BATTERY: WIRELESS WONDER
With the more energy-efficient Snapdragon 835 and a power-sipping OLED screen, you’d expect the V30 to be fairly frugal when it comes to battery life.
The G6 wasn’t exactly the battery life champ, but the 3300mAh cell used here is big enough to get you through an entire day - if you’re not constantly playing games or watching videos, that it. This puts it on par with Samsung’s Galaxy S8+, but it still falls short of Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro and its near-miraculous staying power.
Should you get caught short, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 lets you get back up to 50% in well under an hour, which is enough to get you through to the next morning if you top up mid-afternoon.
The glass construction also opens the door for wireless charging, which is even more convenient than a cable.
SOFTWARE & OS: FLOAT ON
The V30 ships with Android Nougat out of the box, which might come as a disappointment to some, but LG has promised version 8.0 Oreo will be coming soon. The update is already rolling out in beta form to Korean handsets right now, so hopefully the wait won’t be too long.
In the meantime, there are plenty of LG’s own software tweaks to use - including a floating shortcut bar that effectively replaces the outgoing V20’s second screen. It’s a worthy replacement, able to sit anywhere onscreen within easy reach instead of right at the top, where only the most nimble of thumbs could reach.
You can jump straight into apps using shortcuts, control music playback, choose your favourite contacts to call or message, or access game tools like screenshots.
LG’s custom UI looks relatively unchanged from the G6, but that’s not exactly a bad thing - it made minimal changes, and kept the best bits from Google’s original vision for Android.
That includes the return of Google Assistant, after making a first appearance outside of Google’s own Pixel phones on the G6 earlier in the year, and this time it knows a few LG-specific tricks. Ask to take a video with a particular movie mode, and it’ll jump right into the camera app with the correct filter already loaded.
KnockON is back, too, letting you wake the screen with a tap - handy when it’s sat on a desk and you can’t reach the fingerprint sensor.
Finally, security has taken a step up with voice recognition unlock and face unlock options. The latter isn’t nearly as complex as Apple’s IR-assisted FaceID, and I’m still happy to stick with the fingerprint reader, which is perfectly placed and quick to skip the lock screen, but it’s nice to have the choice.
LG V30 VERDICT
The V30 isn’t just a G6 refined with a combination of glass and metal. It feels focused, because it scraps the gimmicks the V-series used to be known for.
Media-friendly upgrades like the quad-DAC give it a real sound step-up over any other smartphone you can buy right now, and performance was never in doubt thanks to that Snapdragon CPU.
Camera quality isn’t fantastic, but the second wide-angle sensor at least makes it a versatile companion for anyone with the travel bug.
If only the OLED screen was as striking as the all-glass design. As it stands, display quality just isn’t up to the same high standards as the rest of the smartphone world. Seeing how the screen is the one thing you look at every time you use your phone, this misstep is difficult to ignore - but if you get lucky and find a handset with a decent panel, there’s still a lot to like here.