Why the LG V30 has all the ingredients for success

Android manufacturers are having a fantastic year. Between the Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5, Note8, the HTC U11, and the upcoming Pixel 2, there is a massive variety of solid smartphones on the market.

The LG V30 is also another worthy consideration. It’s got a design panache we’ve not seen from LG. It also boasts a host of features which may set it apart, even this late in the smartphone release season.

I’ve been using a pre-production unit of the LG V30 for the past month as one of my daily drivers, and it’s one of the best devices I’ve handled this year. The V30 isn’t coming out surrounded by as much fanfare as its predecessor the G6, but it’s got a lot going for it.

Let’s dive into what makes the V30 so good.

It’s packed with features

The LG V30 has all the fixings of the latest flagship smartphones. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 835 SoC and 4GB of RAM, the same set of specifications powering the majority of this year’s flagship devices. But it comes chock full of a few smaller features that make it just as worth the cash as anything Samsung and Google’s putting forth.

It also comes with some meaningful features that make it just as worth the cash as anything put forth by Samsung or Google. The V30 is water-resistant. It can charge wirelessly using either Qi or PMA. It’s also got an easy-to-reach rear-fingerprint sensor, which functions as the phone’s Home button.

The V30’s 3300mAh battery charges by USB-C. It boasts Quick Charge 3.0, too, so you won’t wait hours for the phone to juice up. Not all flagship phones have these features. Water-resistant chassis have become more of a standard for high-end phones, but there are still too few manufacturers that include it by default.

See also: LG V30 price details

Hi-Fi quad DAC makes everything sound great

I’m especially impressed by the crispness of the V30’s sound. Whether it’s a Spotify playlist, a Snapchat confessional, or a Youtube video featuring the latest beauty guru, the phone’s built-in Hi-Fi quad DAC audio makes even dull content sound like it’s broadcasting in a venue with vaulted ceilings.

It’s same technology as in the earlier the LG V20, but now there are additional customization options. The phone allows you to adjust the sound balance between left and right headphones. Using DAC decreases distortion and noise, and helps improve dynamic range. You don’t need fancy headphones or earbuds to take advantage of this feature, either, though if you do have a pair, you’ll appreciate the added oomph even more.

See also: LG talks V30 audio: Here’s what you can expect from Quad DAC 

The design is supreme

Before the G6, the last few LG smartphones were design duds. The V30 is a polished device with all the trimmings of a flagship. Its aluminum chassis has attractive rounded corners, flush buttons, a rear-camera lens, and a nearly bezel-less 6-inch POLED display.

At 5.5 ounces, the V30 is also a light device. This feels refreshing compared to the latest crop of dense and heavy smartphones, like the Note8 and Essential Phone.

LG’s Android software is palatable

LG hasn’t always offered the best Android interface, even if it is one of the manufacturers behind a majority Nexus devices. The V30, however, features an editable Android UI with flat icons and a spacious Home screen. You can even choose how many Quick Settings to display and which ones are most relevant for your day-to-day use.

LG has bundled in a couple of extra software features in other parts of its interface. The camera app, for instance, contains a variety of filters and modes to make creating content second nature. There’s a floating shortcuts bar and a Game Tools overlay that makes it simple to start recording your progress the minute you launch a title. The Smart Settings feature, which is buried in the settings menu automates the V30’s configurations based on its location or whether you’re connected to a Bluetooth device or wired headphones.

A lot of these features work very well, but you don’t have to use any of them. you’d rather just keep things simple. The choice is always nice, and it’s why we’re Android users, isn’t it?

Dual cameras for dual perspectives

In keeping with the dual-camera setup that initially debuted in last year’s LG G5, the V30 also features dual 16-megapixel and 13-megapixel cameras, the latter of which is a wide-angle lens. This configuration gives the V30 an edge by offering a wider field of view. Other dual-camera setups on the market, like the Note 8 and Moto Z2 Force, feature a second optical zoom lens, which is useful for zooming in but not so much for capturing landscape shots. The V30’s wide-angle lens is also helpful if you’re attempting to fit a group of people into one photo.

In addition to its stellar rear-cameras, the LG V30 also offers DSLR-like manual controls for video, which are handy in low-light environments, for instance, since you can manually increase the device’s exposure as you see fit. The V30 also includes the ability to shoot in log format, or Cine-log, which is typically a format found on DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. Log allows you to take the video into a post-production app and manipulate the color profiles to your heart’s content.

My favorite part of the V30’s camera is its quick launch capabilities. Double-press the volume down button to start the camera app, and begin shooting. The added filters aren’t too hokey, either. If you’re feeling moody and would rather shoot in black and white, that’s easily done. The V30’s camera app makes it easy to export of a GIF from videos, too.

A solid choice

There are plenty of other Android smartphones you could very well choose over the LG V30. Considering what you get for this phone’s $800 starting price point— a stunning 6-inch display, high-fidelity speakers, dual cameras with stellar video capabilities, a water-resistant chassis (you know you want to take this into the shower), an expansion slot, wireless charging — this is one of the best smartphones of the year.

For more on the LG V30 and why it might be your next choice of smartphone, check out everything we have to say about it!