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LG V30 tidbits: VR support, face unlock with screen off, faster speeds on T-Mobile, V30+, potential release date

LG’s latest flagship has officially arrived in the V30, and it’s an impressive device across the board. We’ve already called it one of our favorite devices on the market, and everything you’ll see on paper supports that. However, there are some interesting things about the V30 that aren’t obvious at a glance, so let’s take closer look.

LG’s first smartphone with Daydream support

Google’s VR platform Daydream is powerful, but its biggest point of attraction is that you aren’t locked into just one phone to use with it. Quite a few major Android flagships fully support Daydream, and today LG can finally be added to that list with the V30.

While previous LG phones had the raw specifications to handle VR content, the display was the limiting factor. Now that LG has swapped over to an OLED display, that is no longer a problem. To use Daydream on your V30, simply download the app from Google Play and drop the phone into a Daydream View headset.

A faster fingerprint sensor

LG’s fingerprint sensor has been nothing special since it debuted on the V10. It’s gradually gotten a bit better, but it’s always had consistency and speed issues. On the V30, there’s a noticeable improvement. For one thing, the set up process is noticeably faster. Where phones even as recent as the G6 would require up to a dozen taps to register a finger, the LG V30 gets closer to Google’s phones and only needs about 5 or 6 taps per finger. That carries over to unlocking the phone too which is also quicker and, so far, more reliable. And let’s not forget to be grateful that LG actually knows where a fingerprint sensor belongs (glares at Samsung).

Biometrics galore, including a crazy face unlock option

Biometric authentication doesn’t stop with a fingerprint sensor, though (even though it is the best). Samsung has added both iris scanning and face scanning to the Galaxy S8 as extra methods to unlock, and LG is following on the latter. However, there’s a big improvement in LG’s implementation. Unlike the S8/Note 8 which requires the user to turn on the screen, the V30 will still scan your face even if the screen is turned off. That’s a little creepy if you ask me, but if you’re using that feature, it’s also ridiculously convenient and I’m shocked Samsung doesn’t also offer it.

The LG V30 also features advanced voice recognition for unlocking the phone. Users can set up a custom keyword such as “Hello V30” or any other 2-3 word phrase to unlock the phone. Obviously, both face unlock and voice unlock are going to be less secure compared to a PIN, Knock Code, or fingerprint, but they’re both very cool.

Haptic feedback all over the place

Thanks to LG’s recent partnership with Immersion, the V30 is also capable of some stronger effects with vibrations. The most notable place you’ll find this is in the camera app. Tapping the shutter button or adjusting the ISO or zoom will result in vibrations that add to the experience.

Outside of the camera app, though, the effect can still be seen. Tapping the navigation buttons feels better compared to a lot of other phones, and small things like swiping away a notification, pressing a toggle, or activating the “Floating Bar” all elicit vibrations, and that’s only what I’ve noticed so far.

This is the first phone to take advantage of T-Mobile’s new 600MHz spectrum

T-Mobile made a big deal about its recent pickup of 600MHz spectrum, as it should, but most phones can’t take advantage of it. In fact, T-Mobile doesn’t carry a single device that can use it, until the V30. LG’s latest will be the first to support this new spectrum when it releases in T-Mobile stores.

“We’re lighting up our new super spectrum for LTE and laying the foundation for 5G so fast we’re making the other guys’ heads spin – and with the LG V30, everything is coming together in record time,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile.

The LG V30+ is just a higher storage tier

Before it’s launch, there was a lot of mystery surrounding the leaked “LG V30+” product name. At the unveiling today, though, LG revealed this device and there’s actually nothing “plus” about it except for storage. The only difference between the V30 and the V30+ will be the upgraded model shipping with 128GB instead of 64GB.

So, when is it coming out?

The biggest question so far with the LG V30 is when it will arrive in the hands of customers. LG has yet to reveal an official release date for the United States, but one official has pinpointed a release date in the company’s home country of South Korea — September 21st. Traditionally speaking, Korea gets the first shot on new products, so the global release will probably take place slightly after that.

As for pricing, it’s unclear at this time. What we do know, however, is that Carphone Warehouse will be selling the phone for €900 in Germany, quite a bit less than Samsung’s Note 8. Perhaps that $700 rumor was true after all…

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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