LG V30: The phone that got our readers talking

Dominik Bärlocher
Zurich, on 01.09.2017
Post-editing: Eva Francis
Everyone always makes a big song and dance about the iPhone, and the Samsung Galaxies go down well. But there is one phone series that has not only been a reader favourite for a long time, but also something of an insider tip. The phone I’m talking about is the LG V series.

Before video producer Stephanie Tresch and I got on the plane to Berlin, we asked our readers what they wanted us to cover. As we’re now at IFA, we can answer your questions. Here’s one I wasn’t bargaining on:

I’d love to read a short report on the LG V30. After all the leaks and images going around, it sounds like an exciting device. – Jan Lüthi

When it comes to the LG V30, can you at least let us know about the casing quality (materials, the reverse, what it feels like?) The feel and material on the rear side of previous LG models weren’t as good a quality as some other phones on the market. There’s also a lot of confusion about regional features, like wireless charging. Could you maybe ask? – TAI_P

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The LG V30 that everyone is talking about

I’d love it if you could check out the new LG V30 in a bit more detail. It’s supposed to come with a whole new dual camera with 1.6 aperture. It looks like it’d be a great alternative to the expensive Note 8. – Jesuit

What about the LG V30 and V30+? Can you pre-order it from 31 August 2017 or do you have to wait? What is the RRP going to be? I’m hoping you can report back with lots of information on this great multimedia smartphone. – themrgrapefruit

It looks like I’m not the only one who’s excited about the LG V30. As it happens, the LG V20 was one of my favourite phones of 2016. That’s not just because it seemed to be able to fulfil all the requests that got thrown at it. It also produced great images, and the stoic little thing even survived an Icelandic winter.

Now it’s time to check out what the V30 has in store. This is the phone I’m most looking forward to seeing at IFA because LG always tries something new with the V series and features ridiculously strong components. We’ve had great audio, a second screen above and a battery that is still removeable. The question is, what new features will we see on the V30?

V30 (64GB, Moroccan Blue, 6", Single SIM, 16Mpx, 4G)
LG V30 (64GB, Moroccan Blue, 6", Single SIM, 16Mpx, 4G)
V30 (64GB, Cloud Silver, 6", Single SIM, 16Mpx, 4G)
LG V30 (64GB, Cloud Silver, 6", Single SIM, 16Mpx, 4G)

We find our answers at the Korean manufacturer’s stand.

They’ve done away with the second screen

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The second screen on the top right has gone

The first thing that occurs to me is the LG V30 looks like its competition. It is slimline, thin, flat and it doesn’t have a second screen any more. A lot of people found the little screen on the top right gimmicky. Even though I wasn’t sure what it would be good for when I first tested it out, the second screen did sneak its way into my everyday use.

LG might have done away with the second screen, but it hasn’t culled the features that used to live there. In its place, you can now see a hovering menu list with the icons we’ve come to know from the V20 second screen. The interesting thing is, this menu isn’t fixed to the side of the screen or set in a certain position. Like the Facebook Messenger icon, you can place it anywhere you like on the edge of the screen. I have to admit, I can’t quite see what the point is. It’s probably one of those features that I’ll never use and then will disappear as soon as I install Nova Launcher. That’d be a shame.

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The floating bar replaces the second screen

Unbelievably light and fast

Writing the LG V30 off straight away would be a big mistake. This device is a sly old dog. There is no command it doesn’t follow straight away and no task that seems too much for it. The Snapdragon 835 quad core processor shows off its strength in the V30, as the rest of the hardware can keep up with the chip. The camera also reacts quickly.

In spite of concentrated processing power and a 3300 mAh battery, the LG V30 is light. Weighing in at 158 grams, it is comparatively feather-light. The display is almost edgeless. In fact, you only really notice the edge at the top and bottom of the phone. The AMOLED display delivers rich, clear and intense colours of the like I’ve only ever seen on a television. All in all, the LG V30 is a force to be reckoned with.

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V30: You can’t remove the backplate on the latest edition of the LG series

To answer User TAI_P’s question from further up: the LG V30 casing feels like that of the Samsung S8 or the HTC U 11. In other words, like a type of plastic. You can’t remove the backplate any more, meaning you can’t change the battery. I must admit I prefer metal casing on smartphones, but according to the LG V30 manufacturer, the phone boasts military grade endurance, so it should be able to withstand a fair bit.

There are also surprises lurking beneath the surface of the LG V30. When we’d finished filming and were about to pack up amid the hubbub of the trade show, one of the many ladies working at the stand popped up. We thought the woman in the white shirt probably wanted to tell us about a key feature or a unique selling point. They like doing that and do it well, but that sometimes spoils things once we’ve finished filming. But this time I was pleased to see the fourth (and counting) woman in a white shirt telling us something or watching us. I’m pretty sure the redhead in the white shirt was our minder, making sure we didn’t run off with the phone. The fourth white shirt said «Have they mentioned that you can extend the phone’s memory up to two terabytes?»

No, they hadn’t.

A memory card that can be extended to two terabytes? Wow. I wasn’t even aware you could get SD cards that offered so much storage space. I only found a 256 version in our shop. I’m starting to feel old. I mean, I can still remember floppy discs. The first ones I used at school were 1.44 MB. Now we’re talking about a feature our two minders forgot to mention that lets you save two terabytes on something the size of a fingernail.

Ultra microSD A1 (UHS-I, microSDXC, 256GB)
Sandisk Ultra microSD A1 (UHS-I, microSDXC, 256GB)
Evo+ microSD UHS-I (UHS-I, microSDXC, U3, 256GB)
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Samsung Evo+ microSD UHS-I (UHS-I, microSDXC, U3, 256GB)

Stephanie was holding her Samsung Galaxy S8+ when I told her, so we decided to put the phones side by side and compare. The LG V30 is a bit wider, but it’s roughly as long. Where you really see the difference is in the depth and weight. The V30 is a lot slimmer and feels so much lighter, even if the actual difference is only a matter of grams.

I’ll admit I have high hopes for the LG V30, and I feel pretty optimistic about it. Its predecessor was one of my favourite phones of last year, so I hope the V30 can follow suit. The test in Zurich will be the deal-breaker.

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Dominik Bärlocher
Dominik Bärlocher
Senior Editor, Zurich
Journalist. Author. Hacker. A storyteller searching for boundaries, secrets and taboos – putting the world to paper. Not because I can but because I can’t not.

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