LIVE FROM IFA2017, BERLIN: LG Electronics officially unveiled its V30 smartphone with Juno Cho, the company’s mobile chief, tagging it “the most perfect smartphone we have ever created”.

With Samsung having announced its latest device, Note8, last week, and Apple’s next iPhone update looming, the LG executive was bullish about the new product: “We are confident that no other smartphone introduced this year will offer the kind of technology and capabilities of LG V30,” he said in the company’s press conference.

LG’s release of details about the device over recent weeks meant the event was as much about positioning as specifications. The initial focus was on its video capture capabilities, with Cho stating: “According to a recent survey, almost 80 per cent of smartphone users at least once a week shoot videos. We are literally at the transition of storytelling to story showing.”

The device features a “Cine Video” mode, which enables users to take videos “enhanced by the cinematic hues of various movie genres”, and offers the ability to zoom in on any part of the frame – not just the centre. It is also said to offer “greater creative flexibility” with LG-Cine Log, which offers the ability to preserve a wider dynamic range and colour gamut.

Camera in focus
Cho said LG V30 is the first smartphone to offer an f1.6 aperture lens, which uses glass, rather than plastic, to improve clarity. This is paired with an f1.9 wide angle lens, said to offer two-thirds less edge distortion, in a dual-camera set-up with resolutions of 16MP and 13MP respectively.

Another new camera feature is Graphy, which enables customers to select professional images from a library, and then apply the same camera settings (such as white balance, shutter speed, aperture and ISO) for their own photography.

Perhaps the signature feature of earlier V-series smartphones – a second screen – is replaced by an always-on display and floating bar. When the display is off, the always-on display replaces the second screen by providing shortcuts to quick tools and music player.

The optional, semi-transparent, floating bar can be customised to provide easy access to the five most used apps.

Google Assistant is updated to cover some LG-specific commands, which launch the camera app with the correct settings. Some LG appliances are also compatible with Google Assistant when using V30 and Google Home, enabling them to be controlled from the smartphone.

Korean-language compatibility for Google Assistant is in the pipeline, alongside other languages including Italian and Spanish.

LG V30 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, with 4GB of RAM. Onboard storage is 64GB, although a 128GB V30+ version will be available in some markets, offering a 6-inch, 2880×1440 pixel, screen with 18:9 ratio.

Also onboard is a Hi-Fi quad DAC with audio tuning from B&O Play.

One area where the V-series suffered in the past is availability: earlier smartphones in the range have seen limited distribution. LG said the new device will be available in South Korea on 21 September, followed by “key markets” in North America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

No pricing guidance was given.