Launched in 2015, LG’s V-series represents a new breed of LG flagships designed to be the ultimate device for creating and consuming content. While each release has given users something to love, that vision hasn’t been fully realized until today’s V30 launch in Berlin.
If there’s something that resonated most during my short test period with this phone, it’s that the V30 has the potential to be the perfect smartphone companion for content creators. And while that may sound like the V30 is a niche device, it definitely isn’t.
Even if you weren’t into its set of pro tools — which we’ll discuss in full later — the V30 has plenty to offer casual users looking for a great all-around phone. It ticks off so many boxes, we don’t know where to begin.
Look and feel
I’ve said it many times over: When it comes smartphones, looks matter, and you’ll find that seeing a device in person is like going on a first date. I want a phone that evokes this indescribable pull, a phone that makes me want to keep picking it up and holding it. The V30 is such a phone.
The phone is a stunner. And while I loved the rugged and rubberized feel of 2015’s V10, and the removable metallic back cover of the V20, the new all-glass design of the V30 feels like a step up in the looks department.
The review unit I tested came in Cloud Silver, which had a similar sheen to my Ice Platinum G6, but with a different texture to it. The V30 is also available in three other colors: Aurora Black, Lavender Violet, and the color I really want, Moroccan Blue.
Up front, its display now has very subtle curves, and finally on an LG flagship, a gorgeous near-borderless 6-inch OLED display. The combination is top-notch. And despite the shift in materials of choice, LG says the V30 is still built tough with the same adherence to military standards, although one would assume that glass is more fragile than the silicon and metal of past V-series phones.
Because the front of the phone is all display, there are only three physical buttons on the device, volume buttons on the left, and a power button with fingerprint sensor on the back. The dual-camera module on its rear also takes up a smaller footprint, and because there aren’t any visible antenna bands, the whole back side has a more polished look.
The only real downside is that the glass back, like any other all-glass smartphone, is quite the fingerprint magnet. In case you were wondering: Yes, there is a headphone jack on top of the phone. Down below are the microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grilles.
The V30 sports dual cameras, which has become a long-running tradition on LG flagships. As usual, one’s a normal lens, while the other is an ultra-wide-angle lens — perfect for capturing architecture and majestic landscapes.
Both cameras are an improvement over last year’s models, according to LG. The company boasts the use of a clear glass lens that captures more light unlike the conventional plastic material used on most smartphones. The main shooter is still 16 megapixels, but this time has a larger f/1.6 lens. That means there a larger opening for more light to come in, which is great for taking photos at night or in dimly lit places.
Meanwhile, the secondary wide-angle lens has been improved with a 12 megapixels sensor and f/1.9 lens. And, while it fits more elements into a photo, it minimizes distortion (or the fisheye effect) on the image. That was an issue we had with the V20 from last year, wherein there was a considerable amount of distortion on the edges of wide-angle photos.
Being a multimedia tool, it still has the full manual controls for shooting, but the V30 is kicking things up a notch by introducing its Cine Log feature. For the unfamiliar, using Log basically maximizes the dynamic range in order to preserve more details during post-processing. This term is usually tossed around between filmmakers and video editors, so LG has made a clear direction for this handset.
Another feature is something LG calls Point Zoom. What it does is smoothly zoom in on a specific area even when it’s not at the center of the frame — just tap the area and adjust the slider to zoom.
Have a specific look you want for your shots? LG worked with professionals on Cine Effect to offer a set of presents that dramatically change the look and feel of your video. There’s a wide selection, so check out our hands-on video to see them in action! Adding to its slew of video features is high-frame rate recording at 120fps at Full HD
Here’s what V30 photos look like. All these were shot in auto mode:
Software, specs, and security
As expected of any flagship smartphone this half of the year, the LG V30 comes with the best-available processor in the Snapdragon 835. During our time with it, we weren’t disappointed by the performance. Every app ran smoothly, and there were rarely any hiccups or stuttering.
