NEW LG V30, CAN IT TAKE ON THE IPHONE 8?

SmartHouse - - FIRST LOOK | LG - Writ­ten by David Richards

I have a new best friend, who has been with me from Ber­lin to Barcelona for the past week, the Sam­sung Note 8 is the ul­ti­mate travel com­pan­ion, but is it the best ever smart­phone?

Dur­ing IFA 2017 in Ber­lin, Chan­nelNews and SmartHouse were given LG's all-new V30 smart­phone. For the past month, I have been us­ing the phone through­out Europe and Aus­tralia, and can at­test it's as good as sev­eral other An­droid­based de­vices at­tempt­ing to strip mar­ket share away from Ap­ple and Sam­sung.

In the past we have openly awarded LG a SmartAward for their G6 and V20, but with this de­vice, LG has not only ad­vanced sev­eral steps for­ward, they have also demon­strated they are a sig­nif­i­cantly su­pe­rior force than Ap­ple, Sony, Nokia, HTC and sev­eral other brands which are com­pet­ing to take the last re­main­ing 23% of the pre­mium mar­ket, be­hind the two ma­jor brands.

Com­par­ing the V30 to Ap­ple's iPhone 8 demon­strates that Ap­ple is light years be­hind, when it comes to de­liv­er­ing su­pe­rior smart­phone tech­nol­ogy - a state­ment likely to turn Steve Jobs in his grave, as his once pre­cious baby is beaten up by prod­ucts such as the V30.

The de­vice not only of­fers su­pe­rior bat­tery life, it fea­tures an OLED screen which is made by LG, too.

If car­ri­ers in Aus­tralia don't range this de­vice, they are do­ing their cus­tomers a mas­sive dis­ser­vice. This should be right at the front, along­side of­fer­ings from Ap­ple and Sam­sung, which car­ri­ers gush over be­cause they are more in­ter­ested in mar­gins than giv­ing their cus­tomers vast choices.

LG was one of the first man­u­fac­tur­ers to re­lease an edge-to-edge “bezel-less” phone, and this one feels es­pe­cially good in the hand, as the de­vice is ex­tremely light weigh­ing 158 grams.

While the G6 lacked a top end Snap­dragon pro­ces­sor, the V30 makes up for it with a su­pe­rior Snap­dragon 835 pro­ces­sor, de­liv­er­ing a sig­nif­i­cant speed ad­van­tage. The 4GB of RAM cer­tainly helps.

With the V30, you get the op­tion to choose be­tween 64BG or 128GB of in­ter­nal stor­age, plus an added Mi­croSD card slot al­low­ing you to in­crease any­time you need more space.

The phone is also IP68 wa­ter-and-dust-re­sis­tant, mean­ing you can take it un­der­wa­ter for up to 1.5 me­tres or 30 min­utes.

We also no­ticed that the bat­tery life on the V30 was su­pe­rior to the HTC U11 and the new Nokia 8. Dur­ing IFA 2017, a ma­jor Euro­pean trade show, I was able to get a day out of the V30 and still have 50% bat­tery life left.

The V30 has a 6-inch screen, and af­ter us­ing the large Sam­sung Note 8 - which has a sig­nif­i­cantly larger screen - I felt ex­tremely com­fort­able with the V30, as it fits per­fectly in your hand.

In fact, my wife (who has smaller hands than I) fell in love with the de­vice in­stantly, as she does not like large smart­phones such as Nokia's Note 8.

The screen's cor­ners are rounded and the front­fac­ing cam­era and ear­piece sit at the top. At the bot­tom are a USB-C charg­ing port and a sin­gle speaker grill.

An­other big ad­van­tage is that the on-off and fin­ger­print scan­ner on the back is in the mid­dle of the V30. Con­trary to the Sam­sung S8+ and Note 8, the scan­ner is easy to reach. On the right is a SIM card slot, and on the left is vol­ume con­trols.

A dual-cam­era setup is at the top cen­tre next to the flash. Given the po­si­tion­ing of the fin­ger­print sen­sor and on-off but­ton, you don't ac­ci­den­tally smear the lens with greasy fin­ger marks.

The phone's cov­er­ing is a mix of glass and chrome, though this is not so­phis­ti­cated enough for what this de­vice de­liv­ers un­der the bon­net.

As for the OLED 2,880 x 1,440-pixel res­o­lu­tion dis­play and 18:9 as­pect ra­tio, it's as good as you get for a smart­phone. LG is the best when it comes to OLED and this de­vice re­flects that. Blacks are deep blacks, and im­age colours scream out of the dis­play in just about all view­ing con­di­tions. As for Net­flix movies, the ex­clu­sive re­la­tion­ship be­tween Net­flix and LG shines through the 18:9 as­pect ra­tio.

