LG V30+ Review, The Most Underated Phone Of 2017

-The extra storage version of the LG V30, exclusive to Sprint here in the States known as the LG V30+, is a content creation multi-media powerhouse. That being said it, like all other phones, is not perfect. More on that a little later. Let’s first get into what I love most about this phone. But before I do, there is a disclaimer. No phones were hurt in the making of this review.

 -The ergonomics of this phone are simply amazing. For me personally this is the most comfortable well designed phone this year. The fingerprint scanner is perfectly placed and tactile. Unlike others, cough, cough, Samsung, cough. 

-Trekking onwards, the ever so slightly curved 2k OLED panel is the best LG has made on a smart phone. Again not perfect, but par for the course in 2017. LG and Apple have finally jumped aboard the OLED revolution. Ditching IPS LCD displays of yesteryear for the brighter higher contrast and more vivid colors of OLED, better late than never. 

-The immense array of camera features paired with a dual lens setup which includes an ultra wide angle lens makes for one of the best mobile cameras I’ve seen this year, if not the best. It definitely gives the Pixel 2 XL, the Note 8 and the iPhone 10 a run for their money. The included features are full manual controls (ISO, white balance, manual focus etc) panorama, time lapse, slo-mo, and others. The cine video mode let’s you apply filters to video while recording. Here’s an example of a shot using manual controls. 

 

-If manual controls aren’t your cup of joe, the point and click option will most certainly deliver. The V30 camera has 4k video recording with optical image stabilization. It punches with clarity and has very good dynamic range. Low light shots can sometimes have noise but this is true with most mobile cameras. However the video low light footage is surprisingly good. If cameras are a staple for your decision in purchasing a phone or not, then I can honestly say buy this phone, it will not disappoint. Here’s some recent examples. 

-Moving along I like the fact that my Sprint version, the V30+, comes with 128gb of storage with a micro SD card slot for even more storage capabilities. 4gb of RAM, 1.9GHz octacore processor and 3300 mAh battery make this a beast of a phone. Not to mention it has ip 68 water and dust resistance to boot and wireless charging. All this is what we’ve come to expect from LG. 

-The design is a unibody glass and aluminum sandwich with a modern small bezels look to it. The “V” series has done away with the removable battery. Not a biggie for me, thought I’d mention it here however. All in all a beautiful design and feature set.

 -The endangered 3.5mm headphone jack (auxillary port) makes a home here. Not only is there a headphone jack, but there is a Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital audio converter) inside. To the lay person, what this means is this thing sounds better (when using the headphone jack) than every other phone, by far, on the market. 

-When you plug some headphones or an external Hi-Fi speaker into it, it delivers an amazing music listening experience. It literally is in a class all it’s own when it comes to audio. Even the audio compression of Bluetooth is superior sounding whilst using Bluetooth headphones. This phone however, wants you to…. Stick it in, as it were, the proverbial headphone jack. This is the audiophiles phone of choice. 

-As far as audio is concerned the mono bottom facing speaker is somewhat of a disappointment. It’s not horrible just average. The headphone jack features more than make up for this disappointment.

-I’ve never been a huge fan of LG’s custom Android skin, although this iteration gets a passing grade. Customizations galore is the name of the game here. There are a few features that I’ve always loved with LG’s Optimus UI. For example the knock on or double tap feature to wake or sleep the screen is, well, totally kick ass! Excuse my French. When I gave up my V20 for the Moto Z2 Force, I continuously attempted to unlock my screen with a double tap for at least a couple of weeks. To my surprise it never worked. 

-I like the little things such as being able to rearrange the Android navigation buttons and even add some. Which comes in handy for people switching from a Samsung device. Samsung insists on putting the back arrow on the right side of the home button. 

-I appreciate the category tabs in the settings that allow easy location of whatever setting you are attempting to customize. It isn’t the congested hodgepodge of Samsung’s TouchWiz settings. 

 
-I really enjoy that there isn’t a Google now cards screen replacement or A.I. software. It’s just Google and Google Assistant respectively. This is not true of Samsung or HTC. So no Bixby here. All in all this has been one of the most enjoyable phones I’ve used this year. And the massive storage makes me want to use it for a long time. Perhaps that was the intention there.

-This brings us to the negative things about this phone, or rather things I’m not fond of. There is no perfect phone… First off you will need a case because this is a slippery phone, just like every other phone save for the BlackBerry Keyone. True it’s well built, gorgeous and comfortable, yes…but slippery.  

-I wish the plus version came in different colors but alas, black is your only choice if your with Sprint. Also, it is really light, I mean abnormally light. It doesn’t have that solid weight to it that gives a comforting high end feel. 

-There have been a couple of slow downs, or hiccups if you will, in the last couple of weeks I’ve been using the phone. The cause for this is unknown. It didn’t recognize my touch a few times which is a mild annoyance. Keep in mind I’ve been using this thing non stop for over two weeks so these kinks have not been the norm, but happened enough that I feel it must be mentioned. It may just be my unit but it happened just now as I was writing this.

-The front facing camera is slightly above average and as mentioned the bottom firing mono speaker leaves much to be desired. I’m not much of a front facing selfie shooter, nor a loud speaker kind of guy, so these two things aren’t a big deal. I prefer headphones or portable speakers and using the rear camera over the front one.

-The price is over $900 (keep in mind this is the 128gb plus version). However if you add a line to your Sprint account you can buy one get one free. The price is steep if you just want to buy one for full price from LG or other dealers. Is it worth it? I say yes with confidence because of all the bells and whistles. But you can get comparable phones for several hundred dollars less. Just fyi though perhaps not as all encompassing.

-I wish there was more RAM, perhaps 5 or 6 gigs of it. For such a power house of a phone you would think it would match the Note 8’s RAM. Most of the time however you will most likely not notice much of a difference between 4 or 6 gigs of RAM in daily use. But for heavy multi tasking users you might occasionally notice the difference.

-Lastly I miss the unique secondary display found in “V” series of past. Again I notice the small things. The secondary display has been replaced with the floating bar on the V30 (Pictured below). Which seems less unique in my humble opinion. However you get more primary screen real estate with smaller bezels. The trade off is ok I guess. Seems like a useless gimmicky add on to me, however give me a month I might change my mind. 

 
-In conclusion the LG V30 is a capable high end beautifully designed Android device. I’m a content creation music listening picture taking/editing kind of guy and this phone works for me. I love the massive storage capabilities and the long life that brings. The cameras are “bomb” as we used to say and the screen (though not perfect) is large and gorgeous. I thoroughly enjoy the software and customizations options. It’s my favorite Android skin if you will, but I still prefer stock Android over skins. 

-As we have seen, the speaker, the amount of RAM, no secondary display, and somewhat over priced hardware, are all negatives here. Taking that into consideration I still can recommend this phone. Because it’s not only an underdog, but a damn fine phone for the music listening/creating videography blogging type. If you don’t want an iPhone or a Galaxy, yet still want a very high end top of the line phone I can in good conscience recommend this phone. It’s “Def. Legit”

-This phone gets the Phabletguru 7.3 thumbs up-….lol

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