The LG V30+ is one the most polarizing devices I have ever laid my hands on. The moment I took the phone out of the box it screamed “premium” at me and commanded presence. This is where the first polarizing aspect of the phone came to light. The phone feels amazing to hold but the first time I picked up the phone it was covered in fingerprints. That’s when it first clicked why they added a microfiber cloth, was to attempt to correct the problem of the glass being a fingerprint magnet. In my opinion this is not a suitable solution for a fingerprint magnet. If companies are going to make the fingerprints stick less as well as make the phone less slippery. I did not add a case to the phone as I wanted to review the V30+ as it was created by LG. I felt using a case during the review wouldn’t give me a good feel of how the phone was intended to be used.
The phone also came with B&O headphones and a Quickcharge 3.0 wall wart and a USB-A to USB-C cable. I am not the biggest fan of earbud style headphones, their lack of sound stage and large drivers do not let the DAC and AMP of the V30+ shine. If you are buying the LG V30+ for the DAC and AMP I hope you already have your own high impedance headphones. Quick Charge works as it always have. It charges your phone very fast. I estimated the total charge time of the 3300 mah battery was an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half.
Using this phone wasn’t the easiest for me. I am a minimalist with my phones. I like to keep a single home screen with the remainder of my applications in the notification drawer. This is a complete departure from what I’m used to. LG decided to take the route of pile “features” on top of Android and stop for the day. By default, LG removed the app drawer the pretty much threw apps across two home screens with random folders being made left and right. I tried to fix it with changing the home screen to LG’s version of their launcher with the app drawer however apps just still got mixed up and no matter how hard I tried would not stay in alphabetical order! I therefore made the decision to switch to Nova Launcher to have the most stock experience possible.
LG’s skin does have a few redeeming qualities though. Their quick notifications very close to stock which makes them easy for most to understand. You can also put light skins on the settings and notification tray. I made mine full black with neon orange text and symbols. These are some of my favorite colors and they both look amazing on the P-OLED display LG has provided us with (more on this next). LG’s settings menu is also nice as long as you disable the tabbed menus option. In my opinion everything was fairly easy to find by just scrolling and using the built in search function.
LG made a very smart move by moving to OLED and the display is not as offensive as many had originally depicted. Some may remember the washed-out mess that was the LG G Flex 2 and its P-OLED 1080P display, and for those of you who remembered that and are afraid to drive head first back into the world of P-OLED then don’t. As long as you aren’t expecting the amazing quality of Samsung’s display then I do not think you will be disappointed. The display looks decent in direct sunlight, the colors are as punchy as you would expect and I prefer it to the display on my 1st generation Pixel XL. To my eye it was a more pleasing experience I kept coming back to.
Sticking with a feature I kept coming back to, I love 2:1 displays, especially on this phone. It’s almost as someone realized that the top and bottom bezels could be reduced by just stretching the display. I use my phone for everything from reading, watching videos to playing light games therefore the extra real-estate was always appreciated. If you’re nervous about black bars then the OLED nature of the display makes it so it seems like you have a 5.5 inch 16:9 display at 2560x1440p instead of the 2:1 6 inch display at 2880x1440p. It’s almost unnoticeable just be sure not to accidentally grab the display thinking it’s bezel. Overall though, I’m a fan of the display.
The next aspect of the phone I’m mixed about is the cameras. One camera has a 16 megapixel f1.6 aperture with OIS the other camera had a 13 megapixel wide angle lens f1.9 aperture without OIS. I will be doing a camera focus however my impressions of the cameras are they are good but you may find yourself shooting with the wide angle lens more than the standard one. Pictures shot side by side with each brought me more towards the wide shot because it captured more of what my eyes can see. I don’t want my phone to be a glorified telescope with the telephoto lens I want to see more of what’s in front of me and the V30+ does an awesome job of doing that. The main 16MP camera is just, alright. You won’t see it beating out the likes of the Pixel 2 or Note 8 but you won’t be disappointed. I tend to shoot in 16:9 and with HDR always on because it balances out colors best, however I do suggest you try out the wide-angle camera before you buy it. That’s the selling point to the camera for me.
This device comes equipped with your typical Snapdragon 835 processor, 4gb of ram, and 128gb of expandable storage. In an age where apps and games are getting bigger and more graphics intensive having the horsepower of the 835 and the 128gb of storage is great, however they could have made this phone stand out a little more by giving it an extra 2gb of ram as the Galaxy Note 8 did. Regardless of what the specs say this phone didn’t slouch in any tasks. App switching was never a problem and the most that would slow the phone down was Sprint’s hiccups in service. If you’re connected to wifi you should not have a problem. LG’s interface did cause slow downs though, however that is mostly due to poor optimizations and if you switch some of the preloaded apps out, especially the launcher you will have a better time. It is just a shame that the phone can perform better in games then it does on its own home interface, especially when Android has been running smoothly on stock since the Snapdragon 800 (except with the 810 however that was a processor issue).
The Lg V30+ performed very well in day to day scenarios in terms of its 3300mah battery. I spent a lot of my time on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, web browsing on Chrome, watching Youtube and playing Pokemon Go for about an hour every day. I did have to top my phone off at around 6pm on heavy days if I took the phone off the charger at around 10am. I did use the phone at primarily maximum brightness as at time I forgot to turn it off after coming inside the house. This phone doesn’t overachieve however, it doesn’t underachieve as some of its predecessors did.
In terms of call quality the LG V30+ did very well. I did a few test phone calls and people on the other end said I sounded fine, however calls on the speaker phone are limited to the little bottom firing speaker. I spent a lot of my time using Sprint’s Wifi Calling and Call+ features as I live in a dead zone for nearly every carrier as my town won’t allow a cell tower to be built near my townhouse complex in Southern New Jersey.
One miscellaneous comment is the huge amount of bloat that was installed on this device not to mention the approximately 10 LG apps that were preinstalled on the device Sprint decided to include an additional approximately 10 Sprint branded or Amazon branded applications that flooded the device. The phone had approximately 20 of its 128gb of storage filled when I first booted the device which, although this is a 128gb device that is a lot of storage. Lastly, no matter how many settings I tweaked the Tidal application would not stop appearing on my home screen each time it updated even if the app was disabled. This made the experience far more frustrating, especially when setting up the device and all these apps force themselves to update. It was not my favorite experience. Sprint and LG should give you the option to choose which software you want preloaded on your device on setup as Google does with their Pixel devices.
I would also recommend a case, or skin, as well as a screen protector be used on this device. I found a very large gash near the camera lens and I never dropped this phone. It may have happened when I slid it on a table however the Gorilla Glass 5 covering the device is not as durable are you would hope.
In conclusion, I enjoyed my time with the LG V30+ for the most part. Unfortunately, the software gave me some trouble, however after some tweaks the device was far more enjoyable to use. I only recommend this phone to someone who has a mild understanding of how Android works and how to tweak it to a point that they find it enjoyable. The phone as many strong points, however it takes some digging to find them. Once you do become comfortable in the device though you won’t get tired of looking at that big, beautiful screen or taking pictures with the wide-angle camera. This is also a phone you will want other people to ask you about and touch, just, make sure to carry around a microfiber cloth to keep it looking its best.
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