LG has announced its latest smartphone, the V30, and it could be one of the best devices of 2017.

Like the G6 before it, LG hasn't tried to hide the fact that it is releasing a new phone. From leak trickle to deluge to official press releases on its features, the V30 hasn't been a secret for months, but what's so surprising is just how much better a phone it is than its predecessor.

LG V30 hands-on: A galaxy full of good ideas

At its core, the phone is built around a G6-style 18:9 aspect ratio display, with curved corners and very slim bezels. But LG has undertaken a transition to OLED for its flagships, and the one on the V30 is superb: bright, balanced, and responsive. A metal frame is wedged between two pieces of Gorilla Glass 5, and all the trappings you'd expect from a high-end phone today — a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage plus microSD, dual cameras — are all standard.

The V30 is being aimed at enthusiasts, but anyone looking at the Galaxy S8+ or Note 8 should take a look here, too.

The V30's main reason for existing, though, aside from being a slightly larger G6 and a competitor to the tech-heavy Note 8, is to empower creators, and this year LG has doubled down on that functionality. The dual camera setup is slightly improved over last year, but the primary sensor is still 16 megapixels, though the second one has been bumped to 13MP from eight. In-depth manual modes on both the photo and video settings are back and improved, with new features such as Cine Video and a host of tweaks that can get you the shot, or shots, you need. Audio capture has also been improved by using the phone's amplifier to cancel out external noise.

On the audio side, LG has once again partnered with audio company ESS to install a Quad DAC inside the phone. What you need to know is that expensive headphones will sound better with this phone than your average Galaxy or iPhone thanks to a more powerful amplifier, while audio aficionados are able to tweak nearly every setting imaginable to achieve the perfect sound.

The V30 also makes a couple regressions (if you can call them that) on the way to a more mainstream design: gone is the second screen and removable back cover, replaced by a larger, sealed 3300mAh battery that allows for IP68 water resistance and wireless charging — the first time we've seen it in the V-series.

LG is positioning the V30 as the creator's smartphone, but with a slightly smaller body than the enormous Galaxy S8+, a sensibly-faced fingerprint sensor on the back, a face recognition system that works surprisingly well, and plenty of power for normals and enthusiasts alike, the V30 looks to be one of the sleeper hits of the year.

It goes on sale in mid-September in Korea, with a North American and European release shortly afterward. Stay tuned for pricing and carrier availability in the coming days.

See at LG