Do you need a smartphone for the best audio recording? The LG V20 is exactly what you need – read this LG V20 review to get started.
Itechguides' Take on LG V20
The LG V20 is a great phone for audio lovers and those who are interested in a replaceable battery. The V20 also has unique features like the secondary display and IR blaster that are quite useful. Additionally, the manual video mode of the LG V20 is impressive.
- Great audio performance
- Impressive manual video mode
- Removable battery
- Useful secondary display
- IR blaster
- Not water resistant
- Cumbersome to use with one hand
- Performance is not the best in its category
This review is a critique of the LG V20. In this review, I will provide a detailed description of the phone’s physical characteristics.
Specifically, I will section this analysis into design, display, camera, storage, sensors, and battery life. After each section, I will provide a performance rating on a scale of 1 to 10.
Finally, I urge you to read this review to the end so that you don’t miss out on any important information this review packs.
My Initial Thoughts
The V series has been one of LG’s most successful smartphone series. It started in 2015 with the first iteration – the LG V10 – which turned out to be a standout phone in its time.
- Nokia 7.1 Review: Its One Weakness is Battery Performance
- Nokia 6.1 Review: Fixing the Flaws of Its Predecessor
The point in case for this review is the second iteration of the LG V series – the LG V20 released in 2016. After 5 years of its release and 4 more iterations into the series, the LG V20 is still in demand.
The LG V20 was offered at a premium price during the early days of its release. However, 5 years later you can now get it at a more affordable price.
Speaking of which, at the time we published this article in September 2021, the LG V20 costs $115.09.
Having made a short introduction to the V series and the price of the V20, let’s see if it is still worth buying in 2021 and beyond.
LG V20 Design, Dimension & Weight Review
The LG V20 is a solidly built smartphone with an all-metal chassis. The aluminum used is similar to that of airplanes which ascertains some level of durability.
Furthermore, the LG V20 is MIL-STD-810G certified. This implies that it is drop resistant and can withstand drops to a reasonable extent.
However, it is not waterproof and should be kept away from water.
When you take a glance at the LG V20, you can’t but appreciate the aesthetics. It features a rectangular construction with slightly curved corners.
The LG V20 maintains the same size as its predecessor. It measures 159.5 x 78.0 x 7.6 mm – apparently the LG V20 Is a huge device.
Due to its dimension, the LG V20 is difficult to operate with one hand. Therefore, the LG V20 Is a two-hand phone.
Moreover, having to reach out to the secondary screen on the top makes it more cumbersome in one hand. Speaking of the secondary screen, apart from the main screen, there is a second screen (more about it in the display section).
Additionally, the LG V20 weighs 174 g which is slightly heavier than the preferred smartphone weight of an average user. Our research shows that most users prefer a phone that weighs between 140g to 170g
However, the LG V20’s weight is not too far from the ideal weight.
The front view is dominated by slim bezels around the 5.7-inch display. Similar to its weight, the 5.7-inch screen of the LG V20 is also above the average size preferred by most smartphone users.
Typically most smartphone users want a screen size between 5 to 5.5-inch. Nevertheless, just like the weight, the screen size is not too far from the ideal size preferred by most users.
Still, on the front view, there is a front camera as well as proximity and ambient light sensor. These are located on the left side of the secondary screen.
Meanwhile, the bottom of the main screen houses the navigation keys for home and back controls.
Moving on to the back view of the LG V20, the most prominent feature is the horizontal rear camera layout. The layout comprises the wide-angle camera lens, standard camera lens, laser detection autofocus sensor, flash, and NFC antenna area.
Below the camera layout, there is the fingerprint sensor that also serves as the power and the unlock button. The last feature on the back chassis is a v20 branding by the bottom.
Moving on the top of the LG V20, there is a microphone and an IR blaster. When connected with the right software, the IR blaster can control your TV, camera, or air conditioner.
On the other end which is the bottom of the LG V20, there is a USB Type-C charging port. The charging port is flanked by a microphone to its right and a 3.5mm combo headphone and microphone jack to its left.
The left side of the LG V20 houses the volume buttons. Meanwhile, the right side houses a back cover release button.
Just as the name suggests, you can use the back cover release button to remove the back cover. Removing the back cover exposes the battery, SIM card, and microSD card slots.
In terms of color options, the LG V20 is available in silver, pink, or gray. From the three available colors, users can choose one they prefer.
In summary, the LG V20 is strongly built to withstand casual drops. Its design is pleasing to the eyes as well.
However, it is not water-resistant contrast to what I would have wanted. Moreover, it is huge and heavy to use with one hand.
Therefore, considering the factors above, I will rate the LG V20 a seven in this design review section.
LG V20 Display Features Review
The LG V20 features a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display. The display has a 2K HD resolution with 2560 x 1440 pixels.
