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I dropped my LG V20 and you'll never guess what happened next...

That was all I could say when I bent over and picked up my LG V20 and looked at the camera glass. I had it in my pocket at my desk, and when I got up to go answer nature's call it slipped out. It landed on my carpeted floor. And the glass covering the camera assembly shattered.

I've dropped phones before. In fact, I've dropped phones in this very same spot sitting in this very same chair. This is the first one that was damaged. My Sherlock Holmes-like powers of reasoning tell me it must have hit the edge of the chair mat (just one of those cheap vinyl things from Office Max, the kind with horribly sharp teeth on the back) just at the right spot. There's nothing else there for it to hit, and it looks like something impacted it right at the edge of the cutout for the main camera.

Somehow, I blame Phil for this.

I ain't even mad. I can't be — I dropped it. Everything still works and the film over the glass kept any wayward splinters out of the carpet fibers (and out of my feet) so this is just a matter of aesthetics. But I also know I'm not the only person sporting a brand new V20 with a busted window because the internet exists and we tell each other things. Some folks say they never dropped it and it just broke, others say they dropped it and didn't think the fall would be enough to cause any damage, and others say they knew the gig was up because of how or where they dropped their phone.

This applies to every expensive thing. I don't think there's any particular defect with the V20. A very clear thin piece of glass is held tightly in place and any impact could be enough to crack the glass. Science, yo! The laws of probability say that there are enough people who bought a V20 that some of them will break the glass.

Be careful. Buy a case. Try not to drop your phone.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

114 Comments
  • Jerry, That sucks man, sorry to hear about that, now that kinda worries me about getting one since I drop my phones pretty often, the V10 I had took all the beating I could throw at it, just had crappy battery, did you try emailing LG yet?
  • Get a BlackBerry Dtek60 you'll like it... it's a really nice android phone, it's smooth as butter and fast like a cheetah... ;)
  • Lol at somehow I blame Phill for this and I ain't even mad. I dropped it.
  • That headline, though. Never change, Jerry. xD
  • military grade bs!! sorry about your phone
  • When phone manufacturers made their phones with rubber and plastic, reviewers and other people complained about the phones not looking 'premium'. Now that they make them with shiny, and slippery metal and glass we talk about how 'premium' it looks...and then feel compelled to wrap them up in rubber and plastic all over again! Doesn't make sense to me. I'd rather have my phones be made of more durable and sturdy material.
  • pfft! you and your common sense....get outta here! Bring on the glass, aluminum and ceramic covers!!! /s
  • :)
  • How can you say "beautiful like a piece of jewelry", then? :)
  • Agreed.
  • +1
  • I agree with you. I have a S7 Edge with a really thin plastic case (basically to protect against scratches and to provide a better grip) and when I use it without the case I feel how slippery the phone is.
    Unfortunately we're living in the form over function era (the makers are only making what will sell more). Nothing against pretty things, but I think the form should follow the function, not the opposite.
  • Durable phones still break when dropped.
  • Not nearly as easily as any phone today would. Just ask my Nokia Lumia 1520
  • Agree. Dropped my Note 3 on a brick floor at the mall. Not even a scratch. Nothing. The phone literally bounced and I picked it up. Looked like a brand new phone over a year later. No case or screen protector. There is no way I can carry the "new generation" of phones (iPhones, Samsungs, etc.) without a cast and TG Screen Protector. LG V20 is known for having easy to break glass, especially on the camera module. Would avoid if durability is a consideration.
  • Man, those Nokia builds.. They still live up to the common knowledge that they are very durable. I wish they come back though and play ball with the big guys and give us a good balance bw form AND function.
  • Ehh, people will complain about something day after day just like sun will rise and set. Android users will never be satisfied as a whole, but that's why we have options to choose from and aren't forced to use/like only one (*cough*i)phone
  • Damn you, Phil!
  • I want my next phone's exterior-shell made out of Flubber.
  • uh, how old are you ? LOL
  • I know, right? Who remembers 1997? That's like totally forever ago, right? Millenials rule! Nothing existed before Twitter! etc. It's less than 2 years older than Star Wars Episode 1, and it's 2 years more recent than Toy Story!
  • There's also some of us who remember the original movie, The Absent Minded Professor from 1961. Flubber was the invention in that one too. Fred Macmurray sure the starring role just as Robin Williams did in Flubber.
  • That's where I went straight off. Old model T and all.
