Last year, LG introduced for the first time, a secondary flagship handset in its lineup, the V10. The handset was unusual for LG, because it deviated heavily from its typical use of plastic, and instead offered a rugged exterior made from a stainless steel frame and durable textured silicone. Beyond the solid construction, the handset also offered a highly unique dual display and dual front-facing cameras. While it didn't set the world alight with popularitry, it did show that LG was willing to think outside the box and at least attempt to produce something different.
The LG V20 follows in the footsteps of the V10, but doesn't tout the same ruggedness of its predecessor. Instead, the V20 offers a more refined take and swaps out silicone for metal, making it look more akin to its competitors. Although the V20 is a large phone, it still feels good in the hand, although I think I am the exception on this. For the most part, the handset still feels durable and well constructed and does offer the plus of a removable battery door, a rarity in this day and I'm not sure if its completely necessary.
The V20 offers a 3200mAh battery, which luckily is more than enough juice to get through a full day. Typically, I found myself taking the handset off the charger at around 8am, getting through a full day of use which included - Twitter, email, Spotify streaming via Bluetooth, Snapchat, web browsing - returning home around 12 hours later with around 30% battery remaining. While I'm not sure how much is due to software optimizations in Android 7.0 (Doze), it's good to know that I can be out and about and not have to worry about plugging up. If you happen to need to charge, the V20 does so via a USB Type-C port and also supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge feature.
As for specifications, the V20 offers what you might expect from a high-end handset - a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB RAM, a 5.7-inch QHD IPS LCD display - needless to say, it's an extremely snappy handset. As we reach the tail end of October, it is still one of only a few handsets that offers Google's Android 7.0 experience, albeit heavily skinned under LG's UX 5.0 user interface.
Perhaps one of the more interesting parts of the V20 is the dual camera setup that was first featured on the LG G5. In my initial tests, the camera is just as quick and does a great job of capturing the scene in full auto mode. In lower light scenarios, the autofocus does take a little more time and does a bit of "hunting".
The secondary 8MP wide angle lens is still a joy to use and does offer a new way to shoot and comes in quite handy. If you want to get a bit more hands-on and channel your inner creativity, you can always enable the manual shooting mode that gives you control of the shutter speed, ISO, exposure value and more. So far, the V20 looks to offer a great camera experience, one that is comparable with other excellent flagship devices of 2016.
For the most part, the V20 picks up exactly where the V10 left off - offering a large handset with top specifications and unique features. The secondary screen offers quick access to apps, settings and seems to offer more versatility, but I'll have to look into that more with the full review. Naturally, this is only a first impression and I'll have to dive in a bit more during my upcoming time with it, but so far, this is an impressive handset and feels like a worthy upgrade to the V10.
The LG V20 can be purchased from various carriers in the US and will be sold unlocked at a later date for $799. Unfortunately, those in the UK will not see an official release for the V20.