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LG disguised the aperture on its pre-release V30 phones to keep it a secret

LG’s new V30 smartphone is justifiably one of the most exciting Android devices on the near horizon, checking off practically every desirable feature and spec from a modern flagship-tier phone. Among its many attributes is a new breakthrough in camera aperture (a measure of the amount of light that the lens array lets in) for smartphones with a value of f/1.6. For the vast majority of people, the difference between f/1.6 and f/1.7 is not something to be especially fussed about, but for companies like LG, which fight for every possible spec edge that they can get, it’s a treasured advantage.

In past times, obsessive fans have been able to dig up information on the Google Nexus via EXIF data on pictures posted to Google+ by incautious Google employees. LG itself has fallen afoul of similar premature revelations with the Nexus 4 that it built for Google. So now the company is being extra circumspect.

As a sign of how closely guarded a secret this was for LG, the company went to the extent of having its test V30 devices deliberately misrepresent the aperture of their shots, showing the slightly higher value of f/1.7. Granted, LG pre-announced the new spec a few weeks ahead of the V30 launch, but that was done in its own time rather than leaking out the novelty in a manner outside the company’s control.

With pre-production V30s going out to bloggers and reviewers over the past week or so, it wasn’t long before people spotted this and started questioning if LG truly had an f/1.6 aperture on its newest camera. As a result, the company has issued the following statement to The Verge and other press outlets, reassuring everyone that the V30 retail units will indeed be arriving with an f/1.6 aperture:

“Before unveiling a new product, LG Electronics safeguards confidential and proprietary device information by masking the true values of important product specifications. Some preproduction preview sample devices recently distributed featured non-final software, which maintained masked information with regard to aperture. The LG V30 features an F1.6 aperture camera and glass lens, an industry leading innovation.”

So yes, LG fudged the facts with the goal of keeping competitors, fans, and bloggers off the trail of its prized new innovation. Quite understandable and entirely uncontroversial.