  • I had that confused with the Nutty Professor with Jerry Lewis.
  • 1997? That's kind of sad. Like others, I still remember the original. It's before my time, but it was a proper classic.
  • It's not sad, I meant that you only need to remember 1997 to be able to remember what Flubber is.
  • More sad, to me, that the '97 version is the standard people go by.
  • Chances are anyone who saw flubber in 1997 IS a millennial.
  • To: argh Thank you for mocking him for that comment, you are doing God's work. Seriously.
  • Good luck chasing your phone the moment it is dropped and bounces off the street 3 blocks away.
  • Is this Jerry the Jerry from the youtube channel Jerryrigeverything?
  • No. And JerryRigEverything's name is actually Zack.
  • Nut Zack? Lol
  • I thought I was going to come in here to find that the phone held up well. Guess not lol. That sucks though, it always hurts my heart when I screw up my phone.
  • At one time I was considering buying an LG V20. I used to be an early adopter of technology but over the years I have learned the hard way that doing so comes with risks. I am much more risk averse now. Call it experience. I have decided to forgo purchasing the V20 because of the many people who have had their camera lens break for hardly any reason at all. There are plenty of YouTube videos which show this. One person was simply videoing a cat under the hood of his vehicle and the lens just "popped" for absolutely no obvious reason. Also, the jury is still out on potential "bootloop" issues as far as I am concerned. Good luck to those of you who have taken the V20 plunge.
  • I took the plunge and I got an LGV20. I have dropped my phone a couple of times and no damage to the camera lens, but the LG V20 is a nice phone but Android pay does not support my bank and i have decided after reading about these unfortunate mishaps to return my LGV20. I was a loyal customer of Android when i owned the note 7 . samsung and LG are both made by the south Korean company and they are not made solid. The LGV20 isnt water resistant nor is it made with gorilla Glass. The. Camera does not live up to the advertising. My Samsung took better pictures and since the recall i am scared of Samsung's products. I thought the LGV20 would be the answer, but for me its not. I have decided to return my LGV20 and revert back to Apple.
  • > The LGV20 isnt water resistant nor is it made with gorilla Glass It actually is GG 4.
  • There are more than Six factual errors in your fake post.
  • You exaggerating. First of all, I hardly believe that the glass will pop without some actual impact. I have this device now for over 8 days and have placed it in various pockets etc. and have yet to experience a spontaneous cracking of the lens cover. However, I feel that this would be a good issue to raise with LG and would welcome feedback as to what response they provide. I have my V20 in an LG made Quick Cover case but I don't feel that it would protect the rear camera glass cover due to that being flush with the case. Also There IS NO Bootloop issue whatsoever with the V20. From my research, the ONLY LG device where such a problem was reported was the G4. To keep suggesting this in all the various Android Review websites only leaves a rational person with the impression that you are unduly trying to influence people negatively with respect to LG mobile smartphones. Are you?
  • Just go on YouTube.com and search for "LG V20 camera glass" and you can see the broken camera lens issues for yourselves if you don't believe me.
  • @David Dee1 Regarding the glass - just because you haven't had any problems with yours it doesn't mean that everybody else is exaggerating. Also, regarding the bootloop issue, the G4 had a massive problem with bootloop and I have also seen people mentioning it happening on their G5 and V10. So considering the reports that 3 of the recent high end phones made by LG seem to have suffered with this problem in some way or another, it is completely reasonable and very relevant to mention it. Only when LG begin consistently making phones that HAVEN'T suffered from the bootloop problem will there be no need to mention it. Until then, I would suggest that it's definitely something people need to be aware of when buying an LG phone. I could potentially ask you if you are unduly trying to influence people positively regarding LG phones!
  • I have not heard of bootlooping on the G5
  • Sorry about your phone. That does suck. I will now be paranoid for a while.
  • Sorry to hear that. Now that V20's glass is under scrutiny, I believe that maybe the fragility is caused by the large surface of it (it covers both lenses, the flash module and the laser module). Even then, you should never trust on glass to resist anything, just to be safe.
  • The front glass covers the entire front of the phone. The glass on the back of the Pixel is much larger than this. Neither breaks commonly from small impacts. I don't think the large surface area is the problem. I think weak glass or a body that holds it in place tightly so any shock is driven into it is the problem.
