A bag of mixed feelings is how I like would define the LG V20. At the time of its launch, the V20 had a huge advantage as the Galaxy Note 7 was being recalled. Many Samsung fans opted to choose the LG V20 as an alternative since we didn’t have a Samsung flagship at the time. So, it came to a lot of new LG users. Let’s see how did the phone age and if we can still hold it as relevant in 2017, even though the LG V30 was launched a couple of weeks back.
The Pro’s of the LG V20
LG has been listening and has been very keen on it. The LG V20 was targeted to be the phone for the power users. The robust build quality and design made it look blocky, masculine and felt like something to get stuff done. The newly launched phone listened to the people in 2016 on key areas, such as:
- Removable Battery
- External Card support.
- High-quality Audio out.
- Support for RAW image formats.
- High-quality video/audio recording.
Yes, the ‘Removable battery’ means you can carry 3 to 4 extra batteries with you all the time, so no worries about running out of juice. The external card support is a must for recording high-quality content and the camera comes with a plethora of manual controls, just like a professional DSLR. Also, the fingerprint sensor is pretty quick. The phone locking and unlocking gives a tactile feedback which is very satisfying. The QUAD-Dac just exponentiates the Wow factor, when you plug in your Bose Quiet Comfort or Sony High Bass Headphones. Even the Bluetooth headphones sound way better with this phone. Also, the second screen is intuitive in its own way which helped me navigate between apps way faster and the Calibri style signature looks beautiful, giving it a personal touch.
Even the Bluetooth headphones sound way better with this phone. Also, the second screen is intuitive in its own way which helped me navigate between apps way faster and the Calibri style signature looks beautiful, giving it a personal touch.
All of this sounds pretty exciting. Now let’s find out some real-life problems during its usage.
The Cons of the LG V20
I have been using the LG V20 since the past year and my take is that even though they did listen to the people and included everything that they had asked for, somewhere down the line, they did forget to account for quality. Every feature has been put in, but somewhere we did find a bit more which could be desired.
The camera has plenty of manual controls, but the Auto mode for point and shoot definitely has a lot of bugs. Images are not stabilized and it’s very hard to get a shot without a blur when the shutter speed is at 1/10 or less, and ISO is a bit higher, which is necessary for a low light shot. The older galaxy phones provide a much better shot when it comes to taking stills and stabilizing the images. The same goes for the front camera. It’s too grainy and the noise sometimes makes it feel like a shot being taken on a VGA camera.
The battery life- Wel, it’s bad, pretty bad. I could not keep the phone up with the charge for more than 4 hours in normal usage, which is insanely low battery performance for a 2016 phone. You can account for less than 1 hour of screen uptime. Some of the apps like Facebook and Messenger keep eating resources and draining the battery but these apps fare much better on the Galaxy and Pixel phones.
Also, the phone gets warm when the screen is on for about 30 to 40 seconds as you use it, doesn’t matter which app you are on. A good argument is a replaceable battery but it is not always convenient, shutting down the phone and putting in a battery which breaks up a certain thing you were busy doing on your phone.
Performance is a hit or miss with the Snapdragon 821. I had to use package disabler to disable all the LG stock and carrier apps and move to Google now launcher, after which I saw a bit of an improvement in performance of the phones UI. Earlier with the stock launcher, it kept lagging and heating up.
The LG V20 is a good phone if you want to shoot 4K videos and are a media junkie. It is a good phone for you if you like to Vlog a lot and create cinematic footages or montages. Its a great phone for you if you love to listen to music and also record your own music and don’t mind carrying a portable power bank or a couple of extra batteries for your phone.
But if you are a standard user like me, who wants to get reminders for his meetings, take skype meetings on his phone, chat with groups using Microsoft teams or Hangouts or FaceBook, then you are in for a difficult time. This phone does make your productivity suffer, thanks to the clumsy battery life and constant heating up. Also just taking a simple selfie or a point and shoot photo, becomes a hassle and dissatisfying as you get blurry images.
I would say that this phone is NOT relevant anymore in 2017. The Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have taken the lead back from LG, despite having a golden opportunity last year. Let me know if you have had the same experience with your V20. I would love to hear more from you.