Less than a year ago, LG brought the V10 seemingly out of nowhere. I call it the Frankenstein or Dr. Jekyllophone, and it seems like there are parts that are just mashed together on a phone, from two screens to two cameras. Fast forward to today. The V20 now doesn't seem too daunting, but does it make it a good phone?
I'm Kevin the Tech Ninja and let's find out. Taking a look at the front of the V20, you'll find a really attractive device. (For the full specification, you can visit smartphonerankings.com Firstly: dem bezzles. Their tiny indentions are very small, and it also gives you a really clean looking device. The screens blend in amazingly to each other and the curve on the chin is not as harsh as seen on other phones. On the bottom you have the USB-C port, the headphone jack, and the bottom shooter. On the right bezzle you have the quick release for the back, and on the opposite side, you'll find the volume rocker. Up top you have another mic and you have the IR blaster. The device is made from AL-6013 aluminum, and this device is used in the aircraft industry. It is known for high strength and light weight and good corrosion resistance.
This phone also is MIL-STD-810G transit drop compliant. On the top and the bottom of the device, it's using a siloxane polycarbonate material. I don't know exactly what it means, but doing a quick Google search, it shows that it has an excellent impact on toughness. Now back to this quick release back plate. This lets you take your back plate off by just pressing this button. And under the hood, it takes you back to a few years ago seeing a SIM card slot, SD card slot, and the removable 3200 milliamp battery.
On the back is where we have a lot of things going on. You have a pair of cameras. The 60 megapixel camera has a 75 degree field of view and is rocking at F1.8. The wide angle camera is 135 degree field of view and that's a 2.4 lens. And that's a very, very wide shot. Now speaking of camera features, the V20 has steady record 2.0. This is the first phone using this feature provided by Qualcomm. It's a gyro based digital stabilization system. We also have a dual LED flash, laser autofocus, and a color spectrum sensor. And just below that we have the ever so reliable fingerprint slash power button. It works great. It works pretty much at any angle, which is really nice. It's fleshed to the back of the device, and that makes it hard to find at first, but after a few days, you do get used to it. The device feels super premium in the hand and you get that nice crisp feeling when you grab the phone in the morning or on a cold day, the phone just feels cool. It's a really good feeling, and I know it sounds weird, but it's a different feeling on this phone compared to others.
The only phone that gets the same feeling are the HTC devices, and I'm really digging it. If you think this device looks too plain, you can always toss in a debrand skin. It switches things up a bit and it really jazzes up your device. You can get tons of different styles and colors and all that stuff. So if you're interested in doing that for this phone or any phone you may have, hit the link down below to debrand your device. This is one of LG's best designed phones period, and it's one of the most premium phones I've felt in my hand.
So kudos to LG on this one. As far as ergonomics, this phone, at times, feels unwieldy. It's just tall. And comparing it on GSM Arena, I can confirm this device is much taller than the S7 and taller than the iPhone 7, for what it's worth.
Alright, enough with the build, let's discuss the software onboard. It's rocking Android 7.0 out of the box and the top features from Android 7 is right there waiting for you, like split screen. LG also added their own features as well, like queue slide, app switch, and floating windows. By default, the launcher is set to house all your icons sprawled out all over your homescreen, but to pacify this, there is an option to rock the home button screen once again within the app drawer.
But many enthusiasts will opt to install Nova on top. The V20 is chock full of features, and I can make a video just talking about what's onboard. But if you use a G5 or have seen my G5 review, then you know what to expect, not many changes here. Now I did find my review unit did have some software bugs a bit. I did run into a couple of lock ups and also some mispresses which is pretty par for the course for devices with skins these days. It's not a major issue, but it's enough to be annoying and something that happened enough to mention. The second screen is the same from the V10. It shows notifications and it has your quick toggles. But there's something that is pretty cool that is always on. It's weird at first, but after a while, it becomes one of my favorite features on the phone.
I don't think it has an impact to battery. The quad deck onboard is real. When you plug in some headphones, the sound is really clear, it's loud, and plugging in some headphones into a phone that doesn't have a quad deck, there is a absolute difference. It's not the same loudness nor the crispness. The battery life on the V20 isn't great. It's passable for flagships, but it's not amazing. Using this phone next to my iPhone Pixel NS7, I found myself reaching for the charger first.
Now I'm an area of nosignal for most of the day, so my battery life isn't a lot better than most people's, it's actually worse, but regardless, I did have around four hours of screen on time versus the four and a half to five I was seeing on the Pixel and I had around 18 hours of standby time. But once again, this is my usage and your miles may vary. The speaker is a single bottom firing speaker.
According to GSM Arena, it scored higher than the V10, G5, and also HTC 10 as far a volume and also pink noise. According to my ear test, the V20 is loud, but with many bottom shooters, it's in a very inconvenient place and the audio is not facing towards you, so I'm losing a lot of quality. It gets loud, but I'd still rather have front facing speakers like the HTC 10 or the Nexus 6P. Let's save the best for last. This is the V20 camera. This camera is full of features. Let's start with the rare shooters. The two cameras are fantastic. The wide angle lens has a bit of loss of detail on the edges, but you can get some really cool looking shots. Now the main shooter of the camera is what will give you that nice bouquet at F1.8 and it's also 16 megapixels. This camera is fast, sharp, and the colors are awesome.
Some of these shots that I took looked DSLR like, and I'm not just saying that. Now not all shots, but some. Now the wide angle lens should be used for unreal perspective shots or real estate agents. The camera software is left the same and you still have a lot of your shooting modes. You can also use three cameras at the same time and all the usual suspects are there like panorama mode and things like that. As far as the video, you'll see Quadcomm's steady shot record come in to play, and this is gyro based electronic image stabilization, or EIS.
And it works as promised: super steady handheld shots and the mics onboard are fantastic too. LG gives us manual video controls and manual photo controls to the point where I could comfortably use this as a second camera, if I was doing a multicamera shot. Because you can dial in settings, you can monitor audio. It is fantastic what LG is doing with their software. So this is the V20. What do you think about it? Let me know down below. If you want the full write up and sample shots, hit the links down below as well.