  • Yeah, glass breaking by itself is usually caused by stress generated from the structure, be it interference or not enough gap between the glass and the metal back. That problem plagued the first production units of the Xperia Z3/Z3 Compact. Size does matter if you don't make the proper considerations, that I'm sure every manufacturer take in regard of front glass panels (for obvious reasons) and in large surface back panels (like the Pixel or the Nexus 6P, or GS6 onwards). Maybe LG did not consider this glass to be specially designed given its size, o maybe is a bad batch and the problem is caused by bad quality control. it would not surprise me if it was the latter, given LG's recent history.
  • I have a love-hate relationship with cases. Hate them but would hate more to break my phone, specially that I'm using a Galaxy S7 edge. Let us know how the repair process went.
  • Sorry about your telephone but please don't turn this place into BuzzFeed with click-baity titles like that. Thank you.
  • I think that was the point of the headline.
  • Ahh, lol I think you are right. Not enough coffee.
  • No worries. Jerry's writing style is all too familiar to me. The headline picture of the cracked V20 pretty much confirmed it.
  • Well, now at least you don't have that glass between your camera lens and those beautiful pictures you'll want to take (Once you pick the glass shards out). Just carry some canned air around with you to blow off the dust once in awhile :)
  • I've read other blogs about the same thing. It has me terrified that I'll drop my own. The horror!
  • Gravity is a *****, but love your attitude about it! I always enjoy reading everything you write sir :)
  • I have actually never dropped a smartphone (and I have had a lot of them), but this still makes me a tad nervous. My V20 arrives today and I'll be super angry if my camera glass shatters for no reason.
  • You can put a small bumper around the camera lens cover or put a decent case that compensates for the camera hump if you're really concerned. I find the whole "thinness" thing pointless, really. I think LG would have been better off if they made the V20 like 9mm thick and being able to sink the camera module into the rest of the phone so that it's a flat line. Given that the V-line is aimed towards content creators and power users, I seriously doubt they care a lot about how thin a phone is.
  • It's aimed towards everyone. The content creator thing is just targeted marketing. If it was aimed at only content creators, they probably would have kept the software near-stock and sold the device only on its camera and sound merits (as little customization as possible).
  • Will this, seemingly now more common, outcome for the V20 affect sales for this phone? That will not be a good thing for LG as their G5 was not as popular as expected. The V20 was primed for bigger sales compared to the V10, especially after the N7 sales flamed out. LG learn from Sammy, fix this issue and maintain your customer base.
  • Blaming Phil is usually the appropriate way to go. C'mon Phil!
  • Jer, can I call you Jer? We've never met, but I feel your pain. This is the very reason, in fact only reason, I did not select a LG V20. I loved, and I mean loved, my LG Flex 2 until it's untimely demise. So I was really anxious to get a V20, but the reports on the camera screen crack spooked me and I am glad it did. My Flex's camera cracked midway through my 2 yr plan (with a case on), so the thought of having another phone from LG doing the same thing. Just wasn't for me. So my decision was for the S7 Edge and I'm pretty happy. I hope LG addresses this in the future.
  • Maybe AC can do an article on the best phones to drop. I Am sure the Pixel will top the list
  • A big wink, wink..... :)
  • Droid Turbo 2 and Moto Z Force Droid bc of the shatter shield screen.
  • Hahaahhahaha
  • Jerry, would like to see another article about the repair process.
  • I was literally just about to return my Pixel XL (AC's best of everything phone) and exchange for the V20. I am a little leery now, but that's what Square Trade is for. Worth the risk. Jerry, do you otherwise like the phone?
  • This same thing happened to me on my V10 within 3 months of purchasing it. A corner of a drawer his the glass panel just at the right angle and shattered the protective glass. I ended up just ordering the replacement off the web and replaced the panel since it didn't damage any other hardware. V20 has a larger glass panel than the V10.
  • Where did you order a replacement glass from? I can't find one anywhere.
  • Who's Phil?
  • That's what we can call a real life drop test
  • Hey whatever happened to Phil, anyway? Anybody seen Phil around these parts? Haven't read anything by that guy in a hot minute... I feel your pain, Jerry! The other day I dropped my brand new Pixel on a hard raised tile floor in front of a fireplace. At an angle. Screen down! No case. I felt like I was gonna throw up when I reached down to embrace the inevitable. But SOMEHOW the thing only had a slight ding on either side and the screen was spared. It was a miracle. A miracle, I say!
