LG has announced a new model for MWC 2018. Last year, LG announced the G6, but this year, it seems they have chosen the brave wise path of not doing so. Instead, they refreshed the V30 series with the V30S ThinQ and V30S+ ThinQ. Differences with the current V30:
- More RAM – from 4GB to 6GB
- More Storage – from 64/128GB to 128/256GB
- Improved P-OLED as feedback from existing V30 owners
- New Android OS, Oreo 8
- New colour variants
- AI software: Vision AI (AI CAM, QLens, Bright Mode) Voice AI
The AI add-on is the highlight of the announcement. Vision AI helps improve photography by identifying the subject and apply a shooting effect. QLens identifies the item and where to buy, through Amazon. Bright Mode combines pixels to improve images at low light at the expense of lower pixel count. Voice AI works alongside with Google Assistant to invoke LG-exclusive apps, like starting the wide angle camera, shooting in Cine Video mode.
Right Step Against Hyerconsumerism
Many tech sites appear to be disappointed with the lack of new smartphone announcement from LG, and they should be, since it means one less product to be excited about. Personally, I was surprised that there is even a refresh model variant, as earlier reports seem to suggest that the existing V30 would have new AI features.
Too often we have seen new smartphones launched to replace older models that are still within the technological capability. With the new models, consumers have perceived the older models as outdated and put them as less desirable options, shortening their shelf life. LG has already hinted months ago that they might not release products on a regular cycle, which I feel is a good business move, given the weak mobile sales results. The V30S is positioned as a new variant to the current V30 series which I feel continues to match well against new smartphones. I would love to see the V30S competitively priced while the current V30 repriced for increased market take up.
Am I disappointed? Yes I am. But given the lack of innovation across the mobile industry, I would be even more disappointed if LG announces a new phone with nothing exciting. Dual cameras? Bezel-less display? Water Resistance? Thin and light? Glass front and back? Facial Unlock? V30 has them all. AI software? V30S is coming with it, and firmware update will give V30 that feature too.
One thing that I do not agree with the latest smartphone model: the name is too long. They should drop the “ThinQ” sub-brand.