LG V30 Review

The LG V Series started with the weird idea of putting a secondary display on top of the main display. It was implemented on the LG V10 and LG V20, which were good phones, but not appealing to the average consumer. The V Series has always been more for Android enthusiasts. What do you do with a phone that’s not super popular but needs a replacement? You start from scratch.

The LG V30 has almost nothing in common with the V Series phones that have come before it. The only thing remaining from the Second Screen is a floating widget. The metal back and giant chins have been replaced with glass and slim bezels. Everything that was sharp and industrial is now more premium and svelte. LG finally decided to stop playing around with gimmicks and made the best phone they possibly could. Is that enough to make the V30 matter in a world of Galaxies and Pixels? Let’s find out.

The Good

  • Premium design
  • Big display, not big body
  • Good camera
  • Great battery life
  • Quad DAC wired audio

The Bad

  • P-OLED display has issues

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The V30 has a 6-inch P-OLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio and 1440 x 2880 resolution. On paper, those specs sound amazing. Indeed, the size, aspect ratio, and resolution are truly great, but the P-OLED is where some issues arise. First, let’s talk about the good news.

I really like the size of the display and I have become a big fan of the 18:9 aspect ratio. For phones with software navigation bars, it just makes sense. I’m also happy LG decided to finally go with P-OLED instead of LCD. The LCD panels on previous LG phones have been really good, but I prefer the deep blacks of OLED. So let’s talk about that P-OLED display.

The display looks great most of the time. Some people might not like the colors out of the box, but you can adjust that in the settings. The issues I’ve noticed appear primarily in low-light situations with dark backgrounds. For example, when looking at an app that has a dark background (not black) in a dark room, the gradients appear blotchy. This is not something I notice all the time, but it definitely does happen.

A bigger issue for me is a lack of contrast at low brightness levels. This is particularly noticeable when watching videos in low light. Shadows tend to be overly dark, which kills a lot of the detail. I found myself having to crank up the brightness when watching videos at night.

The display issues seem to be inconsistent across devices. Some have it worse than others. The blotchiness was worse on my pre-production unit, but that didn’t stop me from using it. I don’t consider the display issues to be a deal breaker. Given the choice between the V30’s P-OLED and the G6’s LCD, I’d still take the P-OLED. Even at its best, LG is still behind Samsung when it comes to OLED displays.

Unlike the V20 and V10, the V30 only has one display. The secondary display that sat at the top of the main display has been removed. I was never a big fan of the Second Screen. It wasn’t incredibly useful and it made the phones too big. LG has spread out most of the Second Screen features into a new floating widget called the “Floating Bar” and the Always-on Display.

The Floating Bar can easily be tucked away until you need it. Just tap the little tab and the bar slides out. You can launch apps, contacts, control media, and edit screenshots with the Floating Bar tools. The Second Screen also had some handy shortcuts when the main display was off. Those can now be found on the Always-on Display. I think the Floating Bar is much better than the Second Screen. Especially because you can turn it off if you don’t want it.


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