Camera

LG delivers yet another awesome camera, but video recording leaves something to be desired.

The LG G4 had a phenomenal camera that could easily go toe to toe with the best of Samsung or Apple. Equipped with a sensor of the same, 16 MP resolution, we expected the LG V10 to perform in a similarly great manner. It did not disappoint.

Credit where credit is due: the camera app, which is very rich in settings, is a great place to experiment with different kinds of photographic settings. Its manual mode gives you the freedom to tweak a variety of things, like the ISO, shutter speed, or white balance. Given the rest of the UI, the camera app surprises with its intuitiveness and ease of use. Settings appear to be arranged in a logical and accessible manner, which is great if you often feel like tweaking things and not fully trusting the Auto mode to figure out everything on its own.

And while that's great, what isn't is that the camera app often happens to become unresponsive, rendering the touchscreen (and thus, the whole phone) useless. When it gets stuck, the only solution we found was to wait for, like, 5 minutes for it to get back to normal. When you're stuck helplessly waiting for your phone to become usable again, 5 minutes feels like a lot of time. This happened three times in the course of a 30-minute shooting session, which makes us question the reliability of this camera app. Thankfully, we haven't noticed similar instability issues with the rest of the phone's software.


Still images taken with the V10 come out very realistic, with accurate white balance and good exposure levels. You also need to try really hard to come up with a blurred photo – the V10 does a great job as far as still image focus and sharpness go. We did a quick 1v1 “careless hands” shooting session between the V10 and G4, and some of the G4's photos came out unclear, while those of the V10 remained stubbornly sharp. It's safe to say that at the present time, the V10 can produce one of the best photographs one can take with a smartphone. It's a very capable camera.

Taking pictures in dimmer, indoor environments, increases the risk of ending up with a slightly hazy shot, as can be seen in the photo taken at the cafe, but with some careful positioning, this problem should be easy to avoid. Meanwhile, the front-facing cameras are glorious, producing deep, colorful, nicely detailed portraits. Watch out for the “beautify” effect though, as it is engaged by default. When used in large quantities, it can lead to distasteful results. There are two front-facing cameras: one that's used for near-field, single-person selfies, and another that has a wider lens for taking group selfies. It's a peculiar solution by LG, but it does work.



Video recording


One of the stand-out features of the LG V10 is the manual video recording mode. It's handled similarly to the still image manual mode: a similarly laid-out interface gives you access to a number of settings to change, such as white balance, focus, ISO, and shutter speed.



Multimedia

Decent performance, but there's a lot of room for improvement.

LG is positioning the V10 as heavy-duty multimedia device. It's supposed to be great for not only recording, but watching video as well. We already saw that the camcorder isn't the best it could be, so what about the watching part? Well, as far as the diagonal goes, you can hardly go wrong with such a massive, 5.7” display for video playback. However, the V10's screen requires that you don't care too much about color balance, because otherwise, you may end up being put off by the bluish tint. On a positive note, it's a plus that the V10 can play a plethora of video and audio formats out of the box, including lossless audio in WAV and FLAC formats.

This brings us to one of the LG V10's selling points – the 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC. This is a fancy feature that probably doesn't ring any bells. That's because high-resolution music with 32-bit depth is next to impossible to find. No music record sold offline or online comes at such bit depth, and that includes iTunes, Google Play Music, Apple Music, Spotify, or even the one streaming service that's famous for its lossless content: Tidal. The latter is indeed streaming lossless audio, but that really means 16-bit, 44.1 kHz music, so the 32-bit DAC of the V10 won't make any difference there as well. All music CDs (not MP3 ones, but actual audio CDs), which have lossless quality, also come with 16-bit depth – this is the de facto standard. If you don't happen to be an extreme audiophile, who has somehow managed to build a collection of high-res, 32-bit audio, you don't really need to bother your mind with this feature. Still, the audio chip inside the V10 remains a quality one, which is good to have even if we're going to be using it mostly for standard, compressed audio (which is most audio out there).

