Really, though, LG built the V30 to shine when shooting video. For non-auteurs like me, LG's CineShot movie mode packs features that approximate high-end cinematography without any of the effort. Applying color presets to your footage is helpful for capturing the right atmosphere in a scene, and I really dig its Point Zoom feature. Long story short, you can tap anywhere on the screen to lock your focus and zoom in and out, even when your subject is lurking in the corner of the frame.
If you're a vlogger or a YouTuber or someone who wants to try shooting serious footage with a smartphone, you'll want to stay in the manual mode for full control over your footage. All the usual settings are there -- you can tweak shutter speed, exposure, ISO and more -- but you have options for changing your frame rate and bitrate. Cinematographers (or wannabes) will also enjoy the ability to export footage in LG's CineLog format, making color grading easier once they get the files off their phones.
Meanwhile, plugging in a pair of headphones allows to you use the built in HiFi Quad DAC -- you know, the one the US version of the G6 didn't get. So far, it has made a notable, if not overwhelming, difference. Music I've listened to on the V30 and all benefited from a little extra depth; songs sounded a little brighter and more spacious than before. You can change how much of an impact the DAC has with some handy presets, too, and it's worth taking the time to get the settings just right. The LG V10 from way back when offered some more nuanced controls, but no matter: The V30 still makes for great listening.
After years of being underwhelmed by LG phones, it feels very strange to like one this much -- especially an unfinished one. Sure, LG made some compromises, and I can imagine some long-time V-series fans not being pleased with the company's shift in strategy and design. That's fair, but I can't get too upset: In the process, LG has managed to build what certainly feels like its best phone in ages. Here's hoping the final, review-ready units don't take too long getting here.
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