  • well, I had my V20 and thanks to all of those stories, I was scared to death I was going to crack my glass. I took the phone back for other reasons, but that definitely played a part. I ended up on the Moto Z Droid Force, and I dropped it HARD down steps, and not a mark on it
  • I only have the regular Moto Z. I'm babying the heck out of it because it just feels so delicate due to how thin it is. I still think it's too thin, even with the Style shell. I'll probably keep the JBL mod attached until the Incipio mod comes.
  • Have you seen the Jerry Rig Everything video on the bend test on the Moto Z? I quit babying mine after that.
  • I have. It's more to do with the screen. I mean, the frame is darn strong. But I'm still going to take really good care of it.
  • Have you seen his video on the Mi Mix with the ceramic back? Phone was destroyed in a two foot drop...
  • Just unlucky I guess just like the people with broken backs on the pixel from light falls but my v20 been thru hell already 2nd day I was getting out my car and I put my phone on the hood and some one backed into my car making my v20 slide down my hood onto the tar and half of the phone was in a puddle nevermind landing right one the back and covette hood dip pretty good so that thing went flying also had no case on it so I was freaked out until I pick it and there was a tiny scrap but that was it I was very surprised nevermind I own a auto body shop so my phones take beatings sometimes and this things has handled a couple drops without a case so must of been just unlucky
  • Does it takes better pictures now that it doesn't have glass in front of the camera?
  • #LMAO
  • ouch. sorry
  • Military graded. Hmm.. Like the dac though.
  • V20 does have a weak glass on the camera :( Too many people with the same crack, and some even claim they didn't even drop it? That's bad. I still have a case on, but this is no bueno :(
  • The camera glass will also break from pressure if you bend when having your phone in your pocket.
    Someone tested the V20 and same thing happened.
  • I'm preeety sure LG saw this coming. Why else would all of them have a factory installed protector on them. Seems fishy to me. That's exactly why I returned mine besides the fact that the Pixel XL is better.
  • What's sucks is paying a full deductible just for that.... Or voiding the warranty by fixing it yourself.. Choices.... Choices...
  • The glass can be changed from the outside. Did it on my G5 and had a repair for something else afterwards.....did not void warranty.
  • I love this phone too much too put a fugly case on it.
    This is one of the few aluminium phones that's built with quality aluminum & not the soda pop quality stuff.
    Dang it!
  • Phones this expensive are supposed to have a SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL protecting their cameras, not cheap glass. Perhaps you should lobby to change your site's product score for shoddy construction?
  • Sapphire is only more scratch resistant than glass. It's actually more prone to shatter.
  • Bummer, Jerry. This is sort of unacceptable (and unexpected from a fall onto carpet at desk or chair height).
  • LOL, man sorry. Been there. Know how it feels. Maybe LG or some of the folks who make tempered glass screen protectors will step up and offer a aftermarket replacement of some kind because it sounds like this happens a lot with V-20's.
    And it probably is Phil's fault...
  • Dropped my moto z play on concrete floor, what a tank of a phone.
    Just a small dent, can barely see it. Nice build quality....I really thought it's game over now.
  • I didn't drop mine and it still broke. Had it for 7 hours when I realized it shattered after trying to take a photo. There were light flares and I was wondering why. Turned the phone around and there's the shattered glass.
  • Sorry about your phone Jerry. Hopefully someone will come out with a replacement glass. I'm not immune, as my S7 Edge back glass shattered and the front cracked. That thin band around the edge does not do much in those situations. Still, I'm surprised that the V20 broke on carpet, or perhaps the carpet protector. I still think strong aluminum with a buffer separating the glass from the metal works very well. My all-plastic work iPhone has not fared well despite being babied, and the back is all scratched to hell just from being set down on smooth surfaces. The 5C breaks easily because there is no midframe: The glass is the stiffest component, so that's why the screen breaks when the phone is dropped even on its back wearing a thick case. The plastic body flexes and the glass does not. The Note 7 was great for durability, but I guess since it's demise, the HTC 10 is back as the most durable non-hardened phone. My daily driver is still the old M8, which has been dropped on tile, carpet, and steel. Was using it a security seminar we were doing, and one of the other guys picked it up from the podium and dropped it, and the glass podium had a steel base. Got a nick in the corner, but overall the phone still looks a thousand times better than my plastic 5C. My wife had a bad habit of getting out of her van with the phone in her lap, which has resulted in dozens of face-down splatts on concrete, but no breaks yet.
