LG jumps back in with budget phones

Mala Bhargava | Updated on August 22, 2019 Published on August 22, 2019

A simple but rather nice sub-₹10,000 device marks a comeback into the mass mobile market

Don’t forget LG. The Korean electronics giant has been in the affordable phones market before, but just wasn’t aggressive enough with its noise-making. Recently, the company seems to have decided to jump right back in, this time with a series of phones aimed at those on a budget or wanting a straight-forward good phone. The W30 is one of the phones from its new series and frankly — it looks good.

From the back, you’ll never know that the W30 costs a mere ₹9,999. Its take on the popular blue-to-purple gradient is really pretty on the Thunder Blue unit we got for review. It’s blue on the sides, has a blush of pink towards the top, and shades to a sea-green towards the bottom. The plastic looks more like glass than on many other phones. It also looks much nicer in real life than it does in pictures. The back is glossy but doesn’t specially hold on to fingerprints. A very quick wipe should get it back to looking clean. Other colours include an Aurora Green and Platinum Grey.

Marks for design

Not only does the W30 not look like plastic, it doesn’t look ‘cheap’. It wouldn’t be surprising if people were to see it in your hands and ask you which phone it is. It isn’t specially slim or light, but doesn’t go to the other extreme either. If you find yourself wishing it were lighter, remember that it has a 4,000 mAh battery on the inside. The build seems quite sturdy.

Turning the phone on, you’ll see that there’s been some attempt to bring the 6.2-inch display up to speed with contemporary design. It has a notch that you can change the shape of slightly or even hide using options in the Display settings. Bezels are not super thin, but are certainly not the type you’d see on older, dated phones. The screen is however not specially high resolution and isn’t vibrant or sharp. The viewing angles are not the best, but workable. It’s when you look at the HD+ screen that you remember this isn’t an expensive phone. Of course, you’ll be able to watch movies and videos, but don’t expect to be doing so with the same brilliance and crispness found on costly devices.

The W30 has a fingerprint sensor on the back — that’s getting to be a rarity though it’s preferred by many. There’s also a face unlock option. There’s a headphone jack, dual hybrid SIM tray on top and very sadly, a micro USB slot at the bottom when even cheaper phones have been moving to USB Type C.

Average processor

You won’t see a Snapdragon processor on this phone. It uses the MediaTek Helio P22, which is strictly low-end. With 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage to go with it, the phone does experience some stutter and lag even while just navigating screens. Other devices in the same range, such as from the Redmi series entry-level phones, do a rather better job of this and put the W30 at a disadvantage. But if you don’t want to buy a Chinese phone, your options shrink and the W30 becomes worth considering, especially if you just want basics. One rather nice thing is that the phone is stock Android and doesn’t have cumbersome and annoying customisations and features to get in the way of usability.

Amazingly, the W30 has three cameras on the rear. For the price, that’s surprising, but the number of cameras don’t necessarily make for brilliant photos. The main camera is a 12 MP lens and there’s a 13 MP wide angle plus a 2 MP depth sensor. The cameras offer some amount of opportunity for creativity rather than just plain images, but the results are about average — as expected. Colours are a little off and there’s a bit of noise, but it has more than a workable set of cameras for occasional use. The 16 MP front camera is also all right. I have seen worse on more expensive phones, especially when they overdo the beautification.

LG W30
  • Price: ₹9,999
  • Pros: Premium looks for its price, large battery, clean software, three-camera set-up, small-notch screen
  • Cons: Screen could be better, underpowered processor, some lag and slowness, uses older micro USB, cameras just okay

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Published on August 22, 2019
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