On the inside, the LG V20 is a souped-up version of its flagship sibling, the decidedly lackluster G5. But on the outside, it's equipped with dual 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras that are meant to be used by serious content creators. And I don't mean serial Snapchatters.
There's a reason Cool Indie Filmmaker™️ Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the face of the V20. LG wants you to think of this device as mobile camera equipment, but is that realistic? The ultimate verdict will come down to our review of the device, which is coming soon. For now, here's a look at some of the features that come standard with the V20 and why you might want to consider it as your next Android smartphone.
Note: I'm using a preview version of the LG V20. Its software hasn't yet been finalized. Take heed that some of the features mentioned here might not be part of the final version.
It has a myriad of creative camera features
Do you like making photo and video collages? Do you rely heavily on vintage filters to spruce up your vacation photos? Or perhaps you're a fan of shooting slow motion video? The LG V20 offers a myriad of fun and practical camera features such as these.
In Auto mode, both the V20's 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel wide-angle cameras can shoot a panorama, a slow-motion video, and a time-lapse. There's also an option to shoot a Popout photo, which lets you customize the photo background with various effects, as well as an option to record a Snap, which is comprised of up to a minute of sequential three-second vignettes. It's a kooky feature to use and while it doesn't translate entirely well to Instagram, it's fun to make personal stories that you can share with Facebook and Twitter.
The V20 also offers eight different vintage filters, which you can easily choose from the main camera interface. They're passable as Instagram filters and you can use them while recording video.
It offers manual controls for photos and videos
There's no doubt that manual controls have helped somewhat in legitimatizing smartphone photography, and LG was one of the first manufacturers to implement manual controls for both audio and video recording.
The manual controls are just as easy to use on the V20. The option to manually shoot photos or videos is readily available at the top of the main camera interface, and both modes offer full control over the exposure, ISO, and white balance. The video mode also offers an audio readout and manual audio controls, while the camera mode features an on-screen histogram.
It features Hi-Fi Audio
The LG V20 is equipped with 32-bit Quad DAC. What does this mean? Well, to audiophiles it's literal music to their ears because it means the sound quality of headphone audio output is stellar. For everyone else, it means that what you record with the V20 will sound better than most other smartphones out there, especially considering it can record up to 132 decibels — essentially, it can handle recording loud concerts. Your bootleg of Santana's duet at the county fair won't sound muffled and distorted.
It comes with a removable battery
A removable battery may not seem like much in this day and age, but it's become a rarity as unibody smartphones have become the status quo. Fortunately, the LG V20 lets you easily pop off the back cover to reveal a removable 3200mAh battery. LG also managed to keep the V20 chassis thin enough while offering a large battery pack to fuel all that content creation throughout the day. And unlike the G5, which ruined my manicure at MWC, the button to release the V20's back panel is completely nail friendly. You can easily push in the side button to release without much resistance.
It's already loaded with Android 7.0 Nougat
It's unfortunate that we're still at a point where we're lauding Android phones for running the latest software, but you can count on the V20 — until the next Android update, that is. The V20 is the first non-Nexus smartphone to come equipped with Nougat and it has all the offerings of the stock version, including Multi-window multitasking, direct reply messaging, and smarter battery consumption.
We've heard from a lot of people that the V20 is their next phone. Is it yours? If so, tell us why!
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