LG’s latest smartphone is shaping up to be a well-rounded alternative to the Galaxy S8

LG on Thursday announced its latest high-end smartphone, the LG V30.

I’ve spent a few days testing out an early version of the device, so I can’t give a full review just yet.

But based on what I’ve seen thus far, it seems safe to say two things about the V30:

  1. It looks great.
  2. It probably won’t catapult LG ahead of its eternal rival Samsung and the Galaxy S8.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve seen thus far:

  • The V30 is effectively an enhanced version of the LG G6, the flagship phone the company launched earlier this year. Like that device, the V30 is made from a mix of glass and aluminium, which helps it feel smooth, cool, and solid all at once. There are few unnecessary design flourishes, just a simple rectangle with nicely rounded corners. You could call it pleasant or boring; I lean toward the former.
  • The first thing you’ll immediately notice are those tiny borders around its display. The bezels here are a bit slimmer than those of the G6, which has allowed LG to squeeze a big 6-inch display in a phone that’s slightly more compact than Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus (which has a 5.5-inch screen). This is the hot new thing for lots of smartphones in 2017, but nice is nice.
  • Despite the giant screen, the V30 doesn’t feel particularly unwieldy. Clearly, those with small hands will have to be a little more careful, but it’s not out of the question for others to get around the phone with one hand. The whole thing is lighter than it looks too, at 158 grams. The high-end materials absolutely do not make it feel like a brick.
  • I have a longstanding issue with phones with glass backs: They’re more susceptible to cracking, they’re fingerprint magnets, and they tend to slide around if they’re not on a flat surface. The V30’s rear is coated in Gorilla Glass 5, but it hasn’t felt as slippery or offensive as it could be. Still, you will see some smudges in the right light.
  • If you’ve never used an LG phone, you’ll probably need a few moments to get used to the placement of the power button. It’s about 3/4ths of the way up the back of the phone. It also doubles as a fingerprint sensor, which has worked fast enough in my testing. This is much more logical and comfortable approach than what Samsung has done with the Galaxy S8, which inanely puts it next to the camera module.
  • There’s a headphone jack! What’s more, LG has equipped the device with a…

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