Looks like LG has finally recognised the potential of the Indian smartphone market, more specifically the budget and mid-range segment. The South Korean electronics major has revamped its strategy with the new W-series to revive its consumer base in the country. But the competition is not easy in the presence of players like Xiaomi and Realme, which are offering high-specifications phones at cheaper prices.
The India-centric W-series follows an aggressive pricing strategy to stand up to the competition. The LG W30 is priced under Rs 10,000 and sports a familiar notched display design, but its highlight is the triple rear camera setup that carries a 13MP wide-angle lens alongside a primary 12MP sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. How well does the LG W30 perform in real life, and more than, does it get the triple rear camera setup right or is it just a marketing gimmick? Here’s our review.
LG W30 price: Rs 9,999
LG W30 specifications: 6.26-inch HD+ Display | MediaTek Helio P22 processor | 3GB RAM | 32GB internal storage | 4,000mAh battery | Android 9 Pie | 12MP+13MP+2MP rear cameras | 16MP front camera
LG W30 review: Design and display
LG tried to give the LG W30 a premium look, but the result is a rather glossy-looking phone, which is slippery. The phone is prone to smudges easily. The front panel of the device looks nice with a dot-notch design, but the textured silver colour back fails to impress. The build of the phone is not comfortable to hold in hands.
LG W30 sports an IPS LCD display with 19:9 aspect ratio screen even though its size is 6.26-inch. Such a big screen with this aspect ratio makes it a bit broad and I did not find it pleasant. The brightness levels of the screen are good and I faced no difficulty using it outdoors. The viewing angles are okay but the screen doesn’t produce sharp colours.
LG W30 comes with an inbuilt option to customise the notch. You can keep the default U-shaped or go with a V-shaped notch that blackens some area around the real notch to give it a V-shape. There is also an option to hide the notch altogether. While I preferred the default U-shape over others, some users may find the feature useful.
LG W30 review: Performance and software
LG W30 is powered by the MediaTek Helio P22 processor. The processor is efficient enough to easily handle day-to-day tasks like calling, messaging, using WhatsApp and browsing the internet. However, the phone starts to struggle when pushed to the extreme.
I opened 15 Chrome tabs and dozens of apps in the background. While switching between the apps was smooth, the 3GB RAM on the device failed to retain most of the apps in the background. Apart from WhatsApp and system apps like SMS and Call Logs, all the other apps restarted. Also, the phone started to show stutters and lags while switching between the Chrome tabs.
While games like Subway Surfer and Warrior Legends play on the device smoothly, it cannot handle graphics-heavy games well. PUBG runs with too many frame drops. It lags and stutters continuously even on the lowest graphics settings.
LG has kept the UI of the device close to the stock Android. The user interface is clean and bloatware freem, but it isn’t as fast and smooth as I expected it to be. Also, the UI doesn’t pull the app tray when swiped to do so, like it does in the stock Android. You need to swipe up from the pill, which first shows the recently opened tabs and then opens the app tray. While it doesn’t seem like an issue at first, it becomes irritating the more you use the device.
LG W30 review: Camera
I liked the camera of the LG W30. While a number of mid-range devices slap a third camera sensor on the back just to have a triple camera sensor, LG W30 actually puts the third sensor to good work. The device sports a 12MP main sensor clubbed with a 13MP wide angle lens and a 2MP depth sensor.
The main sensor is capable of clicking good pictures in daylight with nice colour reproduction. Neither do the pictures look dull nor do they look unrealistically vibrant. The colours are close to what eyes see in real life and the shot also carries good details.
However, the dynamic range and exposure levels aren’t too good. The HDR mode does not bring anything to the table here.
For a device priced this low, LG W30 does a commendable job with the wide-angle shots. The ultra-wide sensor takes visually appealing images that look more or less equal to the images taken from the main sensor apart from having a wider view. While the main sensor retains more details than the ultra-wide sensor, the latter manages to produce better colours than the former.
The camera of the phone does not perform well under low light conditions. It loses details and there is too much noise in a shot. During the night, it hardly manages to capture anything.
The depth sensor works fine for most of the images but it occasionally messes up the edges. Under low light conditions, the device struggles with edge detection and takes more time to process an image.
The 16MP front camera takes good selfies in daylight. The details on the face are true to life and it also gets the skin tone right. The LG W30 comes with a beauty mode but I liked that users have the option to turn it on/off. When the beauty mode is active, it removes blemishes but it loses quite a lot of details in the picture.
LG W0 review: Battery, speakers, fingerprint sensor, face unlock
Battery: LG W30 doesn’t disappoint with the battery performance. The 4,000mAh battery easily lasts more than one-and-a-half day on moderate usage. With extensive usage, including social media browsing, video watching, music playback, and browsing the internet, you get close to one day of battery. The charger takes more than two-and-a-half hours to fully charge the battery.
The speaker of the LG W30 is very loud. The volume levels are good but it often sounds like noise. However, it is unfair to expect anything more from a device priced so low.
The fingerprint sensor at the back sits at the right place, within the reach of fingers. It does not work instantly but it rarely misses the mark. The face-unlock feature of the LG W30 is also the same. It is slow but it rarely fails to recognise the face.
LG W30 review: Verdict
The strongest point of the LG W30 is its triple rear camera setup and looks like the LG W30 compromised on other parameters to deliver on the camera performance. The build of the LG W30 doesn’t impress, the performance is average, and the processor is simply not powerful enough to play graphics heavy games.
However, the LG W30 packs a good camera setup at this price point. If you want an ultra-wide sensor under Rs 10,000 that is capable of taking good pictures, LG W30 has got you covered.