Introduction


Note: This comparison was made using a pre-production LG G6 running close-to-final software. While not much is expected to change for the final version of the phone, we've still decided not to display any benchmark results or charts. We'll update the comparison as necessary once we receive the finalized software release.

Two of LG’s best phones to date are currently sitting on my desk. One is the LG G6 – a phone that I’ve been actively using for several weeks now, pretty much since the day it was announced. The other is the LG V20 – a phone that I scored highly in my review last year, impressed by its camera performance and rich set of power-user features. Which of the two is the better phone? That’s a tough question for me to answer, even though I’ve had plenty of hands-on time with both devices. Yet I could share my opinion as to which phone you should lean towards, depending on what kind of user you are. So let’s proceed.

Design



Whether something looks and feels good or bad is a very personal, very subjective matter, which is why I decided to tackle this part of the comparison in an unusual manner – with a social experiment. Long story short, I gave the LG G6 and V20 to 12 people – 6 ladies and 6 gentlemen outside of PhoneArena who had no idea what these two phones were – and asked them a simple question: “Which of the two phones do you like better?”. The result was a tie.

People who favored the LG G6 liked its appearance – the combination of glass and metal and the way the screen nearly filled the entire front. Those who picked the V20 did so for more practical reasons, such as the fact that it had greater screen area and that the secondary display seemed “kinda nifty”.

As for me, I’d say that both phones have their strengths and weaknesses. The LG G6 is, without a doubt, the more elegant handset and is much more likely to appeal to both genders. Furthermore, being narrower makes it fit better in the hand, and I can navigate through the UI with less effort. I don’t find it slippery, and I don’t mind the placement of its power button/fingerprint scanner on the back.

The LG V20, on the other hand, is a manly device with a tough look and it is about as graceful as an army vehicle. Being wider makes it more difficult (if not impossible in certain cases) to operate with a single thumb, and it has been more than once when I nearly dropped it because of its unwieldy size. Still, the greater screen area is an advantage that many would appreciate.

Durability is another key aspect I must highlight, as it is something LG has prioritized when designing both phones. The LG G6 is water-resistant, carrying an IP68 rating – the highest smartphones can go nowadays. On top of that, its internal structure has been designed to withstand drops and to resist bending. The LG V20 does not have any water-resistant properties, but its compliance with military standards for drop tests suggests that it can endure some tumbling just fine, especially when it doesn’t have as many glass surfaces that could potentially crack.


LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

LG V20

LG V20

Dimensions

6.29 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm

Weight

6.14 oz (174 g)

LG G6

LG G6

Dimensions

5.86 x 2.83 x 0.31 inches

148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.75 oz (163 g)

LG V20

LG V20

Dimensions

6.29 x 3.07 x 0.3 inches

159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm

Weight

6.14 oz (174 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display



You should have noticed by now that the LG G6’s screen is somehow… different, and I’m not talking only about the curved corners of the panel. The phone’s so-called FullVision display has an unusual aspect ratio of 18:9, as opposed to the traditional 16:9 ratio employed by most other phones, including the V20.

What does all this ratio mumbo jumbo mean? Well, in the simplest of terms, even though both screens have an identical diagonal size of about 5.7-inches, the G6’s display is slightly taller and narrower than the one on the V20. This is why the G6 is easier to operate single-handedly, as I mentioned earlier.

At the same time, I find nothing wrong with the way the V20’s screen is shaped. In fact, its traditional 16:9 panel is more suitable for accommodating existing content, including apps, games, and online video, all of which are designed from the ground up around the ubiquitous 16:9 ratio. I’ve had very few issues on the G6 as far as app and game compatibility goes, but YouTube videos have these mildly annoying black bars on the sides.

Speaking of displays, the secondary display is a key differentiating factor for the LG V20. Some may see it as a gimmick, but once you configure the feature to your preferences, it should prove useful in many cases. For instance, it lets you quickly switch between up to 5 recently used apps, it lets you control Spotify from any screen, it displays notifications at a glance without covering currently running applications. And when the phone is in standby, it shows you the time and date, along with notifications that you may have pending. Of course, the feature can be disabled to extend battery life.

The LG G6 lacks a secondary screen, but adopts the always-on display feature found on the LG G5. In a nutshell, this lets you take a peek at the time, date, battery status and list of pending notifications without waking the phone. However, do keep in mind that having the always-on display lit also impacts battery life and won’t show you the full contents of incoming notifications.

Before I proceed further, I must mention that the LG G6 supports two popular HDR video formats, namely HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy HDR video content from providers, such as Amazon Video. The V20 doesn’t support this undoubtedly premium feature, although that doesn’t count as a dealbreaker in my book.

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27 Comments

1. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Ill stick with my v20 just got google assistant in last update, and it supports tmobiles new Lte band 66 which is the one they gonna be using soon, i still havent been able to find out anything if the G6 will support that new lte band.

2. torr310

Posts: 1659; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

If V20 is $150 cheaper than G6 now, definitely get it.

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

LG V20 still holds it's own against the newer G6 flagship!

4. rawlgnd19

Posts: 25; Member since: Sep 08, 2011

got during the t-mobile promo for 360+ free lg mini projector. well worth it.

5. Charmed_Ship_Plutonia

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 05, 2016

On the plus side, AT&T has the V20 for 50% off (via bill credits). Still, $415 in total is not a bad deal. I would upgrade but since I have the V10, I will wait for (hopefully) a V30.

6. jmmikkelson

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

I Have a V20. Only had it a couple of months and the thin glass that covers the back camera shattered. Not military grade! Find out its a very common problem with this phone. Had to send it Into LG which they said it was physical damage, which voids the warrentee. It costs $89.00 to repair. WILL NEVER BUY LG phones!

7. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Co worker had the same crap happen. Doesn't even know how it happen. Wasn't drop. Keeps hoping some replacement glass will come available. No luck yet. I wonder if this G6 will have this issue?

11. rsiders

Posts: 1953; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I'm sorry to hear that. I've dropped my V20 a few times and even once on concrete with no case whatsoever and no camera glass shatter for me. Funny enough i can't even get the protective film off easily.

8. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

V20 pretty much in every way mops the floor with the "all new" G6. All in all, I can't say I'm not disappointed.

9. Jacksie66 unregistered

Why oh why didn't LG release the v20 here in Ireland. Want one so bad..

10. rsiders

Posts: 1953; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

My LG V20 is still more versatile and the last of a dying breed offering removable battery(although battery life has been so good for me that i haven't needed a spare battery) and isn't hampered by LG's dumb region specific versions. QuadDAC still in place and overall better looking device IMO than the G6. However i am very much an LG fan and i think LG hit just about every mark with the G6.

12. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

I have no interest in the V20 but I am going to pre-order the G6. I'd get the U ultra over the V20.

16. rsiders

Posts: 1953; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

You'd be willing to pay more for a rip off of the V20 with a more likely than not worse performing camera, no headphone jack, IR blaster, removable battery and a smaller battery?

13. Zohan

Posts: 8; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

No reason to get a G6. V20 is just as good if not better. Removable battery. And now much cheaper! Sprint has BOGO offer! Which makes it free!

14. Broadway2

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 07, 2017

"The LG V20, on the other hand, is a manly device with a tough look and it is about as graceful as an army vehicle". That's the part that won my heart. I want something manly!!!

15. fancollo

Posts: 130; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

so while us-based people can enjoy the V20 and get it with some great deals, i can understand they will keep that device and mostly ignore the G6. Here in Europe, the V20 is non-existant and therefore just impossible (absurd prices) to get. So the only choice is the G6 and we don't really care how good the V20 is... for the record: the G6 does cost way too much!

20. goombash

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

$480 at the moment - $760 for G6 preorder in the US

17. Xperia_droid

Posts: 42; Member since: Nov 07, 2013

V20 is an ugly Phone !!

18. MaryJones

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 20, 2017

One key feature for me is being able to swap out the battery on a phone. I would never purchase a phone without this feature. Manufacturers make phones with under powered batteries to help keep costs down, size and weight down, but in my opinion, they are under powered. With the standard battery on the V20 I would only get to 3-5PM and then need to charge. After putting in an extended battery, i can now get through a full day without ever thinking about charging. This is how it should be. Not to mention every phone I have had, after a year or so, the battery capacity starts to die down. This is used by the manufacturers to force you to upgrade to another phone with a new battery. That just does not make sense to me. If I am happy with my phone, and the only problem is the battery capacity dying down, why not just let me easily swap out the battery for a new one! Go with the V20, you won't be disappointed.

19. goombash

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

$480 from T-mobile, but when I called Verizon they price-matched. - $20/month for 24 months I've been price-watching for the last month or so and watched it go from 570 to 480 in just a few weeks. - most of the reviews complained about bang-for-buck when it was around $780 - so that complaint is now deprecated IMHO.

22. roniasmar

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

I love LG's gadgets, the lg V20 and the g6 are great phones but the sony xl premium is really the big hit this year so far

24. fyah_king unregistered

I hope the lh v30 will cone with 6.1in

25. ayylmao

Posts: 34; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

bootloop vs bootloop

26. NJSteve

Posts: 42; Member since: Aug 25, 2015

what about Boot-looping issues???? Huh? is this serious journalism or what??? My LG G2 looped itself into a brick..... others too.... What about the V20? Am I going to buy this, then 8 months from now it bricks itself and then the assholes at Verizon Wireless say, tough luck.

27. crysiswarmonger

Posts: 81; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

We have 5 phone lines, 1 LG G3 and 4 LG V10. Those were all upgraded from LG G2's. We have had our share of issues. The LG V10 two have had to be sent in for the endless reboot issue. One had a cracked screen and I had to pay to fix the phone as even though it worked, they would not fix the phone reboot, unless I paid to fix the screen. I like the replaceable battery and having only 3 physical buttons on the back. 3 of the V10's are in otterbox cases all the time. Once they fixed the problem with the finger print scanner working with case on them I am happy with them. I will hope for a V30 that keeps replaceable battery and puts 3 buttons on the back and adds a water rating similar to the G6. In the mean time wait for the promised android nougat with Verizon.

28. miketh

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

No mention was made of possible "bootloop" problems that affected models like my G4. Otherwise -excellent detailed review. I'm willing to gamble on LG again. Can't decide between V20 and G6. Drawbacks on G6 are fixed battery and 32G of fixed memory. V20 is bulkier. Question - How do you do a "reset" of a phone if you can't do a battery pull?

29. NJSteve

Posts: 42; Member since: Aug 25, 2015

There are actually two types of resets. Hard reset is basically a factory reset - every phone has a different procedure. You can google that. A soft reset is simply a reboot of the phone. On my droid a factory reset was holding the volume down button and power buttons at the same time... I am also torn between the V20 and the G6. I like both feature sets. I like the quad dac but the V20 has been included in the class action lawsuit... Jerry Rig Teardowns shows the heat pipe in the g6 that's supposed to prevent bootlooping in the G6... that's good. I'm probably going to get the the G6 next.... My droid turbo is busted from car accident, the front panel looks like a spider web, speakerphone is busted - time to upgrade.

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