LG V10 review – Raising the bar on camera control

Introduction

On the V10, LG has placed a second screen above the main screen, alongside a pair of selfie cams. That’s right, the V10 has two screens and two cameras on the front. It has a huge screen, plenty of RAM, a giant battery, and a body that can withstand a drop.

 

Design

LG V10 is more durable, with an interesting mix of stainless steel sides and a silicone skin back. Its bumpy texture and rubbery feel really contrast with the smooth leather back of the LG G4. It’s built to military-grade standard, LG V10 - design 1and almost as if that case you’re going to buy anyway is built in. Adding to that is a much appreciated double-paned Gorilla Glass 4 for extra protection around front. The LG V10 dimensions are 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6mm and a weight of 192g. Aside from giving the V10 a very sturdy look and feel, these new material choices make for an extremely durable device. While Apple and Samsung are trending toward aluminum and glass designs, LG is going with a more practical finish, emphasizing durability, a microSD card slot and a swappable battery. It could sell a lot of phones based on that microSD card slot and removable battery. LG V10 comes in Space Black, Luxe White, Modern Beige, Ocean Blue and Opal Blue.LG V10 - design 2

 

Display

The LG V10 features a primary 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with a Quad HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 515 ppi. The display is beautiful, sharp, bright and easy to see outdoors. Media consumption and gaming centric users will certainly appreciate the large size. There is the secondary screen at the top of the display. When taking into account the size of both screens combined, the screen is actually closer to 6 inches in size. This secondary screen works as a hub for notifications, application shortcuts, recently-opened apps, media controls, favorite contacts and upcoming calendar events. It will also show you basic information like the time and date when the main display isn’t on. LG V10 - displayThe second screen proves to be very useful when it comes to notification management, as it gives you the ability to see any missed calls or text messages without needing to wake up the primary display. When you’re using the device notifications will show up on the second screen, keeping the main display free from any distractions.

 

Features

There’s a specs upgrade beneath the two displays, even though a lot of the chips take their cues from the LG G4. It’s a little more powerful and offers twice as much more internal space. The V10 is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, which is made up of a 1.44GHz quad-core chip, a 1.82 GHz dual-core chip and embedded Adreno 418 GPU. LG V10 - featureLG once again avoided the Snapdragon 810 processor, even though v1.2 is in the Nexus 6P. The real upgrade to the LG V10 specs sheet is in the memory. It features 4GB of RAM instead of the 3GB found in the LG G4. LG is sticking with the microSD card slot, so that expandable storage can add an extra 2TB of files. 4K video always takes up a lot of space, so this is an important feature for a lot of people. Announced two days after Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow launch event, the LG V10 is launching with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. LG innovates quickly, but not that quickly.

 

Camera

The second screen isn’t a pointless gimmick, but it’s close, and no reason to actually choose the V10 over any other big phone. However, the camera absolutely is. The photos it takes are glorious, its usability second-to-none, and its versatility makes the V10 the perfect companion regardless of when or where you want to take a cracking picture. It’s the manual mode that makes it so fantastic. LG V10 - camera 1It’s so simple to use that you don’t need to be a camera expert to figure it out, yet the results make you look like one. The V10’s camera urges you to take control, and then makes it easy to tweak the picture for the best results. Low light is where the V10 excels. It takes good pictures at night. For the V10, the manual control over still images has also been added to the video mode, plus the ability to adjust the frame rate, resolution, and even the audio recording levels. Videos can be edited on the device easily, and LG’s own software is comprehensive. The electronic image stabilization added to the video mode is also great, smoothing out footage shot while walking along the street. There are two cameras above the screen. One is for taking single selfies, and the other has a wide-angle lens for taking group shots, and a button swaps between the two. It helps capture a more natural scene when taking selfies with more than one person in the frame, something made easier using LG’s Gesture Shot, and where clenching a fist in front of the camera activates a three-second timer. LG V10 - camera 2

 

Battery life

The LG V10 has the 3,000mAh battery  and removable. Battery life should get an extra boost if you’re not lighting up that quad HD display all of the time time, in favor of peeking at the always-on second display. LG says that its measurements indicate the second display only drains 5% of battery life if left on all day long. Like every good Qualcomm-powered phone, the LG V10 takes advantage of QuickCharge 2.0 for faster charging. It also employs wireless Qi charging.

 

Conclusion

The V10 offers a unique second screen and an extra durable body that can stand a drop. If you want to take awesome pictures, and shoot brilliant video, then buy the V10. The V10’s manual stills and video camera does make it a fantastic choice if you’re happy with the uglier look. The V10 is sturdy and has a fingerprint sensor.