If we’re being nit-picky, the V30 only has 4GB of RAM, which may be behind some other premium phones that offer 6GB, but to be honest, 4GB is more than sufficient. Android 7.1.2, which is the latest build of Nougat, should be optimized enough to keep power-hungry apps at bay, but it’s no Oreo.
The software experience on the V30 is great. LG’s Android skin covers the basics and throws in plenty of its own customizations without bogging you down. Things like knocking to turn on the display are always a great touch. First seen on the Q6, LG brings its facial recognition technology to the V30. Not to be confused with an iris scanner, facial recognition uses the front camera for some sort of a biometric scan. If you train the phone under multiple lighting conditions, facial recognition works great except when the light gets too low.
LG has also thrown in voice recognition which lets you unlock your voice with a voice command. While a fun party trick, voice unlock is still a tad bit too slow. I’d still prefer using the fingerprint sensor which is conveniently placed on the back of the phone, away from the camera module!
Unlike any of its predecessors, the V30 does not have a secondary display. In its place, LG added a software feature called Floating Bar. When turned on, you get this little tab that expands to reveal a bunch of shortcuts to apps, contacts, and other tools.
While the 3300mAh battery looks adequate on paper, we’ll have to bombard the V30 as a daily driver before we can say for sure if its capacity is enough. And unlike with the V10 and V20, you can’t simply swap the battery for a fully charged one. Looks like the era of hot-swappable batteries is dead.
Is the LG V30 your GadgetMatch?
Because of the timing of its release, the V30 will most likely be compared to the phones that come immediately before and after it, including the Galaxy Note 8, Pixel 2, and iPhone 8 — all worthy contenders.
Pending the release of the latter, if you compare the Note 8 versus the V30, our answer would require a comprehensive answer. How LG chooses to price the phone will be a big factor; if LG can set it at about US$ 200 lower than the Note 8 (somewhere in the US$ 750 to US$ 800 range), it would be an easy phone to recommend to anyone.
In all aspects, this phone is a standout. It delivers on expectations, does amazingly well where it matters most, and doesn’t compromise. If you’re in the market for a top-of-the-line Android smartphone and have the money for it, then by all means take home a V30. You won’t regret it.
[irp posts=”19282″ name=”LG V30 features 6-inch FullVision OLED, brightest phone camera”]
Neo QLED TV: Samsung bringing the best of all worlds
A TV that does it all. No compromises.
The blue pill or the red pill? It’s a question that’s circulated in the Internet’s meme culture but it was born out of The Matrix film franchise. There’s a deeper explanation on the two choices but we’re not gonna get into that.
We’re here because when buying a TV, the choices previously were a display with a brighter image or a display with deeper blacks. Well, Samsung says with the Neo QLED TV. You don’t have to choose.
The Samsung Neo QLED TV is easily one of the best TVs you can buy today. The company has made strides in their display tech, picture quality processing, gaming, and so much more.
It’s a TV that caters to all kinds of needs. Whether you’re a TV or cinema buff, a gamer, or someone who likes to work on a humongous screen — The Neo QLED TV is packed with features to address all of these.
We have a lot to get through so let’s dive right in.
Bright and dark
With the introduction of Neo QLED tech, the company has also improved in the deeper blacks department. Samsung’s QLED tech has always been about providing bright and vivid picture quality without the risk of burn-in. With the introduction of Neo QLED tech, the company has also improved in the deeper blacks department.
We had a whole explanation before about how the QLED thing works, but in a nutshell these are small LED lights. Great, right? But what’s different is that those Quantum LEDs are now even smaller with the new Quantum Mini LED which offer a more precise dimming control. That leads to the perfect blend of bright images and sharp, dark blacks.
You only really have to tweak your picture quality settings once and you won’t feel the need to touch it again. Whether you’re relaxing in the middle of the day or enjoying a movie at night, the image you’re gonna get is quite a sight to behold.
The Neo QLED TV also stands out in a bright room not only for its brightness and picture quality but also for its anti-glare coating. You can put the TV right next to a window and you’ll still see clear and crisp images.
Sounds about right
Naturally, you still have Samsung’s upscaling tech which is even better than ever. Making sure you’re getting as close to 4K as possible for non-4K source content. If you wanna take things further the Neo QLED is also available in 8K with the same upscaling tech.
