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LG's V30S ThinQ to Cost $930
The LG V30S ThinQ, an upgrade to last year's V30, will soon be available to U.S. buyers for $930. The phone has been listed at that price on B&H Photo and LG confirmed the price to CNET. The V30S ThinQ boosts RAM from 4 GB to 6 GB, and improves storage options to 128 GB or 256 GB from 64 GB. It also ships with Android 8 Oreo, where the original shipped with Android 7 Nougat. The V30S ThinQ includes LG's new AI Camera, which adds scene detection and Super Bright Mode to help with low-light capture. It's not clear exactly when the phone will go on sale.
AT&T's LG V30 Wins an Oreo Treat
AT&T this week released Android 8 Oreo for the LG V30. The phone shipped last fall with Android 7.1 Nougat. The latest software from LG and AT&T boosts the core platform to Oreo, with notification dots, autofill, and picture-in-picture, and the security patch level to March 1, 2018. Neither AT&T nor LG called out any additional features for the phone, though the update includes general bug fixes and performance tweaks. AT&T says V30 owners can download the update via WiFi. Sprint and Verizon variants of the V30 have already received Oreo.
LG's V30S ThinQ Adds Color, Memory, Storage, Camera Smarts
LG today updated its V30 smartphone with several new features and is now calling it the V30S ThinQ. The majority of specs of the phone are unchanged. The V30S ThinQ includes 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, while the V30S+ ThinQ includes 6 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. The new handsets ship with Android 8 Oreo, and they are now available in new Moroccan Blue and Platinum Gray colors. Along with Oreo, LG has updated the software to include a handful of new tools under the auspices of its ThinQ artificial intelligence platform. First up is Voice AI, which LG says are custom commands for Google Assistant made available only to the V30S ThinQ. These allow users to run apps and change settings through voice commands alone. For example, V30S ThinQ owners can tell their device to take a panorama, time-lapse, or slow-motion photo, perform an image search, or scan a QR code, among other actions. These new commands join 23 existing commands already available to the original V30. Next, LG is taking aim at the camera with Vision AI, or the ability to recognize objects and adjust shooting parameters to capture better photos. Some of the initial scenes the V30S ThinQ will be able to recognize include portraits, food, pets, landscapes, cityscapes, flowers, sunrises, and sunsets. The camera will automatically analyze the surrounding scene to adjust focus, white balance, and shutter speed based on what it sees. LG says it has scanned some 100 million images to create a database of known objects to compare against. Last, the V30S ThinQ gains a new low-light shooting mode called Bright Mode that should deliver far more accurate results when shooting in the dark. LG says Bright Mode relies on its AI-based algorithms to brighten images by a factor of two for better looking photos without the noise. LG didn't say when the updated V30S ThinQ would go on sale, nor which markets it will be sold in.
LG to Bring Improved Voice Assistant and Object Recognition to Its V30 Smartphone
LG today said it has new features on deck for the V30 handset that will add more artificial intelligence to the device. The company has spent more than a year researching AI and how best to implement it. Some of its ambitions were realized with the release of its ThinQ platform earlier this year. Now, LG is targeting the V30 specifically. First up is Voice AI, what LG says are custom commands for Google Assistant made available only to the V30. The nine new tools allow users to run apps and change settings through voice commands alone. For example, V30 owners can tell their device to take a panorama, time-lapse, or slow-motion photo, perform an image search, or scan a QR code, among actions. These new commands join 23 existing commands already available to the V30. Next, LG is taking aim at the camera with Vision AI, or the ability to recognize objects and adjust shooting parameters to capture better photos. Vision AI will work on the LG V30 a bit like it does Huawei's Mate 10 Pro camera. Some of the initial scenes the V30 will be able to recognize include portraits, food, pets, landscapes, cityscapes, flowers, sunrises, and sunsets. The camera will know what it is shooting and analyze the surrounding scene to adjust focus, white balance, and shutter speed. LG says it has scanned some 100 million images to create a database of known objects to compare against. The V30 also gains a new low-light shooting mode that should deliver far more accurate results when shooting in the dark. "The future for LG lies in AI, not just hardware specs and processing speeds," said Ha Jeung-uk, senior vice president and business unit leader for LG Electronics Mobile Communications. "Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for." LG will show off these new functionalities at the Mobile World Congress trade show later this month. LG didn't say when the updated artificial intelligence tools might reach end user devices.
