Of all the big names launching smartphones at MWC 2018, LG arguably had the most uneventful lineup on the show floor.
That didn’t stop us from spending time with the company’s latest flagship and the mass-market handsets that were unveiled alongside it, however.
LG V30S ThinQ hands-on
If the V30S ThinQ looks familiar that’s because it is essentially a slight variation on last year’s LG V30. For all intents and purposes, it still looks to be an excellent phone but a somewhat unimaginative release with heavy-handed claims of new AI intelligence and one of the worst model names ever.
Aside from a new Platinum Gray finish, it looks the same as the original, weighs the same and sports the same impressive MIL-STD-810G compliant, IP68 certified hardiness that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from such an elegant-looking handset. There’s an expansive HDR-capable 6-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and thankfully, no notch to speak of.
The real changes fall almost exclusively on the software side of things, which wouldn’t be so bad if LG wasn’t already planning on porting most of the functionality over to the original V30 via a software update in the near future. Nonetheless, the ThinQ-branded AI elements of the V30S’ software crop up throughout the user experience.
The camera now features AI-enhanced scene detection, not unlike the snappers on Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, whilst the V30S also gets some unique voice gestures too. Like most other flagship Android devices it defaults to the Google Assistant for most queries and questions, but LG has landed itself 32 (up from 23 last year) exclusive voice commands that are tailored to the V30S’s feature set. With a V30S you’ll be able to ask Google to scan a QR code, jump straight into slow-motion video recording or activate Food Mode, all with your voice. The full list of LG-exclusive commands can be found here.
LG V30S ThinQ specs
Here’s how the V30S ThinQ compares to 2017’s standard LG V30:
|Screen size||6.0-inches (18:9)|
|Dimensions||151.7mm x 75.4mm x 7.3mm|
|OS (at launch)||Android 7.1.2 Nougat||Android 8.0 Oreo|
|Front camera||5-megapixels w/ f/2.2. aperture|
|Rear camera||16-megapixels w/ f/1.6 aperture, OIS, + 13-megapixels w/ f/1.9 aperture|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Memory||4GB RAM||6GB RAM|
|Storage||128GB. Expandable via microSD up to 256GB|
|Colours||Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue, Lavender Violet, Raspberry Rose||Moroccan Blue, Platinum Gray|
|Extras||Fingerprint sensor, B&O Play certification, MIL-STD-810G compliant, IP68 certified, 24-bit/48kHz audio recording, 32-bit/192kHz audio support, Dolby Vision/HDR10 compliant||Fingerprint sensor, B&O Play certification, MIL-STD-810G compliant, IP68 certified, 24-bit/48kHz audio recording, 32-bit/192kHz audio support, Dolby Vision/HDR10 compliant, LG ThinQ AI enhancements|
LG K8, K10, K10+ (2018) hands-on
If you’re looking for a more affordable offering, the company’s K Series phones have always been a mainstay in the mass-market (budget) tier. We encountered two such devices on the show floor, starting with the smaller K8.
This plastic fantastic handset is centred around a 5-inch 720p HD display. LG’s own screen tech means it’s certainly not the worst screen of its size or resolution, particularly when the phone is attached to should hopefully arrive with a sub-£200 price tag (if it arrives at all*). The only other notable ‘upgrade’ according to LG is a marginally faster rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the back.
The K10 meanwhile is slated to arrive in at least two variants, with a ‘plus’ model that offers additional RAM and storage options (detailed below). LG appears to have given the K10 a little more love than its smaller sibling, with an uprated main 13-megapixel camera now in possession of phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) and metal trim with a similar U-frame design element of its predecessor.
All three K-Series devices also feature 2.5D cover glass and we’re also partial to the Moroccan Blue colourway.
LG K Series (2018) specs
|K8 (2018)||K10 (2018)||K10+|
|Screen resolution||720p HD (1280×720)|
|Dimensions||146.3mm x 73.2mm x 8.2mm||148.69mm x 75.3mm x 8.68mm|
|Weight||152 grams||162 grams|
|OS||Android 7.1.2 Nougat|
|Rear camera||8-megapixels||13-megapixels w/ PDAF, single LED flash, face detection, HDR stills|
|Processor||1.3GHz quad-core (unnamed)||1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6750|
|Memory||2GB RAM||2GB RAM||3GB RAM|
|Storage||16GB. MicroSD up to 32GB||16GB. MicroSD up to 2TB||32GB. MicroSD up to 2TB|
|Colours||Moroccan Blue, Terra Gold, Aurora Black||Moroccan Blue, Terra Gold|
|Extras||FM radio, fingerprint sensor||Gaming assistant, battery saver, NFC, FM radio, fingerprint sensor|
LG V30S ThinQ & K Series price and availability
*There’s no word from LG as to whether the UK market will even see these phones on store shelves, but the flagship V30S is expected to launch in Korea in the next few weeks and will become available in more markets later into March. Pricing is to be decided.