In the last couple of years, the smartphone market has witnessed a major shift with Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi stealing the limelight from the big players. LG, which once used to taste success, previously reported the biggest decline in sales. Turning its head towards the budget segment, LG has now introduced a new W-series lineup hoping to compete with the likes of Xiaomi.
LG has launched two new budget smartphones dubbed LG W10 and LG W30 targeting online buyers. LG W30 comes with features like Helio P22 chipset, triple rear camera module, 4000mAh battery, and dewdrop notch design. We’ve been using the device for a couple of weeks now. On paper, LG W30 definitely looks competitive but the reality can sometimes be different. No worries, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive review of LG W30.
Price in India, Variants, Availability
Surprisingly, LG W30 comes in a single storage variant featuring 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard memory. The smartphone is available in three different color variants namely Aurora Green, Platinum Gray and Thunder Blue. Speaking of pricing, LG W30 is up for purchase exclusively through Amazon India for a price tag of INR 9,999. At the time of writing this review, buyers can avail the No Cost EMI option on almost all the major debit and credit cards.
LG has partnered with Axis Bank to offer a 10% instant discount on debit EMI transactions while a 5% instant discount on credit EMI transactions. In addition, Reliance Jio is offering benefits worth INR 4,950 with the purchase of this device.
LG W30 comes packed in a not-so-minimal box which has gradient design all over it with the device’s design on the front. Opening the flap, the first thing which you’ll come across is going to be the device itself wrapped up nicely in the protective film. There is a rectangular section underneath it which consists of a SIM ejector tool and some manuals or paperwork. Apart from all these, there is a Micro-USB cable and a 10W travel adapter for charging.
Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box:
– LG W30
– 10W Charger
– A Micro-USB cable
– SIM ejector tool
– Manuals and documentation
Specs at a glance
Before we jump right into the detailed review, let’s have a look at the key specifications of the device itself.
– Display: 6.26-inch IPS LCD panel, 720×1520 pixels, 269ppi
– Processor: Helio P22 chipset, 12nm
– RAM & ROM: 3GB and 32GB
– Rear cameras: 12MP+13MP+2MP
– Selfie camera: 16MP
– Battery: 4,00mAh capacity
– Software: Android 9.0 Pie
– Weight: 172g
– Dimensions: 162.7×78.8×8.5mm
With specifications cleared out of the way, let’s talk about the very first aspect of our LG W30 review.
Design and Build Quality
With the W-series lineup, LG decided to change the entire design ideology trying to offer premium design at a budget price. Unlike LG’s older budget phone, this one comes with a polycarbonate material on the back with a glossy finish to offer gradient-like textures. To enhance the premiumness, the brand decided to make use of chrome-plated sides and brushed aluminium pattern on the back. To top it off, the back has a 2.5D curved plastic making it very comfortable to hold.
The Platinum Grey looks quite subtle while the Thunder Blue is something that you can consider if you’re looking for some extra flashiness. At the back, there is a triple camera module with the third lens having a red circular outline over it. I generally like the addition of circular outline over lenses but the red colour doesn’t look good on an overall grey finish. There is a fingerprint sensor on the back, more on it later.
The front is dominated by a 6.26-inch HD+ notched display with thick bezels on the sides and much thicker chin. The device does come with a notification LED placed near the notch to save the estate. Moving on to the buttons, there is a power button and the volume rocker on the right side while the hybrid dual SIM-card tray is located on the left. At the bottom, there is a Micro-USB port for charging accompanied by a speaker grille. On the other hand, our beloved 3.5-mm headphone jack is placed at the top.
Overall, LG W30 manages to deliver that premiumness which we were expecting when we first looked at the device. Even though it is made up of polycarbonate material, W30 still feels like a well-built device made up of high-quality materials. In our extensive usage, the back remained scratch-free which is pretty impressive considering it doesn’t have any protection.
The LG W30 is equipped by a big 6.26-inch IPS LCD display panel with a notch on the front and thick bezels and chin. Having an HD+ display with 720×1520 pixels, the viewing experience is on the average side. Due to low 269ppi pixel density, the sharpness of the images and text are not that impressive. If you’re someone who likes to consume media on a smartphone, then you might not like what this device has to offer in terms of display. In addition, the gaming experience also takes a major hit because of the not-so-good display.
During our heavy usage, the front of the device remained scratch-free even though there is no mention of a protective layer on the display. If you’re not a big fan of the notch, then you do get an option to mask it in the software which is a nice addition. There are a few options hidden inside the software that you can use to tweak the color tone of the display. Another drawback of this device is the fact that it comes with only Widevine L3 support. This means that the online streaming from services such as Netflix and Prime Video will be limited to SD (or 480p) video quality.
Overall, LG could have focused more on the display experience of the device since it is going to be a major deal-breaker for many buyers out there. With increasing online streaming and mobile gaming, display plays a crucial role in the overall user experience.
Under the hood, LG W30 is powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 chipset coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard memory. The Helio P22 chipset is manufactured over a 12nm fabrication process having eight Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2.0GHz. For graphics, the device makes use of PowerVR GE8320 GPU. This is an entry-level chipset which is not that capable when it comes to multitasking and gaming.
For an average user, LG W30 will do a decent job when it comes to performance. The apps will open up fairly quickly with no lags while swiping through menus. Apps stay in the memory for a good amount of time thanks to 3GB of RAM packed inside. Since it is an entry-level SoC, things take a drastic turn during UI animations and heavy multitasking. We noticed occasional lags when switching from portrait to landscape mode during our testing. If you’re someone who likes to do heavy multitasking, then you might not be satisfied with this device.