Verizon Fires Back at T-Mo with BOGO Of Its Own
Verizon Wireless said customers can save big on select smartphones with a new buy-one, get-one offer that kicks off January 23. New and existing customers who add a new line of Verizon Unlimited service will be able to buy the Google Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S8, Motorola Moto Z2 Force, or LG V30 and get a second one for free. In order to qualify for the offer, both devices will need to be purchased on a monthly installment plan. The BOGO deal also requires a trade-in, the value of which can be put toward the purchase price of the new phones. Verizon will cover the cost of the second phone via monthly bill credits over the course of 24 months. Customers won't be able to mix and match: the second phone must come from the same manufacturer as the first, though people can opt for the larger Pixel 2 XL or Galaxy S8+ and cover the difference in cost on the second device. The Verizon BOGO deal counters a similar one launched by T-Mobile earlier this month.
LG to Drop Annual Flagship Handset Refresh Cycle
In a shift of strategy, LG this week said it will cease bringing new flagship devices to market each year as it has done the last five or so years. “We will unveil new smartphones when it is needed. But we will not launch it just because other rivals do,” said Cho Sung-jin, LG Electronics Vice Chairman, during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "We plan to retain existing models longer by, for instance, unveiling more variant models of the G series or V series." The LG G6 is nearing its first birthday, while the V30 is not quite six months old. The company earlier said it will also change the naming conventions for these flagship devices going forward. LG's mobile business has lost money 11 quarters in a row. Budget phones, rather than flagships, generate the bulk of LG's mobile business earnings. The company is estimated to have lost about $650 million during the last three months of 2017. At CES 2018, the only phones on display at LG's booth were last year's V30 and V30+.
T-Mobile Accelerates 600 MHz LTE Deployments
T-Mobile has significantly expanded the availability of LTE service on its 600 MHz (Band 71) spectrum around the country. The Un-carrier debuted its 600 MHz service in Cheyenne, Wyo., last August. Since then, T-Mobile has lit up LTE on 600 MHz in 586 cities and towns around the country, including 156 new markets over the last few days. T-Mobile did not share the names of these new markets, though it had previously said it would first target rural markets with its 600 MHz spectrum. Few devices are able to use Band 71 just yet. One example is the LG V30 smartphone. T-Mobile plans to launch more than a dozen new 600 MHz capable smartphones this year, ranging from entry-level to flagship devices. In terms of T-Mobile's total coverage, the company now claims to provide access to 322 million people, up from 315 million last year. T-Mobile now covers 99% as many Americans as Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile plans to deploy some 5G service on its 600 MHz spectrum, where is has 31 MHz across much of the country, as soon as 2020. Last, T-Mobile said it closed its agreement to purchase the remaining interest of Iowa Wireless from Aureon on January 2. This will give T-Mobile more coverage in Iowa and western Illinois.
Google Home Max Now Available for $399; Verizon Discounts LG V30
Verizon Wireless today began selling the Google Home Max in-home assistant and speaker. The Max relies on the same Google Assistant that powers the Google Home and Google Home Mini devices, but packages the voice-based tool in a larger, music-focused box. The Max has twin 4.5-inch woofers and can analyze the room to automatically adjust its tuning for the best possible sound. It supports streaming services such as Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Spotify, and can interact with Chromecasts and other cast-enabled devices. The Google Home Max is available online from Verizon and Best Buy. Verizon Wireless also rolled out a promotion for the LG V30. Customers can snag a $300 discount on the phone when purchased on a 24-month payment plan. The $300 discount is applied monthly until the phone is paid off. The LG V30 deal is only available online.
LG's Mobile Business Gets a New CEO
LG today announced a handful of changes to its leadership that the company hopes will lead to stronger performance of its mobile phone business. The company named Hwang Jeong-hwan as president and CEO of LG Mobile Communications. Juno Cho, the previous president, will take a new role within LG Corp. LG has also named Dr. Park Il-pyung as CTO. Prior to his appointment as CTO, Dr. Park served as the head of LG's software business. Dr. Skott Ahn, the previous CTO, will tackle new responsibilities at LG Corp. In another change, Han Chang-hee was named head of the Global Marketing Center. Last, LG is creating a B2B company to handle sales to businesses. All the appointments are effective December 1. LG's mobile phone business marked a loss of $117 million in its most recent quarterly earnings report, despite bringing capable handsets such as the G6 and V30 to the market this year.
T-Mobile Rolls Out Buy-One, Get-One Deal On Flagship Phones
T-Mobile today revealed a holiday promotion that can net people a free flagship smartphone. Customers who purchase one new phone at full price will be able to snag a second for free, through monthly rebates. Handsets that qualify for the promotion include the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Note8, and S8 Active, and the LG G6, V20, V30, and V30+. The first phone will need to be financed through T-Mobile's equipment installment plan. T-Mobile will then make the monthly payments on the second device over a 24-month period. T-Mobile said customers interested in the iPhone X can score up to $300 in rebates with an eligible trade-in, though there's no BOGO deal for the iPhone. The promotion kicks off November 17.
