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LG new smartphone V20

The LG is produced recent smartphone V20 to compete with Galaxy Note7 and Iphone 7, with a souped up second screen and an all-metal look. Once upon a time, all portable gadgets had removable/swappable power sources. Foreign handset makers tried to put up a fight, but in the end, the Apple bandwagon proved to be too strong, and virtually all smartphones today have its battery sealed in. Except LG. If you think having a removable battery is pointless, ask Samsung’s boss right now if he wishes the Note 7 had that option. If the Note 7 had swappable batteries, that recall would cost half a million instead of a billion. LG’s latest phone, the V20, manages to keep its battery unshackled despite going all metal. And the South Korean tech giant has obviously taken all the G5 criticism (modularity leading to slight build imperfections; the metal feels like plastic, etc) to heart because the V20 is in many ways an answer to that. The metal this time feels like legitimate metal, and the removable back plate fits seamlessly into the phone without gaps.

The V20 manages to keep the removable battery despite going metal. The power button on the back doubles as the fingerprint sensor, and it’s very fast. Unlike the V10, you don’t have to press into the button to activate the sensor — just put your finger on it and the screen unlocks immediately.

The power button on the back doubles as the fingerprint sensor, and it’s very fast. Unlike the V10, you don’t have to press into the button to activate the sensor — just put your finger on it and the screen unlocks immediately.

The V20’s metal back can be removed by pressing on a button located on the right side of the phone (left); it would appear that LG really is abandoning its signature back volume buttons, as the V20 has volume buttons on the left side, just like the G5.

The V20′s metal back can be removed by pressing on a button located on the right side of the phone (left); it would appear that LG really is abandoning its signature back volume buttons, as the V20 as below figures has volume buttons on the left side, just like the G5.

v20a

The V20 is, of course, the sequel to last year’s V10, which developed quite a cult following due to its unabashed heavy duty look and powerful media capabilities (both consuming and creating). Though the V20 loses the rugged look of the V10, the phone doubles down on the power play. Whereas Apple is pushing for wireless audio (and let me guess, every other phone company will soon follow), the V20 brings a high-end DAC (digital to audio converter) that needs the use of wired headsets. Android Authority’s Rob Triggs wrote a great piece last week explaining what makes the ESS ES9218 DAC so great. To make a long story short, the V20 pumps out grade A audiophile level sound (with a wired headphone, anyway, as the V20′s bottom speaker is of average quality).

On the media creating front, the V20′s dual-lens take great photos (more on this later, with a photo gallery) and can record videos in 24-bit lossless audio through three high acoustic overload point microphones, meaning the sound quality in recorded videos is more crisp and less distorted than on other phones.

The V20 runs on a Snapdragon 820 chip with 4GB of RAM. That’s the same setup in just about every 2016 flagship this year, but I find the V20 faster, snappier and smoother than the Note 7 (which has the same specs). The Note 7, as I wrote in my review, suffered from occasional stutters and keyboard lags. I encountered no such hiccups during my use of the V20. This is the number one or number two smoothest/fastest phone I’ve used this year, along with the OnePlus 3. If you care about benchmarks, the V20 scored a 130,864 at Antutu, compared to the 39,949 on the V10 and 128,232 on the G5.

Part of the V20′s buttery smoothness is due to LG’s cleaned-up software. What was once a bloated and clunky Android skin is now lean and mostly stays out of the way. Some of LG’s own UI touches remain, but they’re quite useful. You can still double tap to wake or lock the screen (I love this) and tap on the screen as a way to unlock (this is a faster secondary unlock method than using PIN, as I explained here). Notifications come through on the V20′s secondary display, just like the V10, but now you can choose to expand the notification by tapping on an onscreen arrow. Once you do that, the notification expands onto the main display in a banner, allowing you to read more.

The V20, as you probably have heard, comes with the newest Android software (7.0, aka Nougat), and it brings incremental improvements over Android 6.0. Among these is native dual-window mode (though as of right now, it doesn’t support all the most popular apps such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter), and overhauled notification managements. On Nougat devices, you can respond directly to chat notifications without opening the app. This, obviously, saves time and makes the overall phone experience more pleasant. And yes, this works pretty well in conjunction with the V20′s secondary screen too. Example: I’m watching a “story” on Instagram, which takes up the full screen. A Whatsapp messages come through. It shows up on my second screen, so it doesn’t get in the way of the video I’m watching. Once that’s done, I tap on the second screen’s notification to expand it, and down comes a banner notification on the main display, allowing me to respond without ever opening the main Whatsapp app.

 

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