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LG V30S ThinQ Preview: Are the changes enough to upgrade?

05 April 2018 5

At this year MWC 2018, LG didn't announce a new flagship instead the company opted a different route. They took the MWC stage to announce an iterative variant of their last year's flagship V30. The new variant of V30 doesn't bring a brand new design instead they brought major improvements under the hood. Are the new variant changes are enough to attract customers looking to grab a new flagship of 2018.

In terms of looks, the V30S ThinQ doesn't seem like a smartphone which brings enough changes to compete against the latest flagships of 2018. The main purpose of the new flagship is to showcase so far work in AI department. LG brought three new AI features for the V30S ThinQ camera app. These new features are AI Cam, new bright mode and QLens.

Apart from bringing the AI features, LG doubles the storage and brought 2 Gigs of extra RAM. One thing which you surely will miss is the latest octa-core Snapdragon 845 SoC. LG once again relied on the older Snapdragon 835 SoC which they used for the last year's V30. This aspect will affect the V30S ThinQ capabilities to compete against the latest flagships like Galaxy S9 and XZ2. LG also announced at the MWC 2018 that new AI features of V30S ThinQ will be rolled out for the last year's V30 as well but the company didn't reveal the exact time frame to roll out the update.

We already put the V30S ThinQ in head-to-head competition against a number of competitors, now is the perfect time to preview the V30S ThinQ to know in detail whether the device is worth upgrading or not. We are hopeful this preview will help you better understand the Pros and Cons of the device and also its chances against the other top-tier flagships of 2018. Without any further delay, let's start with the release and price tag of V30S ThinQ.

75.4 x 151.7 x 7.39 mm
6 inches - 2880x1440 px
Go to comparison page
Release and Price

So far LG is silent regarding the availability and price tag of latest V30S ThinQ for the US and other regions. Just for the sake of reminder, the V30 was announced for $809 for the US customers, it was available for £799 in the UK. In some regions like Australia, only V30+ was announced for AU$1,199.

At the moment the V30S ThinQ is initially available in South Korea at a price tag of 820,000 Won, it's the same price tag at which LG announced V30 last year. So we can expect a somewhat similar price tag of V30S ThinQ for the US and other regions. It's quite surprising to see LG offering V30S ThinQ at a higher price tag when most of its competitors are available at much lower price tags. Even the recently announced Galaxy S9+ is cheaper than the V30S ThinQ. The steep pricing will certainly affect the V30S ThinQ sales and its ability to challenge the existing big players.

Design and Display

As far as design is a concern, the V30S ThinQ isn't bringing changes over the last year's V30. The device retained the glass and metal sandwich design. The chassis is made up of metal with glass covering the rear and front side. The design is still pretty awesome to be amongst the best in 2018.

Thanks to the latest 2:1 display aspect ratio, the device overall feel isn't chunky at all. The device easily fits in palm despite having a larger display. The V30S ThinQ features a 6.0-inches display with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels. Its a plastic OLED display with better colors saturation, contrast ratio that ordinary LCD panel. The display supports HDR content which makes it a pretty great option to watch Hi-Res movies and playing VR games.

On the front, you will find a full front-facing display with on-screen buttons. The device volume rockers are on the left edge whereas the right edge has a MicroSD slot and SIM card tray. Like the earlier LG smartphones, it lacks the power button instead of its rear fingerprint scanner act double as a power button as well.

The bottom edge has speaker and USB Type-C port charging and connectivity. The device relies only on bottom firing speakers for audio output, this surely will be a disappointment for those who were looking for a stereo setup. The V30S ThinQ not only retains the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack but also the company stepped up their game by introducing Quad DAC to bring an amazing audio experience when watching movies using headphones. This certainly is one aspect where V30S ThinQ takes lead over its competitors with just headphone jack.

Hardware

One of the major upgrades for the LG V30S ThinQ is under the hood. The company brought few refinements under the hood but are these upgrades enough to compete the latest Galaxy S9 and Xperia XZ2 series. Let's find out. As expected the new year brings latest Qualcomm's chipset. This year latest flagships are running on the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC but from the look of the things, LG yet not willing to bring a smartphone with the latest chipset instead they relied on the last year's Snapdragon 835 chipset.

According to Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 845 SoC is bringing 25% improvement in performance over the last year's Snapdragon 835. Though on paper the Snapdragon 835 is not as fast as the latest SoC but still its a powerhouse being the most powerful SoC of last year. If you are amongst those who are willing to opt the fastest tech available in the market, you may have considered any other smartphone announced in Q1 2018.

The V30S ThinQ Octa-core chipset is accompanied with 6GB RAM which is 2 gigs more than V30. The built-in native storage is also doubled to 128GB as opposed to 64GB of V30. Its native storage is further expandable using MicroSD card. Although it doesn't have the latest hardware still it can handle HIFI 60fps games. The device is pretty much capable to run PIP youtube videos even during HIFI games, it won't stick at all. The overall performance is quite slick as you can expect from a flagship smartphone.

