When LG announced their newest flagship the LG V10, something new was introduced: A secondary screen above the main 5.7 inch display and two (yes, you read that right) front facing cameras. Keep reading to see how these new additions perform in our LG V10 review.
What’s In The Box
- LG V10
- Power block
- USB cable
LG sort of went a different route with the design of the V10 and it’s not too bad either. Starting with the front of the device, the ear piece speaker grill is at the top with the proximity and ambient sensor to the right of it. Just below that are two front facing cameras and the 2.1 inch display. Continuing down the line, next up is the 5.7 inch display and at the bottom is the LG logo. Flip the device over and you really can’t help but notice the famous camera/power/volume rocker setup. To the right of the camera is the laser autofocus sensor and on the left side of the camera is the dual tone flash. A new feature that LG added to the power button is a finger print scanner. The back cover has a feel of a rubbery material. The V10 logo is located in the bottom right to let people which device you own. The sides of the device are stainless steel and free of any buttons. The top of the device has a noise cancellation mic and an IR blaster. The bottom is home to a 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB charging port, another noise cancellation mic and the speaker grill. The device as a whole is MIL-STD-810G certified which means it’s shock resistant.
The majority of phones coming out these days have 2k (1440 x 2560) resolution, and the Lg V10 is in that same category having an IPS LCD display. I don’t know why, but I’ve always enjoyed phones with an IPS display instead of AMOLED or sAMOLED. The colors appeal to me more I guess. Now, on to that second screen. It’s a 2.1 inch display (160 x 1040) and it is pretty nice to look at. Apps don’t seem scrunched up or blurred because of the small screen size. Screen quality is pretty on point if I must say so.
Let me explain how the second screen works, so you’ll get a better understanding if you haven’t seen the phone yet. The 2.1 inch screen will show selected content depending on what you choose while the main screen is on or off. If you have the main screen on you have the options of having a signature, app shortcuts, recent apps, music player, quick contacts, or upcoming plans displayed. All of these options can be accessed by swiping left or right on the second screen. You’re also able to change the order you want all of the options to appear.
Signature is pretty self-explanatory, but you’re able to add in anything you want up to 22 characters. FYI, that’s without spaces so don’t expect to enter in something extensive. App shortcuts and recent apps are also pretty easy to understand. App shortcuts allow you to choose up to five applications to display on the small screen and you can change them at any time, so if you don’t need to use one or two apps as much anymore, just exchange them for something else. For recent apps it shows the five apps you’ve used recently. If you go to a sixth different app and close out of it, it will replace the first app on the list while the fifth app will disappear and the fourth will take its place and so on. Music allows you play/pause, skip, and go back to a song, quick contacts lets you call or send a quick message to five people of your choice, and upcoming plans really only shows you what’s on your calendar coming up. For me, having a signature, app shortcuts, and recent apps was enough. As for the second screen displaying something while the main screen is off, you only have the choice to choose either the date and time or your signature.
While some devices are getting Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the V10 is still running Android 5.1 Lollipop. No word on when the device will be updated to Marshmallow, but the phone still runs just fine on an older version of Android. LG has their Optimus UI on top of Android creating some nice colorful looking icons. LG does also have themes you can get. The majority of them are free in case you were getting tired of seeing the same icons over and over.
LG hasn’t changed much internally on the V10 from the G4 other than increasing expandable storage from 128GB (G4) to 200GB and the amount of RAM from 3GB to 4GB. With the Snapdragon 808 SoC, four cores are running at 1.44GHz and two are running at 1.82GHz and there was no issue with this powerhouse device slowing down especially with 4GB of RAM. For the performance on the finger print scanner, it’s pretty accurate, but some times the handset had a hard time reading my fingerprint. It kept telling me to cover my finger over the power button, but eight out of ten tries it worked.
The speaker on the V10 is somewhat inconsistent. I had a tendency to turn the volume up because I wasn’t able to hear a video I was watching mainly due to other sounds around me were louder. When notifications came through they weren’t as loud as they should be for the volume setting it’s placed at, but maybe a software update could fix this issue.
Carrying over from the LG G4, the rear facing 16 megapixel camera is still one of the best when compared to a flagship Samsung device or an iPhone. Honestly, the majority of the camera software and specs carried over, including the laser autofocus and dual tone flash. Auto and Manual modes are still there, so no need to worry about that. LG did add in something that wasn’t in the G4. Simple mode and Manual video. Simple mode is your tap and shoot mode and manual video lets you control and change settings for your entire video session.
Going more in depth with this mode, think of manual mode where you can change the white balance, ISO, shutter speed, and more (all included in manual video), but being able to control the sound that the video takes in. Say you’re creating a video using the V10 and speaking towards the phone, it’s best to have the sound option going directly to the device. Now, if you’re wanting to take a video of a concert, the phone will take in that sound instead. How much volume is taken in can be changed too by using the microphone slider. There’s also an option for a Wind Noise Filter. Windy days shouldn’t be any issue. The quality of the photos didn’t look bad at all. All colors looked pretty close to being the real thing in my eyes as if I was actually looking at whatever I took a photo of. Low light photos on the other hand were ok. I’m not one to take many photos in low light situations, so I didn’t see much of a difference when taking the same photo with the Samsung Galaxy edge+. All in all, the camera did a wonderful job.
As for the front facing camera, there are two of them. Both are 5 megapixels and the only difference between the two are one has a standard lens for having one or two people in the picture and the other is a wide angle lens where multiple people can be in the picture. Taking photos with each front facing camera turned out to be the same quality wise.
Reception wasn’t an issue on my end as I always had service in places I went, but call quality was great. HD Voice was on by default and I could hear people on the other end loud and clear. Voices sounded much better than they did with the OnePlus One or Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. WiFi calling was just as good and quality wasn’t an issue.
Everyone in this day and age uses their phone constantly whether they’re calling, messaging, video chatting, using navigation, playing games, etc. and need a phone that can get through about a day or longer. The V10 comes with a 3,000mAh battery, so you would expect the phone to get through a day. While that may be true, the V10 had its ups and downs. I could get through an entire work day, pick up my child from daycare, drive home, cook, sit down and relax and have less than 30% battery life left some days. Other days I’d have to charge the phone before leaving work. Battery life will certainly vary with use, but if you’re looking to get a device to get you through a day and then some, the LG V10 might not be your first choice.
Three different carriers offer this device, but not at the same price. If you’re on Verizon, full retail price of the device is $672 or $23.83 per month (24 months) on the Edge program. AT&T’s pricing is $700 full retail or $23.34 per month (24 months) on the Next program or $249 with a 2 year contract. Last up is T-Mobile offering the device at $600 full retail or $25 per month (24 months).
By now I’m sure you’re ready to stop reading everything and know if the device is worth getting if you’ve been holding back. The answer is yes, the phone is worth buying and the second display is actually pretty cool. Again, I used it because it gave me quicker access to apps that I tend to use the most, but it may not be for everyone. The only thing that made me dislike the phone is that the screen got scratched easily despite having Gorilla Glass 4 on it. I highly recommend putting a screen protector on the device when you buy it.