I have been a Samsung fan for a while; I have always praised their Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. However, LG has really brought the heat to their fellow South Korean rivals lately.
The Galaxy Note series seems to have no direct competitor, there is no smartphone in the market that has mastered note taking to that extent. That aside, Samsung has gone ahead and branded the Note line as the ‘ultimate power user gadget’, it’s a turbo-charged version of the Galaxy S flagship, more power, more battery, more screen real-estate, more technologies embedded such as the dual camera and so forth. However, with the rise of the LG V series, the title of ‘ultimate power user gadget’ seems to be changing hands.
Samsung has had an upper hand in the display department due to their use of AMOLED screens. With the V30, LG has officially started using this technology as well. It will also be a Full Vision display like we saw on the G6, that is, it will have minimal bezels and will cover almost the whole front side of the phone. Even more, the screen will be curved slightly around the edges effectively evening the display game with the Note Series.
LG V30 has been rumored to have the biggest camera aperture of any phone to date at f/1.6, the company will be having a ‘world first’ on their hands (The Galaxy Note 8 has an f/1.7 aperture). We know LG is no slouch at photography, so we expect that they will make good use of the huge aperture especially to get in as much light as possible to produce stunning picture in low light environments. This record breaking aperture will be helped by electronic as well as optical image stabilization (EIS and OIS) plus laser assisted auto focus. LG didn’t stop there, it made the lens out of glass instead of the plastic material used by other manufacturers; this will result to images that have more clarity and fidelity.
Note the slight screen curves at the corners on the leaked video above
Since the V20 had dual cameras on the back, the V30 will maintain this trend. All the cameras specs mentioned above will affect the main rear camera only; the second rear camera – which will be a wide angle lens as usual- has been improved as well. It will have 30% less distortion around the wide angle photos taken. In addition, the whole dual camera setup will be 30% smaller in size resulting to a module that has no camera bump at all. That is, the dual cameras will be completely level with the rest of the back casing (no humps whatsoever). As a reminder, the Galaxy Note 8 is the first Samsung phone to have dual cameras; LG has been refining theirs since they first came on the LG G5 last year and the LG V20 too.
LG V series has gotten the title of a content creator due to its numerous manual controls in both video and photo taking. This year, LG is also adding new professional video file formats suitable for editing.
Samsung recently bought a high end audio company, Harman Kardon, but all smartphone audio changes we have seen since the purchase is the inclusion of AKG earphones in the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 package. LG, on the other hand, goes further, the V30 will maintain the Quad DAC setup of the V20. These four audio enhancers enable the phone to efficiently power anything from a low cost earphone to the high end studio grade headphones.
Moreover, according to leaked information, LG is continuing their partnership with B&O, a professional audio company, to tune the device and even package their earphones in the box of the V30, just like they did with the V20.
The V30 will also come with advanced mics to ensure high quality audio recording. LG V20 last year came with a sound recorder app that was more advanced than those that come with the Galaxy Note series. In fact the whole multimedia creation package in the V series is so good that tech publications last year would normally shoot entire product video reviews with the V20 and leave the heavy DSLR cameras in the office. What’s more amazing is that the viewers would not realize any difference until the reviewer reveals the phone at the end of the video or in the YouTube description.
I don’t know about you, but I think the LG V30 has a more beautiful design than the Galaxy Note 8. The rear and front panels are made of glass that sandwiches a shiny metallic frame. Not to mention the positioning of the fingerprint sensor on the back is more sensible that the mess Samsung did on the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy Note 8. In case you are wondering, both phones will be water and dust resistant and might even take over the Military Standard drop test rating that the V20 had, so no upper hand to the expensive Note 8 here.
For those who love note taking, the LG Quick Memo+ is a well equipped solution that comes integrated into the UX, so people that decide to go the LG way will not be left empty handed.
Speaking of apps, the V30 is said to have a floating window to take over where the secondary display of the V20 left off. Additionally, the Always on Display feature in LG implementation has more options than on the Galaxy Note 8
Both the LG V30 and the Note 8 run on the same hardware, a snapdragon 835 plus 6GB RAM and 64GB internal. There are rumors of an LG V30+ which will have more RAM and/or more storage, this could be region specific, but it will further enforce the ‘ultimate power user gadget’ argument.
Last year, the LG V20 was the first non-nexus/pixel phone to launch with the Nougat update, will LG do the same with the V30 and Android 8 Oreo? Let’s wait and see. For those keeping count, the Galaxy Note 8 comes with Android 7.1.2 Nougat.
Finally, despite the V30 shinning in some areas more than the Galaxy Note 8, leaks state that it will cost lesser. In fact, tech publications put the price of the V30 slightly above $700 while we know the Note 8 will be a whopping 1,000 Euros. LG, therefore, saves you $300 instantly. So, which of the two do you prefer? Want a multimedia powerhouse or a note taker?