LG V30S ThinQ review

The least interesting V-series phone yet

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Interface and reliability

  • Android Oreo comes pre-installed
  • LG's interface is cleaner than we saw in Nougat

Of the few ways that the LG V30S ThinQ bests last year’s model is with the included software. The V30 is currently in the midst of earning its better-late-than-never Android Oreo update, but it seems to be running just fine on the V30S ThinQ.

While not the latest update – it comes with vanilla Oreo, version 8.0, not 8.1 – it features all of the bells and whistles, like picture-in-picture support for YouTube, Hangouts and Google Maps to name a few, and notification dots to keep you abreast of things happening on your phone. But alas, it’s releasing just as people are getting excited about Android P.

We’re using a global version of the V30S ThinQ and as such, it provided a few optional Korean apps upon setup. Though, when (or if) this phone releases widely, those won’t be surfaced in your region.

This difference aside, this device comes with LG’s latest in-house user interface and with it, a handful of refinements. The menus are streamlined, and within each section, you’ll find more touches of personalization – always a welcomed thing to notice. 

Music, movies and games

  • Quad DAC and 3.5mm jack continue to be wonderful
  • Single bottom-firing speaker is a disappointment

LG’s V-series smartphones have been multimedia acrobats, excelling in all areas relating to keeping yourself entertained. The V30S ThinQ is no exception, but it’s hardly better than the LG V30 from 2017. 

On the music side of things, you’re getting unparalleled support with both a 3.5mm headphone jack backed by a Quad DAC and Bluetooth for wireless headphones and speakers. Touching more on the Quad DAC, LG’s phone has an audiophile hardware implant that boosts the sound quality of your content, even if it’s lossy music files from Spotify or YouTube. 

Even better if you have a set of capable headphones, your favorite games, movies and music are going to sound awesome. If you want to read more about this feature, check out our LG V30 review where we dive more deeply into it.

As mentioned before, the 18:9 aspect ratio employed on the six-inch display makes it far taller than it is wide, making it easy to wrap your hand around. It also makes it ideal if you’re itching for a cinematic experience while watching a flick or playing games.

Better than previous LCD-powered LG efforts thanks to the OLED technology put to work, this screen is plenty bright and shows off its HDR prowess with a delicate handling of colors and black levels.

Because the V30S ThinQ boasts 6GB of RAM over the V30’s 4GB of RAM, we’ll see this phone being better proofed against whatever the future holds in hardware-intensive applications and games. And, this model comes with 128GB by default, so in addition to its microSD slot, you’ll have a hard time maxing out the storage here.

Specs and performance

  • Shipping with last year's hardware in a Snapdragon 845-powered market
  • Still plenty capable of running demanding apps
  • RAM boost benefits are mostly unseen at this point

The LG V30S ThinQ is suited up for a battle against the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ2, and on paper, it doesn’t have the advantage.

Launching in the year of the Snapdragon 845, LG’s latest is long in the tooth before it even hits store shelves. Though, is it really that far behind the rest of the world’s most best Android phones? Not as far as you might think.

Qualcomm’s latest chipset provides a boost in power over the 835, no doubt. The Snapdragon 845 benchmarks we gathered prove it. If you’re someone who clamors for the fastest tech out there, you may want to look elsewhere. But in the grand scheme of things, the Snapdragon 835 is still really good. After all, it’s just a year old.

If you want 60fps (frames per second) gaming, you’ll get it on the V30S ThinQ. Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition runs smoothly even with graphical settings cranked up to the maximum level. Android Oreo’s picture-in-picture mode works like a charm with YouTube, even while pushing through intense gaming moments.

Cameron Faulkner

Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.