Reviewing At&t’s LG V20…
Following the success of last year’s LG V10, the LG v20, a refinement of the V10 with it’s smooth aluminum body, a secondary display, dual cameras, is now available on At&t.
The Specs of the V20 include:
- A 5.7inch IPS LCD qHD 1440x2560p protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Its secondary screen is a 2.1inch 106x1080p resolution
- A QualComm 820 (with Quad-core (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo)) and Adreno 530 GPU running Android 7.0 Nougat.
- 4GB RAMemory
- Dual Cameras (Dual 16 MP (29mm, f/1.8) + 8 MP wide angle lens (12mm, f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS, LED flash). And a 5MP Front facing camera.
- 64GB internal storage with microSD card slot (up to 2TB).
- HiFi Quad DAC inbuilt speakers
- 3200mAh capacity battery with Quick Charge 3.0 over USB Type-C port.
- Fingerprint scanner.
- Aluminum body with removable battery back.
So let’s talk about the V20 starting with…
The V20 has a behemoth 5.7inch qHD bright IPS LCD screen and a 2.1inch secondary display that’s all protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4. There’s also a 5MP front-facing camera next to the secondary display as well.
The entire back is removable and is made from AL-6013 Aluminum that’s high in strength and has very good resistance to corrosion. It is removable by pressing a mechanical latch button located on the bottom right side of the phone.
The finish used on the Lg V20 I have to say I am not a fan of, I would’ve preferred something more brushed, but it’s bare metal finish makes its slippery sometimes, I even dropped it once and due to it having a removable battery, the back cover came off and the battery popped out as well.
The top and bottom however aren’t made from the same Aluminum but are polycarbonate and are very tough on impact.
The top side houses an IR blaster and one of many mics. There aren’t a lot of flagship phones that come with IR blasters these days, but neither are there flagship phones with removable batteries too.
The bottom side holds the 3.5mm audio jack, a MIC, the USB Type-C port (with QuickCharge 3.0) and those HiFi DAC speakers (very loud).
The left side just has the volume rockers, they are higher and hard to reach, a poor choice of placement in my opinion.
The back of the device has the Dual Cameras, which we will talk about in a bit, with LED flash and laser focus. Underneath this, is the fingerprint scanner which also doubles as the power button when pressed.
All this in a body that is 7.6mm thick and weighs just 174g
The main display is a 5.7inch IPS LCD qHD 1440×2560 pixel resolution with 531ppi density. It is really bright. It is so bright that I have to say this is the best phone I have used under direct sunlight, no details are lost. I am not a fan of IPS LCD screens but this I absolutely fell in love with, it’s really sharp, bright and its size and high resolution makes it ideal to catch on all your HD content whether from Netflix or YouTube.
The secondary display at first I thought it was just a gimmick, but after using the V20 for a few days, I realized its usefulness. You know how you are on your phone either on twitter or playing a game or in the middle of an email and a phone pops up on the screen disrupting whatever it was you were doing? Well, thanks to the secondary display on the V20, you don’t get interrupted while using your phone, in fact you don’t get interrupted by any notifications popping up on the main screen while you are busy. This to me is the greatest feature of the secondary display, that and the media control being readily available from there.
While the secondary display creates shortcuts to your recent apps, you cannot customize what apps go there, which is a missed opportunity by LG. But having quick access to your recent apps is a good idea, makes app switching a breeze. imagine taking a screenshot and quickly switching to the app you want to use it in by using the secondary display.
The secondary display is also hard to reach, as this is a 5.7inch screen phone and the secondary display is located at the top.
The display I’ll rate it a solid 10/10.
The V20 is powered by Qualcomm’s SnapDragon 820 CPU with 4GB RAM. It is pretty quick. Performance is optimal, I never experienced any lag except when starting up the camera app or typing really fast on a 3rd party keyboard, though I wouldn’t honestly attribute the keyboard lag to the phone’s performance.
The camera viewfinder was really laggy sometimes, and a lot of motion blur even before I began recording video. I am not sure if this is due to the processing power or the camera app itself.
Playing games, watching videos are really fluid, I experienced zero lag as well while working on SnapChat.
However, when recording video in 1080p @ 60fps, phone got really warm, close to hot! Not sure if this is a known issue.
And you can even use the split-screen feature, where you can simultaneously run 2 apps side by side each other, that’s how powerful this device is.
I would give performance a 9/10.
The V20 has Dual Cameras, one 8MP standard angle lens and a 16MP wide angle lens, both use the LED flash and laser focus, with feature like SteadyRecord 2.0 (a fancy name for it’s gyro-based Image stabilization).
I am not a camera buff and if you aren’t too, then you will be easily overwhelmed by the plethora of controls at your disposal on the Camera app.
The camera can record in 4K UHD HDR (2160p @ 30fps), or in HD HDR (1080p @ 60fps or 30fps), it is also capable of recording in slow-motion (that’s at an insane 720p @ 240fps).
I took a few sample shots and videos with both the wide angle and standard angle lens. I noticed a lot of noise when taking pictures in low light situations as well as over-processing of some of the images.
I think the camera produces its best results in perfect lighting.
The selfie camera is my best out of the 3 cameras, it’s got a neat instant filter feature, where you see what your selfie would look like with different filters before you take the picture.
I’ll rate the camera a 7.5/10
I got mixed results when checking out the battery performance, with moderate use, I went from 100% at 1.45PM to 9% at 11.45PM. On days, when I used the V20 heavily (a lot of screen time), I got about 7hrs. The battery is a 3200mAh battery, for a phone with 2 displays where one of them is 5.7inch LCD qHD screen, it is a shame LG didn’t make the battery bigger, at least a 3500mAh would’ve been ideal.
I’ll rate the battery a 8/10
Like all Android smartphones, the LG V20 comes with it own UI and hence its own party tricks. For instance, when you hold down the spacebar and slide right or left (on the LG keyboard), this moves the cursor in the text field either left or right, it cannot move it up or down the text lines however like we have on the Windows Phones. Another neat party trick, is that when in landscape mode, you can split the keyboard, making it more accessible when using both thumbs for easy typing. The LG V@ also has the always on display (think Glance screen on Windows Phones) and you can use the double tap to wake to unlock from the lockscreen.
To take a screenshot, you can to press the fingerprint scanner/power button + the Volume Down button, this might take some getting used to.
The IR blaster is back with the LG V20, you can control any TV, or even your Cable box. It is also super easy to setup, just point it to the device you wish to control and press a series of buttons to pair the two together.
In conclusion, The LG V20 is the best phablet phone. Also has the best IPS LCD display I have seen on a 5.7inch screen.
It’s fast, performance is fluid, gaming performance is also superb and while the dual (8MP & 16MP) camera is decent, the front facing camera (5MP) is almost just as good with its many filter.
It does run LG’s is a great phone for you, if you are into phones with screens with 5.5inch screens or higher. It is great to view under direct sunlight and the secondary display gives it added value. If you are looking for a replacement to your explosive-prone Note 7, you might want to take a closer look at the LG V20.
Check Out Our Hands On Review:
The LG V20 is available through At&t @ $27.67/month or a no-contract fee of $829.99