The LG V20 is finally official. The first new Android 7.0 Nougat phone was launched at a “spectacular” event in San Francisco on Wednesday night.
The successor to last year’s US-only V10, builds upon the successes and ditches the less popular features, according to LG, which plans to release the phone in more markets in the coming weeks.
First of all, it features a 5.7-inch QHD display (2560 x 1440 / 513ppi) and plenty of power thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM.
The trademark secondary IPS Quantum display at the top of the device is (160 x 1040 / 513ppi) and now has 50 per cent larger font than the LG V10, while LG has doubled the brightness.
This time LG has opted for a dual-lens set-up with serious wide-angle flair. The first camera offers 16 megapixel pictures with optical image stabilization, while you'll be able to capture a wider field of view with the additional 8-megapixel wide-angle lens.
The front-facing 5-megapixel also offers wide-angle shooting, while the Auto Shot also takes a snap automatically if it catches you smiling for a selfie.
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There’s 3,200mAh battery which is removable thanks to a unique flip-up mechanism on the rear of the device. It features USB Type-C and Quick Charge 3.0 technology from Qualcomm. Everything is secured by a fingerprint sensor on the rear of the device, as with the V10.
It will launch in LG’s Korean homeland this month. LG says it is coming to other regions thereafter with information coming in the next few weeks. It's not confirmed yet, but it looks like Brits actually have a shot at this one.
With the top-level specs out of the way, let’s take a quick look at the improvements LG has made with the V20:
Wide angle photography
This is the world’s first smartphone to feature a wide-angle lens on the front and the rear of the phone. This allows users to capture up to 3 x more of a scene than a standard smartphone camera. The 8-megapixel rear camera offers a 135-degree capture, meaning you can take a pretty respectably panorama in a single shot.
The V20 no longer carries the dual lens front-facing camera debuted in the V10. Instead, the new 5-megapixel camera has a 120-degree viewing angle meaning you don’t need a selfie stick to get all of your friends in. You’ll be able to go from standard to wide-angle photography in just one touch.
Super smooth 4K video recording
LG has upgraded the Steady Record functionality from the V10 with Steady Record 2.0. This tech relies on the Snapdragon 820 processor leveraging the electronic image stabilization 3.0 tech developed by Qualcomm. This is designed to minimalise unintentional movement when shooting video. It uses the gyro to analyze the movement in real time, then, once capture is complete, video is analyzed against 15-20 other frames to ensure smoother footage in more challenging conditions.
It’s also capable of 4K video capture and playback. Naturally, LG has bundled in a ton of manual options. If you're looking to create high-quality video on a smartphone, this could well be the handset for you.
An audiophile's dream?
With smooth and delicious 4K video comes great audio, according to LG. The company promises high-fidelity video recording and an unprecedented level of control over the audio recording experiences. The Low Cut Filter option removes background noise while the Limiter sets recording distance. As LG explains:
“The LCF reduces background noise while the LMT zeroes in on voices the user wants to record. The V20 also captures audio using 24-bit / 48 kHz Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM), the same format used in professional video equipment.”
Beyond recording pro audio, the V20 promises to play it back just as sweetly. The V20 is also the first phone ever to feature a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, more recognisable in high-end audio gear. It supports all of the major lossless music formats like FLAC, DSD, AIFF and ALAC with LG also promising to mimimise distortion and ambient noise by up to 50 per cent.
The handset is compatible with any pair of earphones thanks to the 3.5mm jack (take note Apple) and thanks to the collaboration with B&O the company is bundling the handset with Beoplay H3 earphones. LG is also promising great sound from the speakers with no lost clarity or quality even when blasting at full volume.
While this may be a bit of a stretch, LG is also promising “studio quality” audio recordings thanks to the three microphones built into the device.
The LG V20 offers a minimalistic metal body with remarkably thin bezels. It is constructed from lightweight AL6013 aluminum, which LG says is found in aircrafts, sailboats and mountain bikes. The top and bottom of the phone are protected by a new silicon-based material called Silicone Polycarbonate. The package passed the US military standard drop test, meaning it can withstand shock and still operate from 4ft even if dropped on the corners.
Google In Apps Search
As announced at IFA 2016 last week, the phone is also the first to showcase Google’s new In Apps search capabilities. Featured in the Google app for Android devices, the functionality enables users to search for information within the built-in Android apps and also user-installed third party apps. A shortcut to In Apps is available on the LG V20 home screen and the Second Screen.
Do you think the LG V20 has a shot at becoming your new smartphone? Share your thoughts in the comments below.