LG has been one of the most prominent South Korean brands alongside Samsung, and gave its peer strong competition in the past when it came to smartphones. However, the brand’s smartphone business has been faltering of late, and has been missing in action since January 2019 when it launched the LG V40 ThinQ. Now, LG is making a comeback with its W-series of affordable smartphones. At an event in India today, the company launched the W10, W30 and W30 Pro. We got to spend a short while with the LG W30 at the launch event and here’s what we think.
As you look at the W30, it becomes evident that LG has been studying the market trends closely. The newest smartphone from the brand is a far cry from the LG phones of the past and happens to be one of the best-looking devices in the budget segment right now. The LG W30 has been crafted with polycarbonate in its entirety and features a glossy finish, which lends it a premium glass-like feel. Smaller details like very fine diagonal stripes on the back, red trimming around the main camera lens on the rear panel and matching paint job on the sides, add to the aesthetics of the phone.
Speaking of the rear panel, despite being glossy, it remains smudge-free for the large part which is a huge plus in our books. You will find the triple camera module in the top left corner with the LED flash, capacitive fingerprint scanner towards the centre and LG branding at the bottom. On the sides, you will find the hybrid SIM slot on the left, physical buttons on the right, 3.5mm audio jack on the top and micro-USB port with a loudspeaker grille at the bottom. The chamfered edges and even weight distribution of the handset make it ergonomic in hand.
For the display, the LG W30 gets a 6.26-inch HD+ panel with a waterdrop notch on the top. However, the screen still has sizeable bezels all around, especially at the bottom. As for the actual display performance, the screen is vivid and sharp without any colour shift while looking at it from an angle. It also gets sufficiently bright under direct daylight and offers good legibility outside.
In the performance department, the W30 sports MediaTek’s Helio P22 chipset backed by 3GB of RAM and 32GB of memory. Out of the box, the smartphone offers around 19GB of storage to the user. In case the storage is not sufficient, you can insert a microSD card but that would mean getting rid of the second SIM card. What helps is that the phone runs the stock variant of Android 9 Pie without any bloatware. You also get all of the Google goodies like Digital Wellbeing, Google Now, Pixel Launcher and more. However, LG has opted for a custom camera app in the interface to fully utilise the triple camera module on the back.
Speaking of the camera module, the LG W30 features 13MP wide-angle shooter, a 12MP main camera with PDAF and a 2MP depth sensor. There is 16-megapixel shooter inside the waterdrop notch on the front for selfies. The camera app offers modes like HDR, live filter, panorama, bokeh, beauty and a one-click toggle for switching to the wide angle mode. All modes work as advertised and the toggle for wide angle mode should come in handy when clicking pictures of a landscape. In the beauty and bokeh mode, you get a slider to adjust the intensity. The initial shots taken with both sets of cameras were decent, but we need to test it in varied conditions to get a full idea of its prowess.
LG has priced the phone at Rs 9,999 in India, and we have to admit that it’s a very aggressive price. The smartphone will be competing with the likes of the Redmi Note 7, Realme 3 and Samsung Galaxy A10. None of these smartphones have a triple camera module, which might tip the scales in favour of the LG W30.