LG V20 rumor review: design, specs, features, and release date of LG's upcoming champ


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.

TL;DR:


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.


Design


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?


Display


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.


Hardware


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!


Audio


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!

Camera


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.



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.


Software


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. 

Sounds like a sweet deal to us.

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33 Comments

1. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 969; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Seems as though the only 2 relevant players that care about screen color accuracy is Apple and Samsung. Samsung allows the user to change the screen mode to "Basic", which is a neutral calibration.

2. deewinc

Posts: 455; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

LG really failed on BACK department. The back of their phones nowadays looks like something borrowed from a SciFi movie of the 1950s. They need to do something.

4. Hoggington

Posts: 356; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

Agreed. That camera hump, no, mountain, is hideous.

29. SR-72

Posts: 183; Member since: Sep 01, 2016

What's wrong with camera hump. Guaranteed a much better camera. Look at Nokia Pure view....?

32. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 926; Member since: May 07, 2014

Galaxy S7 has a camera hump. The upcoming iPhone has the hump.

28. belosava

Posts: 127; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

Lg haters trolling

3. kefalin

Posts: 292; Member since: Feb 08, 2015

I dont like this at all. I was kinda hoping they will abandon modularity or at least change it like Moto Z has. The phone can be brilliant,but when the build quality will be as bas as in G5,there wont be success. Also design itself looks weird and ugly. Please LG dont do this to me,better evolve V10s design,which was brilliant.

5. Sealblaighter

Posts: 429; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

It's too big damn it! It would barely fit in my pocket!

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

it's just about 2mm taller and wider than i6s plus

19. Sealblaighter

Posts: 429; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

That is a huge device too. I had a Desire 820 and I have sold it coz it was too big for me.

21. fastm3driver

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 12, 2016

You know they make a smaller g5, right?

9. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1833; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

That's what she..... Nevermind.. Too easy

7. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

If it is like a G5 then No thank you LG.

8. dubaiboy78

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

ugly! v10 is waayyyy better!!!

10. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1833; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

It's between this and the Axon 7 as my backup to my Note 7...

22. fastm3driver

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 12, 2016

I'd get the axon if it had a removable battery despite the IS blaster I desire not being there. I'm waiting to see what this looks like as I'm leaning towards the g5 right now. My note 4 is a year and a half old and the stock battery is now useless. It reboots around 30%. Removable batteries is now my most desired feature.

33. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 926; Member since: May 07, 2014

Axon 7 is a beautiful device, I wish they placed a better camera on the back.

12. gnppw

Posts: 95; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

modular design = DOA and please don't release a SD652 variant.

13. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

*facepalm*

14. shield

Posts: 852; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Wallpaper V20 is the same as on the V10 for a performance. So it's fake http://www.lgnewsroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/LG-V10-Black-01.jpg 1.October 2016 is Saturday,Last year, it was Thursday

17. TBomb

Posts: 1572; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Thank you for figuring it out. Was thinking the same thing with the date. Also, this is good news... because it can only go up from here.

18. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Perhaps said LG CAD artist was being lazy and/ or didn't have a better image for reference. I believe that the renders depict the actual concept for the V20 device, and I have full faith that LG is ready to drink their red ink until people learn to love their phones again.

15. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Remember lg, don't screw the battery and software optimizations.

24. fastm3driver

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 12, 2016

Agreed, battery life is usually their weak point. 4000mah+ replaceable battery would be my most desirable feature.

16. jessy90

Posts: 162; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

When will lg put there oled screen on their smartphones????to me its the lcd panel that drain lg phone battery the most.

23. fastm3driver

Posts: 9; Member since: Aug 12, 2016

seems funny are they are the premier TV oled manufacturer. Let's hope.

20. Neugen

Posts: 3; Member since: May 19, 2016

I really liked the physical design of the LG V10 and was expecting the V20 would be an evolution of its predecessor with a near pure version of Android Nougat running on it. The LG G5 was a flop because of its unappealing exterior and poorly conceived modularity (Moto Z got this right). Now the LG V20 follows this same failed path? LG seriously needs a wakeup call! If the pictures are in fact accurate, I predict the LG V20 will be another flop just like the G5 was!

25. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

I disagree, as long as it has a large battery, it should be a very solid and appealing phone with probably the best audio processing system ever put in a phone. And IMO after actually owning and using the G5 for a while I think it's a very good and under-rated phone.

26. Rashaan75

Posts: 18; Member since: Dec 17, 2015

Hope it comes out on Sprint comes the V10 didn't.

27. rsiders

Posts: 1976; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Ok so we know the release date but what about the time and will it be live streamed?

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