LG V30 review

LG’s new flagship is a tempting, high-powered package

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Battery life

  • 3,300mAh capacity easily achieves day-plus battery life
  • Battery is sealed in now because of waterproofing
  • Wireless charging is slow, but a nice feature to have

Another longstanding fold in the V-series DNA has been great battery performance. And that’s not just limited to how the battery inside can withstand the rigors of the day, but also that up until now, they’ve been removable and thus, performance is everlasting given that you own an extra battery.

As you might have suspected from the design, the V30 has sealed in the battery – a necessary, but nevertheless slightly unfortunate move to ensure that waterproofing works.

Either way, we’ve been delighted by the 3,300mAh battery in the non-final unit. Ringing in at the same size as the cell found with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, all-day battery life is an easy goal for this phone to meet.

When we watched a 90-minute movie file in 1080p, the V30 remarkably only dropped down to 87% once it was finished. Most phones drop down at least 20% during this test, so we’re pleased with this discovery.

When it comes to recharging the phone, we’re pleased to say that the final retail unit lives up to the numbers that we got with the pre-production unit. From 0%, it can raise up to 30% in 15 minutes, up to 67% after a half hour, and 100% in just under two hours. The final 20% is always the slowest, but for most, an hour of charging will easily get them through the day.

Camera

  • Packed with unique features
  • Point Focus and Cine Video color grading are awesome perks
  • Low-light results are good at times, but generally not superb

Watch our video below that's dedicated to the LG V30 camera

LG has put a lot of effort in bringing some new, noteworthy hardware and software features to make its dual-lens cameras stand out from the rest. 

Billed as a device for creators, the LG V30’s main rear-facing camera is 16MP and boasts an impressive f/1.6 aperture that, on paper, should put it above the competition when it comes to low-light photography. However, in our time with the pre-production unit and now with the final hardware and software, it’s not industry-best at illuminating a dark scene. That award is still shared between the S8 and Google Pixel. The V30’s knack, however, is at providing a better balance of lighting and contrast for dim shots, like shooting at dusk. In the results below, you can see that we experienced some hits and misses in this department.

Pro mode indicates what's in focus with a green outline

Additionally, this lens is covered is glass, not plastic, which LG says boosts the transmittance of light and details. The other lens takes care of the wide-angle shots and is improved to 13MP and a f/1.9 aperture, both of which build upon the V20’s lesser 8MP wide-angle lens that had an aperture value of f/2.4.

Flipped over on its front, the small 5MP selfie camera disappointed. While the lighting and colors look fine for the most part, photos are blurry. It's definitely serviceable and fun to use thanks to LG's many camera software features, though it doesn't seem able to quickly snap a brilliant photo like many of this year's flagship phones.

Of the many extra goodies offered by the V30, it packs in professional color grading to give each video and picture the right kind of contrast, lighting and saturation to fit each scene. For power users who want to shoot footage with the V30 and export to say, Adobe Premiere, you can export the Cine Log, which retains the metadata during post-production. If you’d rather edit video on the phone, LG is including an app that can let you do just that.

Taking the pro-level use cases a step further, LG has partnered with Graphy to teach users how to become comfortable with the capable manual photography mode. Photographers can post their photos and share the settings and techniques put to use when capturing the piece. LG has done an awesome job focusing on the little things for the V30.

Another new addition to the camera software is Point Zoom. Activated within the Cine Video mode in the camera app, this new feature smoothly zooms in on wherever you tap to, remedying the sudden, jagged zoom effect we’re all accustomed to. It might not sound like much, but it’s one of those small things that will likely make a big difference moving forward. If anything, you can film your own Parks and Recreation-style comedy with it.