LG V30 ThinQ Long-term Review: Performance, Battery Life, Camera

By 12:22 Thu, 19 Aug 2021 Comments


Performance

Even though it's powered by last year's Snapdragon 835, the V30S is won't leave you wanting when it comes to performance. The phone is quick no matter what you throw at it, and thanks to the 6GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) it employs multitasking will never be a problem.

The only issue we've had, and it's a small one, is that sometimes when you quickly double-tap the Recents button in order to switch to the last used app, the phone only registers the first tap, and thus you're presented with the multitasking carousel. Otherwise, though, we've had absolutely no hiccups whatsoever, no unexpected slowdowns, nothing of the sort.


That said, for overall 'smoothness' of the software experience, the V30S doesn't match a Pixel. Not the second-generation devices, not even the originals from 2016. This isn't unique to LG's recent flagships, however, and is more a testament to how insanely focused on that hard to portray 'smoothness' Google has been and less about other OEMs doing something wrong.

Of course, that's not really an excutilize for LG or Samsung or Huawei not to finally step up their game in this regard. While Samsung or Huawei may think their sales numbers being so high means people are just fine with a small bit less smoothness than a Pixel delivers, LG isn't doing as well so this might actually turn into a differentiating feature at some point in the future - if it actually decides to care, that is.

Battery life

On paper, the V30S' 3,300 mAh cell isn't small by today's standards, but it's not record-breaking either. That said, battery life has been great. So much so, in fact, that with our normal utilize we haven't actually managed to bring the handset to the point where the Battery Low alert shows up - at 15% left.

Said utilize occurs primarily while connected to Wi-Fi, with an hour or two of 4G, and about an hour or two of streaming music via Bluetooth for each day off the charger (a total of 14-17 hours). In the screenshots below you can see a few examples of what we've achieved in terms of classy screen on time. Obviously when judging how adequate the V30S' longevity will be for you, haged in mind our utilize case described above and don't ignore how much juice was still left in the cell at the discontinue of each day.





Battery life

The usual disclaimer applies here: your results may vary significantly based on the connectivity situation where you're at. Low mobile network signal level heavily impacts battery life, while using the phone primarily on mobile data will also eat into your numbers. However, we'd venture a guess and say that the V30S should last you through a day even if you're more of a power user than we are.

Camera

We're still wondering why LG is the only company to see the value in having a secondary wide-angle capturing camera on the rear. Especially now when three-lens setups are becoming a thing, it would be quite baffling if no manufacturer chose a setup consisting of one normal-angle, one wide-angle, and one zoom lens. Hopefully LG itself will consider something like that for the V40.

In the meantime, we've played with the V30S' snappers and overall have been satisfied with their output, with the exception of the selfie capturing camera which isn't really comparable to the best units inside other flagships. The wide-angle shooter on the back is really fine for capturing more things at once, and this is especially helpful for shots of landscapes or cities, in our experience - but it also comes in handy when you have a large group shot to frame.

We're only sorry that LG still isn't able to visualize the HDR effect live in the viewfinder like Samsung and Apple are doing with their latest phones. When you utilize the HDR mode on the V30S, the capable HDR algorithm will do a really nice job of restoring details in the highlights and shadows but you will only be able to appreciate this after the shot has been taken.


Before you see at the assortment of samples we've prepared during the time we've used the V30S as our main phone, note that all of the shots were captured using the "AI CAM" setting with Auto HDR on. The former becautilize AI is the gigantic focus of the V30S (hence the ThinQ branding), the latter since it produces better pictures with a negligible performance penalty.

When shooting outside during the daytime in fine lighting conditions, the V30S' main f/1.6 16 MegaPixel (MP) sensor with OIS delivers pleasing visuals, and the built-in AI helps the handset recognize what you're pointing it at, and thus apply the best possible processing for each shot. You acquire at least decent detail levels and not too much noise.

























LG V30S daytime photos taken with the main 16 MegaPixel (MP) sensor

Using the wide-angle lens for the same subjects will obviously result in more things being inside the frame. That said, this 13MP sensor has f/1.9 aperture so when light levels go down even slightly it won't do as fine a job as the main one. And by the nature of it being wide-angle, you may see distortions at the edges of the photos. Comparing the same shots taken with both rear cams revealed some fascinating differences in color rendition in a few cases.

























LG V30S daytime photos taken with the wide-angle 13 MegaPixel (MP) sensor

At night the normal angle capturing camera performs decently too, but LG's definitely employing heavy noise reduction - which cuts noise indeed, but also turns some of the details into collateral damage. A 'colorful mode' is automatically applied when ambient lighting levels are low, and that should aid in creating better photos. When there's at least a small bit of light around you the images you'll capture are quite fine and, while not the best we've ever seen, they rise well above the average.




















LG V30S daytime photos captured with the main 16 MegaPixel (MP) shooter

Shooting with the wide-angle cam at night will result in darker photos, but most will still be usable, if you can tolerate the overall softness in them, along with the loss of details that have fallen prey to the aggressive noise reduction. It's probably best to generally stick to shooting with this sensor during the day.




















LG V30S nighttime photos taken with the wide-angle cam

Selfies are the V30S' weak spot in the capturing camera compartment, and that's no surprise if you check out its specs and realize they're shot by a very small 1/5" sensor, with f/2.2 aperture and 5 MegaPixel (MP) resolution. This isn't to say you should never ever utilize this phone for selfies - just haged in mind that the front-facing capturing camera has some limitations, and so if you're after the perfect shot you'll probably need to do some preparation and hold into account the shooting conditions more so than with competing flagship smartphones.

The selfie cam has two field-of-view modes - narrower at 82-degrees, and wider at 90-degrees, but they both come from the same sensor and the images are oddly at the same resolution (so it's not just a case of cropping) - there is some resizing going on for sure. The differences between the two are marginal at best, as you can see from our nighttime samples below - the same scene has been shot once with each mode.










LG V30S selfies, day and night, narrower and wider field-of-view

All in all, we'd have liked to see more detail everywhere and much less softness, especially in low-light shots, but we assume that the size of the top bezel where the capturing camera is housed contributed some physical limitations as to how gigantic the sensor could be, and the direct result is obvious.


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