LG Korea has just announced the LG V10, the first of a series of V-Series multimedia-oriented smartphones. The V10 has been designed with power-users or enthusiasts in mind: those who want a better experience, of course, but also things like a removable battery, a MicroSD slot and a very high durability – out of the box. According to LG, the V10 delivers all that, and more.
LG V10 Overview in 4mn
First, let’s take a quick look at the hardware to have some context. The LG V10 uses more or less the same Snapdragon 808 platform as their LG G4 smartphone. From that, we can easily assume that the overall responsiveness and capabilities will be at least just as good, if not slightly better, thanks to software optimization.
There’s 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which can be extended by a MicroSD card (up to 2TB). The removable battery has a capacity of 3000 mAh, but there is no built-in wireless charging. I expect that to be available with a cover accessory, like other LG phones. Of course, this is Quick Charge 2.0 compatible. The LG V10 will launch with Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop).
The V10 has a 5.7” display, which puts it in the “large display” phones category with the likes of the Note 5, iPhone 6s+ etc… LG uses a QHD (2560×1440, 513 PPI) IPS Quantum Display. If you’re not familiar with Quantum Display, it is LG’s version of the quantum dots, a technology that allows better and wider color reproduction.
A small secondary screen (2.1-inch IPS Quantum Display, 160×1040, 513ppi) has been added to the V10. Its purpose is to display frequently-accessed information like time, battery life, weather, etc.… even when the phone is in sleep mode. The secondary screen is optimized for power-efficiency, and can remain ON at all times if the user desires so. When the main display is ON, the secondary screen serves to host additional shortcuts that are always accessible since they don’t interfere with Android’s main user interface (UI).
Next to the secondary screen, LG points out that there are now TWO front cameras with field of views of 80 and 120 degrees. This provides the ability to shoot wider selfies in a single-shot (although not as wide as multi-shot selfies). The wide selfies are created by merging/stitching data from both lenses. LG says that it can also shoot photos and videos simultaneously on all three cameras, providing more point of views of a moment in time. The user can later pick/edit the best shot.
Video recording now features full manual control (shutter speed, frame rate, ISO, white balance and focus while recording). As you may remember, the LG G4 started to promote full manual control for still photos. The V10 now extends the concept to video recording. Typically, manual control truly exploits the camera hardware at 100% if you take a few seconds to fine-tune the settings for a specific shot. Automatic metering try to be smart, but they can never “guess” what your eyes are seeing, and how you want the final photo to look like. Of course, the LG V10 can record in 4K video and lower.
Additionally, the LG V10 gets a digital stabilization algorithm (I believe from Qualcomm) that should partially compensate for large motion induced by walking, or running. It still has an optical stabilization mechanism for smaller shakes such as vehicle vibration and/or “shaky hands”.
Since LG expects people to record more video, it has also added a 15-seconds auto-edit function which is supposed to trim video clips to the most “active” portions. As I understand it, this is based on motion analysis.
LG isn’t claiming to build the prettiest phone, but does claim that it is a highly-durable one. As such, it is designed to comply to the “MIL-STD-810G Transit Drop” standard, and has been tested by an independent lab. The test is important because some products claim to have been designed for “MIL-STD-810G”, but have never been independently tested/certified.
This is made possible by four things:
- There are stainless steel trims on either side of the phone to absorb shocks
- A gap around the screen mitigates glass compression, which is the main cause of cracked screens
- The back cover is made of hard silicone, which is scratch resistant and provides excellent grip
- The top and bottom of the phone also have plastic/silicone that absorbs shocks upon impact
In the back, the Power button now has a fingerprint reader, which work on a press and hold basis, to wake and unlock the phone in one action.
The LG V10 is not a small phone: it is 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6mm big, and weighs 192g.
This handset will come out in South Korea this month, then it will make its way to the USA, China and “and key countries in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East”, according to LG. The dates have not been announced yet.