The V20 is designed for audio and camera lovers, featuring the Hi-Fi Quad DAC, HD Audio Recorder, Steady Record 2.0 and front and rear wide-angle lens cameras. It comes with Android 7.0 Nougat OS, and well, is likely to be your only choice for a Nougat phone now as Pixel won’t be launching in Singapore anytime soon. With LG’s collaboration with B&O PLAY, the V20 will come bundled with a special pair of B&O PLAY earphones worth $198. It will be available from November 5, 2016, in two colour options Silver and Titan, retailing for S$998. Each purchase comes with a mobile casing premium pack worth $88 while stocks last.
The V20 runs on a Snapdragon 820 with 4GB of RAM and features 64GB of storage, which can be further expanded via a microSD slot. There’s a USB-C port on the bottom and, yes, even a headphone jack.
The design of the V20 eschews the weird dual colour chin of the G5, and adopts a more symmetrical look. The metal back and finish feels premium, and in fact, the handset is certified to be MIL-STD-810G, although it lacks the waterproof features that are now rather mainstream. The metal back can be opened with a push of a button, to reveal the 3200 mAH removable battery (yay!). This is quite a rare feature among phones today, and it’s something to be applauded.
- Premium metal finish with MIL-STD-810G
- Dual rear cameras
- Android Nougat
- 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC
- HD Audio Recording ability with 3 microphone
- Second Screen
- Removable Battery
Second Screen – Gimmick or Useful Function?
The V20 second screen offers a useful way to multitask with your phone. The always on screen allows you to switch apps easily (up to 5 can be added), instead of the clunky recent tasks screen. I think of it as the Windows task bar. In fact, you do not need to use the Android on-screen Navigation Bar, since you can add your launcher to the shortcuts screen.
The V20 offers an interesting proposition for music lovers. The phone includes a high quality 32 bit DAC tuned by B&O. It is having the G5 B&O PLAY modular audio accessory thrown into the phone. The HiFi DAC doesn’t offer much in the way of additional software functionality, other than volume and the option to balance the left and right channels. EQ can be controlled through LG own music app though. It does sound different when switching on / off the DAC, a little more detail, a little extra reverb and depth to the sound, but it’s a struggle to really pinpoint any significant improvements. LG also throws in a $198 value B&O Play earphones. It looks different from the B&O Play H3, which seems to be what US customers are getting.
There’s also, quick settings, quick contacts and music controls, which eliminate the need for me to have to leave whatever I’m doing to text a friend or change songs. The V20 is better integrated with Android Nougat, and notifications go through the second screen, which interacting with them will open the Quick Reply Feature of Android Nougat. I think its more useful than Samsung implementation of the additional edge screen
It features a dual-lens rear camera set-up with a 16-megapixel standard angle lens and a 8-megapixel wide angle lens. The wide angle lens offers 135 degree field of view, perfect for capturing landscape or big groups of people. The camera seems to be pretty similar to the LG G5.
LG hit a roadblock with the G5, which failed to excite the smartphone consumers with the modular concept. With the V20, LG is a little more focused here on the on the audio, camera capabilties, but the V20 is an an all round good phone. With the unexpected demise of the Galaxy Note7, this is a unique opportunity for LG to convince consumers to switch to their V20 phablet.