Top-end specs in tow? Check! Standing-out hardware features? You bet! Noteworthy software functionalities? Also on board! That's what applied to the intriguing LG V10 behemoth last fall, when LG decided it's high time it spiced up its device lineup. And it did spice it up just right — with two front-facing cameras, and more interestingly, an auxiliary display just above the regular one, the V10 was truly a device that stood out. However, upon closer inspection it exhibited one too many flaws that somewhat marred the general user experience.
The V10 is in the past now, and it seems that LG thinks it can decipher the secrets of the market by unleashing a follow-up to the V10. It will be called the V20, not the V11 like some speculated, and we now know it is getting announced in a couple of weeks' time - on September 6 in San Francisco, and so far it seems like it will be a mashup between the LG V10 and the LG G5.
Design: The V20 is expected to feature a G5-like full-metal design. It will likely ditch the modular build for a slide-out panel revealing a presumably removable battery. Display: We expect LG to throw in either a 5.5 (or a 5.7-inch) display on the V20, most certainly a quad HD one.
Hardware: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset paired with 4 gigs of RAM will be present, with 64GB of base storage and 4,000mAh battery.
Audio: A hi-fi 32-bit quad DAC chip could be featured inside. Camera: A dual-camera setup at the back, but not at the front. One of the rear cameras is expected to be a 21MP one.
Software: The device could very well be the first device in the world to arrive with Android 7.0 Nougat on board. Release date: The phone will be announced on September 6 and will possibly hit the shelves around October 1.
Some speculative renders suggest that the phone will be getting an LG G5 makeover. The renders heavily hint that LG might ditch the plastic of the V10 for a full-metal body, just like the G5.
This will be welcome since we were not particularly big fans of the unimpressive plastic at the back and the bland color options of the V10.
Size-wise, the latest info we have suggests that the V20 will measure at 159.5 x 78.1 x 7.7, (though the rear camera bump is obviously thicker), so it's about the same size as the V10, which measures 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6 mm.
In general, the V20 could be noticeably thinner, which will be more than welcome. It also looks that the side bezels are kept to a sanitary minimum, which would also be a pretty good trait, though we won't be content until the fish goes in the frying pan.
Being an LG device, we expected the V20 to feature the signature by now rear-positioned power/fingerprint reader and volume buttons, but according to the latest leaks LG might be going for a more mainstream approach with the volume rocker, which is seemingly positioned on the left side of the device.
We really hope that this time around they provide more feedback and are way less wobbly than the ones on the V10. The signature rear-positioned home button which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner is still at the back, though.
Oh, and while it's impossible to judge from the renders themselves, we might speculate that the LG V20 might offer modular support, just like the G5. We thought this could be the case since the first renders of the device hinted at this, but alas, this might not be the case.
A pretty intriguing rumor is flying around, namely that the phone will feature a sliding rear door that will provide access to a presumably removable battery, somewhat remotely similar to what the HTC Desire HD featured a few years back. After all, why would one employ such a mechanism if it wasn't intended to allow for replacing the battery, right?
LG V20 could get a slide-out door
Oh, here's where it gets interesting, or at least, should get interesting! No beating around the bush - one of the highlights of the V10 was its auxiliary 'ticker' LCD display, which was always on and functioned as a task switcher and an organizer, of sorts. We found it useful, especially for power users, and we really hope that the V20 comes with a similar display on board. So does the rumor mill, which claims that the phone will also boast a 2.1-inch secondary 'ticker' screen above the main display.
It seems that the secondary display will be back with the V20, and while we have no idea if it will feature any functionality improvements, we're hopeful that it does.
As far as the main display is concerned, we already mentioned that we are expecting LG to put either a 5.5 or a 5.7-inch display on its V20. The screen will most likely be a quad HD one, meaning at its resolution will be 1,440 by 2,560 pixels. That's more than acceptable for us, but let's hope that LG nails the calibration of the display. In retrospective, the V10's display was quite cold and blueish, which was definitely offputting to say the least.
LG V10's secondary ticker display
We will be totally surprised if the LG V20 doesn't come with a Snapdragon 820 chipset and some 4GB of RAM on board. This is the current gold standard, though we'd be definitely pleased if LG put a Snapdragon 821 and/or 6GB of RAM inside.
