In a sea of Android phones it is really hard to decide which one might just be the best. One seems to have a new feature the others might be missing or one might be more durable than the others. There are quite a few things that go into being a “Flagship” phone and one of those might just take the cake not by adding in a new feature but by adding in ALL of the features. Say hello to the LG V20.
The LG V20 might just be the perfect Android device. When you look at the specs the sheet just seems to keep going and going. I have been carrying the LG V20 (pre-production model) for about three weeks and have loved the device and I think LG not only nailed it with a FULL feature phone, but a phone that just plain works. I was a fan of the LG V10 and they did a great job of not only listening to their fans but really improving on the V series line. Say what you will about the G series (G3,G4,and G5) but when it comes to the V10 and 20 plan on great audio and amazing crisp video.
Our phone showed up in a standard pre-production box so we skipped the unboxing video and moved right into the assembly. Right out of the box you notice a key thing that really makes the LG V20 stand out in a world of closed phones…a removable battery. The LG V20 has a removable 3,200 mAh battery and I love it. For power users the ability to hot swap batteries has always been an amazing feature and that has lived on in LG’s latest device. By the battery is a removable SD memory card slot as well, being said to hold up to 2TB SD card. I threw my 200GB SD card in and was ready to rock. When you go to pop it on the charger, you will notice the USB-Type C charger as well. This is still rapid charge so you get that extra fast charging.
The LG V20 is rated to be MIL-STD-810G for toughness. It has a reinforced metal body and feels great. The bad thing with the metal and removable battery door…you of course lose waterproofing and wireless charging. Coming in at 7.6mm thick and weighing only 174 grams you get a very tough but light phone. It is quite a bit larger than most flagship devices out there as you can see in the two pictures below, but feels just as light as my Note 7 or iPhone 7 Plus in the hand. There are multiple colors that will be available for launch depending on the carrier. I really liked the grey almost black color we received. PS there is a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.
A very fast and responsive fingerprint reader is on the back of the device under the camera bump. I am very pleased with how fast it worked and the few errors there were using it.
It seems phones are all going to the two camera or lens option these days. Yet again the LG v20 does it amazingly with its wide-angle lens. When you look at the back of the phone, you will of course notice the camera hump. In this hump, you get a 16-megapixel f/1.8 aperture camera for all of your normal day-to-day pictures and a 8-megapixel for use of the wide-angle pictures. The LG V20 hits a lot of spots right and cameras is one of them. When placed up against my Samsung Note 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus I felt that it was dead even and even had the advantage in a few areas. As you can see in the picture below the wide-angle lens really lets you open up your images for some very cool pictures as well.
For the camera nuts out there LG has really baked in full manual control as well. You can really get into the settings to adjust the image just right for you. I am more of an auto shot person and all of these images were taken that way. The front shooter on the LG v20 is still wide angled as well so you can make sure those selfies get the whole picture.
The other top reason to purchase the LG v20 is the video recording. LG has really focused on this in the V10 and even more so in the newer V20. You have smooth optical video and image stabilization built into the phone as well as three very high-end microphones that always seem to cut out the extra noise in the videos using their Hi-Fi recording. Between the 4K recording, the quality of the microphones, and the smoothness of video shooting the LG V20 is the king of video so far this year.
Bright and Fast
The LG V20 is holding its own in the big phone department. With a 5.7″ QHD display (2560×1440 resolution) and a Snapdragon 820 chip the V20 held up in all of our speed tests. Put up against some of the others I did not see any lag or screen slowness. The screen resolution is bright and pretty although a tad bit of light bleed in a few of the areas if you look hard. With the LG V20 using Android’s latest software “Nougat” you not only have speed but some of the latest features as well.
Audio is out of the world
Another feature the V20 has for you audiophiles out there….a full Quad DAC for cleaner and higher quality music. In order to take advantage of this you must have headphones that are capable of course but man oh man does it sound good. Most phones are not capable of powering the higher end headphones in order to do this…the V20 will pump out your tunes like you should be hearing it. This is a great feature but not something that I personally would buy the phone for. Most of the time I using Bluetooth headphones so I lose that capability anyways.
Two-Screens are better than one
One feature that I really enjoyed in the V10 was the second screen. The V20 is still using this and has made some minor improvements to it. The second screen is now brighter and allows for more apps to show in its display. Being able to see notifications in the top without even having to drag down the slide just seem faster to me. I hear other reviewers not liking the placement of the second screen but I prefer it at the top and think it feels right. This is one of those features that once you get used to it, you will miss it on any phone that does not have it.
All in All
With so many choices out there for amazing Android devices the LG V20 is in the top. If you are in the market for a great device that is going to give you almost every option out there the Lg V20 is a great choice. Durability, great video, amazing sounding audio, and a large beautiful display are just scratching the surface of what we think is one of the best phones of 2016. At time of writing most of the carriers have announced they will be carrying the V20 but have not announced the costs. Be sure and check with your carrier for ordering.