T-Mobile Says Gigabit LTE Available to Select Phones
T-Mobile today said more customers around the country should have access to faster wireless speeds. The company has reached several new milestones with respect to its wireless network. First, it has doubled its LTE-Advanced footprint to more than 920 markets. The company has deployed a trio of LTE-A technologies, including carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, and 256 QAM, in 430 of those markets. Gigabit LTE relies on a combination of these three LTE-A technologies along with certain on-device components and proper backhaul. Together, these technologies are able to improve spectral efficiency, reduce congestion, and deliver the highest-possible speeds to handsets. Only a few devices equipped with the Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE modem can access Gigabit LTE, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note8, the Motorola Moto Z2 Force Edition, and the LG V30. T-Mobile customers who own these devices and live in the 430 markets with carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, and 256 QAM may be able to tap into Gigatbit LTE download speeds (800 Mbps). Gigabit LTE is a stepping stone to 5G and T-Mobile plans to keep moving forward. The company is prepared to launch LTE-License Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) later this year. LTE-LAA makes better use of unlicensed spectrum on small cells. T-Mobile did not provide a timeline for these network upgrades.
T-Mobile to Carry the LG V30+
T-Mobile today said it plans to sell the LG V30+ later this month. The V30+ differs from the V30 in that it has double the internal storage — 128 GB instead of 64 GB. Other features of the V30+, including support for T-Mobile's Band 71 600 MHz spectrum, remain unchanged. The phone has a 6-inch quad HD+ display, Snapdragon 835 processor, wide-angle and standard cameras, and a 3,300mAh battery. The LG V30+ will be available in limited quantity for $130 down and $30 a month for 24 months. It goes on sale November 17. Until now, the V30+ has been a Sprint exclusive.
LG V30 Hits Verizon Stores Today for $840
Verizon Wireless today shared details concerning its variant of the LG V30. The phone is available from today for $35 per month for 24 months on a Verizon device payment plan. The total cost of the monthly payments comes to $840, which is about $40 more than what AT&T and T-Mobile ask for the handset. Verizon has several promotions on deck. First, people who purchase a V30 are eligible for a free Google Daydream View headset. Further, those who purchase a V30 between October 5 and November 6 can score a $200 Visa prepaid card. The LG V30 features a metal-and-glass design, 6-inch quad HD+ display, dual cameras, and a Snapdragon 835 processor.
LG V30+ Exclusive to Sprint, Coming October 13
Sprint will offer LG's new flagship V30+ phone starting on October 13th. The V30+ is exclusive to Sprint in the U.S.; other carriers will offer the standard V30. The V30+ has 128 GB of internal storage, twice that of the standard V30. It will also come with LG QuadPlay high-quality earbuds. For a limited time, it will also come with a free Google Daydream VR headset. The V30 is one of the first LG-branded phones compatible with Daydream. Sprint is selling the phone for $912, or leasing it for $38/month. For a limited time, Sprint is offering 2-for-1 on the $38/month lease.
LG V30 Goes on Sale October 6 for About $800
LG and its carrier partners today announced pricing and availability for the V30 smartphone. Preorders for the handset commence October 5th, with an expected ship and in-store date of October 6th for AT&T, or 13th for T-Mobile. Exact pricing varies a bit by carrier, but the average retail price of the phone comes in at $800. T-Mobile, for example, is seeking $80 down and $30 a month on T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan. AT&T is charging $27 per month for 30 months on AT&T Next. AT&T has a limited buy-one, get-one deal on the V30, though it requires at least one port in and a subscription to DirecTV. The V30 is LG's camera-focused flagship. It has a 6-inch FullVision display, glass-and-metal design, and twin rear-mounted cameras.
LG V30 Launches In Korea This Week, North America Soon Thereafter
LG today said it will begin shipping its V30 flagship handset to customers in South Korea this week. The phone will arrive in North America, Europe, and other markets "in the days and weeks to come." LG didn't provide an exact launch window for the U.S., and LG's U.S. carrier partners have yet to announce pricing plans for the high-end phone. The V30 is the latest to adopt LG's 18:9 FullVision display with a plastic OLED panel and Gorilla Glass 5 covering the quad HD+, 6-inch screen. The phone boasts a twin-camera design with wide-angle and standard view lenses, high-resolution audio capture, wireless charging, and support for Google Daydream VR. The V30 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and it runs Android 7 Nougat.
