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The V30 isn’t the typical fall flagship from LG. While the V20 was a bountiful bag of tricks for hardcore Android nerds, the V30 is more subtle and refined—LG’s bid to make a premium Android phone that appeals to a wider audience.

The philosophy shift starts with ditching two novel features that were unique to the previous V phones: the removable battery and the second screen. While their usefulness was debatable, they definitely gave the earlier V phones some identity, and there will certainly be a faction of LG fans who rage-tweet about the loss.

But for everyone else, the V30 could be the best phone of the year. The competition is fierce with the Note 8 and Pixel 2, not to mention the iPhone 8 if we’re talking about the entire phone universe. But LG has built a compelling phone that looks good, runs fast, and still manages to deliver features you won’t find on any other smartphone.

Lean and mean design

To look at it, you wouldn’t know the V30 is a follow-up to the V20. It takes most of its design cues from the G6, with thin bezels all around, and rounded corners on the display. Its chin is so thin, in fact, LG had to put its logo on the back for the first time (not that I’m complaining).

lg v30 g6 compare3Michael Simon/IDG

The 6-inch V30 (bottom) is only slightly bigger than the 5.7-inch G6.

At 6 inches, its screen is bigger than the 5.7-inch screens on both the V20 and G6, but it’s not just the size that’s changed. The 1440×2880, 18:9 display that LG pioneered with the G6 makes its way over to the V30, and for the first time, LG is using its P-OLED tech in a major smartphone. Put the V30 side by side with the G6, and the difference is unmistakable. The V30 delivers deeper blacks and better contrast than the LEDs phones that came before, as well as a nice design touch with 2.5D curved edges on the glass.

But even with the larger screen, the V30 is quite a bit smaller than the V20—151.7mm x 75.4mm versus the V20’s 159.7mm x 78.1mm dimensions. For this, we can thank the V30’s 18:9 aspect ratio and slimmer bezels. It’s easy to hold and operate with one hand, and strikes a nice sweet spot (size-wise) between the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.3-inch Note 8. The V30’s sides are a bit more rounded than the G6’s, but otherwise, it’s quite similar, with identical port, button, and speaker placement.

lg v30 g6 compare2Michael Simon/IDG

The V30 (bottom) takes many of its design cues from the G6.

Around the back, LG’s rear power button/fingerprint sensor remains, as does the dual camera, though the camera assembly is much smaller and the bump on the V30 is far less pronounced than on the V20. And while the V30 doesn’t have a removable panel to swap out the battery, the consolation prizes of IP68 water resistance and wireless charging are acceptable trade-offs.

Packed with premium components

The inside of the V30 is just as impressive as the outside. There’s a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 chip, 4GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 3,300mAh battery. Like the V20, you also get 32-bit quad DAC for true hi-fi streaming, along with a pair of high-performance microphones. The upgraded DAC is more customizable with four sound presets, and if you subscribe to a service that streams master quality authenticated (MQA) sound files, the V30 will actually be able to play them.

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