The viewing experience isn’t complete without sound to accompany it. The Neo QLED TV employs what it calls a SpaceFit Sound.
The TV is equipped with sensors to determine its place in whatever room you decide to place it in. It then analyzes the surroundings and tunes the sound to one that best suits the space. It also has Object Tracking Sound or OTS. The Neo QLED has upfiring, sidefiring, and downfiring output vs conventional TVs which only have two speakers.
Sound doesn’t get any smarter than that. Or does it?
The TVs speakers are fine on their own. But you can elevate that experience with a Samsung sound bar. Why Samsung? Well, more than the punchier bass the TV and the soundbar will work together to deliver an even better sound — this is called Q-Symphony. It’s like magic for your ears and it works in tandem with OTS and Space-Fit for that room-filling sound.
We’ve had the pleasure of being exposed to this and it’s honestly the best kind of cinematic experience you can get seeing as we still have little to no access to actual cinemas due to the pandemic. It’s the kind of assault to your senses that you’ll never get enough of.
Gaming and more
Now this is where it gets really fun. The Samsung Neo QLED TV is ready for the best gaming consoles today. Depending on the size and model you opt to get, you’ll have anywhere between one to four HDMI 2.1 ports. That means support for 4K, 60hz and 4K, 120Hz smooth gaming.
This one that we’ve used in particular was consistently giving us 4K, 60Hz. Only because we don’t really own a game that gets up to 120Hz. PlayStation 5 upgraded titles like Ghost of Tsushima look extra epic. Saving your island from invaders has never looked so good and so satisfying.
But the great thing about it is the expanded Game Mode settings. If you’re a PC gamer, you’ll likely get more out of this.
Just press and hold the play-pause button while in Game Mode to pull up the Game Bar. Here your Neo QLED TV can shift from the standard 16:9 aspect ratio to either a 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratio for a wider field of view.
This is perfect for shooter games that require you to be attentive to your surroundings. Speaking of shooter games, the Auto Low Latency Mode or ALLM is also a boon. Combined with Motion Xcelerator Turbo+, you’ll maneuver the stage unlike any other with no delay from your input to the screen. Now all you really have to work on is your aim.
Going back to the remote real quick. This one’s not exactly gaming related but is worth pointing out. Layout-wise, Samsung’s remote is already one of our favorites. They take it up a notch by providing Neo QLED TVs with solar powered ones saving what they say is about 99 million of AAA batteries over the course of seven years.
You also get a cool feature where you can display screens from different sources. For instance, you can take a quick break from your adventures in Midgar on Final Fantasy VII Remake to watch TWICE’s “Alcohol Free” music video. It’s a neat feature that works on all your input sources. Which means you can pull up different things and enjoy your TV the way you want.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The Samsung Neo QLED TV is literally for everyone. It gives you more options so you can enjoy the content you like the way you want to enjoy them Blue pill or red pill? No need to choose. With the Neo QLED TV, you get the best of all worlds.
The Samsung Neo QLED TV is available now and starts at PhP 109,999.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Samsung Philippines.
From slate to foldable: What is it like to switch to the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G?
Taking a leap outside of my comfort zone with slate and slab phones
My affair with foldable phones has been similar to my dating life. I’m always cynical and skeptical at the premise of something promising. When you’ve lived life knowing a kind of love that only crashes and burns, you revel in the comfort of that familiar feeling.
That’s similar to how I felt when I saw the first generation of the Galaxy Z Flip. I lashed and criticized how impractical foldable phones would be — despite knowing deep down I’m attracted to it. A projection, you might say, because I haven’t faced the fact that sometimes it’s okay to like something that seems a little different from what you’ve known.
But that was a few years ago. My perspective changed when I realized how enchanting foldable phones were. And using the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G now was definitely a game-changer. And I just couldn’t let it go.
