LG’s smartphones in recent years are nothing short of novel. The LG G5 and its modular design, although having received mixed response, has no doubt set the pace for the development of modular smartphones in the market. The next flagship, the LG V20, that’s built more for media junkies, seems to follow this innovative trend. The gorgeous smartphone with 2-screens and 3 cameras is an incredible device not just in terms of its specifications, but its user experience as well.
The LG V20 is a phablet by design. The device has a 5.7” screen, which is the same as the Note series phablets by Samsung and it comes with an additional second screen above as well.
For a phablet that has 2 screens, the LG V20 isn’t too big or heavy. It’s dimensions of 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm and a weight of 174g does make it slightly more bulky than the average smartphone, but I would still consider it a fairly portable device amongst phablets.
The smartphone also has 2 cameras on its rear and a single camera on its front. Under your dual-camera lenses, you will find your fingerprint sensor on the rear of the smartphone. It serves as a physical button for you to push on to unlock and lock your device too, which is pretty nifty in my opinion.
The V20’s curved exterior and matte metal body gives it a very premium and sturdy look, which I found really delightful.
However, what I really liked about its design was its removable battery and the ability to insert 2 Nano-SIM cards and an additional SD card into the device. Most smartphones are unable to accommodate expandable storage if you use up both SIM slots.
The main screen that is 5.7″ diagonally has a QHD resolution and 513 ppi. The second screen is a single line placed above the device that is 2.1″ diagonallywith a resolution of 160 x 1,040px.
Maximum brightness on the V20 is incredible. It hits up to 628nits at maximum brightness and it doesn’t lose significant contrast even at that brightness, so using it at noon time here under the glaring sun isn’t going to pose much of an issue to the device.
When it comes to night reading or usage, the V20 comes with blue-light filter mode which most phones have nowadays too, it helps reduce the harshness of the rays from your smartphone and helps you get better sleep at night.
The second screen is incredibly useful and it serves as a clock when your screen is turned off, and when it’s turned on, it is where your notifications will pop up from so you don’t get disturbed by banners when you’re watching a movie or playing a game. This screen can also be used to add shortcuts to your favourite applications too. Last but not least, you can add your signature to customise your smartphone even more.
The LG V20 is a Snapdragon 820 powered smartphone, which is the standard chipset for most flagship Android devices in the market. This places its performance rather high up the food chain. Alongside its 4GB RAM, it should blast through any heavy applications and multitasking easily like a walk in the park.
Only when I was updating the smartphone’s slew of applications (which had 6 applications being downloaded simultaneously) and using it still, did I notice a slight lag in the device.
This media device is also an awesome gamer. Since it comes with Android 7 Nougat, it actually supports Vulkan 3D Graphics API which is supposedly helpful for boosting gaming speed. Interestingly, the V20 also has a game battery saver mode that lets you adjust the framerate and resolution so as to not burn through your battery so quickly.
Other than speed and performance, the connectivity on the LG V20 is also pretty good. It comes with LTE Cat. 12 ratings, which gives it an upper download limit of 600Mbps down and a maximum upload speed of 150Mbps which makes it one of the better phones in the market.
You will also find a DAC inside the LG V20, which is capable of powering up your heavy earphones meant for studio use. This DAC preserves music quality and fidelity to its finest to fully tap on the prowess of high-end headphones. If you’ve tried listening to any of Hans Zimmer’s composition on this beast, you will find yourself completely immersed.
How can we forget about the LG V20’s incredible dual-cameras?
The V20 comes with 2 cameras on its rear, one being a wide-angle lens and the other being a normal-view lens. In the camera’s user interface you can switch from 75° to 135°, to capturing more of the scene, however that would mean a drop in resolution as the normal camera sports a bright f/1.8 aperture and a 16MP sensor whereas the wide camera has a fixed focus 8MP sensor, and a f/2.4 aperture.
The multi shot mode on the device is also pretty interesting, allowing you to take pictures with all 3 shots at the same time, so you get a detailed normal shot, a wide angle shot, and even a selfie at the same time!
Whilst recording a video, you can also switch between normal and wide mode smoothly too.
What the LG V20 has that most smartphones don’t, is the ability to use Manual Focus to focus on a particular object and blur the background, a feature typically found in DSLRs only.
The rear camera shoots really clear and detailed photo and its clarity is only matched by a good and strong contrast that really pops.
The front camera isn’t as spectacular as the rear cameras, but it suffices for most intents and purposes. Unlike other smartphones, skin colour seems to be reproduced quite accurately and not-overly saturated or tinted.
The V20 shines in almost every field, except for its battery life. It’s not horrible of course, but just under the average for flagship smartphones. It should last you a full work day, but with heavy usage, I would expect the smartphone to be running out of juice in 8-9 hours. This is only to be expected with 2 screens and such a powerful and vibrant display.
Fortunately, the device has a QuickCharge feature that allows the 3,200mAh to be recharged fairly quickly in under 2 hours.
In conclusion, at a retail price of S$998, the LG V20 is actually a smartphone that’s worth its price tag, especially if you are an avid photographer, videography, or audiophile. If there is any smartphone in the market that’s built for media junkies, it is without a doubt, the LG V20.