LG’s V-series smartphones have evolved into the company’s flagships — more so than the G-series hardware — due to interesting and unique features and, in many cases, stronger processors. The last model, the V20, only arrived in late 2016, so it isn’t due for replacement just yet, but rumors of a so-called V30 are already starting to spread.
Here’s what we think we know about the LG V30.
Could LG be ditching the V-series’ signature secondary display? It sounds like such a decision is in the cards, according to a “trusted source” cited over at XDA Developers. It’s unclear why LG would make such a move, though the report proposes that it might have something to do with the company’s newfound affinity for 18:9 displays.
The LG G6 released in the spring was the first modern smartphone to launch with an 18:9 aspect ratio, wider than the typical 16:9 form of most handsets. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 followed suit with a similar design, and LG may be thinking that the benefit of the roomier display renders the second screen irrelevant.
Whatever LG decides to do, it definitely seems something will be different with the V30’s display setup this time around. A tweet from VentureBeat’s Evan Blass back in November floated the idea that the company may retire the ticker above the main screen. Another tweet elaborated that the panel would remain, but in a potentially different capacity rather than completely removed.
As for other aspects of the V30’s design, a report from Twitter-based @OnLeaks claims the phone will support wireless charging. If true, that would indicate the V30 could sport a glass design at least around the back to support the feature. The V20 did not allow wireless charging, and the V10 did only through an optional back cover sold separately — making the V30 the first of the series to provide it out of the box. The tweet reiterates the presence of a dual rear camera and rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as well.
A series of renderings may give us a clue into what LG was initially planning for the V30. Blass also recently shared a handful of mock-ups of a dual-screen phone which he says was an early pitch for Project Joan — LG’s internal name for the V30. In the images, we see a device with a slide-out panel below the display, the kind that would normally house a physical keyboard. In this case, however, it carries a second screen.
When slid back underneath the main screen, the display isn’t totally concealed and in one of the mockups, this trait is used to relay information like time, date, and weather. The primary display features minimal bezels on the left and right and, at the bottom, curves down to meet the second panel. On-screen navigation buttons are situated right along this curve.
The back of the device is equally interesting, with four circular cutouts situated in a camera stack that forms a perfect square. Presumably, two of them are lenses, with another being the flash and the final one serving as a sensor of some kind.
LG appears to have imagined a variety of uses for Project Joan’s second screen, such as multi-window applications, Google listings related to content mentioned in messages, a quick app launcher, and, unsurprisingly, a keyboard. Blass concedes this proposal dates back a ways, so the company may have dropped it and moved on to a different idea.
Meanwhile, it’s looking more and more like LG will finally switch to OLED technology for the display on the V30. According to a report from The Investor, LG Display is seriously ramping up production of OLED panels, and the first device to include these new OLED panels will reportedly be the LG V30.
Since the V10, LG has used a second display above the main screen to provide additional information on V-series phones. A photo published on Slashleaks in March, allegedly of the V30’s front panel, shows how the dual-screen design might shake out this time around. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be much different from its predecessors, though the two similarly sized circular cutouts indicate we may see a return to the V10’s dual front-facing cameras after the V20 ditched those in favor of a single wide-angle lens.
In addition to supplying the curved OLED displays for the LG V30, LG Display is said to also be on the hook for Xiaomi’s Mi Note 3, and The Investor reports that the company is also hoping to send its OLED panels to Apple for its iPhone. This would allow LG Display to diversify its offerings, as it’s previously stuck to liquid-crystal displays for the iEmpire.
According to The Investor, LG is planning an August launch for the LG V30.
LG announced the V20 in September 2016, so a sequel is highly unlikely to arrive much before the same time this year. At the moment, it’s only being rumored for the second half of 2017. LG made the decision to restrict sales of the V20 to South Korea, the U.S. and certain other international regions, but shunned the United Kingdom. It has a chance to rectify its oversight with the V30.
Nothing about the LG V30 is official yet, so treat all the information here as speculation. We will continue to keep you updated with all the rumors.
While LG opted to go with the Snapdragon 821 processor for its recently-released G6, due to supply problems with the newer Snapdragon 835, the situation is expected to change in time for the V30’s release later this year. A rumor published on the Chinese social media site Weibo says the V30 will have the Snapdragon 835 inside, along with 6GB of RAM.
LG pushed the audio experience hard on the V20, which featured the world’s first Quad DAC in a smartphone, and special tuning from B&O on the international models. The V30 may also get some special treatment. The same Weibo source claiming the V30 will get the Snapdragon 835, also says an improved version of the DAC previously used in the V20 will feature in the new model.
This makes sense, as LG has announced an upgraded Quad DAC for the forthcoming LG G6 already, which may eventually also find its way into the V30. Whether it will be updated even further isn’t known at this early stage.