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The LG V lineup is anything but stale. Every single year since the LG V10, LG has completely overhauled the design, further improving the build quality and durability. The V30 is LG’s latest smartphone so let’s see how it compares to last year’s device.
Upon first glance, you’d be hard-pressed to learn that these two devices are related. The V30 features a build with an aluminum frame sandwiched between two sheets of Gorilla Glass 5. The sides of the glass are curved to help materials blend seamlessly with one another. The V20 also features an aluminum metal build construction but with less polish. The sides are flat and the separation of materials is more noticeable.
One big benefit of the V20’s build is the removable back cover, which can allow you to swap out the batteries. It’s very rare that you see this feature in smartphones today. Both phones do have a USB-C port, volume rocker on the side, rear-facing fingerprint scanner that doubles as a power button, you have a headphone jack on both devices, bottom-facing speaker grilles, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
The V30 has a much improved display. Not only does it have a larger 6-inch P-OLED display with a QHD resolution but it has a slimmer overall footprint, thanks to the thin top, bottom, and side bezels. The V20 has a nice 5.7-inch QHD LCD display but it just doesn’t quite pop like the P-OLED panel and it has considerably larger top and bottom bezels. It does have a separate display up top that you can use to access quick settings and view notifications, something that the V30 doesn’t carry over completely. LG has however implemented some software features like a floating bar to add these features without installing a second display via the hardware.
Both phones do run Android Nougat even though the V30 is launching right around the same time as Android Oreo, it still has Nougat running out of the box, at least for now. This is a fairly heavy LG skin on top of Nougat that I think pure Android users will probably not enjoy. But in my experience, it does continue to get lighter with each LG smartphone. You can install a third party launcher like the Google Now launcher and bring back some of that good, pure stock Android goodness.
Under the hood, the V30 is being powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset with 4GB of RAM while the V20 is being powered by a Snapdragon 820 chipset with 4GB of RAM as well. So performance is good across the board. You probably won’t notice too much of a performance boost between the two devices and I wouldn’t recommend you upgrade from the V20 solely for the performance improvements.
LG has tweaked the cameras a little bit but they too are very similar. Both feature a 16-megapixel main shooter paired with a wide-angle sensor. The V30 does feature an f/1.6 aperture which should help it excel in low-light photography while the V20 features an f/1.8 aperture sensor that should perform pretty well in this department too but just not quite as well as the V30. It’s worth adding that the wide-angle sensor on the V30 is a 13-megapixel sensor while the wide-angle sensor on the V20 is an 8-megapixel sensor and the V30’s wide-angle sensor has been improved for low-light photography. It has an f/1.9 aperture as opposed to the f/2.4 aperture on the wide-angle sensor of the V20. So there’s definitely some hardware improvements but they are more or less the same. You both get a main shooter and a wide-angle sensor.
The V30 has also placed a heavy emphasis on cinematography. There’s a Cine Mode, which lets you add zoom effects and color profiles, you can manually control the camera. If you’re serious about video, you should definitely lean towards the V30.
In terms of power, the V30 features a 3300mAh non-removable battery while the the V20 features a 3200mAh removable battery. The ability to pop off the back and insert a fully charged secondary battery is really nothing to overlook if you’re a power user. Of course, the downside of this is the lack of waterproofing. The V20 features no waterproofing features while the V30 is IP68 water and dust-resistant.
Speaker quality is gonna be about the same. I’m hoping LG installs a front-facing speaker in their next flagship to really improve media consumption. The V30 does have a 32-bit advanced HiFi Quad DAC which should appeal to those who really like listening to music via headphones.
So with that last one, those are really the key differences between the LG V30 and LG V20. Not really a whole lot has changed in the software and performance department but the build has been significantly modernized to rival the premium devices that Samsung and Apple are selling.
I’m curious, do you think the V30 is worth upgrading to from the V20? I want to hear your thoughts in a comment down below.