After taking the industry by surprise with the world’s first modular smartphone, the G5, it has mostly been a quiet period for LG before it launched another premium device, the V20, late in 2016 — the world’s first device with wide-angle camera lenses on both the front and back.
For audiophiles, LG has collaborated with renowned European audio brand Bang & Olufsen (B&O) and the V20 comes with free B&O Play headsets (wow!).
The Rs 54,999 device also features a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital-to-analog converter), bringing a rich audio experience to mobile phones.
Here is what works for the V20.
It boasts of a minimalist metal body with a thin bezel design that delivers good looks and a convenient grip. Compliant with the US military standard test and equipped with aircraft grade aluminum, the device promises good sturdiness.
We dropped the 5.7-inch device from a height of approximately four feet and caused it no harm thanks to the Si-PC — a shock-absorbing material which protects the top and bottom edges.
The fingerprint sensor at the back is quick and doubles up as a power button and sleep/wake up switch.
Watching movies and video and using apps like Instagram were a delight on the quad-HD Quantum display that produced good contrast and vibrant colours.
The touch response is smooth and has a super-responsive feel which comes to life with the slightest touch.
Running on user interface UX 5.0+, the multimedia functions and navigating around the menus was smooth. V20 also leads the pack of devices to get Android Nougat 7.0 operating system, ahead of Nexus and Pixel smartphones.
LG has integrated a secondary display on the V20, right on the top of the phone, above the main display, that works faster than drop down menu in selecting a mode.
The device sports two rear cameras — one 16MP normal field of view camera and one 8MP wide angle field of view camera. Both are totally independent to switch between.
The pictures taken looked natural and shades of red, blue and green were beautifully captured. Here, the V20 gives tough competition to the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7.
The wide angle camera brings more depth to the images and pictures taken were pleasant.
The 5MP front camera captured amazing selfies, both in low- and bright-light conditions, which many smartphones fail to do.
The speakers offer decent audio quality but what really makes the difference is the B&O headphones that delivers loud sound and booming bass.
The HD Audio Recorder uses three high Acoustic Overload Point (AOP) microphones which will empower users to create studio-quality recordings.
Packing a larger battery, the smartphone lasted for approximately 14 hours while working with a slew of apps. The Quick Charge 3.0 does help in fast charging if you run out of juice.
What does not work?
There is no app drawer and all apps are directly hooked onto the screen. The rear camera performance in low-light conditions is inconsistent and produces grainy pictures.
The device is tough to use with one hand.
Conclusion: V20 is another great all-rounder from LG, packing top components that deliver flawless performance. LG’s focus on audio quality and display makes it is a great device for multimedia consumption.