In 2016, LG is particularly interested in differentiating itself from its competitors. After the first modular smartphone in March, the G5, the South Korean manufacturer, is re-entering the market with a phablet full of originality.

The LG V20, with its dual screen and removable battery, appears like a kind of UFO in the current landscape of smartphones. But does it deserve to be among the best Android smartphones of the moment?

LG V20 – Design and finishing

The smartphone succeeded to the V10, its design has evolved significantly to get closer to the G5. However, this V20 remains an atypical smartphone. It may not be the most elegant but it has the merit of being original. At a time when many manufacturers are copying, LG makes the decision to swim against the current with its V20.

Forget the polycarbonate back of the V10, the LG V20 is made of metal. But it is not because the phone changes material that it is more fragile. Its shell thus uses a mixture of light aluminum and a new material based on silicon while the upper and lower parts are made of polycarbonate (Si-PC). The LG V20 is a great smartphone with an original design.

Despite its status as a phablet, the V20 knows to remain relatively compact with its dimensions of 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm. The edges of the screen are thus particularly fine, and the beveled empty areas above and below the screen are quite small. The headphone jack is located at the bottom, as is the Type-C USB port and the mono speaker. Above is the infrared port (thank you LG) and the microphone to help record audio at 48 kHz that take place.

LG continues to offer an infrared port on its smartphone and that’s good. On the left side are the volume buttons and to the right, we have the button that allows removing the removable back part and access to the battery and the slot for SIM cards and microSD. At the rear, the dual main camera protrudes from the surface but the V20 can be laid flat on a table without wobbling.

One-handed use of such a smartphone, however, remains rather complicated, despite the software aids offered by LG. The two sensors on the camera protrude from the back of the terminal. Overall, the LG V20 is a pretty smartphone quite attractive that assumes its different personality. LG has also progressed in terms of finishes but the adjustments are not perfect. You can thus clearly feel the separations between the different parts of the V20 to the touch. It is also visible to the naked eye.

LG V20 – Screen

The LG V20 offers a 5.7-inch IPS LCD screen with QHD resolution (1440 x 1560 pixels), with a pixel density of 513 dpi. A Gorilla Glass 4 (not Gorilla Glass 5) covers the screen. Why this choice? LG did not wish to explain it.

The viewing angles are good, as is the contrast and visibility outdoors. In general, the whites appear slightly bluish but the blacks are deep for an LCD screen. For those who find the screen too blue, a visual comfort mode is also present to filter this light and get a more yellow color.

But just like its predecessor, what makes the great feature of this V20 is the presence of this second screen. Located just above the main 5.7-inch QHD screen, this second 2.1-inch display offers a very accurate definition (160 x 140 pixels) and is now brighter, according to LG, than that of the V10. It is useful for direct access to the phone, calculator, messages, your applications very simply or the last notifications.

LG V20 – Other features

The LG V20 offers military certification MIL-STD 810G. This certification is a standard given by the US Army Developmental Test Command (US Army Developmental Test Command). Theoretically, the V20 can, therefore, withstand falls of 1.2 meters.

LG V20 – Software Interface

Aside from the Pixel and Pixel XL, the LG V20 is the first smartphone to be marketed under Android Nougat. You will benefit from all the new features of the latest version of Android launched. You can find all the latest news from Android, except for System UI Tuner, including customizable quick settings

The possibility of having a multi-window mode by default is also very appreciable, especially when combined with the second screen of the LG V20. The multi-window mode is pleasant on a daily basis.  Finally, let’s end with a word about LG UI. The V20 has strong resemblances to the G5. The interface is tidy and very colorful.

LG V20 – Performance

Under the hood, the LG V20 boasts the same technical features as most high-end smartphones in 2016. The famous Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with the graphics chip Adreno 530 and 4 GB of RAM. Compared to its predecessor, it is therefore mainly the processor that changes (Snapdragon 808).

LG V20 – Digital Camera

As with all its flagships, LG attaches importance to the quality of the cameras of its terminals. The V20 has the same dual camera system as the G5 launched last April. There are two sensors at the rear: one 16-megapixel camera with f / 1.8 aperture (used for low-light photos) and another 8-megapixel wide-angle (1/4 inch) sensor with one Opening of f / 2.4. This gives you a wide angle of 135 degrees to capture more items. It is also very appreciable on a daily basis

You can take pictures that no other smartphone can do with this wide angle. Of course, the quality is a little degraded and the image tends to “get round”. The front-end camera also benefits from this wide-angle functionality, but the V20 offers only a 5-megapixel front-end sensor that does the job of two (83 and 120 degrees).

Switching between normal mode and the wide-angle mode is done very easily in the camera application. On the video side, it is possible to film in 1080p or 4K. Interestingly, you can even choose to steer the pickups in one direction for better sound.

LG V20 – Battery life

On the battery side, the LG V20 is not the best for a phablet with a battery of 3200 mAh (however, it is 400 mAh better than the G5). Big advantage nevertheless, this one is removable and can be changed very simply.

LG had the (very) good idea to stop its strange concept of modularity seen on the G5 to change the battery. To remove it, simply press the right button of the phone to remove the removable shell.

Final verdict

The LG V20 is not the perfect smartphone. The V20 is an improved version of the G5. In addition to having a real personality (thanks to the second screen) and a look that will not go unnoticed, it certainly offers the best audio experience of the market. And for those whose audio is not their priority, it still remains the photo qualities, the removable battery and the memory extension of the V20.