The LG V20 has been officially unveiled, and we had the opportunity to go hands-on with this Nougat-powered flagship to see just how LG handled the device’s software design.

You heard that right. The LG V20 runs Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box, making it the first phone to ship with Nougat, even ahead of Google’s upcoming Pixel phones. That said, you won’t feel much of a difference on the surface, because LG has their in-house UI running over the top, and they haven’t changed too much here. On the plus side, if you’re a long-time LG fan, you’ll feel right at home.

Just like we saw with the LG G5, the LG V20 doesn’t include an app drawer, but they do give you the option to bring it back if you want it. Although the V20 ships without one, you can download it from the Google Play Store, so the choice is yours.

lg v20 drop test 11

The home screen interaction is pretty standard fare. Widgets and wallpapers can be swapped and added just as in previous versions of the LG UI, but the notifications shade is notably different, having received a distinctly Nougat-y update. You can also edit this shade, give you the power to reposition most of the elements. Audiophiles will also be delighted to find a Hi-Fi Quad DAC toggle, which is only available if you have headphones plugged in or paired. 

Another interesting feature is Capture+, which lets you snap a screenshot which you can then scribble on with your fingertip, making annotated screen grabs a breeze. Think of this sort of like LG’s take on the Screen Memo feature on the Note 7. 

lg v20 software feature focus ifa 2016 aa-3

The Nougat Easter Egg is naturally available here with the LG V20. It’s a simple, vague virtual pet game, of sorts, that lets you set out a variety of treats for imaginary cats. Yah, it’s kind of weird.

One of the biggest stand-out features of the LG V20 is its second ‘ticker’ screen that rides along the top next to the camera. This always-on display gives the date, time, and battery life at a glance, which means you don’t even have to touch your device to access this frequently-checked information. While the main display is active, the second display becomes a customizable signature. Swiping the signature to the side reveals a tray of icons that you can use to create app shortcuts or toggle things like the flashlight.

The second display is notably brighter on the V20 than it was on the V10, clearing up a common complaint about the feature.

While we’re on the subject, the second display has an interesting, optional way of interacting with your lock screen. You can choose to have the first letter of your custom signature act as the wallpaper when your device is locked, and there are a variety of stylish designs that you can choose from.

lg v20 software feature focus ifa 2016 aa-4

That’s essentially all that we’re seeing from LG’s take on Nougat. They actually haven’t strayed as far from the stock UI as they have in the past, and we think that’s a good thing. In a couple of ways, LG surrendered their previous features to those that are now available from Nougat. For instance, LG no longer handles power saving, leaving that for Nougat, and LG’s Dual Window feature has been ditched in favor of vanilla Nougat multi-window.

What do you think of LG’s spin on Nougat with the LG V20? Classy variations on a theme or a design stumble? Let us know your take in the comments below!

Joshua Vergara
Writer, blogger, and videographer - Josh is a former support technician that learned much about technology by fixing everyone else's. On the side, he wrote and performed spoken word, maintained his own personal blogs, and began his own video podcast. Now, he's here at Android Authority looking to put it all together!
  • boe_d

    They should have given up on the fancy recording and dac features and put in at least a 3600mah battery. Rumors were that it would have a 4000mah battery so the 3200mah battery seems downright Lilliputian.

    • That’s about the finest idea anyone had ever offered. Thanks for the giggle.

      • Sorry, autocorrect. I meant dumbest.

        • boe_d

          No problem – I’m sure you are use to being corrected frequently.

        • Heiro78

          lmao

    • very dumb idea take out the best features for 20 min more battery. FYI it’s a removable battery so size doesn’t matter

  • roqz

    Even if this looks appetizing, after the LG G4, G5 and V10 bootloop and image persistence issues, I wouldn’t trust LG again, sorry LG.

    • High Templar

      Don’t misinform. The G5 didn’t feature bootloop issues at all, and the V10 didn’t feature as many as the G4. The main problem was with the G4, and its dual version.
      Trolling isn’t a very honourable thing for you, you know.

      • roqz

        I don’t consider this trolling as I experienced the G4 bootloop issue, and before that, the image persistence and burn-in issues as well, and on the international version (H815, single version) mind you. As I started to look for a replacement I noticed both the fact that, first, this is a generalized issue across all the G4 variants, and second, it happened on other flagship models such as the V10 and G5, so, I had to switch to another brand. The issue seems to come from bad soldering at the manufacturing level, it should have been corrected by now for the V20, but I personally wouldn’t risk my money on it, I’ll play another hand.

