The LG V20 is here, after what seems like a long wait for many. Now that the phone has been announced, let’s take a look at what the V20 offers over its competition.
First, the LG V20 offers the same 5.7-inch, Quad HD display with a screen resolution of 2,560 x 1,440p. In other words, the screen remains with a high resolution and IPS LCD panel that LG has used in the V10. The Quad HD screen resolution is just about the standard for high-end Android smartphones in 2016, with only the Xperia Z5 Premium surpassing it (if you disregard the fact that the Z5 Premium only offered 4K resolution in some parts of the mobile experience such as photo viewing and video playback — with 1080p Full HD resolution on the main screen for 90% of time).
You’ve got a quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC (processor) here in the LG V20, which is no surprise to anyone who understands all high-end Android smartphones typically employ Qualcomm processors (with the exception of Samsung providing some Exynos SoCs for its smartphones). 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal storage are what we’re seeing of nearly all Android flagships (such as the Galaxy Note 7, for example).
What the LG V20 has that stands out from its other high-end Android flagships such as the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, HTC 10, and Galaxy Note 7 is that the LG V20 draws inspiration from the LG G5 released 7 months ago. First, the V20 now has a similar metal build to the G5, though LG uses polycarbonate materials at the top and bottom of the device. I also believe that the “metal” build also uses liquid plastic when it comes to creating a removable back cover that houses the removable battery. There’s not one full metal unibody smartphone on the market that can include the idea of a removable battery. The HTC 10 has some plastic at the top of the device despite the fact that it’s 98% genuine metal. So, while it has something of a metal build, it’s not fully metal but more of a liquid alloy consisting of metal and plastic.
Next, the LG V20 also brings the same dual-camera setup as you’ll find on the LG G5 — and this is the first time for the V lineup. LG didn’t tweak the cameras, keeping the same 16MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture and 8MP secondary back camera with an f/2.4 aperture that is found on the G5. I insist that LG should have given the same aperture to both cameras, but apparently, LG has decided to not put the same touch into the secondary back camera as it has the primary back one. That’s really unfortunate, but I don’t see how a camera with a megapixel count and aperture from a few years back will encourage users to make the most of an “antiquated” camera.
The LG V20 brings something new to its lineup, such as the LG V20’s Steady Record 2.0 that puts optical image stabilization (OIS+) to good use. The new 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC technology used is designed to give the clearest quality audio playback for diehard audiophiles that’s said to reduce background noise by about 50%, along with Hi-Fi audio recording. LG has also enhanced the “second screen” notifications, and, with UX 5.0+, has expanded notifications — allowing users to reply to text messages without having to leave the screen. The “second screen,” though nothing more than a fancy marketing term to refer to a slither of the main display, includes a place to reply to messages. LG UX 5.0+ also provides quick tools that you can access “even when the screen is turned off,” which refers to nothing more than being able to use them off-screen. We have an idea of where LG drew inspiration for this (clearly, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 Screen-Off Memo had something to do with this).
LG UX 5.0+, thanks to Android Nougat, brings “In Apps,” a new feature that lets you search for people, places, and the content you need without leaving the app to do so. In other words, think of the Google search bar, then imagine it being placed in your app drawer as well as the apps themselves. Studio Mode allows you to record your voice in a track that was recorded without your voice, then see how you’d sound with the track. It’s a feature for music lovers and artists that is bound to take off for musicians and performers.
Finally, we have to report that LG ditched the modular nature of the LG V20 that it implemented in the LG G5 (which confirms an earlier photo). The company still provides access to the removable battery but has done away with a detached portion at the bottom of the phone. So, G5 customers who may have been interested in buying a V20 and using their G5 modules will be disappointed to know that LG’s newest smartphone isn’t compatible with the modularity of its 2016 predecessor.
Well, the price of the LG V20 has been set at around $800 or at least rumored to be. We’ll have to wait to see final pricing, but for now, this is what LG wants the world to see at the end of 2016.