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IFA 2017: LG V30 hands-on review

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BERLIN: LG, the Korean tech company best known for its smart washing machines and TVs, unveiled its latest top-tier smartphone at the IFA tech show on Wednesday.

 

This year, the company’s flagship handset is called the V30 (abandoning the ‘G’ moniker for the first time in a while). It’s an update from the G6, the most recent in the series of phones announced at MWC earlier this year.

 

Thanks to the number of leaks building up to the IFA reveal, the LG V30 doesn’t have many surprises in store, but that hasn’t stopped us going hands-on with the device.

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Design

The first thing you’ll notice about the LG V30 is that it’s very similar to the G6, with its beautifully large, almost bezel-less display – a screen that stretches to nearly every corner of the device.

 

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The G6 was a pleasure to hold, and the V30 is even better, as the new handset sports a much slimmer, lighter body – it’s 5g lighter than its predecessor (158g) and 5mm thinner, (just 7.4mm) – all with the same brushed-metal finish that makes it look and feel premium in the hand. We’re big fans of this design.

 

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Display

The edge-to-edge screen means that LG has been able to wedge a 6in 1440 x 2880 pixel display with Gorilla Glass 5 in the V30’s chassis – a sizeable increase from the 5.7in panel used in the G6, but with a smaller footprint.

 

This is one reason why LG claims that the V30 is unlike other phablet devices: it will comfortably in one hand. The screen looks huge, but the phone feels like any other to hold (it’s noticeably smaller than the 5.5in iPhone 7 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, for example).

 

Processor and software

The LG V30 is powered by a Quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 4GB RAM. The handset proved as fast as any flagship we’ve used during our hands-on time. Apps were lightning fast to open and multitasking was smooth, but we’ve yet to put the processor fully through its paces.

 

The LG V30 comes loaded with Android 7.0 Nougat, with a barely-there LG UX 6.0 skin, which could fool some into thinking it’s a vanilla Android phone. LG has, of course, made some tweaks here and there, adding its own homescreen animations and design touches to the Notification Bar, for example.

 

Camera

Like the G6 before it, the LG V30 features two rear cameras, but these have been upped to two 16MP sensors, from the two 13MP sensors in the G6 (for an even wider angle when taking snaps).

 

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Even during our brief hands-on time with the handset at IFA, we were able to appreciate the wider capture, with the dual camera sensor capable of capturing almost panoramic stills. Images looked sharp and colourful, too, and the front-facing camera appeared vibrant and responsive during our tests.

 

Opening the camera app was quick, as was the shutter, and thanks to the wide display you can have a constant view of your photo library when shooting your pictures.

 

Storage, battery and connectivity

The V30 comes with 64 or 128GB built-in storage. There’s a microSD slot onboard, which means you can expand onboard storage as far as a MicroSD card will take you. There’s also a non-removable 3300mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, and USB-C connectivity.

 

First impressions

The LG V30 is a beautiful and easy-going phone, despite all the packed-in features. Our initial tests proved it works like a dream and feels super simple to use, offering a brilliantly huge screen and high-quality camera in a small, slim chassis; something that most of its rivals are still unable to achieve. Oh, and it’s also IP68 certified, meaning it’s water (and dust) proof to over 1.5m for 30 minutes. Is there anything this phone doesn’t have?

 

Prices are yet to be confirmed but we can expect it to be in the £600 region. µ

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