LG V30 Review

- Introduction -
- Physical features -
- Audio -
- Display -
- Bootloader unlocking -
- Repairability -
- Custom ROM & Kernel Availability -
- Other issues -
- Conclusion -

Introduction

LG V30 - a device I regretted buying right after I got it. When I got it, the display had developed a severe burn-in, the battery barely lasts a day, and the back glass is cracked. All of them were eventually replaced, although at the cost of the fingerprint scanner not having enough clearance to connect to its pins & work (it was eventually fixed by sticking a stack of electrical tapes).

Physical features

Thin & light will be the first thing that comes in mind when holding the V30.

On the top section, there's the secondary mic & the headphone jack is on the right, which IMO is the best place.

USB-C charging port, speaker, & primary mic on the bottom corner.

Left section contains only the volume buttons.

Right section is home to the hybrid dual SIM tray, or a SIM / microSD tray if it's the single-SIM variant.

Front side is reserved for the thin bezeled 6.0' 18:9 pOLED, front camera, & earpiece. The bezels are thin by 2017 standards, so take that as you will.

The back holds the rear cameras & power button / fingerprint scanner.

For materials, Gorilla Glass 5 on front & back, with aluminium frame.

JerryRigEverything durability test video

Audio Quality

The V30 has a bottom loudspeaker & a headphone jack. The earpiece can be enabled following this guide.

The speaker quality is mediocre - it lacks volume & sounds somewhat tinny. The earpiece doesn't add much difference even if it's enabled.

The headphone jack quality is better than most, with audio quality being louder than most others. The Quad DAC also helps, but enabling this in AOSP Pie ROMs enable an annoying screen off swipe controls that can't be turned off. The screen-off swipe controls aren't enabled on A10 ROMs.

Additional notes for the Quad DAC : Enabling it makes music sound better & louder, but will introduce some background noise, which gets more noticeable at louder volumes.

Display

The 6.0' 18:9 pOLED is a decent & workable display, as far as I'm concerned. Though, truly black blacks are the thing that I truly like from OLED panels.

What I dislike about the panel though, is the fact that it's an OLED. Over time, it will develop burn-in. That, when combined with Fate/GO's blue bars (or any static element such as the top & bottom bars), is a burn-in incident waiting to eventually happen. This issue can be somewhat mitigated with Smart Pixels though.

Bootloader unlocking

The bootloader unlocking process is quite easy, depending on the variant you got. However, TWRP installation can be hell if you have the H932.

For the non-H932, use the WTF method (archive). H932 can use fastboot oem unlock, but lacks fastboot flash/boot commands, complicating TWRP installations. The lafsploit (archive) method works, but is significantly harder & riskier.

If you opt for the official method, it's only available for EU variants. US998 is also available, though it requires hacking the drop-down menu. Hence, the official method is not the ideal method (although you're not required to downgrade & do a master reset).

Repairability

In terms of repairability, it's quite easy as long as you have a heat gun to deal with the sealed back.

Headphone jack & charging port replacement is quite straightforward, and neither are soldered to the board. The jack uses contact pads, while the charging port (which is also bound to the bottom mic) uses the so-called "Lego connector". As for the fingerprint sensor & power button combo, both have their separate contact pads; the former needs some extra clearance to properly connect to its pins. Not ideal, but at least the V30 could still work even without its fingerprint scanner active.

JerryRigEverything's teardown video

Custom ROM & Kernel Availability (as of 28/9/2021)

Custom ROM development for the V30 is practically dead, with nothing but either GSI ports or unofficial ROMs with Permissive SELinux in the Telegram channel nowadays.

For just the V30, the devs used Oreo blobs to build AOSP Pie ROMs, & Pie blobs to build A10 ROMs. In addition, directly reverting from LG Pie to LG Oreo isn't recommended as it causes permanent changes that forces the user to run permissive SELinux to regain functionality. However, as linked in this XDA thread, you should return to LG Nougat & do a Master Reset before going to LG Oreo to regain AOSP Pie full compatibility. 5/1/2021 update : Unified builds still have disabled SELinux. If you run a custom ROM with Pie blobs & Wi-Fi isn't working, the fix is unfortunately Telegram-only.

As for custom kernels... don't bother, the V30's kernel development has completely disappeared.

Other issues

Let's start out with the bad ones:

Then move on to the questionably good one:

And, finally, the actually good ones that I don't really give a fuck:

Conclusion

Clearly, the LG V30 isn't really the best. It had some good stuff like the headphone jack with Quad DAC, but the rest don't really excite me that much. It works, sure; though it left me longing for a good LCD. However, the devices that should be better than the LG V30, namely Poco F1 & Zenfone 6, do have their own worse issue; the F1 has a nasty bootloader unlock protocol & the Zenfone 6 has that motherboard issue.

14/6/2021 update : Basically dead development with no initiative to fix issues such as Permissive SELinux combined with the presence of arguably better devices (Poco F1 / X3(N/P)) has completely zeroed any value out of this device.

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