LG V30 review: All screen

GSMArena team, 13 September 2017.

Active matrix OLEDs can be plastic too, this is a 6-inch one

The LG V30 is equipped with a P-OLED display, and LG made it clear that it's an 'active matrix' like Samsung's, but the 'AM' bit is just not part of LG's trademarks. The 'P', on the other hand, stands for plastic - the base layer on which the display is built is not glass but plastic.

LG V30 review

While we haven't recently been to a Samsung display manufacturing plant, the company's curved AMOLEDs should be plastic underneath as well. Also, LG used P-OLED displays back in G Flex and G Flex 2 days, when Samsung's curved AMOLEDs weren't yet all the rage.

Anyway, the LG V30's FullVision display is in a 2:1 aspect ratio, as probably most high-end phones will be from this year on. Resolution is 1,440x2,880 pixels and that amounts to 537ppi, and that's plenty.

LG V30 review

When it comes to brightness, the V30 managed a little over 400nits with the auto brightness turned off. In auto mode, however, it's able to push 600+ nits, up there with the Galaxy S8. The S8+ can shine a little brighter, though.

Unlike Samsung's AMOLEDs, the V30's screen does show some illumination in the blacks - not enough for you to see, but there for our testing equipment to spot. For purposes practical however, you can assume that contrast is infinite, or at least vastly superior to the best of LCDs.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Nokia 8 0.382 703 1840
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (max auto) 0.50 681 1362
Samsung Galaxy S8+ Max auto 0 647
LG V20 Max auto 0.59 628 1064
Samsung Galaxy S8 Max auto 0 618
LG V30 (Max Auto) 0.032 616 19250
HTC U11 (Max Auto) 0.373 583 1563
Sony Xperia XZ Premium 0.463 573 1238
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 0.41 573 1398
LG G6 max auto 0.277 564 2036
Huawei P10 Plus 0.335 547 1633
HTC U11 0.308 483 1568
LG V20 0.43 475 1097
LG G6 0.228 468 2053
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 0 442
Samsung Galaxy S8 0 440
OnePlus 5 0 435
Google Pixel XL 0 432
LG V30 0.002 414 207000

Minimum brightness is 3.3nits, not the nominal 1nit we've seen on occasion, but still perfectly adequate for nighttime viewing.

Out in the sun the V30 posts high marks for contrast, out of reach for most LCDs, yet falling short of Samsung's finest.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

As is all too common, in the default 'Normal' mode whites are visibly shifted towards blue/purple. Average DeltaE in this mode is 6.2 with a maximum of 11.1 for 100% Red. In the other pre-set modes, whites are much better controlled (DeltaE 2-3) and average DeltaE is around 4, with only a marginal decrease in maximum brightness. There's also a fully customizable mode with sliders for color temperature and for the three primary colors so you can tweak the display to your particular taste.

It needs to be said that the V30's color rendition degrades quite noticeably when viewed at an angle - it gets even bluer. We haven't observed this with recent Samsungs.

Connectivity

The LG V30 is powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset and benefits from the wide range of connectivity features Qualcomm's SoC offers, and that includes Gigabit LTE (Cat.16 for downlink, Cat.13 or 150Mbps uplink). Single SIM and dual SIM versions will be available, ours happens to be the single SIM variety.

Wi-Fi b/g/n over 2.4GHz and a/n/ac over 5GHz is supported. There's the latest Bluetooth 5 with improved range and speed plus aptX and aptX HD for those who are into high quality wireless audio. NFC support is another check mark on the spec sheet. Positioning is handled by GPS and GLONASS satellites. There is even an FM radio receiver.

Charging and wired connectivity is using a USB-C interface and the V30 supports USB 3.1 for fast transfers. There's a 3.5mm jack so you don't have to live the dongle life, and also take full advantage of the built-in quad DAC.

LG V30 battery life

We finally got our hands on a retail unit and we used it to re-run all of our tests - we've updated the relevant review sections, battery life included.

The LG V30 packs a 3,300mAh battery, same as the one inside the G6. While the G6 has a smaller display to power, its chipset is built on a less efficient 14nm process, compared to the V30's 10nm Snapdragon 835. On top of that, the V30's OLED display should theoretically be less power-hungry.

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ relies on a higher-capacity 3,500mAh battery to power its 6.2-inch display, though the Galaxy Note8 makes do with 3,300mAh for a 6.3-inch screen. The OnePlus 5T with a 6-inch display, albeit FullHD, also has a 3,300mAh power pack. Then there are the 6-inch U11+ with a generous 3,930mAh capacity, and the Mate 10 Pro with 4,000mAh worth of juice.

Those numbers only serve to get the conversation going, in practice longevity has proven to vary widely in seemingly illogical ways. The 33 hours of 3G call time, for one, is a truly impressive accomplishment on the V30's part, especially after our less than solid experience with the Snapdragon 835 in the past. The standby endurance is also above average.

Web browsing endurance got a boost with the retail-grade firmware and the 9:30h we got out of the finalized V30 unit sounds much better than the 8:15h we measured on the pre-production model. Still not class-leading, though.

On the other hand, video playback longevity ended up close to two hours less on the final unit than on the pre-production one. That said, with 15 hours on the clock, the final V30's result remains superb.

LG V30

Our endurance rating stand for how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the LG V30 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in a combination of the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested compare and you can fine tune the ratio of the endurance rating ingredients to better match your own typical use.