that dust particles can get stuck in the seam where the screen and metal band meets, and it’s noticable when the light shines on the device from certain angles:
The upside is, it’s IP68 certified (waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1.5 meters of water ), so I guess you could “bathe” the V30/V30+, or give it a shower….
More distinctive features are the dual Wide-Angle lenses of the camera and the Hi-Fi Audio of the 3.5mm headphone jack, thanks to the phone’s 32-bit Quad DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter).
The 32-bit Quad DAC is an ESS 9218P from ESS Technology, the same manufacturers who provide D/A converters for companies like Apogee Electronics’ (Duet, Ensemble, and Quartet and Symphony) Audio Interfaces.
It makes for superior audio when listening through wired headphones or a speaker setup – and even though the QuadPlay headphones LG included in the box does a decent job showcasing the audio quality of the V30+, it takes a pair of over the ear monitors (or AUX connection to a decent vehicle setup) to really appreciate what the Quad DAC brings to the table.
Every one has heard about the 16MP and 12MP Dual lens set-up on the V30+, but the new ThinQ moniker added to the splash screen after the Android Oreo update brings AI smarts to the LG flagship.
Most premium smartphones come with dual lens cameras, but LG is one of the only manufacturers to go against the grain and utilize those dual lenses to provide an wider field of view – 125° to be exact.
The normal 16MP lens offers a 71° standard view, so the wide angle 13MP sensor captures over twice the scenery in your pics.
The dual-lens, wide angle cameras is one of the best set-ups available on a smartphone – and when every other phone maker is going for portrait mode and bokeh effects – dare I say unique?
The only real standout weakness is the software for the 5MP front facing camera. I say that because I downloaded third party software that made all the world of a difference in quality and noise reduction.
Performance, Battery Life, Stability
I have always appreciated the sheer power and tons of features stuffed in LG flagships, since the G3. The Nexus 5 gave LG the expertise of delivering a stock Android experience, and the Pixel 2 XL allowed them the opportunity to perfect Android customization. I point this out because that implys that they know how to minimize the amount resources their Android skin takes up on top of the Stock OS. They are literally one of the few manufacturers that can layer Android and keep it as smooth as Google intended it to be.
The LG V30+ hit 1910 single-core and 5814 multi-core in Geekbench 4:
That’s up to par with average flagships from 2017, but not quite up to snuff with the latest Snapdragon 845 toting devices like the Galaxy s9 which scored 2,422 single-core score and 8,351 multi-core score.
Alot of people who were livid supporters of the V series may have been disappointed to discover the omission of the removable battery, and possibly the second screen – but the addition of IP68 certification, Wireless Charging, Quick Charge 3.0 (4.0 with the right Charging Adapter) and software that provides the informative convienence the second screen once did, are necessary changes to keep the V-series modern. Everything else that you come to expect from the brand: extensive Video Recording and editing tools, Hi-Fi Audio,Dual wide angle lens cameras – are are here – with a plethora of upgrades. The only weakness in the LG V30+ is the software for the front facing 5MP camera.
In conclusion, the V30+ makes for a great alternative to more popular flagships, remains one of the better options for general users and one of the first looks for content creators.