LG has been releasing phones continuously but it seems guarded by some reason in Indian market. The phones may not be the best one of their segment but LG has been very innovative with the features they are putting in front with these smartphones. Looking at the history, it was the first to put knock knock, bring flexible convex phones, come up with modular phone, and much more.
Now with the latest flagship smartphone the LG V20, the company has made more than one innovation on the smartphone. It comes with a dual display, quad DAC for audio, secondary wide angle camera and much more.
In this review, we will find out if it really has what it takes to take down the existing flagships in the same price range.
LG V20 Full Specs
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What are Usage Reviews, Tests and Opinions?
This review is based on our quick tests and usage done with the phone, we try to push the device to its limits and find out the results which will matter if you plan to buy this phone. We hope this review helps you to get your queries answered about the device.
The LG V20 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with a quad-core processor clocked at 2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo, and has Adreno 530 GPU. The device comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The storage on the device can be expanded up to 2TB via microSD card.
App Launch Speed
The app launch speed on the LG V20 is snappy.
Multitasking and RAM Management
The LG V20 comes with 4GB of RAM. Although the UI eats up a lot of RAM but still the experience while multitasking is smooth as butter. Moreover, you get the split window mode to run two compatible apps at once. I did not experience any stutter while multitasking.
I was using this device as my primary phone so there is no doubt that I left any chance to torture it. I have a habit of surfing through my Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn whenever I am free. The scrolling experience is stutter-free; no lags in scrolling the heavy pages filled up with multimedia until and unless there was an issue with the internet connection.
The LG V20 comes with dual Dual 16 MP (29mm, f/1.8) + 8 MP (12mm, f/2.4) cameras with laser AF, OIS. Out of the two cameras, one is for regular 75-degree field of vision whereas the other one is a 135-degrees wide angle camera that allows you to capture some amazing landscape shots. On the front, it has another 120-degree wide angle lens with 5 MP sensor with f/1.9 aperture.
Looking at the camera setup, no wonder LG has given a lot to play inside the camera UI. The edges of the viewfinder have black borders with tools and toggles. The camera UI looks neat but there are tons of options, which will naturally take time to learn and adapt. There are some unique modes like multi-window and popout, which allow you to click pictures using all the three cameras.
I really liked the manual shooting mode, and also the manual video shooting. It looks very professional and is very convenient to use. Thanks to the huge display which gives it enough space to avoid the clutter. Like any other camera software it also offers some filters as well.
Day Light Photo Quality
I would rate it among the best smartphone cameras when it comes to day light photos. First of all the normal mode clicks some beautiful pictures with perfect color composition and crisp details. Clicking pictures in sunlight with those abundant manual controls is a treat for photography enthusiasts.
The wide angle shots are not as crisp as the normal shots but still I was in love with it. One of the reasons why I would buy this phone will be the 135-degree wide angle lens. No doubt, there is no other smartphone camera that can give you such a feature with that perfection.
Low Light Photo Quality
The low light pictures from the camera look good as far as there is little source of light. When compared to the quality we have seen on Galaxy S7 and Pixel, it somewhere lags behind in the race.
Selfie Photo Quality
Photos from the front camera are not that impressive as I expected. The quality of pictures in good lighting conditions is good but it suffers when it comes to low light. You can certainly get better pictures in the wide angle mode as it is the actual nature of the camera. Clicking normal photos just crops out the wider area and gives you a narrower image, which is easily visible when it comes to details.
I must mention that the wide angle photos in day light can capture some amazing group photos. This is something you won’t find on any existing handsets.
V20 comes with a 3200 mAh battery that looks just decent for a phone with a 5.7 inch quad HD display and a secondary display as well. I tried using it with a single 4G SIM and with dual SIM cards as well. Honestly speaking, the battery backup with both the SIM cards with active data did not impress me. It could hardly last 5-6 hours with high to moderate usage.
While using single SIM with working data connection, the backup was pretty convincing. I could easily get through 10-11 hours after moderate usage.
Screen On Time
During my tests I got a screen-on time of 6 hours.
We were able to charge the LG V20 from 0-100% in 1 hour 25 minutes with the bundled charger.
Looks and Design
The LG V20 is does not come with a very fancy and appealing design when compared to the likes of Samsung S7 Edge, iPhone 7 Plus or Moto Z. It does not have anything flashy to catch your eyes except the dual camera module on the back. This does not mean that the design is bad; I would say it is the smartest design among all the flagships.
