LG will soon release the 2017 version of its V-series smartphone — a premium line focused on multimedia performance that’s known for technology firsts and audacious design choices.
Take, for example, last year’s 32-bit Quad DAC on the V20 and the secondary screen that’s been a hallmark for the past two generations.
This year, LG has confirmed that the secondary screen will disappear in favour of a virtual floating bar — but it hasn’t walked back on its dedication to bringing new multimedia features to market, as evidenced by the early announcement of its f/1.6 aperture dual rear shooter.
Check out our comprehensive round-up of rumours, leaks and reveals below ahead of the phone’s August 31st reveal at IFA.
Bye bye secondary display, hello floating bar
In one of its teaser press releases for the V30, LG confirmed that the phone will not feature a secondary display like its predecessors.
The secondary display on those devices was an always-on bar set at the top of the screen that held apps, quick tools and rolling notifications. While interesting in theory, the secondary display was hard to reach and manipulate, which took a toll on its overall value.
The floating bar, in contrast, will likely offer an improvement in terms of being able to easily reach it. In its release, the company described it as a semi-transparent bar that allows for “quick access to frequently used functions” that can be dragged off the screen when not needed.
When powered off, the company notes that the Always-On Display functionality that used to be served by the secondary display is now transferring to the main display and expanding in function.
In addition to a clock, users will be able to customize it with ‘Quick Tools,’ ‘Music Player’ and a personal photograph — with examples shown above.
Facial and voice recognition
In the same press release, LG also stated that with its new LG UX 6.0+, the V30 will have facial recognition technology capable of recognizing a face and unlocking the phone even when the device is asleep.
What’s more, the V30’s future owners will be able to use their voice to unlock the smartphone by saying self-generated keywords. In the same manner as the facial recognition, the phone will unlock without necessitating the press of a button or swipe of a screen.
LG says this capability is supported by Qualcomm Aqstic voice UI technology, which allows it to remain always listening without much energy output.
Camera software and features
LG has also detailed some of the new camera features coming with LG UX6.0+ on the V30, chiefly highlighting a manual mode feature called ‘Graphy.’
Graphy lets users select a picture they like from a library of professional shots and apply the metadata presets — like ISO or white balance settings — from that picture to the photos they’re about to take.
There are also a bunch of different shooting modes — including ‘grid shot’ and ‘snap shot’ — and an easy GIF creator in the gallery app.
Movies can be stitched together from pictures and video clips in the gallery app, too, using the ‘Quick Video Editor.’
Dual-camera setup with f/1.6 aperture
In addition to revealing several elements of the camera’s software experience, LG has also published details about the camera hardware in the V30 — including what is presumably the main selling point of the device: a rear dual camera with a f/1.6 aperture.
In photography, the wider the aperture, the smaller the number — and the more light it captures, which is ideal for low-light shooting. As it stands today, a f/1.6 aperture is the smallest available in any current mobile flagship.
LG says that allows for about 25 percent more light to hit the sensor than a device with a f/1.8 aperture, which graces the iPhone 7 or last year’s V20, for instance.
In that same blog post, LG also revealed it is stocking a glass ‘Crystal Clear’ lens that will benefit the camera’s light-collecting ability and offer better colour reproduction in comparison to a plastic lens.
The company stated too that it’s improving on the wide-angle shots that users can take using the camera’s dual-camera setup. It has reportedly reduced the edge distortion prevalent on the V20 by a third — meaning there’ll be less of a fisheye effect.
Further, the V30 will have optical end electric image stabilization along with laser detection autofocus.
New svelte design
Though much of what we know about the device’s design is courtesy of trusted tipsters, LG has also done its part to tease some elements of the phone.
In its blog post on camera hardware, LG noted that the V30 is 30 percent smaller than the V20, which comes in at a fairly bulky 159.7mm x 78.1mm x 7.6mm.
As for third-party leaks, pictures and video of the device leaked several times from respected sources — Evan Blass, Steve Hemmerstoffer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s video collaboration website HitRecord, which accidentally published a promo clip — all coming together to paint a fairly cohesive picture of the overall look.
The leaks show a device that appears very similar to the LG G6, with a metal back, slightly curved edges, rear fingerprint sensor/lock button and super slim bezels that are largest around the top and bottom.
The bezels were also visually teased by the company in a press release on its display (image shown above), which further noted that the upper and lower bezels are reduced by 20 and 50 percent when compared to the V20.
18:9 P-OLED display
LG additionally confirmed in that press release that the V30 stocks a 6-inch plastic OLED FullVision display — a move away from its most recent flagships’ IPS displays.
The company says the “slim profile” of OLED panels along with their “excellent visuals” are responsible for the change, adding that OLED screens are ideally suited to virtual reality — a subtle reference to its forthcoming Google Daydream certification, which was confirmed at Google I/O 2017.
The company further specified that the QHD+ 1440 x 2880 pixel resolution screen contains 4.15 million pixels in total, and that its OLED display delivers 148 percent of the sRGB color space for digital images.
In the press release, the company also confirmed its move to an 18:9 aspect ratio with its display, following in the footsteps of the G6. Though not all apps are yet optimized for these longer aspect ratios, it seems to be only a matter of time, with Google actively encouraging developers to move to the format.
Lastly, LG noted that the display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
Other rumoured specs
Alongside everything that LG’s confirmed, it’s widely rumoured that the smartphone will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 3,200mAh battery and IP68-rated water and dust resistance. According to most leaks, the phone will also retain its 3.5mm headphone jack.
Make sure to tune into MobileSyrup on August 31st for the full reveal of LG’s latest and greatest phablet for our Canadian-focused coverage of the device and its availability details.