A key plus for this de­vice is that the V30 is now a Day­dream-ready de­vice, which al­lows own­ers to use Google's mo­bile VR plat­form - you will, how­ever, have to buy a sep­a­rate Day­dream View VR head­set.

Un­der the bon­net, the de­vice is built to run on An­droid 7.1.2, but LG states it's al­ready work­ing on an up­date to bring the lat­est flavour of the An­droid mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem to the V30.

An­other big plus with past LG smart­phones and the V30 is that users can dou­ble tap the screen to turn the dis­play on or off. Smart set­tings al­low the phone to au­to­mat­i­cally turn off Blue­tooth and Wi-Fi when you leave your home and change your sound pro­file.

Apart from the fin­ger­print sen­sor on the rear, the V30 lets you un­lock your phone with your face. There's also Voice Print, en­abling you to use a spec­i­fied phrase to un­lock the phone. When it comes to tak­ing pic­tures, the V30 re­ally comes into play.

CAM­ERA

The de­vice has dual-cam­era setup on the rear, and like sev­eral other dual cam­era sys­tems, one cam­era takes wide-an­gle pho­tos (13 megapix­els, f/1.9 aper­ture), while the other is stan­dard (16 megapix­els, f/1.6 aper­ture). Com­pared to Sam­sung's Note 8, the cam­era per­forms well, how­ever, re­sulted in not as sharp images.

LG has added a “tele­photo zoom” lens for por­traits and a black and white sen­sor. The com­pany went against the grain with a su­per wide-an­gle cam­era.

Trav­el­ling through Barcelona, I could com­pare LG's V30 side-by-side to Sam­sung's Note 8 cam­era. I found the new tele­photo zoom fea­ture and one big ad­van­tage.

LG has also sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved aper­ture on its wide-an­gle lens and elim­i­nated the dis­tor­tion which some­times creeps to the edge of re­ally wide shots.

An­other area where LG of­fers im­proved per­for­mance is in the V30's abil­ity to shoot videos.

A new Cine Video mode al­lows users to add fil­ter-like themes to videos, be­fore even film­ing any­thing. The themes are all de­signed around dif­fer­ent movie gen­res.

‘Clas­sic' will force you to shoot in black and white. ‘Thriller' adds a dark blue tint, ‘Flash­back' of­fers sepia hues, and ‘Ro­man­tic Com­edy' adds a warm colour pal­ette.

In­ter­est­ingly, on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions, I ac­ci­den­tally shot video with­out know­ing a fil­ter was on.

There's also a slider that uti­lizes ob­ject track­ing tech­nol­ogy, al­low­ing users to it push up or down to zoom in or out of videos. In­stead of zoom­ing in the cen­tre of the screen, you can tap an ob­ject or per­son you want to zoom in on, and when zoom­ing starts, the cam­era au­to­mat­i­cally zooms in on that sub­ject.

The 5-megapixel front-fac­ing cam­era also utilises a wide-an­gle lens, and lets you swap be­tween a close-up photo for self­ies, or wider-an­gle for group pho­tos.

BAT­TERY LIFE

Where this de­vice es­pe­cially ex­cels in is the bat­tery de­part­ment. It just keeps go­ing and go­ing.

The V30 comes with a 3,300mAh bat­tery, whilst the Sam­sung Galaxy S8 Plus fea­tures a 3,500mAh bat­tery. De­spite the big­ger bat­tery the V30 out­per­forms the S8, which in part is due to Sam­sung de­vice soft­ware suck­ing down bat­tery life far more fre­quently than LG's V30.

CON­CLU­SION

The re­tail price for this de­vice is $1,199, which I be­lieve is $200 too ex­pen­sive. This is more a $995 de­vice, which on a plan would be af­ford­able, yet at the same time would de­liver a de­vice which is up there with the best of them.

What LG must re­alise is that when it comes to smart­phones, it does not have the brand clout of Ap­ple and Sam­sung. Whilst the de­vice has some of the same fea­tures of some top-end mod­els, LG doesn't have the street cred to drive con­sumers to buy the V30. If this was a Sam­sung de­vice it would walk out, but it's not.

This is the equiv­a­lent of Volvo at­tempt­ing to sell their prod­uct a tad un­der Mercedes' and BMW's top-end mod­els.

Over­all, this is great phone, both in per­for­mance, video cam­era ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and best of all boast­ing an amaz­ing bat­tery life and dis­play screen which is as good as the new Ap­ple iPhone X.

What I per­son­ally sug­gest is that if you want this de­vice, hag­gle with your re­tailer be­cause there is mar­gin in this prod­uct, and it's bet­ter that it's in your pocket than some­one else's.

With­out fil­ter

With fil­ter

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