Coming to the gaming performance, we tried playing Pubg Mobile on the device which by the way runs on the lowest settings by default. Even though the game is running on poor graphics settings, we noticed lags and stutters every now and then, especially during the crowded places. There were few issues with the rendering and the occasional frame drops made it worse. You can definitely play lighter titles on this device with ease but this phone is not designed for Pubg Mobile. If you tend to play heavy games on your smartphone, then you might want to look elsewhere.
Coming to the internal storage, the device only comes with 32GB of memory which is slightly low as compared to the current trends. LG should have at least delivered 64GB of onboard memory if they’re not able to give a decent chipset. You can make use of the Micro-SD card to expand the storage but you’ll have to trade in that second SIM slot.
When it comes to software, LG W30 runs on the latest version of Android i.e. Android 9.0 Pie delivering near-stock Android UI experience. There is a swipe-up launcher with pill navigation gestures just like the Pixel Experience UI. The software is packed with all the major Android Pie features such as Adaptive Battery and Digital wellbeing.
As expected, LG tried to play with the software a bit adding some of the useful features such as ‘Panic Button’. If you press the power button thrice successively, the ‘Panic Button’ feature will activate allowing you to call an emergency helpline number. You can also make use of the gestures and shortcuts that might turn out helpful in the case. Additionally, there is a feature called MediaTek DuraSpeed which lets you select an app that will stay active in the background.
Overall, the entire software experience was pretty decent with the smooth functioning. If you’re into the stock-Android experience, then you’ll get used to the device in no time. It is worth noting that there are some issues with the app scaling which the company might fix in the future software updates hopefully.
In terms of imaging, LG W30 is equipped with a triple camera module at the back consisting of a primary 12MP (f/2.0 aperture), 13MP wide-angle lens (f/2.2 aperture) and a 2MP depth sensor. The camera UI is pretty easy to understand and switching between various lens is a one-step process. The camera app does take a second to load and the autofocus system is a little sluggish. The app has various shooting modes such as panorama, bokeh, beauty, time-lapse, slow-mo and night.
Coming to the image quality, LG W30 takes pretty decent images in proper daylight conditions. The level of detail was pretty good with okayish sharpness and color accuracy. In landscapes shots, the far elements lack sharpness and detailing which makes the overall image quality to be okayish. To get the non-blurry images, user and the subject has to say still for over a second or two after hitting the shutter button. Switching to the wide-angle lens, the noise level increases and the detail starts to decrease. We even noticed barrel distortion is most of our clicked pictures. In portrait mode, the edge detection seems to okayish with its inability to detect most of the edges properly.
In low-light conditions, the images turned out to be with fewer details and average dynamic range. Most of the times, the images look more black with poor brightness. There is a night mode which does increase the brightness a bit but the level of noise still remains the same.
For selfies, there is a 16MP front snapper inside the notch which also delivers average performance. The clicked selfies lack details and turn out to be oversaturated with poor exposures. Even turning on the HDR mode didn’t help a bit in this scenario. Even the beauty mode tends to over smoothen the images which then looks artificial. In low-light conditions, the performance is quite average yet again with the room for improvement.
For video, you can record up to 1080p resolution but keep in mind that there is no kind of stabilization which results in shaky videos all the time. If you’re planning to pair it with a gimbal or have extraordinarily stable hands, you’re good to go.
LG W30 is backed by a massive 4,000mAh battery capacity with no support of fast charging. Thanks to the HD resolution display and less power consuming processor, the battery life is quite impressive on this smartphone. For an average user, the device will easily last for a day and a half on a single charge which is excellent. If you’re someone who tends to use smartphone a lot, then expect a full-day back easily.
The device has a 10W bundled travel adapter that can charge your device completely from zero to 100% in more than two hours. Sadly, LG has still not adopted the popular USB Type-C port for some reasons. Most of the competitors at this price range are offering this new generation of charging port.
Audio, Biometrics, Connectivity
LG W30 comes with the bottom-mounted loudspeaker which has above-average sound output. At the max volume, we rarely noticed any kind of distortion. The loudspeaker is enough loud to deliver an excellent content experience. There is a 3.5-mm headphone jack which also delivers excellent audio output with no issues whatsoever. In our daily usage, we rarely noticed any problem with call connectivity, earpiece, and microphone.
For biometrics, the device has a physical fingerprint sensor at the back which is quick enough to unlock your device in a second or two. The fingerprint sensor is accurate, reliable and fairly quick. You can also use the Face Unlock feature but then you’ll have to compromise with the speed and reliability.
LG W30, like any other budget smartphone, has all the necessary connectivity features such as single-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, FM Radio and a Micro-USB port for charging.
Pros And Cons
– Impressive battery life
– Premium & striking design
– near-Stock Android
– Weak processor
– Average cameras
– Low-res display
– Limited internal memory
LG W30 is the company’s another attempt to steal market share from the likes of Chinese smartphone makers. While the hopes are slightly higher from a brand like LG, the device ended up disappointing us. No doubt, LG W30 has the premium striking build, near-stock Android experience, and impressive battery life. Apart from these, there is nothing that sets the device apart from the competitors.
It has an average display, weak processor and again average camera performance which keeps the device away from being a tough contender in this aggressive budget smartphone industry. There are smartphones like Realme U1 and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 which offers powerful processors, impressive display and better cameras. One thing which LG W30 does pretty well is the build quality which makes it part with the competitor and I might actually prefer this design ideology because of its subtle look.
For a low-end user who wants premium build quality, impressive battery life and stock Android experience, LG W30 is going to be a perfect option. It is worth noting that the device will be up for grabs every week during its flash sale making it hard to get your hands on it.