        Even when the V10 didn’t have “as many” or you consider that the “main” problem was the G4… This can’t be dismissed as “nothing to see here, move along”, because, you know, there is a real consumer issue there and lots of people have lost time and data because of this.

  • Asher

    I like the phone

    • violet.lamay

      I usually benefit around 6 thousand-8 thousand dollars a month working on the internet. For anyone considering to do easy computer-based tasks for 2-5 hours every day at your home and make solid income for doing it… Test this work UR1.CA/pm79t

    • mary

      I currently benefit in the span of 6,000-8,000 bucks every month on the internet. If you are prepared to do basic online task for some hours /a day from your home and gain valuable income for doing it… Test this task UR1.CA/pm79t

      • Rudy

        I make twice that selling meth from my moms basement. Your scam sucks balls.

        • Nickname303

          Lol

  • RIP LG, 5’7 inch screen with a 3,200mah battery. No water resistance for a rugged outdoor phone. And all the good looks from v10 are gone and it looks like the piece of shit G5.

    • no need it’s removable so size doesn’t matter as much

    • High Templar

      Waterproof phones are really shit, being essentially unibody. The feature alone is good but it carries lots of cons if you really consider it. Like you miss removable battery. Try to even think to replace a badly worn battery (after a lot of usage and lots of charging, especially quick charging) when you are in a need, in holidays or in vacation. Good luck with the phone having to go to the service center for a week or so. With the removable battery, in seconds you pop in a new one, send the old one to the recycle bin, and you start with a completely new phone. Even more, having a second battery handy, you’ll never look for a charger or a power bank when you’re outdoors.

      • Rowlin

        Samsung rep told me the Note 7 battery was not replaceable, even by the service center. But I agree on the V20, with quick charge and replaceable battery, the size of the battery is not quite as critical, be interesting to see how long it lasts when they test it.

  • Kunal Narang

    It still needed one more feature to distinguish itself from the competition.

    • noh1bvisas

      like what?

      • A very strong battery for instance. This always helps. Especially when it doesn’t necessarilby mean taking it up to a whole different price category.

    • boe_d

      It has a much smaller battery than the S7 edge or Note 7 – that helps distinguish it.

  • Ben Sin

    “While we’re on the subject, the second display has an interesting, optional way of interacting with your lock screen. You can choose to have the first letter of your custom signature act as the wallpaper when your device is locked, and there are a variety of stylish designs that you can choose from.”

    what does this mean? like if the second screen’s signature says “Hello”, then the phone will have a giant H as a lockscreen wallpaper? huh?

  • I wonder who than will release Snapdragon 821, Chinese OEMs?

  • the battery is removable so 3200 is more then enough. ppl who buy this will carry 2-3 spares at all times

    • High Templar

      Better having 2-3 spares (that aren’t used very much) than one badly worn battery that will leave you out in the cold, especially when you need it most, and especially when you consider the time you’ll need have it replaced in a service center.

  • John Wentworth

    Does it have the same quick switching between the last two apps if you double tap the multitasking buttons like the current nexus devices have on nougat? I really love that feature on my 5x?

    • Scottyv3

      Yes it does, I forget which video I saw it on today but they highlighted this feature.

  • aniket

    Well LG V20 is a game changer after their this year Flagship phone LG G5 V20 looks very sexy phones its got all the looks so its a first phones who’s got 7.0 Nougat out of the box so Nexus phones still not comes with Nougat I mean its still not even Launch so LG V20 will be the first in the world who’s coming with Nougat so its a world record for LG so I am waiting for our review Android Authority😊😊

  • khizar

    I wouldnt touch an LG phone with 10 foot pole after how they treated me when my phone bootlooped out of the blue. After they admitted that the fault was in their phones, they denied me service saying there is water damage!! what water damage, my phone bootlooped in my pocket not in a bucket of water!! Pathetic customer service!!

  • A software feature focus with no mention of adoptable storage. Are you guys serious?

    • Heiro78

      yea how the heck are they leaving that out. cmon AA, is it enabled by default or is there some fanagling needed?

      • Per the lgv20 subreddit it does have it. And no it’s not enabled by default. But the option is there.

  • jjdd3345

    The lg v20 is coming out in a week the Att price is 830.00 and verizon is 672.00.

    att better come down in price before the release date or people are going to call att a ripoff.