Towards the end of 2015, LG introduced a new flagship smartphone series with the V10. Although it was a relatively soft launch, there was nothing that fell short about the supersized, media-devouring portable machine. Many in the tech community considered it the best smartphone of its year – not a bad start for a new name.
So of course we’d have a sequel to the V10 a year later, and that incremental step was realized as the LG V20. Can LG keep up the momentum from that respectable start, or is this another sequel that can’t match the magic of the original? Let’s find out in our LG V20 Smartphone Review!
The exterior of LG’s original V-series smartphone strayed from the pack, in a good way. Not only did it sport a super-grippy, textured rubber back cover, but it was flanked by stainless steel railings for some appeal and additional grip. It was a smartphone for function, where most manufacturers were sacrificing for form instead.
Fast-forward to today, and we still have a smartphone that prioritizes the maximum media experience, but is made-over so that it can at least pass for a “premium” device that we’ve all come to expect from a top-dollar flagship phone of today. Unfortunately for grip, this means that the original textured cover was traded for a smooth one, which can achieve that classy feel of cold metal in your hand and a thinner chassis, but makes it a pain to try and hold onto without an added case.
We have to give kudos to LG that despite the LG V20 being a metal phone, the back cover can still pop off and provide access to a removable battery. LG is the only top-end phone manufacturer that has stuck to its guns and ensured that the feature remains, where the rest of have dropped it for the sake of refinement and planned obsolescence.
That said, compared to its biggest competitors, the Apple’s iPhone 7 and Samsung’s Galaxy S7 series, a metal cover doesn’t exactly save the LG V20 from still being a little clunky. The build is a hodgepodge of different materials and seams. The top and bottom caps are actually plastic in order to allow for wireless reception, and being that the metal panel shares the edges with a glossy plastic housing, you have a questionable interface where all the materials come together. This means that any level water/dust-proofing is forgone as well.
But although we have criticisms over the V20’s level of refinement, we must praise LG for maintaining the series’ impact resistance. The phone’s slimmed-down exterior is said to still meet the military drop test MIL-STD-810G standard – a nice peace of mind to have with the constant potential of gravity claiming our beloved devices.