The LG V10 Review: Are the New Features and Extras Worth It?
It’s getting harder for smartphone manufacturers to differentiate themselves. Samsung resorted to its curved displays on the S6 Edge while Apple had to increase the iPhone’s size despite Steve Jobs saying back in 2010 that nobody was going to buy smartphones with screens larger than 3.5/4 inches. Now, it’s LG’s turn to bring something new to the table. Boasting of 2 high resolution displays and 3 cameras (yes, you read that right), the LG V10 is the Korean chaebol’s answer to Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 flagship series. How does this smartphone stack up to the competition that it’s planning to take down though? Are its special features more than enough to convince consumers to switch?
Design and Specs: What You Need to Know
The V10’s 5.7 inch Quad HD display (similar to the G4) is par for the course when it comes to flagship devices. In addition, the smartphone has a secondary 2.1 inch display with a 160×1040 resolution for notifications. In charge of pushing the pixels to both of these displays is a beefy Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC that features an Adreno 418 GPU. To complement the powerful 64-bit hexacore processor of this SoC is 4 GB of RAM. Powering the SoC and the displays is a 3000 mAh Li-Ion battery that can fast charge to 50% in 40 minutes thanks to the Quick Charge 2.0 feature.
As for its cameras, selfie lovers will love the 5 MP duo front cameras on the V10. On the other hand, users looking for a camera replacement will absolutely love the 16 MP rear camera that can take 4K UHD video at 30fps and 1080p video at 60fps. Users can then save the pictures and video that they take using these cameras on the V10’s 64 GB internal storage or on a microSD card (the phone supports up to 128 GB).
In terms of connections, the V10 supports the Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/ac/n standards as well as DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, and is also capable of acting as a Wi-Fi hotspot. For data connections, the Snapdragon 808 SoC guarantees that this smartphone will be able to connect to GSM, 3G/HSPA, and LTE.
Is the Second Screen Really Useful?
The LG V10’s 2.1 inch second screen is one of the features that LG hopes will make it stand out from its competition. Sitting on top of the 5.7-inch main screen, this acts in a similar manner to Android’s notification bar. What sets it apart though is that it can stay on even when the main screen is not. In theory, this would make it easier for you to check your message or app notifications without having to wake your phone from its sleep state. However, the main issue with the second screen is that you’re not going to find any noticeable improvements in performance or productivity when using it.
What really sets the LG V10 apart from other recent flagships is its rear camera sensor and the app bundled with it. The camera allows users to take pictures with autofocus turned on or manually. Users who are looking to be creative with a camera will love the results they’ll get from playing around with the camera app’s exposure options. Some people might be saying that the iPhone 6S’ camera is better but honestly, there’s little to no difference between the two. The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner is also a welcome feature though it would have been better if this was placed at the front of the phone for easier access rather than at the back (near the camera).
Is It Worth Your Money to Upgrade/Switch?
Should you upgrade to the LG V10? While it’s undeniable that this smartphone can hang with the heavy hitters from Samsung and Apple in terms of specs, it is ultimately let down by its price and UX 4.0 itself. LG has done well with providing consumers with a larger-screened alternative to the excellent G4. It’s really a missed opportunity for LG because other than the outstanding camera, replaceable batteries (which is increasingly rare for flagship smartphones nowadays), and the second screen, there’s really not much more to this smartphone. If the company priced this lower than the iPhone 6S Plus or the Note 5 then this would’ve arguably won the year for them.
If you currently own an iPhone 6S, Samsung S6 Edge, or even a G4 then you might want to wait for a price drop to get the LG V10. However, if you’re upgrading from last year’s flagships and you’re not really concerned with its heft and size then you won’t go wrong with choosing this beast of a smartphone. Make no mistake about it, this is still one of the best Android 5.1.1 flagship smartphones your money can buy today. But with a market that’s congested with similarly specced flagships, LG could have done better in terms of its software (UX 4.0) and hardware (the second screen) to justify this hefty smartphone’s hefty price tag.