LG, the South Korean smartphone giant, has been in a slight of bother this year with its flagship modular phone, the LG G5 failed to impress the audience. LG’s ‘G’ series of phones had a tremendous impact over the past few years with the LG G2 and G3 profoundly impressed customers with unique body language and overall performance. However, that wasn’t the case with LG G4 as it had a poor battery life and the LG G5 with its unique modular system failed as well.
To keep up the pace, the company announced the LG V10 with unique features such as the dual display, dual camera and that impressed audience for some extent. At the IFA 2016, LG launched the successor to V10, the LG V20 with flagship hardware and it retains the exclusive features of the LG V10. Does the LG V20 finally set the roads for the company? Let’s find out the same in our full review.
LG V20 Design: Not the Eye-Catchy Phone Out There!
The LG V20 doesn’t feature any significant improvements from the LG V10, but it’s all about metal in the V20. It features the same dual display, dual cameras, same screen, and a sturdy metal frame around the sides. Having said that, the LG V20 is still a large device at 174 grams and feels substantially heavy in hands. However, the phone is quite slim at 7.7mm, and it can be easily noticed when taken into hands.
Up front, the 5.7-inch completely dominates the phone with a screen-to-body ratio of 72.4 percent. And, the top and bottom of the phone are made up of plastic for radio frequency handling. Also, the LG V20 features a removable back cover and battery as well even after boasting metal body. Apparently, LG has made some compromises to make the battery removable, and that is the reason why we don’t have a waterproof device here.
And, they haven’t moved away from their unique design language yet. The power button is still present at the rear of the phone, which somebody appreciates, but someone doesn’t, including me who are used to the power button placed on the sides on modern day phones. With the LG G5, the company started putting the volume rockers around the side, thankfully and that continues with the V20 as well. The volume rockers are placed on the left end of the phone and the power button on the back also houses the fingerprint scanner.
Overall, the design of the LG V20 is not eye catchy but gets the job done and not bad as the Google Pixel phones, though.
LG V20 Display: Almost Matches Competition!
The LG V20 features a 5.7-inch QHD display with a resolution of 1440*2560 pixels that further extends to a pixel density of 515 PPI. Unlike the screen on LG G5, this panel exhibits high brightness levels even under direct sunlight, which is a great thing to see. Also, there is a secondary display on the phone located above the primary display with a size of 2.1 inches and a resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels. Having said that, the secondary display is a gimmick, according to me and I hated it for most of the part.
For instance, the secondary display shows all the notifications that come on to your notification panel, and in the same process, it shows the music playing information as well. So, while playing the music, I kept the phone in my pocket, and the song automatically changed, which is clearly a letdown. That said, the secondary display needs more tuning to get it used in real life.
LG V20 Performance: Snappy, But Software Needs More Work
The LG V20 comes with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC along with 4GB of RAM, coupled with Adreno 530 GPU. The Indian variant of the phone comes with only 64GB of storage, which has become the norm for all the smartphones released this year.
Regarding performance, the LG V20 blows out all the tasks thrown at it with ease, but there are some minor lags here and there, especially while opening the apps via the multitasking menu. While setting the phone after first boot, it heated a lot on the rear, and as a result, the battery drained quickly. Apart from these, the phone ran all the games and large apps with ease including the Pokemon Go game.
Speaking about the software, the LG V20 is touted as the first phone, apart from Google Pixel phones to come with Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. Nevertheless, the software was neatly optimized for most of the part, but you can quickly notice some lags here and there. These can be fixed with a quick software update.
All the Google services are present in this phone along with LG’s homegrown bloatware such as Quickmemo+, LG Backup, LG Friends Manager, LG Health, etc. Also, there are some new tricks in the phone such as you can create your own profiles to automatically setup depending on your location and open a particular app when the earphones are plugged in.
Coming to the most interesting part of the phone, it comes with 32-bit Quad DAC. We will explain more about the audio in the separate section below. On the whole, the performance of the LG V20 is quite snappy and matches the competition.
LG V20 Camera: Double Cameras Doubles the Fun!
Another interesting feature in the LG V20 is its dual camera. The camera setup is the same one seen on the LG G5 released eight months ago. The LG V20 comes with a 16MP conventional sensor, which is the same one seen on other smartphones and there is another 8MP wide-angle lens sensor, which adds more fun while using the camera.
Clearly, the 16MP sensor is the winner of the both rear cameras as it captures images with exceptional details and punchy colors as well. The camera struggles low-light conditions and pictures were blurry all the time. The8MP wide angle camera adds more fun to your image capturing experience, and we can’t complain about this as the pictures were blurry all the time, irrespective of the lighting.
The LG V20 can record videos of Ultra HD quality, and I loved shooting videos with this camera. The videos are further supported by both the Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS). Videos shot on the LG V20 came out excellent with perfect noise reduction and no disturbance in between the video, thanks to both the OIS and EIS. But, the image processing is not okay as the one seen on Google Pixel phones.
LG V20 Audio Performance: The Best in the Business
As said earlier, the LG V20 comes with the best audio setup seen on any smartphone. It sports a 32-bit Quad DAC, which improves the sound quality to a major extent. The exclusive DAC can be easily toggled from the notification center, and when enabled, you will notice an immediate change in the audio quality. The song will get much richer with impressive mids and highs. It doesn’t exhibit much bass, but not a major issue for me, at least. Noticeably, LG is packing a B&O (Bang & Olufsen) headset along with the retail packaging. Overall, the LG V20 excels in its audio performance and thumps the competition in this segment.
LG V20 Battery Life: Lasts for One Complete Day
The LG V20 comes with a 3200mAh battery, which is on-par with what other flagship phones offer. Having said that, with LG’s tweaks and Android Nougat’s Doze mode, the V20 offers one complete day of battery life. I used the phone entirely with Reliance Jio 4G SIM card installed all the time and as expected, all the time the data was turned all the time. The LG V20 comes with VoLTE support as well.
With moderate usage, the phone offers one day of battery life, but at times, the battery drained quickly for no reasons. The LG V20 has increased drastically when compared to the LG G5, which offered us just an ordinary half day of battery life.
LG V20 Verdict: The de facto Option for Audio Lovers
LG launched the V20 in India on December 5, and the phone comes with a hefty price tag of Rs. 54,999. But, we have a better option in the form of Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge available at around Rs. 50,000 and even better option, the Google Pixel XL for a little above Rs. 10000. Nevertheless, the LG V20 is not a bad phone in any aspect.
If has a gorgeous display, decent performance, dual cameras, and offers a complete day battery life. But, the major question is: Should you buy this phone? Yes. If you’re looking for a phone with incredible audio capabilities.