The loudspeaker is pretty decent. It's strong and doesn't sound too bad. It could use a bit of brilliance in the high frequency range, but all in all, it's good. The Quad Beat 3 earphones that come with the LG V10 are also satisfying. At first, they may sound rather shallow, but once you stick them real tight into your ears (admittedly, not the most pleasant of sensations), they show their good side, with a tight punch and balanced, likable audio reproduction.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
LG V10 0.52
Google Nexus 6P 0.34
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 0.609
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 0.986
Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015) 0.981
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
LG V10 69
Google Nexus 6P 78.4
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 70.7
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 69.1
Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (2015) 79.1


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166 Comments

1. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Damn. Ouch to LG for sure on this one. The G3 was nice. G4 was basically the same phone and then they just dropped the ball altogether with this model it sounds like.

2. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

The most appealing thing about their phones are body to screen ratios. They make a 5.5" phone feel like a 5.0" They just need a slightly better design and better specs for more recognition.

116. belialh

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

As an LG G3 & G2 user I completely agree with what you've just said.

124. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

You mean they used to have good screen to body ratio :( sadly the G4 is bigger than G3 even though they have same screen size. And V10 is bigger than Note5 even though they have same size screen. LG don't seem to be focusing on slim bezels like they used to.

132. utazdevl

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 04, 2014

You are mistaken. The Note 5 does have a 5.7 inch screen, like the V10, but the V10 also has a second screen that measures 2.1 inches. When you account for the extra screen the V10 is more efficient with its screen space than the Note 5. The bezels on the V10 are minuscule and as small as I have seen on a phone with the V10's high end specs.

156. iushnt

Posts: 3083; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

If that secondary display was integrated to the main display then it would make sense. But since you can only view 5.7 inch as the main display, its not on par with its predecessors or Note 5. Its like HTC has a great screen to body ratio if you consider the boom sound speakers

192. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 908; Member since: May 07, 2014

Speakers are not display. The second screen is still a screen.

12. BORIS070

Posts: 67; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

Numbers on paper mean nothing, can have 100,000 AnTuTu score ...it is known that Samsung railroading the results of the AnTuTu test , when notes 5 and every other samsung when touchfiz bags and lags after a short time, note5 is cluttered with bloatware, plus you have to use the cloud to note 5 because it does not support memory expansion, samsung you looking and spying data and files in the cloud. The truth is very painful

43. xdza1979

Posts: 296; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

The truth is that you are an idiot who doesnt have a note 5, I have a note 5 and its the fastest phone i have ever used, TW is pretty much slimmed down severely, and you can disabled or uninstall most of the apps, even after countless apps and downloads the performamce still the same, recent update made tge device even smoother, I have over 6gigs of my music which is gigantic and i use cloud for the rest of my docs, and files,and still have over 60% of storage and that is the 32 gig version. Cloud is safe too, no one is telling you to upload your private data!, private data shouldn't be in yoyr phone from the first place.. Stop the bulls**t.

108. driveme

Posts: 26; Member since: May 16, 2012

Speaking of idiots, I had the Note 5 and filled the memory in 4 hours. It felt horrible in the hand and the battery life was poor. I took it back and got the LG V10. What a phone. Hands down better than the Note 5. LG gave me an extra battery and charger and 200 gigs of memory. That's a no brainer. The review couldn't be more wrong. Don't judge a phone by a bench test judge it by how it works. So for the BS I agree it's stopped.

121. budd650

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 29, 2015

I had to go online and submit a form, haven't heard anything back yet about the extra stuff

158. iushnt

Posts: 3083; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

If storage matters to you a lot then enjoy your purchase. However, I doubt you got Note 5 coz you mentioned that the battery life was poor compared to LG v10. Anyways, if you like your purchase, thats great.

166. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 965; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

I use my Note 5 all day, and it lasts 2 days without breaking a sweat. If you filled your phone that fast, that's because you got the 32GB instead of the 64GB, and you aren't managing your storage. That's your fault, not the fault of the device. Enjoy that extra battery they gave you, you'll need it.

178. molosar

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 06, 2015

xdza the issue I have is I play my music all day. I have 26GB of music I carry on an SD card. The Note 5 gave me nowhere to put it. Plus I had no replaceable battery which I always keep one charging because my phone is playing my music all day.

56. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

If don't own Note5 then don't talk nonsense. Your comment proof you didn't own or not even have chances to touch it. No single lag is happen in Note5. It is extremely smooth performance and can be said the smoothness and faster android phone. I am ex owner of G4 which also running S808, it is fast but not and can't as fast as Note5.

67. WakaFlakaD

Posts: 575; Member since: Apr 30, 2011

Yeah, it's really sad that you said all that without any backup. Honesty, it's 2015. Upload your stuffs online. Google Photo is such a great app to upload photo and will stick with us forever. For music, there's Spotify/Pandora and other mp3 services? Unless you are an audiophile and must have the FLAC and other formats of mp3, then sure you might need extra storage. I got the Note 5 32GB myself, and it's easily one of the fastest phone I have. The extra blotwares does not bother me at all. There's a free 100GB OneDrive from Microsoft. I got 50GB from Box.com. Got my 17GB from Google Drive. Why is memory expansion a problem? Just get that over with. Saying Samsung is spying my data? Well, I think Google, Box.com and Microsoft are

75. BORIS070

Posts: 67; Member since: Aug 13, 2015

it does not mean much if you're not near you wi fi signal, and in places where there is no signal. Many people do not like the cloud because you have no privacy and you are dependent on the Internet

78. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Again another ignorant comment.. You can wait until you get to wife areas to upload your the cloud.. Its not going to instantly be full. Just as the poster above said about security.. One drive is very secure and if you use it for pics you will be fine. Now what we're you saying about the note 5 being laggy? Yeah it's not existent bud

105. sportsmc3

Posts: 21; Member since: May 25, 2015

I own a Galaxy S4 on Verizon, after that experience I will never buy another samsung phone product. And I KNOW their tv's are overrated, LG is far better, and I think if u look past some of the ignorance of him not owning the Note 5, you will see what he is getting at. Verizon and Samsung are just bottlenecking/putting up hurdles on a stock experience, and I do not want to support that as best I can. Go with a moto x pure edition, nexus 6P, something along those lines and get off the consumer mainstream. Please, otherwise progress slams on the brakes.

115. WPX00

Posts: 511; Member since: Aug 15, 2015

I've owned both an S4 and a Note 5, and I'll have you know the experience is worlds apart on the two phones. The S4, especially on JB and to an extent KK, was a nightmare. Everything crashed and lagged all the time, and even the camera, which was advertised as fast, took 5-10 seconds to launch after a while of regular usage. Lollipop improved the situation greatly, but even then, the Note 5 is not that phone. It's not the same Samsung, not the same experience. It is incredibly fast and efficient, and Samsung seems to be on its way to maintain a good update record. Regarding going with the consumer mainstream, I don't really care. I'm not here to support the underdog if it's an inferior product. I'm here to use a phone that actually works, and does its job well. Motorola has good specs on paper, but it has some of the s**ttiest QC around. I've owned two Motorola products, most recently a 2014 X, and that had issues with QC (namely broken power button, software reliability issues on 5.1, and poor customer support regarding the issues).

160. iushnt

Posts: 3083; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Because one product turned u down, the entire range is overrated. Hmm smart boy

188. marcolorenzo

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 19, 2016

I'm sorry but cloud is nowhere near being capable of replacing physical storage yet. Internet speed and availability are just not there. Sure you can just "wait until you are near wifi" to upload stuff but what if you need to download some stuff and run out of your monthly quota? Or are not near a cell tower or wifi? And what about music? What, I need to freaking download every track I want to listen to and then delete them again straight afterwards? Sure, I can also stream but once you go FLAC, you won't go back (another benefit of having the DAC in the V10). Not to mention, you can get a 64GB+ microSD card for pretty cheap these days. Why not do this rather than paying a ridiculous premium just to get a minuscule "upgrade" in internal storage? I'll tell you why. Because it makes Samsung more money. Stop your fanboy BS and wake up.

