|Released 2018, May||168.1g, 8.6mm thickness|
|Android 7.1||32GB storage, microSDXC|
|5.3″ 720×1280 pixels||13MP 1080p|
|2GB RAM Snapdragon 425||2880mAh Li-Ion|
LG K30 Brief Description
The LG K30 also known as LG X2 (2019) for South Korea is an interesting phone to review, if not necessarily to use. We tested the unlocked model, which is available on Amazon. It’s built solidly, but offers pretty low-end specs and performance for the price, and lacks LTE Band 71. Compared with devices like the Motorola’s Moto G6 Play and E5 Play, it simply doesn’t offer enough value for the money. Here’s where the interesting part comes in: T-Mobile also sells a model of the phone for $200 that comes with Band 71, as well as a higher-resolution camera. If you’re buying this phone on T-Mobile, add half a star to the score at the top of this page.
Design and Display
The K30 is made of a sturdy mix of plastic and metal, with a smooth metal back panel that hosts LG’s traditional rear fingerprint sensor/power button. The phone has a 16:9 form factor with a 5.3-inch display, resulting in somewhat squat dimensions of 5.9 by 4.0 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and a weight of 5.9 ounces. The wide-body makes it hard to use with one hand and reach across fully with your thumb.
The screen is a fairly clear 5.3-inch, 1,280-by-720 IPS panel with 277 pixels per inch (ppi), nearly the same as the G6 Play (282ppi). Text and graphics look fine and viewing angles are decent. Colors can seem a little faded, however; we prefer the brighter and more accurate colors on the G6 Play. Maximum screen brightness could afford to be higher as well, and the panel gets too reflective to be used in direct sunlight.
A 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB charging port are on the bottom, a pair of volume buttons are on the left, and the SIM/microSD card slot on the right worked fine with a 256GB card.
Network Performance and Connectivity
The K30 is compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, but not Sprint. Unlocked it supports LTE Bands 2/4/5/12/13/66. Missing here is Band 71, which allows for improved rural coverage and roaming. You get it on the T-Mobile model, which gives you a nice coverage boost.
Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands is available, along with Bluetooth 4.2 for audio. VoLTE is also supported.
Call quality is decent. Transmissions are on the robotic side, though voices come across clearly enough to be understood. Noise cancellation is passable at blotting out some background noise, but you’ll still get a fair amount of ambient clatter coming through, along with some skipping and crackling. Earpiece volume is fine.
Processor, Battery, and Camera
The K30 is powered by an entry-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor clocked at 1.4GHz. In the PCMark benchmark, which measures a variety of tasks like web browsing and video editing, it scored 3,380, similar to the Moto E5 Play (3,477).
The phone has 2GB of RAM, compared with 3GB on the G6 Play, so it’s not as capable at multitasking. There are noticeable instances of sluggishness when launching new apps, as well as animation lag when swiping between screens or pulling down the notification shade. As you might expect, the K30 isn’t much of a gaming phone.
Battery life is solid, at 5 hours, 41 minutes of streaming full-screen video over LTE at maximum screen brightness. It’s no match for the 4,000mAh Moto G6 Play, which outlasted our 12-hour test video, but it beats the E5 Play (4 hours, 8 minutes). It doesn’t support fast charging or have a replaceable battery, but it should manage a full day of normal use without issue.
Camera quality is unimpressive, even for an entry-level device. The 8MP rear camera (down from the 13MP sensor on the T-Mobile model) does okay in good lighting but tends to struggle in any challenging conditions. Generally, it’s not very sharp, tends to blur indoors, and records jittery 1080p video at 30fps that drops frames in lower light. The 5MP front camera takes soft shots regardless of lighting conditions.
We haven’t tested it, but we expect the 13MP rear sensor on the T-Mobile model to offer better clarity in general.
The K30 comes running Android 7.1 Nougat. LG’s custom UI layer makes several visual changes to the home screen, app icons, notification shade, and menus. Out of the box, apps are splashed across the main screen and the app drawer is removed, but that can be changed in the Settings menu.
The Amazon Prime model of the K30 features some Amazon advertising in the form of push notifications. A full suite of Amazon apps comes preinstalled, along with Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, LG SmartWorld, and QuickMemo+. None of the apps can be removed, leaving you with 6.09GB of available storage out of 16GB. A microSD card can give you more space for photos and videos.
The unlocked LG K30 has decent battery life and a sturdy build, but it simply doesn’t offer as much value as similarly priced phones. T-Mobile customers who live in rural areas may get more value out of the carrier’s own model, even if they have to pay a bit more. But if you’re buying unlocked, there are better options out there, like the Moto G6 Play, which works on all major US carriers and has superior hardware across the board. On the even more affordable end, we like the Moto E5 Play, which offers most of the same features as the K30 for a fraction of the price.
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 – T-Mobile|
|4G bands||2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 66, 71 – T-Mobile|
|Status||Available. Released 2018, May|
|BODY||Dimensions||148.6 x 75 x 8.6 mm (5.85 x 2.95 x 0.34 in)|
|Weight||168.1 g (5.93 oz)|
|DISPLAY||Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.3 inches, 77.4 cm2 (~69.5% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||720 x 1280 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~277 ppi density)|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 7.1 (Nougat)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8917 Snapdragon 425 (28 nm)|
|CPU||Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53|
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSDXC (dedicated slot)|
|Internal||32GB 2GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Single||13 MP, PDAF|
|Features||LED flash, HDR|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||5 MP|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||4.2, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS|
|USB||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass|
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Ion 2880 mAh battery|
|Charging||Standard charging 10W|
|MISC||Colors||New Aurora Black, Blue|
|Models||LM-X410.F, LM-X410(FG), LM-X410.FN, LM-X410.FGN, LM-X410PM|
|Price||About 230 USD|
LG K30 official images