The LG V30 has been made official, and we've spent a little bit of time with it, as well as having time to now digest the announcement with everything that LG has done with the new device. And it appears to be a pretty good upgrade to the LG V20, and even the LG G6. However, as is the case with most smartphones, the LG V30 is not the perfect smartphone. There are plenty of great things about the V30, but there are also some not so great and even some ugly things about the V30, so let's dive in and break it down.
Of course, the hardware of the LG V30 is a good thing. LG innovated just a bit on the hardware it used for the LG G6 earlier this year, and made the V30 an incredible device. With rounded edges, and made the LG V30 feel very light in the hand, even though it is a fairly large device. LG has always had great build quality, and provided us with some stunning hardware, and it has been achieved once again with the LG V30.
The display is really the star of the show for LG here. The company has been sticking with IPS or LCD displays for years and years. While those panels aren't necessarily bad, they aren't that great either – when there's AMOLED available. With the LG V30, LG went out and decided to use an OLED display – or a P-OLED display to be more accurate. This allows for the V30 to use less power, while also providing a brilliant looking display on the device. Now the LG V30's display may not beat Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, but it does look very nice and it is capable of doing HDR like the Galaxy Note 8 and the Xperia XZ1.
LG's other strong suit is its camera. The LG V30 has one of the best cameras on the market, and that should really be no surprise. Since the V series started back in 2015, it has been geared towards content creators and have offered some incredible cameras. The V10 was actually the first smartphone camera to allow manual controls on video instead of just photos. Now with the V30, the company has added a ton of other great features to the camera, and made it even better in low-light, largely due to that f/1.6 aperture which allows even more light into the picture. There are also features like point zoom and much more, that set this camera apart.
There are a few smaller things that LG did with the V30 that are worth mentioning. Unlike the G6, wireless charging, 64GB of storage and the quad DAC are available on all models in all regions. And the LG V30 is also compatible with Google's Daydream VR platform.
The LG V30 is not launching with Android Oreo. Typically this wouldn't be a cause for concern or complaint, but since the LG V20 was the first to launch with Android Nougat last year. Many thought that LG might be quick on the draw for getting the latest version of Android on their latest device. But that doesn't appear to be the case. Now the LG V30 will indeed get Android 8.0 Oreo, but the release date is currently unknown – and for those in the US, carrier variants likely won't see it before 2018.
LG's UI is still a bit on the bad side. It hasn't changed a whole lot with the V30 – which many believe we'll see a larger update when Android Oreo hits the device in a few months. But LG's UI needs a huge overhaul. There are plenty of features in there that are great, but then there are some that aren't so great. Not to mention it could use a paint job. Sure the bright colors look nice, but many customers would much prefer a darker paint job – especially those that use their smartphones at night. Now LG's UI isn't quite as bad as Samsung's had gotten a few years ago, where it was a lag fest, but it is getting there.
LG has also decided to stick with 4GB of RAM on the V30, which really isn't a bad thing. But its competitors are now jumping up to 6GB of RAM, and with Virtual Reality being a big deal right now, LG could have really used the extra RAM in the V30. The LG V30 is Daydream compatible, which is great, and with 4GB of RAM, you likely won't have any issues, but you could a year from now. And not everyone is going to be looking to upgrade from the V30 to the V40 next year.
The release of the LG V30 is a bit ugly at this point. LG and other Android manufacturers do this quite often. Announce a shiny new smartphone that everyone can't wait to get their hands on, and say it'll be available "this fall". Without giving out any other hints on availability. The LG V30 was announced in late August, and likely won't be available until October. That means that the two biggest smartphones of the year will go on sale before it, and possibly take its customers – those two smartphones would be the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Apple iPhone 8 (that's the rumored name at this point). That's going to put a hamper on LG's possibility of selling a ton of V30's. And this isn't something new, most smartphones do this, and lose out on all the hype that was generated around its announcement.
LG has also decided to give some carriers and retailers in the US exclusive colors of the V30. Now these haven't been announced yet and likely won't be until availability is more official later this month. But the V30 does have some exclusive colors for some carriers, which is pretty strange. But to be clear, LG isn't the first one to do this. Best Buy has had some exclusive colors on smartphones in the past, like the Blue Coral Galaxy S7 last year after the Galaxy Note 7 was put out to pasture. This isn't a completely bad thing for LG, but it would be nice to have all of the colors available to everyone. Instead of only really having black and silver available to the majority of customers.
The LG V30 appears to really be LG's real winner for 2017, and possibly its first real winner in quite a few years. With many people not as excited for the Galaxy Note 8 (possibly due to its price) as was expected. Many are turning to LG to see what reviewers are thinking of the V30. Now the device still won't be available for quite some time, but early impressions are pretty good on the V30, and it'll likely continue once the final models arrive on doorsteps in the next few weeks. LG had a winner with the G6 earlier this year, but the Galaxy S8 came and really out shined it. Which forced LG to go back and make an even better iteration with the LG V30, on the G6's hardware, and they were able to do just that. Now the only real issue that LG is having is the fact that no one can pre-order it, nor does anyone know when pre-orders will begin.