LG V30 Review: Setting The Record Straight For A Great Smartphone

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LG V30 Battery Life And Our Final Assessment

Since the introduction of Android 7 Nougat, and even more so with Android 8 Oreo now, our battery life testing methodology here at HotHardware has become a real challenge. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, Google's mobile operating system is getting more aggressive at killing tasks that are consuming significant power and haven't had any user interaction. As a result, the PCMark Android battery tests continually failed on the LG V30, as well as the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. This is also something we've seen previously on the Motorola Z2 series of smartphones. However, our usual worst-case, heavy load AnTuTu Battery test seemed to run and does still give us a relative gauge with respect to comparable battery life performance among a few current premium Android handsets. 

This test sets the display brightness to high and cranks up workloads for the processor, graphics core, and memory, and runs through many real-world, scripted workloads, including web browsing, gaming and video playback.

Battery Test LG V30 Results

The LG V30 was able to just outpace the new Google Pixel 2 duo and take the 3rd best spot in our database for this heavy workload battery test. Anecdotally speaking, we've been running around with the LG V30 for a few days now, testing it as a daily driver to get a sense of how it holds up under mixed use workloads and every day on/off screen time activities. From what we've seen, the LG V30 offers excellent battery life in general and its 3300 mAh battery is more than up to the task of a day-long performance for even heavier power user requirements.  
bottom edge LG V30

In the final analysis, again, we're here to set the record straight on the LG V30. Though garnering its fair share of passionate praise, some have taken specific issue with this phone's LG-built pOLED display. To that we would quite simply offer that we're unsure what a select few others are looking at. Perhaps they're observing image inconsistency in corner-case lighting conditions, or maybe even in certain apps, where Android's gradient overlays can cause a "perceived" banding effect. We're not sure what others may have seen, but what we're looking at is a pretty fantastic flagship Android phone here, with an equally fantastic display.

To wit, I have used Samsung Galaxy devices as my personal phones for the past few generations, from the Galaxy S5 on up to the Galaxy S8+. Side-by-side versus Samsung's AMOLED displays, the LG V30 might not offer quite the same viewing angles as the GS8+, but the V30 is very competitive. In fact, I prefer the V30's slightly cooler screen calibration. And what I do appreciate even more, is how LG was able to optimize a 6-inch display into a device that measures and feels significantly smaller and more efficient in the hand.

But to drone on about the display much longer here would be a disservice, because, plain and simple, the LG V30's display is excellent, bright, punchy and well-balanced. Like the rest of the LG V30 is, actually... 

LG V30 Color Options
LG V30 - AT&T $809Verizon $840T-Mobile $800Spring LG V30+ $912 (Off Contract)

In fact, everything about the LG V30 speaks to the years of refinement that LG has done; the company has clearly been taking feedback on from its user base. IP68 water and dust compliance is here, wireless charging, USB-C, along with a legacy headphone jack, and dual rear cameras backed up with some very innovative camera features like Point Zoom, Graphy, and CineVideo. Frankly, in the interest of time, we only scratched the surface for the myriad of features that LG built into its powerful camera array. The good news is, however, set on full auto with its f1.6 glass lens, it snaps some pretty great still imagery which will delight the average mainstream consumer looking to simply capture the moment.  

That's not to say there weren't missed opportunities with the LG V30. With its dual rear camera setup, we'd offer that LG could have delivered similar depth of field bokeh affects like the Pixel 2's Portrait and Galaxy Note 8's Live Focus modes. The physical tools are there in the V30 to pull it off, but LG's Pop-Out shot mode just doesn't deliver the same natural effect. You could of course coax a similar bokeh affect in Manual mode, but it will take a lot more tweaking and time. 

We also would have liked a better speaker setup with the V30, since its single down-firing speaker can't hold a candle to the likes of the Pixel 2 XL's dual front-facing speakers. Then again, we'll take the trade-off of a cleaner, more elegant, lower-profile device footprint any day with the V30, and plug in a set of quality ear buds (with a stock 3.5mm headphone jack) and get over that real quick. 

We'll cut to the chase now because you're probably getting the gist at this point. LG's V30 is an easy HotHardware Editor's choice and our pick as one of our favorite Android phones of 2017. It's pricey at about $800 off contract, but not out of line competitively these days versus so many other premium smartphones. The bottom line is, we'd say that if you pick up an LG V30, you're not going to want to put it down. 
hothardware editors choice
  • Gorgeous thin bezel design
  • Thinnest, lightest 6" device
  • Solid performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great camera and features
  • Quality OLED display
  • Quad-HiFi DAC
  • Wireless charging
  • Pricey
  • Single, tinny down-firing speaker

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