LG didn t really have a successful run with its flagship smartphone, the modular G5. The LG G5 most probably failed due to shoddy implementation of the modular concept, and the modularity appeared more of a gimmick rather a necessity for consumers. LG hopes to get things back on track with its new premium smartphone, the LG V20. It doesn t have the modular concept but comes with another unique concept — dual-screen display. The V20 is also among the first wave of smartphones to come with Android 7.0 Nougat OS out-of-the-box. LG has made sure the phone is feature loaded with dual-camera setup, and B&O audio among other audio-focused features. And as expected it comes with a premium price tag as well — Rs 54,999. I have spent some time with the LG V20 at the launch event, and here are my first impressions of the smartphone. Also Read - Best camera phones under Rs 35000 to buy in July 2021: Pixel 4a, Mi 11X, and moreAlso Read - Top gaming smartphones under Rs 30,000: Mi 11X, Realme X7 Max and more
Featuring a 5.7-inch display, the LG V20 feels pretty huge in hand, but at the same time it s pretty slim and light as well. While most of the new smartphones come with metal unibody with non-removable back, the LG V20 comes with metal body and removable back and battery. The LG V20 does feel sturdy, and the company claims the phone can survive drops from roughly 4 feet. At the launch event, we did drop the phone from that height. After dropping the smartphone dismantled into three parts – back cover, battery and the phone, leaving no visible scratch or dent on the device. While the concept does remind me of Motorola s shatterproof technology, it also reminds of old Nokia feature phones that would split up after drops, and perhaps from even Mt. Everest, and still work. The LG V20 did too work after being assembled, but I d refrain from giving you a final verdict on build quality and drop tests, until testing the phone in real life scenario. Also Read - iPhone 14 details leak even before the launch of iPhone 13, to bring this crucial feature
Now, let s talk about the much-hyped secondary display of the LG V20. It s essentially a more dynamic interactive panel placed just above the main display. Functionality of the secondary display is similar to what Samsung offers on its edge smartphones, but LG s has limited usage in comparison. The 2.1-inch secondary display has 160×1040 pixels resolution. The secondary display can be used to add shortcuts to frequently used contacts or applications. It also shows the recent apps, calendar events, music controls. Users can simply scroll through the display to access the functions. I think the secondary display does give an ease of use, but I doubt that it is really that compelling enough feature. One of the things I d like to point out that modifying/controlling secondary display isn t really that smooth. One needs to go to Settings -> Display -> choose Second Screen, almost three step-process to tweak it. Though users can also choose to completely shut off the secondary display. As far as the main display goes, it s a 5.7-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum display with 513ppi. During my brief usage, I found the display to be pretty okay. But as you can see in the images, lighting was far from ideal for testing display quality, so let s wait for final review.
Another highlight of the smartphone is Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box, though it has a customized layer of LG UX 5.0 on top. For performance, as you expect from a premium smartphone, the LG V20 has Qualcomm s top-end Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB onboard storage and microSD slot for additional storage. During the time I spent with the phone, it felt slightly sluggish, but considering it was a demo unit, I d like to give the phone benefit of the doubt.
The LG V20 is also targeted at the multimedia enthusiasts, and emphasizes a lot on sound, which of late has gotten down in the priority list of other smartphone brands. While HTC and Sony smartphones do come with relatively superior audio quality, LG has packed in Hi-Fi Quad DAC for superior experience through wired headphones or speakers and high-quality audio recording. The smartphone also comes bundled with B&O Play wired headphones.
For photography enthusiasts, there is a dual-camera setup on the back. This setup includes one 16-megapixel snapper with 1/2.8-inch image sensor, f/1.8 aperture, OIS 2.0 and one 8-megapixel camera with wide-angle lens. For selfies, it comes with 5-megapixel wide-angle (120 degrees) lens and f/1.9 aperture. Users can also customize the camera experience through a Manual mode, which is also available for selfies.
Overall, the LG V20 looks like a powerful smartphone with top-of-the-line specifications and features. At Rs 55,000 approximately, the LG V20 will take on a slew of premium Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. With Samsung s Galaxy Note 7 failing, LG V20 has a chance to tap the segment. We will keep a close eye on how the LG V20 fairs in the market. Until then, stay tuned for our detailed review.