When the Note 7 was launched, and not blowing up in homes and pockets yet, I had my heart and mind set on it. But I usually tend to wait before making any purchases, and the odds have always been in my favour.
I love LG phones, and I’m currently using both the LG G2 and G3.
I like the user interface; I like the skin; I like the physical design with buttons on the rear, and I like how LG makes large screens seem small with an almost invisible bezel.
I gave the LG G4 a pass because of its size; it wasn’t nearly big enough to be phablet, and it was too big to be just a phone.
So I moved my heart and mind towards the G5 — fast forward six months after LG G5’s release, I still haven’t spent a single cent. That’s how technology is, it’s moving so fast, that you can afford to wait. The longer you wait, the better device you get, or you get an older device for a lower price point.
That’s the plan.
I am getting old, and hence, more conservative — the less I spend on my device, the happier I am with it.
Right now, I can’t take the plunge on a Google Pixel, and the Pixel XL is an even further cry. Anything priced the same as an iPhone is not worth a second look for me.
So with the Note 7 now history, LG V20 will be the next possible phablet with a 5.7-inch screen. I somehow have this misconstrued idea that a phone should be either 5-inch or so, and a phablet should be larger than 5.5-inch. Again, this is just me.
Now, I’m not saying the V20 is cheap — we haven’t gotten a clear indication of pricing — but hopefully, it might be cheaper than a Google Pixel.
The beauty of the V20 is that it has every feature you want, and then some. The main feature that you will see right away is that the phone has two screens on the front, one main screen and a small strip up top, and there are three cameras on the phone.
What stands out in the V20 is that the battery is removable. This is important for hot-swapping batteries, if needed. I currently am hot-swapping batteries on the LG G3 because one charge doesn’t get me through the day any longer.
There’s also four Digital Analog Converters (DAC) for audiophiles. Why? I’m still not too sure, but what I do know is that it’s tuned by Bang & Olufsen for excellent audio quality. If you’ve heard B&O products, you know they’re not messing around with sound. I’ve seen what B&O has done in terms of testing a product before it goes to market, and it really spends time to fine-tune a product before it reaches the showroom.
LG being LG, it has also made sure that this 5.7-inch screen feels good in your hand. It has minimal bezel, and compared to many other phones the same screen size, it is still smaller. The built is extremely premium with the V20 being made with military grade, and of course, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack for those B&O’s.
On the rear, the power button and finger- print scanner is built as a 2-in-1, and comes in titan, silver and pink, very much like the LG G5 colour options.
Connections are made via a USB-C port, which gives you faster charging times. Also, the volume buttons have been moved to the sides instead of being on the back.
So the back is much cleaner now with just the power button and the two cameras with flash.
The screen’s resolution is qHD with a 2,560×1,400 resolution making it about 510 pixels per inch.
As for the second screen, it is an always on screen which gives you notifications and quick launch for your favourite applications; it also gives you quick settings that switches the flashlight on, and other extra information such as date and time, all constantly displayed on it.
All in all, there isn’t much difference in the second screen of the V10 versus the V20.
The camera on the rear is a 16- and 8-megapixel combo, whilst on the front you get a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. Previously with the LG V10 you get two cameras on the front, whilst the 5-megapixel selfie camera on the LG V20 is now a wide-angle lens, with a 120- degree capture.
The rear, as you expect, is similar to the LG G5 — you get a wide angle camera and a telephoto camera, which allows you to shoot wide angle and zoom up closer without having to compromise on picture quality, whichever shot your creativity brings you to. This is the approach that the Apple iPhone 7 Plus has taken on board.
Bear in mind that the iPhone 7 only has one camera on the rear, so you’ll only experience a dual camera iOS device on the larger 7 Plus. The LG V20 camera has a new Steady Record 2.0 system, which is a gyro-based electronic image stabliser and a digital stabiliser built in one.
Some quick specifications include a 4GB RAM with 64GB of storage, a Snapdragon 820 CPU, as well as 3,200 mAh battery capacity. Not to forget, this is the first ever device to launch with Android Nougat 7.0, beating out Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL to launch an Android 7.0 device.
The LG V20 is a beast of a smartphone with all the top technical specifications you expect it to have. A dual-camera setup and multiple DACs whilst having a removable back for you to hot-swap batteries. If the LG G5 is any indication of camera quality, the V20 surely will not disappoint as well.
The bad news here is that the V20 will be priced nowhere that I would like it to be. Some countries are showing a higher price point than the Google Pixel 5-inch, which will make the Pixel a no brainer for me.
Hopefully, prices are just inflated over the launch and will stabilise quickly. If not, it’s back to square one for me whilst I survive on my LG G3.