Samsung Note8, Sony Xperia XZ1, LG V30 Earn Netflix HDR
Netflix recently added the Samsung Galaxy Note8, Sony Xperia XZ1, and the LG V30 to the short list of those able to play back high-definition video in HDR. High-dynamic range content offers better contrast than standard content. The only other handsets capable of supporting Netflix HDR are the LG G6 and Xperia XZ Premium, which have the needed HDR displays. In order to view HDR content on these handsets, owners have to subscribe to the $12 premium Netflix plan (streaming on four screens and ultra HD resolution). They'll also have to ensure the latest version of the app is installed on their phone, and select "high definition" for video playback quality.
Best of IFA 2017
IFA is Europe's big consumer tech show. Every year we head over to Berlin to check out everything in person, and honor the standouts with our Best of IFA award. This year, five products really caught our eye.
LG V30 First to Support T-Mobile's 600 MHz Spectrum
LG and T-Mobile today said the new V30 flagship smartphone will be the first device capable of operating on T-Mobile's brand new 600 MHz spectrum, or Band 71. T-Mobile kicked off 600 MHz service in Cheyenne, Wyo., two weeks ago and today added Scarborough, Maine. T-Mobile is using the spectrum to provide LTE coverage to rural markets first, though it will also eventually deploy 5G technologies on that spectrum. T-Mobile's 600 MHz spectrum holdings give it nationwide coverage. The LG V30 is slated to reach T-Mobile later this year.
Hands On with the LG V30
The V30 is LG's new top-end flagship, for people who want something even more cutting-edge than the G6. As with previous V-series phones, it sports a huge screen. But the incredibly tiny bezels let LG make the screen much larger, but the phone much smaller, compared to last year's V20. LG has taken all of the features of the G6 and improved them, including a better dual-camera setup, faster processor, and OLED screen capable of VR. The V series continues to support advanced audio, but the V30 adds advanced video features as well, including a feature similar to RAW mode for video. We spent some time with the V30; read on for our first impressions.
LG Announces the V30 Flagship with FullVision Display and Floating Info Bar
LG today fully revealed the V30, a phone it has been teasing in bits and pieces over the last few weeks. This flagship-class handset has a metal frame and glass front and rear panels. The V30 does away with the secondary display that adorned the front of the V10 and V20. In its place, LG created what it calls the Floating Bar, a semi-transparent strip that gives V30 owners access to frequently used functions, such as contacts and settings. The phone is among the first to use a plastic OLED FullVision display, though it is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The 6-inch panel has 2,880 by 1,440 pixels, or a 2:1 (18:9) aspect ratio, and nearly non-existent side bezels. LG reduced the phone's upper and lower bezels by 20% and 50%, respectively, when compared to the V20. The phone makes use of an f/1.6 aperture camera at 16 megapixels, a first according to LG. The f/1.6 lens allows 25% more light to reach the sensor when compared to an f/1.8 lens. Further, LG is adopting what it calls a Crystal Clear Lens that's made of glass, rather than plastic. The glass permits more light to travel through it, while also allowing for better color reproduction. Like the V20 and G6, the V30 has a dual camera array with one wide-angle lens and one standard-angle lens with optical image stabilization, laser autofocus, and electronic image stabilization. The secondary lens has a 13-megapixel resolution at f/1.9 and 120-degree field of view. The phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor at its core with 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage (the V30+ jumps to 128 GB of storage). Other specs include a 3,400mAh battery with wireless charging and an IP68 rating for protection from water and dust. The Always On Display is more customizable than before and includes shortcuts to Quick Tools, the music player, and even photos. Additional software features baked into LG UX 6.0 include Face Recognition that LG says unlocks the phone instantly even when the display is off. Voice Recognition now uses a combination of the user's voice and self-generated keywords to unlock the phone without any button presses. The V30's camera gains access to Graphy, a tool for applying professional-looking styles to photos and V30 owners will be able to create GIFs or movies by pasting together photos and/or video files. Last, LG said the V30 adopts a 32-bit advanced hi-fi quad DAC from ESS Technology, which reproduces music as close to the original source as possible. It includes high-resolution audio streaming thanks to technology from MQA Ltd. On the recording front, the V30's HD Audio Recorder can use the handset's audio receiver as a microphone. LG says this lets the phone record a wider dynamic range of sound, "from a whisper to a thunderstorm," without distortion. The LG V30 will go on sale in Korea starting September 21 with other markets, including North America, to follow soon thereafter. Pricing was not immediately disclosed.