So gorgeous, it actually hurts
It was a fine evening back in February 2020 at Grand Hyatt Manila when I first saw the Galaxy Z Flip showcased together with the S20 series. It felt like ‘right phone, wrong time’. We simply weren’t aligned. What with the exorbitant price tag and my unwelcoming remark towards the foldable phone.
18 months later, the flip phone and I met again — but better versions of ourselves. With new iterations and better appreciation of the form factor, it was like a divinely orchestrated reunion. This time, I think it was right.
It’s okay to like something that seems a little different from what you’ve known.
Seeing the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G in luscious cream color, equipped with the latest specifications and sporting necessary features that I need, as it sleekly opens tugs a string in my heart; I’ve never wanted something like this in my life. Heart racing from excitement. Nervously grasping how beautiful it was. Seemingly magnetic that I want to grab it with my hands.
And yet, I wonder. Is it another love at first sight? Am I diving in headfirst without knowing what red flags might occur down the line? I couldn’t care less. That’s what it means to take a leap outside of your comfort zone, right?
And all at once, you’re all I want
The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G has certainly been getting a lot of attention when it was launched during Unpacked 2021. The lower price tag and an even more beautiful iteration of its predecessors; I was lucky to get a preview of this charmer before the whole world saw it. Quietly, intimately. And from the moment I laid eyes on it, I knew I had to make it mine.
And that’s what happened when the flip phone launched and it landed into my arms the next day. I was disheveled, seemingly jumping out of glee. It’s here. It’s right here.
I caressed it, stunned at its marvelous sight. My eyes glimmered with enthusiasm as I flipped it open for the first time. Even though I’m unsure what hiccups I might encounter while using the phone, I decided it’s going to be my daily driver.
Switching from slate to foldable wasn’t something I expected I’ll be doing soon. Sure, I did try the Galaxy Z Fold2 and it somehow became a phone that I used to do my work remotely or for tuning in at Clubhouse. But I was still using the usual slab phones as my daily driver. So switching to the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G as a daily driver was a serious jump.
Isn’t it delicate?
When I shared the flip phone on my social media platforms, friends and acquaintances alike gasped in admiration, and posed a crucial query: Isn’t it delicate?
Indeed, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G felt fragile when you constantly flip the phone close and open. I remember walking around and taking it out of my pocket. Using it bare without a case, I held it tightly even when it’s closed and compact that it rests easily in my palm. I couldn’t be sure.
That’s when I realized how important it is to dress the phone with a case for a worry-free experience. Samsung introduced a bunch of cases to match different personalities, so you can always order one in case you’re worried about the Flip.
But then again, it’s unfair to treat it like a glass cannon. The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G packs so much power without forsaking its defenses. Its frame uses armor aluminum — the same strong material used on the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G — and a Gorilla Glass Victus for the glassy portions, an added protection against scratches and accidental drops.
Its screen panels are also strengthened. Flipping it close and open constantly won’t do harm and no, the screen and hinge won’t break apart. Although over time, the hinge started to loosen up compared to when I first used it. But, that’s expected for anything tight and with a hinge — they loosen up after constant usage. 😉
More importantly, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G has an IPX8 certification now — the highest rating for waterproofing. You can submerge it up to 1.5 meters underwater, for up to 30 minutes. Although, its dust protection is questionable since it doesn’t have any rating.
Nonetheless, I wasn’t afraid to use the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G for my day-to-day chores. The IPX8 rating gave me peace of mind that I can use the phone even if my hands were sweaty from working out, or when I’m in the shower.
Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?
When opened, it’s just like your average smartphone like the Galaxy S21. It makes so much more sense than using the Fold since the Flip still gives that familiar vertical slate when opened. Some curious cats asked, “How about the crease?”
I’d say, you won’t feel it if you’re scrolling from the bottom half of the phone. But if your finger scrolls in the middle, you’d definitely feel the crease and get annoyed with that uneven part.
The power button slash fingerprint scanner along with the volume rockers are placed a little bit higher than usual, though. So you might need to adjust to it.
But for the most part, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G lets you experience the best of both worlds: keeping that familiar slate affair without shying away from a new form factor.
