"The LG V30's camera takes breathtaking images that bring pictures to life."
LG has just debuted the much anticipated V30 smartphone, which is its third-generation V-series smartphone that debuted in 2015. The V series smartphone has always stood out as a large screen device with a killer camera and a rugged build. And despite following the LG G6's footsteps this time around, it's still rugged. It does still have that military spec, so it can take a drop, but it's still not encouraged to drop the V30. Of course, the LG V30 has all of the usual suspects when it comes to specs, there's a 6-inch 18:9 aspect ratio display, which has a resolution of 2880×1440. It's an OLED display (more specifically, a POLED display, similar to the G Flex smartphones from a few years ago, and more recently the Moto Z2 Force). That's powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, along with a 3,300mAh battery for good measure.
Picking up the LG V30, the first thing you'll notice is just how light the thing really is. It's lighter and slightly thinner than the G6 from earlier this year. Now it's only slightly thinner than the G6, but it does feel like it's much thinner. And this is because the sides are now completely curved, instead of flat. LG has also made another design choice from the G6 to the V30 here and that's making the front of the device black instead of the color of the rest of the device. So for instance, the silver G6 was silver on the front as well, but the silver V30 (which is the model we had hands on here) is black on the front. This hides the black part of the bezel, and also makes it better for virtual reality. But, on the flip side, it makes it look more like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, which is likely not something LG wanted, but that is what has happened here, unfortunately.
The biggest feature of the V30, and something that LG is pushing pretty hard is the camera. LG actually has noted that the camera module has been cut down by a third compared to the V10, which was only two years ago and all three smartphones in the V series were dual-camera, so that's quite an accomplishment. There is still that wide-angle camera lens available here, and like with the G6, the pictures no longer come out curved like the G5 and V20 did. And that's because the camera is flush with the back of the device. LG announced this before the unveiling, but the regular 16-megapixel camera does have an aperture of f/1.6 with the wide-angle camera having a 13-megapixel sensor and a f/1.9 aperture. This makes both cameras great for taking pictures in low-light situations, like those times you want to take pictures at the bar or at night. The camera does appear to take some good pictures, however, we did take them in controlled conditions, and on non-final software, so we'll have to do more testing when we get one in hand for a while – with final software.
LG has had some great cameras for quite a few years, it's one of its more underrated features, to be honest. And now LG has added a few more features to the camera this year. My favorite feature is actually "point zoom" which works in cinema video mode. This allows you to tap a subject in the video and smoothly zoom in on it. Now, with most smartphones, when you zoom in, it can only zoom into the center of the image and not a specific position in the image. But with point zoom, you can. It's hard to do it justice in words, so you'll have to check out our hands on video. It works really well, even on this non-final software. LG has also added a few other features, one which kind of works like a filter system, but it takes it to the next level. And makes it look more realistic. There's also a sort of template mode available that lets you position things correctly based on the picture. So if you are taking a picture of food, it can help you take the perfect photo while having the plate perfectly centered. Among other unique features.
There aren't a lot of changes here with LG's software, and it is shipping with Android 7.1.2 Nougat. Unfortunately it's not getting Android Oreo before launch, but it is getting it after launch. As is usually the case with software updates, there is no set date for the update, and it'll roll out once it's available and stable. LG said it didn't want to launch with Oreo as it only just became stable a few weeks ago, so it needs time to get it ready for its smartphones. But it is getting Oreo, and obviously that's not a big surprise. The software, on the other hand, works really well on the Snapdragon 835 – of course that's no surprise. Additionally, with the OLED display and LG's very colorful UI, it really pops on the V30 and looks very vibrant.
LG V30 is stacking up to be a great smartphone, however and this is always the case for LG these days, it's coming out against some stiff competition from Samsung, Sony, Apple, and other manufacturers. But it is looking like it'll be a big contender in the fall and holiday seasons this year.