Interface and user experience

Highly customizable and up-to-date with Android 7.0 Nougat, but if you want a phone that just works, the V20 might leave you disappointed.


Funny thing happened when I started up the LG V20 for the first time. When I pressed the home button, I was asked to choose an app to complete the action with, and the three different interfaces were presented as options. I didn’t have a clue what each option meant, but I picked one and set it as default to avoid seeing the same prompt again. That’s one of the many quirks I encountered within LG’s UI, leading me to realize that the V20 isn’t for people who want a phone that just works. It is a phone you have to get deeply involved with, a phone that you need to personalize if you want to get the best experience.

And personalization freedom is what the V20 gives a lot of. While LG’s newest interface drops the app drawer from use, you have the option to bring it back. You can rearrange the navigation buttons and even add extra ones, such as the one that pulls down your notifications panel (very handy, by the way). You can make the on-screen keyboard larger or smaller. You can change the size of your app icons. You have interface themes to choose from. There are the so-called signature wallpapers, generated around the first initial of the user. And the list goes on.

Customization aside, the LG V20 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, so many of the platform’s new features can be found on it. For instance, notifications from a certain app can be set to be shown silently (swipe one to the side to access the option). You’ll still get it in the panel, but the notification popup won’t distract you when it arrives. And you can reply to instant messages directly from the respective notification, which is neat (swipe down on one to do that). Also, a double tap on the recent apps button switches instantly to the app you were using last, which is quite useful.

Given the size of the LG V20, we’re not surprised to see some special usability modes making an appearance. The keyboard, for instance, can be split in two or shrunk to one side for convenience. Also, if you swipe across the navigation buttons at the bottom, the whole screen gets shrunk for better single-handed use. Keep in mind that these modes need to be activated first before you can actually use them.

Eventually, I gave the V20’s split screen mode a try. I’ve always been fond of the idea, as such a feature seems great having on a phone of this caliber. For instance, you can have a YouTube video running while texting, or have a notes app and a web browser side by side. At least that’s the theory. The execution here, however, is not exactly elegant, and that’s not necessarily LG’s fault. The fact is that many apps just aren’t optimized to run in split screen mode – some could be glitchy (Facebook and Facebook Messenger), while others may refuse to launch at all (Twitter and Instagram). Moreover, when the keyboard is up, it will either completely cover the app on the bottom or push the app on the top out of the screen. Frustrating.

Processor and performance

That’s a powerful phone, no doubt about it!


The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC is the heart of the LG V20, beating alongside 4GB of RAM. Now, I can continue by listing the number of cores the chip has, what frequency they work on, and what the GPU model is, but you should not be too worried about any of that. What you really need to know is that the V20 is a fast, responsive phone. The interface runs smoothly and executes every task in an instant. Switching between apps is also swift, as it should be, given the amount of RAM the phone has. Speaking of multitasking, there’s something really cool about launching a game and seeing that it is still stored in memory at the point where you left it yesterday.

On the topic of gaming, the LG V20 had no troubles running most of the games I installed on it. I enjoyed playing Mortal Kombat X, Pixel Gun 3D, Minecraft PE, and Angry Birds 2 without running into issues of any kind. Games like Riptide GT Renegade and CSR Racing 2 also ran well, although I was noticing slight performance drops from time to time. Overall, the V20 should be able to run most modern games you throw at it. On a related note, a special mode in the battery settings menu lets you play games at lower resolutions in order to save battery and improve performance.

Your apps, games, photos, and documents are stored on the V20’s 64GB of UFS 2.0 internal storage. Indeed, that’s a generous amount of space, and in case you need extra, there’s a microSD slot that will take a card of any size.

AnTuTu Higher is better
LG V20 135599.66
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 179811
Google Pixel XL 141405
OnePlus 3 140007.66
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
LG V20 3450.33
Google Pixel XL 2979
OnePlus 3 3678.66
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
LG V20 5100
Google Pixel XL 5897
OnePlus 3 4936.66
JetStream Higher is better
LG V20 50.862
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 167.76
Google Pixel XL 54.317
OnePlus 3 46.685
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
LG V20 54
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 58.2
Google Pixel XL 55
OnePlus 3 59
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
LG V20 14.33
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 55.8
Google Pixel XL 30
OnePlus 3 30
Basemark OS II Higher is better
LG V20 1727.66
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3119
Google Pixel XL 2367
OnePlus 3 2118
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
LG V20 1553.66
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3443
Google Pixel XL 1549
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
LG V20 3626.33
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 5619
Google Pixel XL 4066


FEATURED VIDEO

91 Comments

3. jessy90

Posts: 162; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

O i forgot this is not an iphone. 8? I would give this phone a 9. LG ux is one of the best. You can make the phone feel unique to your style,personalize almost every thing,plus fast,smooth, and feature packed. Iphone has no headphone jack,limited customization,no sd card,only 1080p screen and it was rated 9.

5. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

They gave 9 to Pixel. Butthurt much? LG cant make a top of the top phone. They stopped making top phones since legendary G2.

30. SYSTEM_LORD

Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

You sound like a butthurt user who happen to get a raw deal with some LG phone in the past. Let it go. I know many girls who have told me they miss their LG phones, after having to get Samsung and HTC replacements. Everyone has their own preferences. Deal with it and so trying to bomb on LG.

48. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2125; Member since: May 29, 2014

That last part should read, "In My Opinion". There... I fixed it for you.

84. rsiders

Posts: 1953; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Here's an in depth look at the top cameras.https://youtu.be/pBEQEKlgXNU

6. manojmcn

Posts: 633; Member since: Jul 16, 2015

Hello PhoneArena- you dont have to reduce the ratings because V20 may not sell like Apple or Samsung flagships. Just rate based on what it's worth.

7. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Wat do u expect from a site that gave note 5 (which didn't bring anythimg new from note 4 beside design) 9 phonearena is saving 9 and above for apple and samsung.

25. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 914; Member since: May 07, 2014

They have to post a review which most of the readers here will like. Samsung and Apple has a huge following compared to other brands. There are more Apple and Samsung fans, now if they give the iPhone 7 a seven score, more people will be pissed.

74. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 966; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

What? Check the specs. Better camera, processor, UI, faster charge time, better stylus, wireless charging integrated instead of having to get a Qi sticker, and the design of having a flat screen is far superior to the Note 7. So, how is it the same device as a Note 4?

8. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

When was the last time an LG phone had THE BEST of more than 1 main feature of a phone? Best camera? Almost never. Best screen? Never. Best battery life? LOL, not since G2. Water resistance? Nope. Best speakers? Never. The only "BEST" feature this thing has its probably best audio quality output through headphones. Thats just one "BEST" feature. And you expect this thing to get a 9? Oh yes it has removable battery, yep and nowadays that's only a feature a tech geek will want.No Android phone will beat S7 edge and Pixel for 2016. Simple as that.

15. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

While I would not own a LG since I've had the boot loop with a G5, LG has been a top two in the camera department since the g4

33. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Maybe they solved the boot loop problem this time.

38. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Maybe but I'm not gambling with my money.

9. Joms_US

Posts: 200; Member since: Oct 02, 2016

So a worthless iCrap 6s got 9.3 while this phone just 8? Surprised? iPhoneArena does that on purpose. Put the st*pid Cr@pple logo on this LG phone and iTards will be drooling all over it.

26. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 914; Member since: May 07, 2014

I come here just for the news, while most of the news are not worthy of reading, they still have updated news. The reviews, on the other hand, are s**tty, those who review stuff don't know their stuff. I have to look for a review, I will go to PocketNow, Michael Fisher, and Android Authority (Android Authority does not review Apple but their reviews of Android phones are the most sensible.)

85. lnhrts

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

you are ignorant!!

86. lnhrts

Posts: 28; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

Joms-US...

10. sintruder

Posts: 162; Member since: Aug 30, 2012

This is complete BS! Unacceptable! PA gives their useless ratings based on brands and not on what the phone actually deserves. Just because samsung and apple has has a huge fanbase and their fans would speak out, they get 9

83. bucky

Posts: 3783; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Let's be honest, this was never gonna be a great phone.

12. jellmoo

Posts: 2583; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The score seems fair if the software issues experienced are a common theme. The basic user experience of the device should be one of the big things a company nails right off. A device with this price tag needs to offer a stellar user experience. All the specs in the world won't matter if your experience is crappy.

16. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Best audio dac in the market and got an 8.0. IPhone 7 does not have an audio jack and got a 9.3 with?!

17. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

*with?!

18. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3106; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Stupid autocorrect *wtf

19. elimartinez7

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 16, 2015

woooooooow.... 1st, the battery life thing is bullsh*t.. i received the phone tuesday and have since then been testing "real life" useage. this battery kicks ass. idle over night (6hr) only lost 2%. heavy usage lasted me a full day (4am-10pm) with 7% left. the next with normal usage and auto brightness left me with 0ver 60%.. unless i got super lucky, this battery kicks a** in the last 6 mo. i tried s6/s7/s7E/N7/G5/V10.. V20 is beast

65. grbrao

Posts: 294; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

This is what i am looking for. The real use review. People do all sort of idiotic test which we dont even use it in real life and brainwash fans with these battery test. I was thinging of getting V20 for myself, was looking for a user review and you nailed it. Thanks

20. elimartinez7

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 16, 2015

i was a huge PA fan until i saw this douchebag's biased rating.

21. BROWN_KNIGHT

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

Iphone arena does it again...apple bias much?? Overkill for giving the public a very sophisticated phone?

27. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

If you love the phone so much why do you need a website to justify your purchase? Would a 10 out 10 make you feel better?

31. rsiders

Posts: 1953; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Trust me I'm getting mine regardless. They pulled this same crap with the V10 and that was such a great device.

71. cthunder

Posts: 126; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

CDM, it's not about being in love with this phone or any other phone. It's about giving the readers a bias opinion about a phone regardless of who makes it. PA is know for grading Samsung and Apple phones over their true values. Remember the S4 and S5 reviews? Both also got over a 9 rating but the S5 was a huge disappointment for Samsung and resulting in mass changes in the mobile department. Now LG V10 gets a 7 and LG V20 gets an 8.But when you read reviews from users and other sites on both you can easily see the bias.

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

V20
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(14.17h talk time)

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