Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
LG V20: everything you need to know
The LG V20 is now official. We’re here to bring you a full rundown of the LG V20 specs, features, price, and availability. Got any LG V20 questions? Ask away in the comments.
LG has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately, but it would be a mistake to count this resilient and resourceful company out for the year. That said, there’s a lot resting on the V20’s success, so we were a little anxious to see if LG,s V20 will fare better in the market than the G5 before it.
Now that the LG V20 is finally here, we’re actually optimistic. The V20 feels, quite literally, like a very solid phone. It’s also packed with great media and camera features, and on top of that, it’s the first phone to run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
Here’s what you need to know about the LG V20.
LG V20 design and build
You can a taker close look at the design of LG V20 in our hands-on post, but here’s a quick take on the essentials. The V20’s squarish design is quite different from the rounded surfaces of the G5, and it’s also a departure from the V10, which had a stainless steel frame and a silicon back, compared to the V20’s metallic back plate.
The highlight of the back of the phone is the dual camera module, which protrudes a couple of millimeters. Meanwhile, a button on the side allows you to pop open the back cover, revealing the user replaceable battery and the SIM and microSD slot.
The V20 (which is MIL-STD 810G-rated for resistance to shocks) looks and feels satisfyingly solid, and it gives off a premium vibe that has eluded many LG phones in the past. The combination of sturdy metal and a damage resistant plastic (used for the bottom and top caps) should keep this phone looking great, even after months of wear and tear.
The LG V20 will be available in titanium (gray), silver, or pink.
We also have a drop test of the LG V20 ready to go, so make sure you don’t miss that!
LG V20 specs
The LG V20 features high-end specifications, in line with the Note 7, Sony’s new Xperia XZ, and other flagships that came out in the last few months. On top of the standard fare, the V20 also keeps some of the unique features of the V10, most notably the secondary display “strip” at the top of the screen.
Despite what early leaks had led us to believe, the LG V20 is not modular. But it’s not a unibody design either, which gives it a pretty special advantage compared to most of its competitors: it has a user removable battery. Let’s just say that, in the light of the Note 7 recall, that seems like a very useful feature indeed.
Here’s a quick rundown of the LG V20 specifications:
|Android 7.0 Nougat
5.7-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum (2560 x 1440 / 513ppi)
IPS Quantum display (160 x 1040 / 513ppi)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
64GB UFS, microSD
16MP, f 1.8, OIS, Hybrid Auto Focus, 75-degree angle;
8MP, f 2.4, 135-degree angle
5MP, f 1.9, wide angle
3,200 mAh, user removable, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
X12 LTE (up to 600 Mbps LTE Category 12 with 3x Carrier Aggregation) / Wi-Fi (802.11 a, b, g, n, ac) / USB Type-C / Bluetooth 4.2 BLE / NFC
Hi-Fi Video Recording
Steady Record 2.0
HD Audio Recorder
High AOP Mic
32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC
Finger Print Scanner
159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm
Titan, Silver, Pink
Looking at the spec sheet, LG used a Snapdragon 820, rather than the slightly improved Snapdragon 821 that Qualcomm recently introduced, though it’s not really clear why. The 4GB of RAM is standard issue for the current crop of flagships, but we were delighted to see the 64GB of fast UFS-type storage space.
The display is IPS Quantum, an LCD variant with enhanced color rendition and an improved contrast ratio allowing it to better compete with AMOLED displays. The tiny secondary display at the top of the screen is the same technology and features the same pixel density (513 ppi) as the main display. The secondary display is twice as bright and the fonts it renders are 50 percent larger than on the V10.
The battery is a solid, though not amazing 3,200 mAh, but it is user replaceable. We expect LG to bundle the V20 with a second battery and a charging cradle, which would make it easy and convenient to keep your V20 humming through days of intense usage. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging standard is supported.
LG V20 camera, video, and audio
It looks like dual cameras are here to stay, at least when it comes to LG’s top phones. The Korean company introduced the wide-angle/normal-angle dual setup on the G5, and a similar combo can be found on the V20.
The main sensor is 16MP, with a f 1.8 aperture and a 75 degree viewing angle, and when you need to capture a wider scene you can switch to the 8MP, f 2.4 camera with a 135 degree angle. That’s perfect for large vistas, for instance, or when you want to make sure that all your friends fit in the picture.
