After a few weeks of slowly drip-feeding details, LG has today officially unveiled the V20, its latest large form factor phone — fine, "phablet," if you must — with a big focus on audiovisual performance and a refined metal body.
We're looking at a 5.7-inch Quad HD display paired with a V10-style secondary display for launching apps, viewing notifications and toggling quick settings. This time, the ticker display is larger and brighter, helping you get more done and see it more easily under daylight. The V20 also packs a dual camera setup around the back, letting you capture a more panoramic view of things through the secondary wide-angle camera.
No more modules, but the V20 packs an impressive metal body, and a removable battery.
Around the back, the camera setup mirrors that of the G5, with a 16-megapixel OIS camera behind an f/1.8 lens, and a secondary 8-megapixel wide-angle unit. The new phone boasts laser autofocus, combined with phase detection AF and contrast AF, as part of LG's hybrid AF system. What's more, it includes Qualcomm's new Steady Record 2.0 EIS (electronic image stabilization) tech for smoother videos — a feature which optimizes the accuracy between the image and the phone's gyro.
Contrary to rumors circulating in the run up to today's launch, the V20 isn't another modular phone — instead, LG's managed to fit a traditional removable battery inside, with the metal back being released popped off via a G5-style release switch. And although it isn't water-resistant, LG does boast that the device has passed the MIL-STD 810G Transit Drop Test.
Audio is another big focus in the V20, with a built-in 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, using technology from audio firm ESS. And thanks to its Hi-Fi audio support, the phone can eliminate background noise and accurately record louder audio without distortion. In some territories including Korea (but not the U.S.), the V20 will feature B&O Play audio tuning, continuing the collaboration that began with the G5's plug-in module.
The first phone with Nougat out of the box, and availability starting this month in Korea.
The V20 is also the first phone to come with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, and that's paired with LG's UX 5.0+. Building on the interface of the G5, the V20 features a redesigned notification area and dynamic lock screens that adapt based on messages shown on the second screen. That's in addition to core Nougat features like multi-window, the new bundled notification system, improved security and "doze on the go" for longer battery life.
The V20 is also the first phone to use Google's "In Apps" search application, which lets you search content from within third-party apps.
On the inside, you're dealing with a Snapdragon 820-powered beast, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of base storage, backed up by microSD support, and a 3200 mAh removable battery. Naturally, USB Type-C and Quick Charge 3.0 are along for the ride too. That's on par with a lot of high-end Android phones right now, but Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 manages to pack a bigger battery (albeit non-removable) and same-sized display into a sleeker package.
LG's home market of Korea gets the V20 first, with retail availability in the country coming later this month. LG says availability in other markets will be announced in due course; given the U.S.-based launch event, we'd expect the United States to be among the first to get the new phone.
For more on the LG V20, you'll want to check out our extensive hands-on preview. Then be sure to hit the comments and let us know if you'll be picking one up!
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