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LG V20 Review

LG V20
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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.

LG V20 Review

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!

LG V20 Review

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.



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LG V20

LG V20

OS: Android 7.0
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8Good
Display5.7 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels (513 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera16 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz, Kryo processor
4 GB RAM
Size6.29 x 3.07 x 0.30 inches
(159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm)
6.14 oz  (174 g)
Battery3200 mAh, 8 hours talk time

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