The main 16MP camera features optical image stabilization and uses Hybrid Auto Focus (HAF) for still shots and video. The HAF system selects between laser autofocus and phase-detection autofocus depending on the scene, and the result is enhanced using contrast auto-focus. In theory, that should ensure that your shots are as crisp as they can be, regardless of the lighting conditions.
The LG V20 should be a great camera for recording video, thanks to features like 24-bit/ 48 kHz Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM), Steady Record 2.0 (electronic image stabilization), and Hi-Fi Video Recording, which gives user access to advanced audio features including Low Cut Filter and a recording distance limiter.
The V20 is the world’s first smartphone to feature a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, powered by a chip from ESS Technology. You can read more about it here, but this feature is supposed to reduce distortion and ambient noise for a superior listening experience. The V20 can also play lossless formats like FLAC, DSD, AIFF and ALAC and features 75-level fine volume and balance controls.
LG V20 software
The V20 runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, a world first, even beating Google’s own Pixel (formerly known as Nexus) devices to the punch. Features like split-screen mode, quick app switching, smarter notifications, new emoji, and the enhanced Doze mode are all present.
LG is keen to boast that the V20 is the first device to “showcase” the new In App Search feature of the Google app, which lets you search through all your apps for quick access to the information you need.
As for LG’s own customizations, the V20 runs LG UX 5.0+, an enhanced version of the software powering the LG G5. Take a closer look at what’s new on the software side in our hands-on look and an upcoming Feature Focus dedicated to the V20’s UX.
LG V20 early price and availability details
The V20 will first go on sale in South Korea starting this month, with other regions to follow later. No information about the price of the LG V20 has been released so far. Additional availability and pricing information will be announced in the following weeks, so stay tuned to Android Authority for all of the details.
For reference, the LG V10’s price fell within the $600 – $700 price range off-contract, last year, and we expect to see the V20 going for a similar price.
Official press release
LG TAKES THE MULTIMEDIA MOBILE EXPERIENCE TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH V20
Enhanced Features Include Steady Record 2.0, Front and Rear Wide Angle Cameras, Hi-Fi Quad DAC, Android Nougat OS
SEOUL, Sept. 7, 2016 — LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled the V20, the latest in its V series of smartphones, delivering the highest multimedia capabilities available in a mobile device. The V20 boasts new features including Steady Record 2.0, Hi-Fi Quad DAC, HD Audio Recorder and front and rear wide-angle lens cameras to deliver best-in-class performance. It is also the world’s first smartphone to come preloaded with Android 7.0 Nougat OS and the new Google In Apps phone search function.
The LG V series is a premium flagship smartphone line designed to provide users with the best video and audio experience. LG looked at the customers of the V10 and examined what they wanted and needed and determined that the V20 should be developed with “storytellers” in mind – for anyone who has something to say, anyone who has an experience to share.
Delivering Share-worthy, Crisp, Clear Videos
Steady Record 2.0
The LG V20, powered by the Qualcomm ® Snapdragon™ 820 processor with X12 LTE, introduces Steady Record 2.0, leveraging Qualcomm Technologies’ electronic image stabilization (EIS) 3.0 to record sharper video footage while neutralizing shaky images. The gyro-based EIS improves sync accuracy between the image and the gyro by reducing sync latency to only 50 milliseconds. EIS is complemented by digital image stabilization (DIS) which further improves video quality in post-processing by adjusting objects across frames and minimizing distortion caused by rolling shutter for smoother action.
Hi-Fi Video Recording
LG V20 owners can record Hi-Fi videos and manually control the settings for perfect audio quality using options such as Low Cut Filter (LCF) that removes unwanted background noise and Limiter (LMT) that sets recording distance. The LCF reduces background noise while the LMT zeroes in on voices the user wants to record. The V20 also captures audio using 24-bit / 48 kHz Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM), the same format used in professional video equipment.
The Purest Audio Experience
Hi-Fi Quad DAC
The V20 is the world’s first smartphone to feature a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, powered by ESS Technology, designers of high-performance audio products. Powered by ESS SABRE ES9218, the Quad DAC in the V20 delivers clearer sound by minimizing distortion and ambient noise by up to 50 percent. With 75-stage fine volume and L/R balance controls as well as support for lossless music formats including FLAC, DSD, AIFF and ALAC, the V20 delivers high-quality sound to any pair of earphones.