162. molosar

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 06, 2015

Memory is an issue because when streaming music I can blow through my 10 GB plan in a week.

157. iushnt

Posts: 3083; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

I am sad that the truth of Note 5 is so painful to you. Anyways, those who are using are enjoying. Feel sorry for you though

36. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Imo I think compared to the G4, this maybe should have gotten a lesser score. This as a 7? A little too harsh IMO, you gotta give it to them for optimization on the software and the extra security they added. Good review nonetheless.

48. .8800.

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

The 4gb Ram, is a big deal.

110. Dinged

Posts: 37; Member since: Jan 12, 2012

This phone rocks. The fully manual camera with compatibility with Snapseed's RAW is so unbelievably good. The 2nd screen is a lot more convenient than Samsung's edge and more practical, especially when docking the phone in the car and needing quick access to contact/apps/last used contacts/media control. I prefer this screen to any amoled technologies for color especially whites and the nexus lines aren't bright enough. The G4 was washed out but the screen is really great this time around. IR added bonus is also good when at bars or meetings and no one knows where remote is. The phone could be snappier, but considering that qualcomm screwed all phonemakers for the 2015 year and maybe even 2016, I truly believe the 808 was the right choice as I would rather have slower than even slower over long periods/overheating (810 chipset). Unless you have to have a stylus of the note 5, this is the phone to own right now. I was debating and tried out the note 5 (hate amoled whites, touchwiz too bloated, no external sd card to take advantage of 4k recording, hardware root trip invalidates warranty), moto x pure (no tmobile band 12 support yet, no tmobile wifi calling, no camera2 api support), sony z5 (expensive, not available in usa, prob no band 12 since tombile not offering, sony might die and no OS upgrades) and nexus 6p (no external SD, no OIS especially for video) before choosing the V10. All the phones had cons, but the v10 had the least and most acceptable.

127. FunVA

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 05, 2015

Exactly right. Best choice considering all things is LV 10 taking the fanboy out of the equation. Infrared both the camera and on the phone blaster, removable battery for replacing the battery when the battery runs out of power – when you need a replaceable battery when it dies - when you need extendable battery doubling yourbattery life, and that nano SDcard that goes up to 2TB - that's as much many of your PCs have - try purchasing that w/ internal of memory that only can't you do it obviously but if will run you more money than anybody would ever spend and this is a great source of security oblivion and the need for the cloud especially when you're out of range and you're trying to save a large video. Saving 4K videos eats up memory very quick .. something internal memory and the cloud would not be able to handle e.g. during a wedding. YOU absolutely would have to have expandable memory or pony up and carry your camera with you as well. What's the point of that when you have a 16x high-resolution camera right in your phone? the decision of the camera makers are making other than LG are just piss poor.

161. iushnt

Posts: 3083; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Nice post, but this year's Samsung's Amoled are the most accurate colors that has been said by every reviewers. anyways, nice to see your take on this

144. ECPirate37

Posts: 302; Member since: Jul 14, 2011

This phone is definitely a dropped ball, but that ball has been dropped by spiking it in the end zone. This phone is awesome. Everyone that I have showed it to has liked it, and 3 of my friends bought it after playing with mine. My girlfriend is even considering giving up her iPhone 6s Plus for it. There are so many features, and the "gimmick" screen turned out to be awesome. I love being able to keep music controls there while playing a game full screen. I greatly dislike LG phones, and said I would never buy another one, but this one is definitely worth owning.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

V10
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(12h 3G talk time)

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