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Review: LG V30+

LG’s new V30+ smartphone was officially announced at IFA 2017 in Berlin, Germany. At that time, it was only announced for the South Korean market. The phone is now officially available in the Gulf region and we got a sample unit for a test drive.

At first look, LG’s V30+ is a beautiful piece of technology. The company’s engineers have managed to squeeze a 6-inch, 18:9 FullVision display into a frame that is 8mm shorter and 3mm narrower than its predecessor. The phone features sheathed front and back in tempered glass that curls around its edges.

This gives the phone a sort of an “oomph” factor to its overall look and feel. Since LG has used glass for the phone’s body, the V30+ is a bit slippery and susceptible to drops. However, LG’s claim of the handset passing 14 different military-standard durability tests (MIL-STD 810G) does give some reassurance. The V30+ weighs just 158-gms.

On the top edge of the device you get a noise-cancelling microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack. At the bottom edge, you get a secondary microphone, the USB-C charging port and the speaker grille. On the left edge, LG has placed the volume rockers, while on the right edge you get the dual SIM slot. This SIM slot is of the hybrid variety – meaning, it can take either two nano SIMs or one nano SIM and one micro SD card.

As for the back, the device houses the dual camera setup coupled with LED flash. Below that, there is the power button that also houses the fingerprint sensor. Besides this, the rear panel also has the V30+ and LG branding.

The V30+’s predecessors, the V10 and V20, were both great phones, but they weren’t the most attractive devices out there, with a rugged design and a focus on power and performance over looks. That’s changed though with the V30+ and it’s great to see LG finally giving its best phone a beautiful body to match.

In terms of specs, the LG V30+ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. The V30+ also comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded to up to 2TB using a micro SD card. There’s also a 3,300mAh battery with support for fast charging. In addition, the phone runs on Android Nougat out of the box, though we expect LG to roll out the Oreo update pretty soon.

The LG V30+ also comes with face unlock. You can, of course, choose to use the fingerprint sensor for biometric security, but face unlock adds to your ability to securely unlock your phone. The face unlock model must be trained once, but can be retrained when conditions change, such as a change of facial hair or wearing prescription eyeglasses.

As mentioned before, the V30+ has the 6.0-inch FullVision QHD+pOLED display which has an 18:9 aspect ratio with a resolution of 2880 x 1440p and 538ppi. The display is extremely crisp and bright, and there’s an always-on mode that lets you see the time and notifications when the phone is in standby, without taking too much of a hit to battery life.

In terms of connectivity, the phone supports 4G and VoLTE. You also get all the necessary standards including Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and GPS. In order to gauge the performance of the device, we ran a few benchmarks such as AnTuTu, Geekbench, 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited and GFXBench.

We were able to clock a total of 142,742 points in AnTuTu. We also clocked 1,981 and 6,374 in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests. In 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, we recorded 36,183 points in total, while we got a frame rate of 55fps in GFXBench’s T-rex benchmark. These results are in par with what we have seen on other phones running the Snapdragon 835 SoC.

When it comes to the camera’s performance, the LG V30+ does a really good job under good lighting conditions. While most dual-lens camera setups offer you a normal focal length lens and a telephoto lens, LG continues to use a different setup, pairing a 16-megapixel f/1.6 aperture normal focal length lens with a 13-megapixel f/1.9 wide-angle lens.

LG has included a comprehensive Pro mode with the V30+’s default camera app. The app lets you manually adjust white balance, focus, ISO and shutter speed. Manual mode also includes a focus peaking option, which will highlight pixels that are in focus, making it much easier to tell when your subject is in focus.

Image quality from the V30+’s main camera is quite good in good lighting conditions, as mentioned before. But then, there are some noticeable processing effects and there’s some jitteriness around the edges of objects. In low light scenarios, the camera struggles a bit, even when the camera is in manual mode with the aperture set to wide open.

I really loved LG’s new Cine Mode, which is included as part of the video recording mode in the V30+. The Cine Video mode lets you shoot professional-looking video footage from your phone. Cine Video includes a Cine Effect filter that lets you pick from 15 presets – Romantic Comedy, Summer Blockbuster, Melodrama, Noir, and so on – to capture the perfect mood for your video.

When we test the battery life of any smartphone, we do a couple of things. We loop an HD video with screen brightness and volume at 100%. We also leave the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on. In addition, we have constant data streaming through email and Twitter. The V30+ comes with a 3300mAh battery which is no-removable. Through our battery life, we were able to determine that the V30+ will easily last you a full day assuming normal usage habits.

In conclusion, the V30+ is no average smartphone. It looks very good, has excellent build quality, has a good screen, and performs up to the mark. For a price of AED 3049 the LG V30+ is a good phone to consider.

Price: AED 3049

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