Back in 2015, the LG V10 was LG's most powerful phone, but with the arrival of the not too shabby G5 the Korean company will have to outdo itself once again, even more so if it wants to effectively challenge its adversaries.
As far as native storage goes, we hope that the V10 once again ships with 64 gigs of storage right out of the box. Additionally, keeping the V10's microSD card slot on board won't hurt.
We were pleasantly surprised that the V10 features a removable back and battery, enabling its users to swap the battery at will. If the V20 ends up being a modular device, you can bet that you will be able to swap battery modules at will. Speaking of batteries, we hope that the V20 either boasts a larger battery or better battery optimization than the V10. As a reminder, the latter boasted a 3,000mAh juicer that was both quick to charge and quick to discharge - we've never been fans of that!
Now, the LG V10 was definitely a phone oriented to audiophiles - thanks to the SABRE 9018 DAC and the SABRE 9602 headphone amp on board, V10 owners can treat themselves to truly great audio... if an equally high quality pair of headphones was also included in the picture, that is! Seems that the LG V20 could easily be a step-up in terms of audio reproduction as it will reportedly feature a 32-bit Quad DAC on board.
Looks like it will be delivering "a crisp and clear sound that comes closest to a live performance" and will also produce 50% less noice than a "regular" DAC. The chip will once again be provided by ESS, the same company that supplied the DAC and the headphone amp for the LG V10.
Additionally, the LG V20 will reportedly be bundled with a pair of Bang & Olufsen Play earbuds, which will most probably further improve the overall "hi-fi performance" of the device. Excellent news.
Needless to say, we are pretty hyped up to see what this one will sound like!
The rumor mill claims that the V20 will be endowed with a 16MP camera at the back. This is similar to what the V10 offered, though there's a twist — the V20 will likely feature not one, but two 16MP camera sensors!
It's highly probable that it will function much like the one on the LG G5 - one of the cameras will function like a regular one, whereas the other one could be a wide-angle one, fit to produce funny fisheye pics.
LG G5 and LG V20's alleged rear camera setups
However, it seems there might not be a dual selfie camera setup on the V20. We don't know how we feel about this yet, since we were generally happy with LG's crack at making the V10 a notable selfie-taking machine.
In our review, we called the V10's dual 5MP front cameras "glorious, producing deep, colorful, nicely detailed portraits", though we were not particular fans of the extreme beautification feature that it enabled by default and leads to displeasing selfies. Let's hope that the V20 does not stray away from that narrative, despite possibly featuring a single front-facing snapper.
All in all, LG nailed it in the camera department with the V10 and the G5, and we really hope that the V20 will prove to be a worthy successor to both devices.
As Android zealots probably already know, the V20 will be the first phone running Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box. This is definitely a major news, since all new versions of Android have made their market debut alongside Google's contemporary Nexus devices. We've already reviewed Nougat and its intriguing features right here.
In case you've been wondering what Nougat features the V20 will adopt, then worry not - we are in the same boat as you. Luckily, LG has already given us a few hints about the software features of the device. The device will be getting the Direct Reply feature straight from Android 7.0, a movable and resizable video player, Nougat's quick app switching, Drag & Drop, as well as the split screen multitasking feature, too.
Release date and expectations
As we already told you, the LG V20 goes official on September 6. We've got no idea when it will be hitting the shelves - it could be anywhere between a couple of weeks to a month or even two, yet here's to hoping that the window between the announcement and the release will be as short as possible.
The release date is hinted to be September 23. Pricing is expected to be flagship-grade - we'd eat our shoes if the V20 doesn't cost a bit over 600 bucks.
The phone will likely launch on all four major carriers. T-Mobile, in particular, will reportedly be accepting pre-orders for this one starting September 14, with the phone allegedly getting priced at $650 off contract. Consumers that pre-order will reportedly get a couple of nifty bonuses like an extra battery, an "enhanced hand grip", and a "memory module attachment." There should also be a T-Mobile exclusive bonus package comprised of 1 year of free Hulu subscription, plus 3 free Vudu rentals.