If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a phone out there that can appeal to mobile photographers, audiophiles, and average Android users alike, then I suggest you take a look at the LG V20. Does that mean the phone is as close to perfect as you can get? Most definitely not. But it’s a solid choice for those who insist on having one of the device’s cornerstone features.
5.7-inch QHD Quantum (IPS) + 2.1-inch 160 x 1040
Android 7.0 Nougat
2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Adreno 530 GPU
64GB internal storage, microSD up to 2TB, 4GB RAM
Rear: 16MP (main) f/1.8, OIS + 8MP (secondary), f/2.4, wide-angle, laser AF, phase detection AF, contrast AF
Front: 5MP, f/1.9 wide-angle
LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, A-GPS, USB Type-C, 3.5mm jack
159.7 x 78.1 x 7.7mm, 175g
Unlike its predecessor the LG V10, the V20 is clad in metal instead of rubber. It’s a huge phone that feels sturdy and solid, but can get unwieldy and slippery to hold. According to LG, however, this phablet has a shock-proof shell, so it can probably survive a few falls and bumps. We wish LG made it waterproof though.
The fingerprint scanner doubles as the power button, which means you can just rest your finger on it—instead of clicking—to unlock your phone. The only way to awaken the phone from the front is by double-tapping on the screen.
The main display is a quad-HD affair that’s crisp, clear, and still readable even when outdoors. Images don’t appear oversaturated or too punchy, which is fine by me.
The secondary screen—the 2.1-inch display on top of the main screen—shows you notifications, quick settings, and details such as time and date. Personally, I’d rather just swipe down to see all notifications, but I see how this screen can be useful for quick glances without having to turn on the main display, and thus reduce battery consumption.
LG harps on the 32-bit Quad DAC (digital-to-analog converter) audio chip of the V20, and while I’m no audiophile, I did notice the difference in the V20’s audio output. There’s a pair of Bang & Olufsen in-ear cans that comes in the box so you can appreciate the audio quality more. You may also want to plug in even more superior headphones to make the most of this powerful sound chip.
The V20 is great for sound recording thanks to the three microphones that capture lossless, 24-bit hi-res audio.
The LG V20 comes with a dual-rear camera setup. Overall, both cameras are fast, and give sharp and clear pictures. I find the wide-angle lens produces better contrast and lighting than the main one. The manual settings are worth tinkering around with, too.
The V20 feels snappy and fluid, and never choked the entire time I was testing it. Like the V10, the V20 also has a removable back plate, which means you can replace the battery any time. The 3200mAh battery can last an entire day of mixed use, but make sure you have a power bank/charger or a spare battery on hand if you’re a power user.
The V20 can stand toe-to-toe with other flagship phones in the market. It performs like a beast, and has a good camera and outstanding audio chip. Whether you’re serious about your mobile photography or your music, or are simply looking for a powerful phone for your everyday tasks, the V20 is worth a look.