LG’s True Flagship Is The V30: Is It Time To Retire The G-Series?

September 11, 2017 - Written By Alexander Maxham

LG seems to do the same thing every year; it announces a pretty great smartphone which gets a good reaction from the early adopters and tech reviewers. But then Samsung announces either the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note (depending on the time of the year) and everyone seems to forget about LG. It even happened with the LG G6 earlier this year. LG was first out of the gate with a minimal-bezel, tall-display smartphone, and it got great reviews. Only to be outdone by Samsung about a month later – of course, the long period of time between the announcement and availability didn’t help LG either. However, with the LG V30, things seem to be a bit different. And that could be because the Galaxy Note 8 isn’t living up to the expectations that some had set for it, as well as the premium price Samsung has set for the Galaxy Note 8. Which is causing more customers to take a harder look at the V30, and for good reason, too.

The LG V30 checks a lot of boxes for consumers. It will likely be cheaper than the Galaxy Note 8. It has a great camera, great build quality, high-end specs and is water resistant. LG took a lot of what it learned from the LG G6 and improved on it for the LG V30. So when you look at the LG G6 and V30 side-by-side, the two look like they are of the same product line, even though they aren’t. The LG V30 is definitely still geared towards content creators, and even vloggers, especially with all the magic that LG did with the camera, bringing in an aperture of f/1.6. The company included all kinds of newer features in the camera this time around, including Point Zoom, allowing users to zoom into a specific spot on the viewfinder and zoom in smoothly, instead of zooming into the center. LG also made the big phone lightweight and seem a bit small. Despite it being the same overall size as the LG V10 and V20 from the past two years, LG did increase the display size to 6-inches – and that’s thanks to LG continuing to use 18:9 aspect ratio displays on the V30 like it did with the G6.

Now while LG did check a lot of boxes with the hardware, the V30 seems like the real flagship for the company for a few other reasons. LG did refine the software a bit, making it even lighter on the processor – which is already a pretty fast SoC in the Snapdragon 835. It also added quite a few new features, including the Floating Bar, which replaced the second screen. The Floating Bar is one of those underrated features from LG, and it isn’t the first company to add this functionality either. The Floating Bar is great because it allows you to quickly jot down a note, or quickly open the calculator or another app. Not to mention taking a screenshot – since pressing power and volume down on LG smartphones is a bit trickier with the power button being on the backside. The Floating Bar is a useful feature, but not a feature that everyone is talking about right now, which is a bit surprising. But that could be due to how well the camera on the LG V30 really performs.

Many may wonder why the LG G6 doesn’t feel like a flagship anymore. Well it kind of does, but the V30 is a more refined version of the G6. LG basically went back into its R&D labs and found ways that it could make the device even better, and created the LG V30. The LG G6 was basically a first generation of this new design and build quality from LG. It was the first smartphone from them with a metal chassis and glass back. While the LG G5 was also metal, it was not built the same way and actually sported a “drawer” for the removable battery. That’s something LG dropped with the G6 this year, since it went a bit more high-end. And because of that, LG added in a higher density battery, and kept Quick Charge 3.0, so users won’t be tied to the wall outlet for long periods of time. And with the LG V30, it’s basically a second generation of that design language, and it’s a big upgrade – a bit crazy to think of this as being a huge upgrade when there’s only about 6 months time between the two device announcements.

While the LG V30 outshines the LG G6 in a lot of areas, LG is still adament about the V30 not replacing the G6. Citing that the G6 is more of a mainstream device and the V30 is more for content creators and those hardcore tech fans. The LG V30 is more of a tech centric device, LG believes that the two actually cater to different crowds. But with the LG G6 being much cheaper these days – sometimes you can find one for around $400 – the crowds for the G6 and V30 seem to be separated by pricing and not features.

The LG V30 feels like a well rounded flagship from LG, one that can really compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Apple iPhone 8. Of course, it does help LG that the Galaxy Note 8 is much more expensive than the Galaxy Note 7 was. With its price tag being over $900, more and more people are looking towards big screen devices that have a smaller price tag. And while the LG V30 doesn’t have a price just yet, many signs are pointing towards it being around $700-$750, which is still expensive, but a good $150-$200 cheaper than the Galaxy Note 8. However, what is hurting LG right now is the fact that its smartphone is announced and people are excited for it, but no one knows when they can buy the thing. And what will likely happen, is that LG will launch it well after the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8 launch, where most people will just give up waiting and upgrade to either of those mainstream devices instead. It happens to LG Electronics and other manufacturers quite often; they announce a smartphone but it doesn’t get released for nearly two more months, which costs it a ton of sales due to Samsung and Apple gaining those upgrades.