Being a 5.7 inch phone, it is surely not easy to operate with one hand but you do get a one handed UI mode. It feels sleek and smooth to touch, and sits very firmly in the palm. When it comes to sturdiness, it ranks very above compared to many other phones in the same league.
The top and bottom bezel look very minimal, that makes it look amazing from the front. I also like the side profile, where you can see slight bends on the top and bottom.
It might not look very fancy but it has something that none other flagship offers. You get a button on the right edge, which pops out the metal back panel on pressing. Yes, the back panel is removable, and so is the battery. The V20 passed the MIL-STD-810G Transit Drop Test; this means that the handset can be dropped repeatedly and still function, and LG says that it’s “tough as nails”. It is also one of the most easily repairable phones which came out in 2016.
LG V20 Photo Gallery
Quality of Material
It is made out of aluminum alloy which is stated as military grade, and a little plastic on the top and bottom which does not feel like plastic at all. The build material feels top notch from each and every aspect.
Display Clarity, Colors and Viewing Angles
V20 has a 5.7 inch quad HD (1440 x 2560p) display with a pixel density of 513ppi and above it, there is a 2.1-inch 160 x 1040 IPS LCD secondary display. The 5.7 inch display looks absolutely refreshing with accurate color contrast and vibrance.The whites are white and the blacks are also deep, but not as deep as an AMOLED panel. Neither the colours look oversaturated as we see on most AMOLED panels. It has good viewing angles and is also protected with Gorilla Glass 4 protection.
The second screen is an additional advantage to V20 users, some may find it useless but I actually made most out of it. It is customizable so that you can arrange it according to your convenience. You can set app shortcuts, quick tools, and your signature and also add music control to the display. When the main display is off, it displays the notifications, date, day and time.
Outdoor Visibility (Full Brightness)
I had no issue at all while viewing the V20 outdoors and even in bright sunlight.
The V20 was the first phone to roll out with Android Nougat, but it still runs a very bloated version of Android. You get tons of customization options right from the lock screen to the pre-installed apps. The home screen can be customized using different icon packs, themes and more.
There are number of pre-installed apps, which do not fall in favor. Although there are a lot of customization options, only some of them are useful. If you are someone who likes a UI close to stock Android, then you might not be a fan of the LG UI.
I found some very useful features like multi-window and the smart bulletin that cannot be ignored. Also the amount of customization you get to do on this phone is immense. If compared to Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, LG V20 still has a much better custom UI.
The LG V20 is backed by ESS quad-DACs, which is again a rare feature on any smartphone. It can play anything up to 24-bit 192 kHz so that it can give the best even to the most demanding music enthusiasts. You will get a Bang & Olufsen Play earphone in the package which makes the whole music listening experience the best you can expect.
The output from the earphone may not be very loud or bass heavy, but the highs, mids and lows are on point. It will deliver the output that producers want you to hear, making every audiophile’s dream come true.
Coming to the loudspeaker, it is the loudest that I have heard on the flagships launched in 2016. The audio from the loudspeaker is crisp, clear and loud enough to make it the best multimedia device.
Call Quality and Microphone
We tested the LG V20 with different network providers across 2G, 3G and 4G. In all our testing, the LG V20 performed very well. The call quality on HD voice calling was also neat.
LG V20’s High Acoustic Overload Point mics can record sound up to 132dB – much louder than the already deafening 120dB the V10 could manage. The quality is top notch – uncompressed WAV and compressed FLAC are available at up to 24-bit and 192kHz.
The LG V20 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and Adreno 530 GPU. I installed around 7-8 games on this phone that include, NFS No Limits, Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5, Nova 3 and more. I was more than impressed with the kind of power it produces while gaming.
Moreover, the thermal management is also commendable. It did not heat up while gaming for hours. It just got a little warm but that is normal in most of the cases till now.
LG V20 is a device which has been praised by almost every user around, but the reason why it is not getting the attention it deserves is the late entry in Indian market. At Rs. 54,999, V20 deserves to be on the best phones list where biggies like iPhone 7 and S7 Edge lie.
When it comes to why you should buy it, I would say there are plenty of genuine reasons. Including the amazing dual camera sensors and their features, removable battery, dedicated microSD slot with dual SIM support, quad DAC, IR sensor, amazing B&O earphones, dual displays, Android Nougat and much more; there are many positives of this handset.
It stands as a perfect alternate for those who were planning to buy Galaxy Note 7, but will have to compromise a bit in the design and camera department.