  • Ahh..Shoot. I am looking at replacing my G3 and have had 2 cracking issues with it, once when I dropped in on concrete and the screen cracked (fair enough I dropped it) and secondly exactly like in this picture. My lens cracked without being dropped, just pulled it out of my pocket and realised it was cracked. Managed to get LG to replace free of charge but on the V20 - this brings back bad memories and puts me in doubt of getting it. Thought it was military grade drop proof?
  • See my comment above. Loved Sony Z3, but after years of never putting in back pocket because left hand pants pocket works fine! Thought well, maybe back pocket should be tried, how do the Babes do it!!!
    Z3 started doing weird things within a week of carefully trying back pocket. Eeeeyaaghhaaaaa!!!!!!!!
  • President Trump is at it already! Thanks Trump! ;)
  • My question is what can we do to prevent it
  • What a piece of garbage.. I heard about this
  • I wouldn't say garbage, it's an overall good phone, the camera glass is a big screw up but it's a good phone from what I've heard
  • Can't imagine that would be too expensive to fix, would it? It's probably not gorilla glass, it's got no digitzer. One thing I love about living in Korea is how easy it is to just go to Samsung or LG service centers with their products and get them repaired quite quickly...No worries no hassel.
  • Invest in an Otterbox Defender. I can't tell you the number of times I've dropped my Galaxy S5 and haven't cried once because, like with my Motorola Atrix 4G and my Samsung Galaxy S3 before the S5, my phone is protected by an Otterbox Defender case. So when Apple and Samsung and others say "oooooooh, look at how thin our phones are", I always respond with "oooooooh, I don't care, Otterbox saves me from having to fix my phone, I'll take bulky protection any day over thin". Damn, I need to buy stock in Otterbox.
  • Haha, exactly
  • Well big cases Suck, after using many on Lg Flex,, Z3 and Lg G4.
    I'm taking a risk but, I use lighter clear TPU cases which give grip and a LIP to grab when pulling from pocket. In 3 years, I did break Z3 in minor drop onto pavement, but it, like others purchased cheap on Ebay.
  • I dropped mine on a commercial carpet with concrete underneath and no damage but it was in a case.
  • Making the glass extra big with no added functionality is IMO a bad idea.
  • On your last paragraph. Science will tell you that when you put a cheap material and make it extra huge, it will break. So THERE IS A PARTICULAR DEFECT. Admit it.
  • It's so obvious. SMH.
  • I'm guessing testing the back glass would have been LG's 60,0001st test. Ah well. One short. It's not like the camera is important anyway... especially on media creation being the point of this phone.
  • I'm very disappointing with this article. Clearly there is a some type of defect with the glass. Every point you use to dismiss this actually more proves that it is a defect. Why are you lying to us? This is beyond ridiculous.
  • It sounds to me like the glass is too tight in its frame, that there's little or no gasket to cushion the blow. This is a defect. I've dropped phones many time, some were bad impacts that would have caused serious damage had I not known I was a klutz and therefore didn't have a protective case. Alas, I do (UAG, slimmer than Otterbox but just as protective), so the only damage I ever caused was a tiny scratch on the display glass where it hit the some aluminum stair edging (probably got nicked by one of the screws holding the edging down). Impacts like that, even with a proective case, probably wouldn't save the V20's glass if it's not forgiving of some flex from impact. I would put in a warranty claim, citing defective glass.
  • It's LG I bet you it's another shoddy manufacturing job. I don't understand how they can charge flagship prices and still have people buy it, considering the amount of crap they produce. Bootloop anyone? Well, they will run out of customers one day...
  • I swear, people have become absolute complainers. Complain about this, about that, about this, about that. It's like STFU. From my first phone a Moto MicroTac at 15 years old, to an HTC 10 today, I've dropped phones, some have broken, others just dented. But not once have I whined so much to blame someone else. If I'm an idiot and drop the phone, umm people they are made from glass; glass can and will break, it's MY fault. Our society has become one that denies all responsibility for anything anymore, just sad....so sad.
  • I think that permanently complaining is some sort of genetic fault that is spreading through the human race. It is closely related to the genetic flaw that requires some people to take offence, when none was intended. People used not to be like this; tolerance was admired. The oflicted will take offence on behalf of third parties when they cannot find something which is oflicting them, personally.
    Personally, I find this sort of behaviour offensive in itself, but I run the risk being labelled hypocritical.
    Someone coined the word "offensibility", and it is one of my favourite words; perfectly describing this ridiculous behaviour.