When it comes to smartphones, Samsung is the world leader, with Apple coming in second with about half of Samsung’s market share. Numbers 3, 4, 5 & 6 are all Chinese brands – quite the market in a country with more than 1.4 billion people. And then there’s LG, the also-ran in market share to its South Korean cousin, Samsung. But LG is by no means a slouch in making a good quality high-end phone, as the LG V30+, one of its latest, clearly shows; it’s a worthy competitor to the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X.
The LG V30+ is – as the name implies – something a little bit more than the slightly lower priced alternative, the LG V30. Both phones have Octa core processors with Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets and 4 GB of operating RAM; both have 6-inch Gorilla Glass screens; 16-megapixel rear cameras with 5 MP selfie cameras; rear fingerprint sensors (also the on/off button); and even standard 3.5mm headphone jacks. They are dust-proof and water-resistant, and both models also allow wireless charging and have a USB-C port.
The differences: the LG V30+ has 128 GB of built-in RAM for apps & storage while the V30 has only 64 GB. But both also have a slot for a micro-SD card capable of up to 2 TB of additional storage space. The LG V30+ has a P-OLED screen, as opposed to an OLED on V30, a manufacturing difference you’ll likely not notice in the display, as the resolutions are exactly the same. They use slightly different batteries but with the same capacities, and the LG V30+ allows for two SIM cards, good if you’re traveling to other countries or parts of the US where your “home” cell carrier doesn’t have a good signal. Oh, and the “plus” includes good earbuds.
The LG V30+ works quite well with the Android 7.1 Nougat operating system and has all the usual Google-built features. I found it comfortable in my hand, but because it is glass front & back with polished metal edging, it can be slippery (it even slowly slid off my slightly tilted desk!), so buying a case for it makes safety sense, and several are available. The camera is very good with a nice wide-angle view, and the phone’s sound quality is excellent with a Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital to analog converter), which the V30 also has.
The LG V30+ is not a bargain phone by any means, running about $900 at Sprint or Sprint dealers such as Best Buy. T-Mobile is also getting it, and eventually, the other carriers should have it too. On Amazon, there are currently unlocked LG V30+ phones for sale, but they are listed as “International Version” with no U.S. warranty (same currently with the LG V30 at about $800), so proceed at your own risk.