LG announced a high-end phone at MWC 2018, and it’s not an entirely new flagship like you’d expect this time of year. The company decided to delay the release of its next flagship as its mobile division restructures and restrategizes amid slowing sales. So that’s why we’re seeing the V30S, a mobile device heavily resembling its predecessor that launched six months ago.
As the company confirmed earlier, the V30S ships with Vision AI and Voice AI. Both are artificial intelligence-based technologies that focus on image and voice recognition. LG is using them to tie the phone into its ThinQ platform of connected devices.
From the outside, the V30S doesn’t differ from the V30 the world met last year. It looks and feels exactly the same. LG just added a tweaked logo with ThinQ branding on the back, but otherwise you’d never know this is a new product.
It also keeps many of specifications. The V30S features a 6-inch Quad HD+ (2880×1440) OLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, 16MP and 13MP rear cameras, a 5MP front-facing camera, a 3300mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner, and Android 8.0 Oreo. If you compare all that to the V30, the upgraded model merely increases memory.
There are indeed two fresh colors, however. LG will sell the V30S in New Platinum Grey and New Morrocan Blue. The word “new” was tossed in because maybe they’re new shades of old colors.
Where the V30S aims to separate itself from the V30 is with artificial intelligence. The phone actively analyzes the world around itself to understand sight and sound just like a human.
Vision AI includes AI Cam, QLens, and Bright Mode. The first considers subjects in a frame and recommends the optimal shooting mode, which LG says there are eight of. Then, if the setting is dimly lit, Bright Mode comes to the rescue and enhances the shot. Rather than using ambient light alone, the V30S’ dual-camera setup receives aid from special algorithms that brighten images while reducing noise.
Google announced recently that its digital assistant would open up to partners for seamless integration on their mobile devices. The V30S appears to be one of the first to embrace Google Assistant’s new capabilities. Users can run apps and change settings with their voice alone.
The need for LG to introduce a new phone right now is unclear. Since the company’s mobile division is struggling, why introduce a recycled phone? The V30S’ features are heading to the V30 through a software update anyway. Instead, LG should be focusing on its true 2018 flagship to ensure its competitive and increases sales.
Specific availability for the LG V30S wasn’t shared, but the phone will go on sale in South Korea shortly with other markets to follow.