lg-v20-review_28At long last, the LG V20 has officially launched. With leaks starting back in mid-July and LG starting to tease the device in late August there was a good hype build up around it. Most of the rumors (not all) turned out to be true, and the first image leaks were accurate. We now had the device on hand and were able to form an opinion based on a short, real-world experience. This is our first review, which will be updated as the retail units arrive and more time is spent looking at details. Let’s take a look.

Quick look at the tech specs

  • Snapdragon 820 (2x 2.15GHz + 2x 1.6GHz)
  • Android Nougat
  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD Quantum Dot display (QHD 2560×1440, 513 PPI) display and second screen (160×1040, 513ppi)
  • Main cameras: 16 Megapixel OIS (f1.8), 8 Megapixels Wide (f2.4)
  • Front Camera: 5 Megapixel (f1.9)
  • 64GB Storage UFS 2.0
  • MicroSD (2TB max)
  • 4GB RAM LPDDR4
  • 3200 mAh battery, QuickCharge 3.0
  • 7×78.1×7.6mm
  • WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, USB 2.0, NFC
  • Quad DAC audio output

Industrial Design

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Based on user feedback, LG has worked to improve the LG V20 to extend the spirit of the LG V10 by adding more of what worked and remove or diminish what was secondary to the users. As such, the LG V20 remains predominantly centered around three things:

  • The camera experience
  • The chassis design and durability
  • The removable battery

We’ll get to the camera later, so let’s start with the chassis design. As you may recall from our LG V10 review, the LG V-Series is built to resist drops, but the V10 had an aesthetic that was a bit too “rugged,” according to LG.

With the LG V20, the design is going towards looking like a regular, premium all-metal phone, without losing any of the durability. The plastic back cover has now been replaced with a tough all-metal cover, which is removable at the touch of a button. That makes changing the battery very easy, without any nail action.

The button on the edge opens the battery compartment.

The button on the edge opens the battery compartment.

The LG V20 is also relatively light. That’s because instead of using steel, LG has used 6013 Aluminum, which is typically aerospace applications such as fuselage panels. It is popular because it is nearly immune to corrosion, is durable and relatively easy to form. Aluminum Alloy 6013 is an aluminum-magnesium-silicon-copper alloy.

At 7.6mm thick, the LG V20 is a little slimmer than the Galaxy Note 7 (153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm), but the Note 7 remains a little smaller overall. The LG V20 feels much thinner than the LG V10 (8.6mm)

Durability: MIL-STD 810G Transit Drop

If you are familiar with the visual aspect of the LG V10, you may think that the plastic seems to have disappeared in the LG V20, but it’s not completely the case. The top and bottom elements in the front are still made of very durable Silicone Polycarbonate (Si-PC) normally used for helmets. They are painted with a metallic color that makes them blend in near-perfectly. They will absorb shocks around the screen to avoid glass compression, which is the main cause of cracks during a drop.

The LG V20 will continue to pass the MIL-STD 810G Transit Drop Test, just like its predecessor. This particular test is one of many tests of the MIL-STD 810G certification, but to be clear, this is the only test that the LG V20 has been certified against. The LG V20 underwent 60,000 safety tests before entering mass production.

The MIL-STD 810G Transit Drop Test was originally designed by the military to ensure that equipment would reasonably survive shocks and drops during transportation/loading/unloading. It is important to notice that the drop landing surface is about ~2 inches of plywood on top of a concrete surface – because, during military transport, this is the most likely landing surface.

Learn more: how the LG V20 was designed to survive drops
Learn more
What is MIL-STD-810G?
Look Inside: Taking the LG V20 apart in 3mn20sec

Each device needs to have all surfaces, edges, corners tested against a 4-feet drop. This means that 26 drops are required, and a visual inspection is performed to detect damage after each drop. The manufacturer can also ask the 26 drops to be split among five devices, so avoid cumulative damages.

Filed in Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about LG, LG Reviews, LG V20, Smartphone Reviews and Smartphones.

Display
5.7"
2560x1440
IPS LCD
515 PPI
Price
~$495 - Amazon
Camera
16 MP
F1.8 Aperture F-Stop
OIS
Weight
174 g
Battery
3200 mAh
Removable
No Wireless Charg.
Launched in
2016-09-01
System
4GB RAM
Snapdragon 820 + MicroSD
Storage (GB)
64
LG V20 Review
Score: 9/10
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