LG on Tuesday announced that it is set to launch the 2018 version of the original V30 flagship at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The announcement follows another from earlier this year, when the company said it would be abandoning its annual smartphone cycle, and only launch phones when needed, with a focus on new variants of its established G and V-Series of smartphones.
The new LG V30 smartphone, which entered the rumour mills as the LG V30s earlier, is touted to feature a suite of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies focusing on camera and voice recognition. The South Korean company has also announced the extension of its partnership with Google to integrate as many as 32 exclusive voice commands on the upcoming handset. The LG V30 was launched at IFA 2017 in August last year with a FullVision display and a dual rear camera setup to take on Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
After spending more than a year in researching how AI should be implemented in smartphones, LG in a statement said it had developed its Vision AI that is acclaimed as the next-generation image recognition technology. The proprietary technology is designed to analyse objects and recommend the best shooting mode from among eight preset modes, including portrait, food, pet, landscape, city, flower, sunrise, and sunset. It also considers the angle of view, colour, reflections, backlighting, and saturation levels by analysing images from a database to understand the camera's focus in order to recommend the best setting. Moreover, LG has collaborated with a partner in image recognition to analyse over 100 million images to ultimately build its image recognition algorithms. The company also says that it has created over a thousand unique image categories to develop more accurate image analysis and offer better shooting mode recommendations to end users than ever before.
Apart from recognising images for enhanced results, LG claims that its Vision AI is designed to provide shopping advice. The technology scan QR codes, initiate an image search and even provide shopping options such as from where to purchase a particular item at the lowest price and other similar products available in the market.
On the hardware side, LG has confirmed that the new V30 version will come with a dual camera setup that will include wide-angle, low-distortion lenses. This hardware will jointly work with a preloaded low-light shooting mode to brighten images in dim environments by a factor of two, the company said. The in-house Vision AI technology is claimed to measure the brightness of the actual image to adjust brightness level more accurately than conventional methods that measure external light levels to brighten final shots.
The LG V30 was debuted with exclusive support for 23 voice commands. LG has extended that area by uplifting its Voice AI technology and is set to give 32 exclusive voice commands on the new V30 model. Users will just need to say "OK Google" and then a particular voice command to perform actions on the smartphone. There are new commands to use a list of fresh features, including Panoramic Photo, Food Photo, Time-lapse Photo and Video, Slow-motion Video, Low-light Photo, AI Cam Photo, Image Search, QR Code Scanning, and Shopping Search.
It is quite certain that most of the new AI-powered features will be limited to the next LG V30 model. However, LG has stated that some of the new features will also be landed on its existing smartphones via OTA (over-the-air) updates.
"Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward, and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for," said Ha Jeung-uk, Senior Vice President and Business Unit Leader, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, in a press statement.
The next LG V30 model, which as we mentioned is in rumours as the LG V30s, was recently reported to sport up to 256GB of onboard storage. This is far more than the 64GB and 128GB storage versions of the LG V30 and LG V30+. The smartphone is also said to hit stores in South Korea sometime in the second week of March with a price tag of KRW 1 million (approximately Rs. 59,300) to compete against the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. Besides, it is expected to come with a Snapdragon 845 SoC.
Last month, LG showcased its AI skills in televisions by unveiling the ThinQ AI brand at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas. The company also integrated Google Assistant within the new TV models alongside its native Electronics Program Guide (EPG) to deliver a smarter experience.