Also, the LG V20 features a 2.1-inch secondary display with a 160 x 1040 resolution. The secondary screen sits on top of the main screen, you can decide to leave it on or off even when the main screen is sleeping.
The secondary screen is useful for displaying recent apps, recent contacts, common settings, and notifications. However, the importance of this screen is arguable.
It is safe to say that the dual-screen feature of the LG V20 is more of an innovative feat than a functional one. It is useful no doubt but it is not an essential feature.
Back to the main screen, it has a pixel density of 513 pixels per inch (PPI). This is above the 300 PPI industry standard.
Moreover, it implies that the screen produces vivid and rich colors without been oversaturated. Moreover, the V20 has more color accuracy compared to its predecessor.
Additionally, the screen brightness is impressive especially when you set it manually reaching a maximum brightness of 714 nits. With the LG V20, you will not have visibility issues using it on sunny days or in the dark.
Although the LG V20 has a sufficiently good contrast at around 1,1000:1, other LG phones have better contrast exceeding 1,4000:1.
Furthermore, the screen has an aspect ratio of the LG V20 is 16:9. This is a standard ratio and you are sure to get the best from your reading, gaming, and movie sessions.
The only color mode available on the LG V20 is a Blue Light Filter mode. Blue light messes up the internal clock of a human’s body which disrupts sleep.
Thankfully, the blue light mode of the LG V20 reduces the blue light emitted from the screen. Hence you can use your phone in the evening without losing out on your sleep.
As a means of protecting the screen, the LG V20 uses corning gorilla glass. This is to minimize the susceptibility of the screen to cracks and scratches.
In conclusion, the LG V20 main display is super bright and it has enough color accuracy. The secondary is also useful for displaying notifications and recent apps amongst other uses.
Hence, I will rate the LG V20 an eight in this display review section.
LG V20 Camera Features Review
Contrary to popular belief, more megapixels do not necessarily mean better image quality. To determine the overall quality of a phone’s camera, you have to review the camera’s megapixel, its aperture, and pixel size.
You may also need to review the camera’s sensors and the quality of the lens.
LG equips the V20 with an 8-megapixel front camera. The front camera has a ƒ/1.9 aperture.
This implies that the camera has a wide aperture which is good for taking nice selfies irrespective of the lighting condition. Needless to say that even at night, pictures on the LG V20 will come out nice if not great.
Furthermore, there is a rear dual camera with a wide-angle lens and a standard lens. The 8 MP Wide-angle lens has an aperture size of ƒ/2.4.
The wide-angle camera can capture up to 135 degrees and is good for taking group pictures. The downside, however, is that the corners of your photos might be distorted.
Moving on, the 16 megapixel back camera has a standard lens with an aperture size of ƒ/1.8. It produces clear and sharp landscape pictures but the colors looked a bit washed out.
Moreover, the rear camera ships with a pixel size of 1.12 μm. The more the pixel size of a camera, the better photo it takes.
Therefore, with a pixel size of 1.12 μm, sufficient light is delivered to the lens. Hence, the camera will produce excellent photos even with limited external light.
The LG V20 uses laser-detection autofocus technology which allows you to capture sharp images. The laser detection produces its own laser beam therefore, it is effective even in low lighting conditions.
With the LG V20, you can shoot 4K videos or reduce the resolution to 1080p. Where the V20 really shines though is the manual video mode.
This means that you can manually set the focus, white balance, iris, ISO, and shutter speed. With this, you have complete control over your shots, enabling you to get the perfect output.
Finally, the LG V20 has quite a decent camera performance for its price. Hence, I will rate the LG V20 a seven In this camera review section.
LG V20 Battery Life and Talk Time Review
The LG V20 ships with a 3200 mAh removable battery. According to LG, the battery delivered up to 23 hours of talk time on the 3G network.
One thing I like about the battery is that it is removable. You can decide to replace a drained battery with a fully charged one when you are hurriedly heading out.
Another strong point of the battery is its long battery life. This is evident from the video playback battery test that I performed.
The test involved playing a locally stored HD video continuously until the battery drains. I also put the phone on airplane mode.
Consequently, the LG V20 lasted 12 hours 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, the battery life from the video playback test was critically below what LG got from their talk time test. That is not surprising since we performed different activities.
Therefore, how long your LG V20 battery will last depends on the workload you put it through. However, with over 12 hours from the video playback test, you are sure to get a substantial amount of battery power from the LG V20.
When it comes to charging the LG V20, it uses Qualcomm’s Quick Charge Technology. Therefore, plugging the LG V20 for an hour will get you about a 75 percent charge.
Meanwhile, it takes the battery about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get fully charged.
