LG V20 Review- Swift, Creatively built, offers Superior Audio Setup
• Good Display
• Great Performance
• Superb Camera
• Decent Battery life
• Loud Speaker output
• Excellent Audio recording capabilities
• Fast charging
• Massive in size
• Minute software glitches
• Fingerprint sensor with embedded power button have issues
• Customary form factor
• Second screen is not very useful
LG announced its latest Flagship in the month of November last year. The launch was one of the best of all times, announcing the smartphone in a roofless top of a multi-storey hotel, was awesome. However, we’re not here to talk about launch. What we have here with us is LG V20 for review. And it’s going to be an in-depth review, as it’s a flagship and I want to explain everything about this smartphone, whether it’s the best flagship till date or not.
So, what’s LG V20?
LG V20 is a flagship smartphone priced at close to Rs.45,000; it’s one of those smartphones that compete against iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Google Pixel. LG V20 has a dual rear camera setup for superior photography. A Quad-Mic setup for studio quality audio recording. And last but not the least, an aluminium body with removable battery design that helps the smartphone from shattering when it falls.
Before starting the review, I would like to tell you that I’m making this review after using the smartphone for nearly 20 days. I used the V20 over a period of time and this is my reaction to it.
On a first look one can easily describe LG V20 to not having an awe-inspiring designs of all time; however its one of “The Most Creative Smartphones” of all times in terms of built quality. The way its build is how most of the other high-end smartphone should be like, not the looks, but the construction.
LG V20 is different from any other smartphone? Well, every brand is following the same unibody construction design with non-removal rear panel. And there are occasions when the smartphone freezes, which are usually not common in flagships; still there are chances to it. And the situation could get terrible, especially when the smartphone is based on Android OS. You can’t just use the same power button every time it freezes; there are moments when it just won’t work, completely. And then one realizes the need of removable back in a smartphone. There are definitely pros and cons to a removable back design. However, still I prefer this type of construction over the unibody design.
Now, I really loved the idea that LG used the same form factor in its flagship. Brilliant decision, but no so classy looking. Apart from removing the battery, you can easily install SD card and Sim card.
The overall size of the LG V20 is larger than most of the other smartphones, which makes it using the device with a single hand difficult. Fingerprint sensor is placed on an easily accessible position. However, the volume rocker is way beyond the reach of a single hand. LG could have placed the volume rocker on the right side for easy reach. Battery charger, Audio jack and speaker placement is also good. Still, using the smartphone with a single hand is impossible.
Now the most important point. Whenever a smartphone falls on ground, all of the pressure is diverted to the single direction which touches the ground first, and that’s when the display breaks, either the front or back. Whether it’s a Gorilla glass or Strengthened glass, at one point or the other it will break. How LG tackled this problem is, they diverted that shattering pressure across the whole body, or separating the unit into pieces itself, the chance of shattering the smartphone gets reduced to a far extent. Now, if the V20 falls on ground, the body, rear panel and battery takes apart which helps the smartphone in distributing the shock across its surface and saving the V20 from blowing apart.
LG V20 Camera Quality
Before I compare the cameras with any other flagship, let me tell you it’s one of the best camera phones of all times. Check out the samples below, also check the UHD video recorded from the rear camera of LG V20.
I started capturing normal photographs in daylight conditions and the photographs were decent. I zoomed the pictures to check whether the images get pixelated or not. And the results were very impressive, zooming the images both on live camera and on already taken photographs is as impressive as ever.
Macro shots were decent, however it loses the details on the edges a little bit, which is just minute.
Video quality is awesome, both in Full HD and Ultra High definition.
Selfie camera also works really well both in daylight and low light. However, the only point that I want to mention in camera quality is, as I took a low light photograph from LG V20 and Google Pixel simultaneously, the results on Google Pixel were slightly better compared to LG V20. And when I say slightly, that means just over a little better and not too much. On the other hand, low light photography on LG V20 is better than iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S6 and One Plus 3T.
Now, because LG has used a wide angle lens on both rear and front cameras, the close-up shots generally have an elongated effect which is not good.
LG V20 Performance
I already mentioned it in my another review that the top-end smartphone offers the similar specifications just like the less costlier ones, however the speed and quality gets improved. And that’s the same with LG V20. Before we talk about gaming, lets see how the V20 performs in normal conditions.
So, if you’re a normal user that require the smartphone for browsing, taking photographs, social media, movies, music and some gaming. LG V20 performs really brilliantly. You’ll not have any issue with the performance if your use is minimalistic. However, if you’re a slightly above average user that need to charge the smartphone often a day. LG V20 would still stand tall. It’s a rugged device that you can carry with you on your thrilling journeys.
As we move further, if you’re a hardcore user, LG V20 might disappoint you a couple of times. While most of the games are handled well by V20, one might feel the issue with its fingerprint scanner/ power button. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. In 20 days time, the V20 lagged around 3 times, which is a big number considering it to be a 50K (nearly) smartphone. While capturing photographs in direct sunlight, V20 heated up too much, also capturing videos in UHD was also not too much fun. Using an on-screen home button could be an alternative for lock key.
The moment you cross 50GB of internal storage in a smartphone, most of the smartphones could deliver inappropriate performance issues, that I do not countered in V20, which is great.
The smartphone offers great calling experience, speaker is loud and the networks are also strong enough. Loudspeaker is super loud and super clear.
However, because LG has provided a removable battery setup, you can easily remove the battery to restart the smartphone instantly.
Apart from the above mentioned issues there are some minute software glitches, that’s all. However, I also tested the Sony Xperia XZ and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone, compare to both of them the LG V20 performed excellent.
While playing high-end games like Asphalt 8 and Asphalt Xterme, I didn’t countered any issues with performance or too much heating.
Also, if you’re looking for a smartphone with superior audio recording capability, LG V20 could be on top of your list. It has a Quad-dac microphone setup that can record audios really well. That hissing noise which is generally you hear in audios recorded by all the other smartphone is not an issue with V20.
Lastly, even if the display is enough bright in proper light conditions, it’s not so bright that you can enjoy a movie with proper colours while travelling in metro train.
The B&O earphones packed with the smartphone makes it a great combo. These are one of the best earphones of all times. However, if you’re a bass lover, than these could disappoint you a little.
LG V20 offers a decent battery life for a normal user. The smartphone packs enough juice to last a whole day and you might need the charger by the end of the day only. And yes, because LG V20 offers fast charging, the smartphone can be charged more than 80% in an hour only, which is phenomenal. And again in battery life, LG V20 is better than Samsung Galaxy S6 and Sony Xperia XZ.
Finally the question comes whether you should buy LG V20 or not? And the answer is yes. The smartphone is among the best smartphones available in market right now. It offers you great performance, log battery life, amazing camera and excellent sound recording capability which makes it a perfect package. Second display is not so useful, still it doesn’t affect the battery life that much and is a great option to have. There are some minor issues with the smartphone that can be rectified with software updates. As I also received one while reviewing it.