Much like Samsung with its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 phones, LG also has two flagship devices for each year. While the LG G6 has been out for a while, LG more recently released its second flagship of 2017, the LG V30 replacing its LG V20. In this comparison, we will look at the LG V30 and the LG V20 to see what improvements LG incorporated into the V30 and if you already own a V20, whether or not it is worth the upgrade. Both devices make use of a premium design and build – the V20 used lightweight premium aluminum while the V30 uses a glass backing like the LG G6. LG followed the usual formula with the V30 including a larger display (with an OLED panel replacing the LCD panel found on the V20), a faster processor, better camera area, larger battery with wireless charging, IP68 water-resistance, and face and voice recognition. Let’s take a look and see just what these two devices have in common and then we will look at each one in greater detail.
You can see that the LG V30 and LG V20 are related, but as distance cousins. LG ‘modernized’ the V30 with a full-sized display and small bezels. There is still a secondary display for notifications, but while the V20 used a fixed display, the V30’s secondary display is floating. Both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but different models. Both use 4GB of DDR2 RAM and both offer a 64GB model and expansion capabilities. You will find a dual main camera on both models with the LG V30 using one 16MP sensor and one 13MP sensor – the LG V20 used a 16MP and an 8MP sensor. Both use a 5MP front-facing-camera, however, the aperture on the V30 is an f/2.2 versus the f/1.9 used on the V20. The batteries are very similar in size with the LG V30 bumped up to 3,300 mAh compared to the 3,200 mAh on the LG V20. However, the battery is non-removable on the LG V30, but does offer wireless charging and both offer Quick Charge 3.0. They both have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and High-Res Audio. The LG V30 comes with Android 7.1.2 and the LG V20 with Android 7.0.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below, and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
When it comes to the LG V30, LG made some major changes over the V20 in several areas. The design of the device and the display are two of those areas. The LG V30 uses a glass back that does away with the removable battery, but adds wireless charging and IP68 water-resistance. The display covers most of the device, and although larger than the LG V20, its footprint is smaller due to the change in aspect ratio from 16:9 to 18:9. The camera remains as a dual camera setup; however, one of the V30's rear cameras has a higher resolution. The processor is another area that was upgraded to the best Qualcomm has to offer, the Snapdragon 835. The LG V30 retains all of the Hi-Res Audio features, however, there is still only a single speaker.
The LG V30’s 6-inch OLED display is LG’s first mainstream device to use a POLED display – the flexible G Flex is the other model. It sports 2880 x 1440 pixels that result in 538 pixels-per-inch (PPI). LG has named it a 'FullVision' display and it comes with Dolby Vision and HDR 10 support to give the user a greater entertainment experience. It also comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a secondary display that is described as a ‘floating bar’ that can be swiped out of the way rather than fixed at the top of the display like the LG V20. The LG V30 comes with a Snapdragon 835 that adds speed, more capabilities, and better battery life. It is clocked at 2.45 GHz and uses the Adreno 540 GPU. LG hooked up the SD835 with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of expandable memory.
The LG V30 continues the dual camera configuration, only with improvements. The primary camera uses a 16MP sensor, OIS, laser and PDAF for focusing, dual-tone LED flash, and a large f/1.6 aperture for lowlight shots. The second camera uses a 13MP sensor with a wide-angle 120-degree field and an aperture of f/1.9. The FFC is the same 5MP used on the LG V20, but adds facial recognition to go along with selfies and video chats. A 3,300 mAh non-removable battery that offers Quick Charge 3.0, as well as wireless charging, provides power to the V30. Some users will squawk about the new non-removable battery, but that is certainly the trend with most smartphones. On the upside you are getting IP68 water-resistance.
The LG V30 is a leap above its predecessor. It keeps the four DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converters), the EQ with left/right balance controls and B&O Play certifications. The MIL-STD-810G certification remains, but adds IP68 water-resistance. The screen is now using the POLED technology for blacker blacks and richer colors. The camera area improves and adds facial recognition. The battery is slightly larger, and though non-removable, you can now use wireless charging. The device measures 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.4 mm and weighs in at 158 grams. The V30 comes in your choice of Cloud Silver or Moroccan Blue and will come with Android 7.1.2. The LG V30 will cost you approximately $840 outright.
The difference in design between the LG V20 and LG V30 LG is quite remarkable – although both are beautiful phones. The LG V20 uses aircraft quality aluminum with a smoother and more refined look. The silicone backing from the V10 is gone, but LG still used silicone to create a pair of bumpers on the top and bottom of the LG V20. LG uses an improved, fixed secondary display for notifications. LG designed the V series for those attempting to find users interested in experimenting with photography, as well as those who demand a greater sound quality through their earphones.
The primary display on the LG V20 sports a 5.7-inch IPS Quantum QHD panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and results in a 513 PPI. The fixed secondary display for notifications measures 1040 x 160 pixels with the same density of 513 PPI. The ‘always-on’ secondary display saves battery life by allowing the ‘battery hungry’ primary display to stay off while the smaller display keeps you informed regarding notifications. LG used the best possible processor that Snapdragon offered at the time – the 820 quad-core processor using dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and 2.15 GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and an expandable 32/64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage.
The LG V20 also uses a dual camera arrangement with a 16MP primary camera and another secondary camera with an 8MP wide-angle lens. The 16MP will take the majority of your pictures, but for a group shot or a landscape shot, the 8MP wide-angle sensor will step in. The V20 includes both laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), adds a large f/1.8 aperture on the primary camera and an f/2.4 for the secondary 8MP sensor, along with OIS, and a dual-tone LED flash. The FFC uses a single 5MP sensor with an f/1.9 aperture for social selfies or video chatting. LG packed the V20 with a removable 3,200 mAh battery that should last you throughout the day. The user has the option of using Quick Charge 3.0 for a fast charge, or you can simply replace the old battery with a new one.
With the ‘V’ series, LG is targeting those that are into photography with the dual camera setup and those that enjoy great sounds by being the first smartphone to include four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters). The V20 has an EQ with left/right balance controls and includes B&O Play certification. When listening through a good set of earbuds, your ears will thank you, but one must wonder why LG held back and only included one speaker when it begs for a dual stereo setup. The LG V20 holds a MIL-STD-810G certification due to its shock resistance, but there is no waterproofing. The V20 also retained the IR Blaster that LG left out of the LG G6 and uses the newer USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 174 grams and now costs about $600. The LG V20 is available in Titan and Silver, and was the first device to run Android 7.0 (Nougat) out-of-the-box.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
Technically the LG V30 outpaces the LG V20, but the V20 was an excellent phone and is now going for less than $600 versus the $840 the LG V30 will run you. Is the V30 worth that much extra money? That is a question that only you can answer, but for those that want the latest in technology, the V30 will be the choice.
For your extra money, you get a 6-inch POLED display, a faster processor with more features and less battery drain, a better camera area with facial recognition, slightly larger battery with wireless charging, BT 5.0, IP68 water resistance, and a more modern design.
The LG V20 is still a great device for the money and if you can give up the POLED display, slower processor, almost as good camera, and face/voice recognition, you can get a real bargain. If you demand a removable battery, then the LG V20 is the only option between these two models.