Finally, the battery performance of the LG V20 is impressive. However, it is not the best performer in its category.
Therefore, I will rate the LG V20 an eight in this battery review section.
LG V20 Storage Options & Performance Review
On the storage front, the LG V20 has 64 GB of internal storage. Out of the 64 GB, just about 44 GB is usable.
Meanwhile, about 20 GB is occupied by the operating system and pre-installed apps. The remaining 44 GB might be sufficient for light storage.
However, for heavy storage users, the good news is that you can use a MicroSD card for storage expansion. Most impressively, the microSD slot takes a maximum capacity of 1 TB.
In summary, the internal storage of the LG V20 seemed a bit limiting. However, with the option of expanding storage by an additional 1 TB, users have more than enough storage space to utilize.
Therefore, I will rate the LG V20 a nine for this storage performance review.
LG V20 Security Features & Sensors Review
Considering that the LG V20 is not a high-end phone, its security features and sensors count are very impressive. The phone ships with a fingerprint sensor that allows you to unlock your phone with your finger.
Additionally, the LG V20 has an accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, magnetometer, barometer, and ambient light sensor. The accelerometer and gyroscope automatically detect the phone’s orientation and auto-rotate it accordingly.
The barometer is a very important sensor for delivering altitude data or atmospheric pressure. You can use it to determine the floor a user is on, you can also use it for weather prediction.
Another very important sensor in this phone is the proximity sensor. The sensor detects when you are holding the phone near your face during a call and turns the display off.
Turning the display off when you do not need it contributes to saving the phone’s battery. Additionally, it prevents accidental touches on the screen.
Moving on to the magnetometer, this is the sensor that controls your compass functionality. It works in relation to the earth’s magnetic field.
Furthermore, there is the ambient light sensor that automatically detects the intensity of the ambient light present. Consequently, it dims the phone screen to match the ambient light.
Finally, the LG V20 has an impressive intelligence level this made possible by its rich collection of sensors. Therefore, the user experience of the LG V20 is interactive.
Thus, I will rate the LG V20 a nine in this security and sensors review section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even after After 5 years (by 2021) of its release and 4 more iterations into the LG V series, the LG V20 is still in demand. This can be attributed to the LG V20’s feat in areas such as audio performance, battery replacement, and storage expansion. Additionally, we love its manual video mode, IR blaster, and secondary screen.
With its 3200 mAh battery, LG has promised up to 23 hours of talk time. However, in my video playback test, the battery lasted 12 hours 30 minutes.
The LG V20 has a 5 MP front camera for taking decent selfies. It also has a rear dual camera. The dual camera consists of the 16 MP main shooter lens that is good for taking landscape pictures. There is also the wide-angle lens that is ideal for taking group pictures.
Yes, the LG V20 has a back cover release button by the right-hand side. Just as its name suggests, the button is used to remove the back cover to expose the battery. The SIM card and microSD card slots can also be accessed when you remove the back cover.
The camera performance of the LG V20 is not the best in its category. There are other smartphones with better cameras. However, it delivers clear and sharp pictures but the colors might look a bit washed out. Also, low-light images are usually plagued by noise.
The LG V20 was released in September 2016. We published this updated article in September 2021. Therefore, when this article was updated in 2021, the LG V20 was 5 years old.
The price changes from time to time. However, in September 2021 when we published this updated review, the LG V20 cost $115.09.
The LG V20 is made of an aluminum chassis. It is not as durable as premium iPhones however its durability is still fair. Moreover, the LG V20 is MIL-STD-810G certified – this implies that it is drop resistant and can withstand drops to a reasonable extent.
No, the LG V20 is not water-resistant.
No, the LG V20 only supports 2G, 3G, and 4G
My Final Thoughts
The LG V20 is undoubtedly a good phone at an affordable price. Although its performance is decent in all areas, it doesn’t deliver a top-of-the-line performance.
It only manages to be outstanding in a few areas. For instance, the manual video mode of the LG V20 is noteworthy.
Also, its audio performance is better than what we have seen on any other smartphone.
Another feat of the LG V20 is its replaceable battery which has become a difficult feature to come by these days. Furthermore, the LG V20 has an IR blaster that users can use to control other compatible gadgets.
In conclusion, I will recommend the LG V20 to audiophiles and those with a strong interest in replaceable batteries.
I believe you love this LG V20 review and found it useful. If they were, kindly communicate your experience with our community platform at Itechguides Community.
In addition to that, you can interact with our Forum staff and Community members concerning this guide’s topic at Itechguides Community. All staff and members will be waiting to provide answers and respond to your questions and comments.
For more Smartphone reviews, visit our Smartphone Reviews page. You may also find our Smartphone Specs page very helpful.
To ask a question or comment about this article, visit the article's topic at Itechguides Community