Specs LG V30S ThinQ
Display 6.0-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 2880 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 835
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB Expandable via MicroSD
Rear camera 13+16MP
Front camera 5MP
Battery 3,300mAh
USB Type-C
IP68 yes
OS Android Oreo 8.1

Software

One of the aspects where the latest V30S ThinQ takes lead over the last year's V30 is in the software department. The LG V30 was pre-installed with Android Nougat 7.1, later on, the company kicked off rolling Android Oreo update. The V30S ThinQ is running on Android 8.0 straight out of the box. Surprisingly the company didn't bring the latest Android Oreo 8.1.

The V30S ThinQ brings all goodies of Android Oreo straight out of the box including PIP for youtube, new notification system, updated Maps, Hangouts and much more. The LG's custom UI is running on the stock Android OS with a number of refinements. The LG custom UI brings a number of customization features. LG V-lineup smartphones are known for being media-centric smartphones and the good thing is the latest V30S ThinQ is no exception. However, it brings only a few refinements over the V30.

Audio setup

As mentioned above the LG V-lineup flagships are known for their top-notch audio setup. You can enjoy the Quad DAC performance not only via 3.5mm headphones but also via wireless headphones as well. The company packed the V30S ThinkQ with an audiophile hardware to ensure it tunes the audio experience. We already discussed the audio capabilities of V30 in our preview. so if you want to know more about audio capabilities of V30S ThinQ, you can check it out.

Battery

Unfortunately, the battery cell is one aspect where V30S isn't different from the last year device. The battery cell remains 3,300mAH. The only difference is the latest Android Oreo brings better power management so the only enhancement is on the software basis. Google already claimed Doze mode is further refined with the Android Oreo to optimize the battery life.

On a single charge, the device can easily last one day on normal to heavy usage. However, if you are not a heavy user, you can even enhance the battery life to the second day as well. The device took almost 100 minutes to charge from 0 to 100, its the same time as the V30. The Android Oreo certainly enhances the battery life up to some extent. Due to being a water and dust resistance device, LG ditched the removable battery which was a signature feature of last two years LG V-series smartphones.

Camera

One of the key selling aspects of V30S ThinQ is indeed the upgrades in the camera app. The company didn't bring changes in hardware instead they relied on the software to enhance the user experience of the camera. With the new V30S ThinQ, LG brought three new features QLens, AI Cam, and new bright mode. All these features are certainly new but didn't enhance the experience to whole new level.

The dual rear snappers remain 16MP+13MP modules whereas the front-facing selfie camera is the wide-angle 5MP sensor. The camera app looks are further refined thanks to the latest Android Oreo. Still, it is one of the best camera apps with a number of customization options. Before digging in the new features, it is important to mention that if you are amongst those who rely heavily on their smartphones to capture moments, in that case, you should consider alternative options like Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S9, P20 Pro and iPhone X as well because the V30S ThinQ is certainly not the best camera-centric phone in the market.

Starting with the QLens, this feature allows using the camera as an item scanner whose match can be found on Pinterest ar Amazon. It certainly a positive addition to having on board but certainly not a deal breaker. The QLes also allows the user to scan QR codes as well.

The AI Cam is certainly the most impressive feature amongst the all new features. if you open camera with AI Cam it will scan the object to identify what your sensor is looking at. This feature allows the camera to better adjust exposure levels and other settings to capture amazingly. It is one of the best auto modes which works perfectly to identify object and capture accordingly. If you are not pro user and wants to capture shots perfectly, you can use AI Cam to capture perfectly according to the environment.

The last feature which LG introduced with the V30S ThinQ is new Bright Mode which enhances the lighting during capturing in low-light conditions. The camera aperture of both the V30 and V30S ThinQ remains f/1.6 but the new mode enhances the low-light results of the latest device.

Conclusion:

The LG's expectations from the V30S ThinQ are certainly not too high as the company is well aware it's not easy to compete against the latest flagships with a six months older device. The main aim of V30S ThinQ is to set a stage for the upcoming flagship G7 which most likely will be announced in next few weeks. At the time of the V30S ThinQ announcement, LG already confirmed these features will be rolled out to the V30 customers via a software update. This means V30 customers should not upgrade to the latest V30S ThinQ unless they are willing to pay extra for the more RAM and storage.

Well, if you are an LG fan and want to grab a powerhouse from the company the V30S ThinQ could be your next smartphone but in our view, you should wait for the G7 before grabbing the V30S ThinQ. Although the company brought few hardware and software upgrades but still the V30S ThinQ looks aged in front of latest flagships which not only cost less but also bringing a better hardware and camera setup.

In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts regarding the V30S ThinQ preview and are you willing to grab it instead of any other latest phone? Feel free to share your thoughts with fellow readers in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons and previews.

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