High above the whole scene
What makes the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G interesting is the flexibility and versatility it offers. And how it makes everything convenient. When closed, I can adjust my music playback on the cover screen. And it comes with different widgets that you can customize, most of which are tools you’d normally use on your smartphone.
But being able to check the notifications as you would on your smartwatch, that felt really convenient. I can see from a glance who messaged me, and I can decide quickly if the person involved — or their concern which they sent as a message — is important enough for me to respond as soon as possible.
This helps me manage my time and prevent unnecessary scrolling on my phone. When you have a phone that’s too lovely to hold, it’s easy to get addicted and use it for hours.
Setting off, but not without my muse
The best part, for me, is utilizing Flex Mode. I had a marvelous time playing around with it and realized how it’s the little things that set this foldable apart.
For one, it’s easier taking calls with my colleagues or catching up with my partner — without the need for a phone stand since the Flip itself can prop as a tripod. I also had a wondrous time scrolling and checking updates from my favorite artists. And it kind of looks good when you play your music or watch videos while on Flex Mode.
Even my best friend had a wonderful time using the Flip and used it as a compact mirror when she needed to reapply her lipstick. She even likened how easy it is to carry and put inside her pocket and purse.
Above all, I could call the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G my muse especially for taking inspiration for my art and for helping me with my photographs. Its versatility adapts in any situation, helping me in capturing sceneries and even mastering the art of selfies. Whether it’s by Flex Mode or using it as your familiar slate.
Undoubtedly, it’s equipped with a flagship-level camera because, surprise, it’s still a flagship phone. Its cameras may not be as excellent as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but it’s still enough to take Pinterest- and Instagram-worthy photos that you’d love to print some time.
Use my best colors for your portrait
Now that we’re on the topic: there are several ways you can maximize the Flip’s cameras. And that all depends on your shooting style and scenarios.
Most of the time, I use it like a regular smartphone. It captures nicely — perfect for my Instagram Stories and snaps to update my partner about my day.
It has the same functionalities as the S21 series, so you get to experience near-quality cameras, too.
Shooting in Flex Mode doesn’t have to be used for selfies alone. I use it to take low-angle shots for worm-eye views to make the subjects appear big and long — which can be useful for your travel photos if you’re a shorty who wants to look tall.
But Flex Mode has been perfect for recording my training which I send to my coach while we’re still not allowed to go back to the gym. And for what it’s worth, the Flip’s cameras can work for anyone — even if you’re going to use it for your TikTok jams.
Onto its Cover Display, you can shoot photos and videos even with its compact size — making it apt for those who want to shoot their vlogs and record videos while they walk. The only caveat, which Michael Josh has pointed out in his review, is how the output is limited to a square aspect ratio.
Nonetheless, it still solidifies the truth that anyone can use this foldable — only if your mind, heart, body, soul, and wallet are open for the experience.
I don’t want to look at anything else now that I saw you
Just when smartphones are getting unexciting, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G flipped things around. I’m no longer hesitant in trying new form factors, but more importantly, I’m in love with this foldable. I never want to let go.
Do I regret switching from slate to foldable? Not even a little bit, not even at all. Is it my GadgetMatch? Looks like it. Frankly, ’tis an experience I welcome in 2021 — and a moment to try something new. Sometimes, it’s okay to like what’s odd, eccentric, and unfamiliar.
You might have to sail through unchartered waters not knowing what awaits when you switch to a foldable, but the experience will be oh so worth it.
In any case, like the Galaxy Z Fold lineup, there’ll be a certain allure that you can only experience when you get your hands on a foldable phone. And if you spend time using it for quite a while. That je ne sais quoi is probably what made me fall in love.
LG 29WP500 UltraWide Monitor Hands-On
Once you go UltraWide, you can never go back
Are you looking for a monitor for your work, school, or even for play? Well, the new LG 29WP500 UltraWide Monitor might just be the one for you.
But what makes it stand out from the rest of the crowd? And why you should choose going ultra-wide with a wider 21:9 aspect ratio versus a monitor with the conventional 16:9?
Find out more by watching our quick LG 29WP500 UltraWide Monitor review.
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