LG V20 review: Twice as bright

Twice as bright

GSMArena team, 23 September 2016.

Telephony

The LG V20 is available only in single-SIM flavor. It offers strong reception and good sound quality. VoLTE is available (if your carrier supports it), which offers better audio quality than regular GSM calls.

The Dialer - LG V20 review Blocking calls - LG V20 review Screen calls by number - LG V20 review VoLTE is supported - LG V20 review
The Dialer Blocking calls Screening calls by number VoLTE is supported

The new OS offers native number blocking and call screening. You can block numbers based on their initial or final digits or just specific numbers. Third-party apps can ask Android which numbers are blocked, so apps that use them to identify users (like WhatsApp and Viber) can also reject calls and messages from those numbers.

Loudspeaker

The LG V20 has a single bottom-firing loudspeaker. It scored a Good mark - it has a full sound with no distortion. Its volume depends on what you play - it goes from good to very loud.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
HTC 10 (Theater mode) 61.9 66.0 62.1 Below Average
Sony Xperia XZ 61.6 65.5 67.6 Below Average
LG V10 66.1 64.7 70.7 Average
OnePlus 3 62.4 71.0 77.8 Good
Samsung Galaxy Note7 69.7 69.9 72.3 Good
LG G5 68.7 70.9 73.5 Good
Lenovo Moto Z Force Droid 69.5 68.0 77.6 Good
LG V20 68.2 68.6 80.9 Good
Huawei P9 Plus 71.7 73.7 81.3 Very Good
Sony Xperia XA Ultra 88.9 79.3 82.7 Excellent

Messaging and text input

The LG V20 comes with a simple but functional app for texts. It has the familiar threaded view, an emoji keyboard, themeable background and bubble styles and so on.

The Messaging app - LG V20 review Sending a text - LG V20 review Theming the app - LG V20 review Scheduling a message - LG V20 review
The Messaging app Sending a text Theming the app Scheduling a message

Two helpful features are scheduled messages (good for paying for time-based parking, we guess, or for sending birthday greetings) and the search, which can easily dig up old messages.

The LG keyboard offers extensive customizations. You can change its size, hide/show the number row, add/remove some buttons and more.

The keyboard - LG V20 review Customizing the keys - LG V20 review Changing the keyboard's height - LG V20 review
The keyboard Customizing the keys Changing the keyboard's height

A Split keyboard is available, great for thumb typing in landscape. In portrait, you can use the One-handed keyboard instead. Swipe input is available as well.

One-handed keyboard - LG V20 review Split keyboard - LG V20 review
One-handed keyboard Split keyboard

Other apps

Google In Apps is a recent addition and premiers with Android Nougat. It's essentially Google search for your phone. It searches inside apps so that you can find contacts, emails and chat messages, music, even your browsing history. Note that apps need to support this feature in order to provide results for In Apps searches.

The new In Apps search finds content not on the Internet, but on your phone - LG V20 review The new In Apps search finds content not on the Internet, but on your phone - LG V20 review The new In Apps search finds content not on the Internet, but on your phone - LG V20 review
The new In Apps search finds content not on the Internet, but on your phone

LG's HD Audio Recorder app deserves a special mention. The Normal UI is quite basic, but Concert has some astounding features. LG V20's High Acoustic Overload Point mics can record sound up to 132dB - much louder than the already deafening 120dB the V10 could manage.

And the quality is top notch - uncompressed WAV and compressed FLAC are available at up to 24-bit and 192kHz. Going to Custom gives you manual control over Gain, Low cut filter (75Hz/150Hz) and Limiter (prevents clipping of low-frequency sounds).

The app lets you record voice over an audio file (say, a vocal track for your new song) and you can use headphones to monitor the sound.

HD Audio recorder: Normal - LG V20 review HD Audio recorder: Concert - LG V20 review HD Audio recorder: Manual - LG V20 review HD Audio recorder: Settings - LG V20 review
HD Audio recorder: Normal Concert Manual Settings

Using LG V20's IR blaster and the QRemote app you can control most electronic equipment at home - TVs, set-top boxes, audio players, projectors and air conditioners. The phone can also learn control codes from existing remotes, so it supports everything that's IR-controlled (think LED strips, some cleaning robots, etc.).

QRemote creates a virtual universal remote - LG V20 review QRemote creates a virtual universal remote - LG V20 review QRemote creates a virtual universal remote - LG V20 review
QRemote creates a virtual universal remote

The LG Backup app has two functions - backup (obviously) and transfer. Using the latter, you can copy most data off your old phone onto the V20, simplifying the upgrade process. Backups store personal data and settings, data from the internal storage and downloaded apps. There's no cloud backup solution, though - you have to manually upload the backup file to your cloud storage provider of choice.

LG Backup can also transfer your data between phones - LG V20 review LG Backup can also transfer your data between phones - LG V20 review LG Backup can also transfer your data between phones - LG V20 review
LG Backup can also transfer your data between phones

Smart doctor takes care of your storage and battery. It can free up both RAM and internal storage. It also serves as a portal to Android's battery saving features. Diagnose goes a bit further and will look for issues with apps, network connectivity, storage and battery and point you to the right section of the online Help documents.

A quick glance at your phone's health - LG V20 review Any issues with apps - LG V20 review Any battery hogs? - LG V20 review
A quick glance at your phone's health Any issues with apps Any battery hogs?

Reader comments

we bought a 8500ah extra battery was inexpensive now we have enough power for a week between charging!

I have compared Images taken by the LG V20 to recent flagships Images and the I.Q. is on par with the best! awesome device!

awesome phone and a steal at 100$