LG V20: The Android flagship that everyone deserves to own
Vinu Varughese Oommen
It was over a year ago when LG had introduced the V10 smartphone, which was known for its secondary ticker display and dual front cameras. Can the latest LG V20 fill the gap of 2016’s Android phablet market? Let’s find out.
Design and Features
LG has given a complete design overhaul for its latest V series smartphone. Instead of the rugged design of the LG V10, LG opted to use a premium and metal body on the LG V20. The edges of the device have a smooth curve on the back which helped me to hold the smartphone comfortably.
The display of the LG V20 is 5.7-inches in size with a display resolution of 1440 x 2560. The 72.4% screen-to-body ratio ensures that you get the most out of the large screen estate (slightly larger than 70.8% screen-to-body ratio of the LG V10). The IPS panel is undoubtfully really good when it comes to colors and viewing angles. Our experience of the main display’s outdoor visibility is quite decent. Additionally, LG has added the Corning Gorilla Glass 4 to protect the main device from accidental scratches and bumps. Another thing to mention is that the LG V20 is certified with MIL-STD-810G which means it’s as tough as the previous model.
Carried over from the previous generation model, the LG V20’s secondary screen which rests above the upper left portion of the main display has a screen size of 2.1 inches (160 x 1040). You can switch between your favorite apps instantly, read notifications, access contacts quickly, and even see the time and phone status while viewing videos on the main screen. The secondary display can remain on even when the main display is turned off. You can operate the secondary display without the need to wake your device.
LG has also made some changes regarding the button placement on the LG V20. While the LG V10 had its volume rockers on the back, the LG V20’s volume keys have been shifted to the right side of the device. Whether you’re a left-handed or right-handed person, the volume rockers are easy to reach without any stress. The fingerprint scanner on the rear (which serves as the power button of the device) is very easy to reach with my index finger. The moment I lay my finger on the scanner without the need to insert any pressure on the button, the smartphone instantly unlocks without wasting time. You can store up to five fingerprints on the device. I should mention that the portion where the dual cameras are placed on the rear is slightly protruding outwards. That said, I did not notice any unusual wobbling when the device was placed on the table.
One of the best things about the LG V20 is that it’s one of the few flagships in the market of 2016 which comes with a removable battery. Simply push the eject button on the bottom right side of the device, and the back metal panel easily opens up. You get to remove the battery, insert dual Nano SIM cards, or one Nano SIM and a MicroSD card. Lastly, we have a single speaker grill on the bottom of the device, along with a headphone jack, and the USB Type-C port.
Coming to the specifications, LG has this time stepped up their game to include the fastest Snapdragon 820 processor onto the LG V20 to compliment the 4GB RAM onboard. The LG V20 is the first OEM-based Android smartphone to come with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Apart from the enhanced performance and battery improvements offered by Android 7.0 OS, you get a series of LG’s software expertise such as split-screen multitasking, streamlined notifications, smart settings which offer preset profiles depending on where you are, a smart cleaning feature which cleans up the trash, a battery saver mode with a “game battery saver” that adjusts video quality of games to save battery, dual-SIM settings and more. The device comes in both 32GB and 64GB storage options, and we got the 64GB model.
It should be noted that since the Samsung Galaxy Note7 isn’t available in the market anymore, you can opt to use the LG V20 if you’re in the hunt for a flagship smartphone with split-screen functionality. We ran some benchmarks on the LG V20 and got some impressive scores.
While there are many smartphones out there with stellar mobile cameras, the LG V20 simply stands out because of the camera features it offers as compared to the competition. Talk about having a “true” camera smartphone here, the LG V20 has cameras on the front and rear of the device that can shoot in both standard and wide-angle images. Never have I imagined that one device can cover different ranges of focal length.
Breaking down the specs, the rear camera setup actually has two different sensors: a 16MP camera with F1.9 lens and a 29mm focal length, while the other is an 8MP camera with a lower F2.4 aperture and an amazing 12mm focal length (up to 135 degrees of coverage). The front camera which has a 5MP sensor can shoot images in the normal distance and wide-angle mode that covers up to 120-degrees. We took the device to take some shots in both day and night. Check out the gallery below.
In our opinion, the 16MP main camera of the LG V20 can certainly shoot sharp images, thanks to the F1.9 lens. However, while the 8MP sensor has an impressive wide-angle coverage, the sharpness and quality of the image captured are less sharp. That’s perfectly understandable as the sensor size of the 8MP unit is slightly smaller than the 16MP sensor. In short, you are getting a very wide coverage capture in one shot which compromises a bit in image quality. Keep in mind that image sensor size is not the same thing as the megapixel count. Night shots are quite impressive indeed. That said, the front camera samples came out great in both normal and wide-angle mode.
There is one more thing that can get pro-users to be interested in the LG V20’s camera: a manual mode that allows you to tweak with the ISO, shutter speed, AF peaking and white balance of the scene for both picture and video mode.
Here comes the next big thing in the LG V20. The device comes with a removable battery that has a capacity of 3200 mAh and fast charge support via the USB Type-C port. As of my experience with the smartphone, the LG V20 has a very good standby battery life that could last for a few days with a few occasional uses (with secondary display and WiFi turned on). This probably has to do with the improved Doze mode of the Android 7.0 Nougat OS. As a daily driver, the LG V20 can easily last a day. My usage had the 3G connectivity turned on, made some calls, captured some images and selfies with the camera and checked emails. And thanks to fast charge, you don’t need to wait long. A fast charge session raised the battery level from 39% to 55% in just 16 minutes.
Conclusion and Pricing
The LG V20 is definitely the answer that fills the voids of a phablet Android flagship smartphone market of 2016. The device comes with a new premium metal finish, a multi-purpose secondary display to switch between your favorite apps and a large 5.7-inch IPS display that’s brilliant to watch movies and enough screen estate for split-screen multitasking. Speaking of multitasking, the smartphone is powered by the latest Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB RAM and Android 7.0 Nougat. The dual-cameras are one of the best things about the device which offer both standard and wide-angle photography and selfie modes. While most flagships in the market do not offer removable batteries, the LG V20’s battery can be removed easily. We wish that the LG V20 could have had waterproofing capabilities as many companies have already started to roll out IP68 certified smartphones. The LG V20 price in Dubai, UAE is AED 2699.