HD Audio Recorder
The HD Audio Recorder represents the next level of sound recording. This feature lets users capture studio quality audio with a wider dynamic frequency range using three high AOP microphones to record incredible sound that surpass audio recordings on conventional smartphones. With Studio Mode, manually control sound with easy-to-use keys similar to ones found in video cameras and use Music Recorded to create high quality audio suitable for auditions by recording singing voices over existing music. In an effort to further enhance audio functions and design, LG continues its collaboration with B&O PLAY. The result in the LG V20 is a natural, balanced sound, reflecting B&O PLAY’s acoustic engineering philosophy.
Capture It All and More
Front/Rear Wide Angle Lens
The wide angle capabilities of the front and rear cameras capture photos with an inclusive background, meaning users get more in the frame and leave nothing out. The 5MP front camera with a 120-degree lens expands the selfie experience to take bigger pictures with even more friends. The 8MP rear camera with its 135-degree lens is perfect for taking pictures in front of a gorgeous vista or inside a gigantic stadium. The large aperture standard angle lens captures sharp images at a maximum of 16MP with its 75-degree lens.
The Auto Shot Function on the front camera produces perfect selfies with its face detection feature, which triggers the shot when the subject is ready and smiling. There is no need to press the shutter button, which usually increases camera shake and the likelihood of a blurred shot.
Hybrid Auto Focus
The V20’s Hybrid Auto Focus (HAF) ensures a sharp picture every time. A fast and stable auto focus is delivered in any environment by integrating three AF mechanisms – Laser Detection AF, Phase Detection AF and Contrast AF – for both videos and photos. The V20 determines if LDAF or PDAF is best for a particular shot and then refines the focus with Contrast AF. Users can take full advantage of the V20 when capturing sharp images of friends or family in action, in any lighting conditions.
Gives You More of What You Love
The popular Second Screen feature that was first introduced on the V10 has improved in visibility. With double the brightness and 50 percent larger font size compared to the V10, the smaller display located above the main display allows users to easily view notifications and alerts in outdoor situations at a glance.
Now with the Expandable Notifications feature, users can tap a button on the Second Screen to enlarge notifications in order to check long messages at a glance and quickly send a reply or share information.
LG UX 5.0+
The LG V20 comes with the mobile user interface LG UX 5.0+ to make it easier to use the multimedia functions tailored to customer needs. The LG UX 5.0+ is an upgraded version of the LG UX 5.0 first introduced on the LG G5. It is also the world’s first smartphone interface to run on Android 7.0 Nougat.
The LG V20 also features Multi-window to display two apps at once in a split screen allowing users to drag text, images, and files from one app to another. The combination of these advancements together with the 5.7-inch main IPS Quantum Display offers the best in multitasking capabilities.
The LG V20 is the world’s first phone to showcase Google’s In Apps. The new search mode featured in the Google app, helps users find content not only from built-in apps including contacts, emails, text messages and photos, but also from user-installed apps. It also enables users to discover recently accessed apps, people to get in touch with, messages to read or activity across apps without having to type a query.
Premium Design in a Durable Body
To achieve both a sophisticated look and solid durability, LG uses lightweight aluminum, together with a new silicon-based material. AL6013 metal, found in aircraft, sailboats and mountain bikes, was selected to cover the back of the phone due to its sturdy but light properties. If dropped, the top and bottom of the phone are protected from damage by Silicone Polycarbonate (Si-PC). This innovative material, found in helmets, reduces shocks by more than 20 percent compared to conventional materials.
The LG V20 has also passed the MIL-STD 810G Transit Drop Test for durability conducted by an independent laboratory that conforms to U.S. military standards. The test determined that the V20 could withstand shocks and still function when dropped repeatedly from a height of four feet and landing in various positions, including the front, back, sides and corners.
“The LG V20 is designed to offer customers a more dynamic experience by building on the most popular video and audio features of the V series,” said Juno Cho, president of LG Electronics and Mobile Communications Company. “With the LG V20, we are giving our customers more of everything they love and less of anything they don’t need to set a new standard for premium smartphones.”
The LG V20 will be available in Korea starting this month followed by other regions. Information regarding other markets and launch dates will be announced locally in the weeks to come.
LG V20: what’s your take?
Let us know your thoughts on the new LG V20!