LG V60 review: LG’s best effort in years is worth a look

LG V60
LG V60

LG V60 review: LG’s best effort in years is worth a look

LG appears to be embracing the mantra “go big or go home.” The LG V60 ThinQ 5G isn’t solely bodily enormous, it’s a giant gamble for LG within the face of stiff competition from Samsung and others. The V60 marks the third phone from LG to characteristic an optional second show that transforms the phone into one thing akin to a foldable. Additional, LG is searching for to make a stand on pricing by undercutting different flagships by a whole lot of {dollars}. The consequence? A brand new phone that clings to previous ideas whereas still moving the bar — even when just a bit.

LG V60 review: Shifting timelines

That is sometimes the time of year when LG pronounces its G-series phones, which compete directly with Samsung’s Galaxy S series and Huawei’s P series. As a substitute, LG trotted out a refresh to its media-focused V series months sooner than traditional. LG has remained mum on the destiny of the G series, although rumors counsel it’s being downgraded from full flagship status and even fully deserted.

Whatever the destiny of the G, the V60 is up in opposition to some critical competition. Samsung’s trio of Galaxy S20 phones are powerful, camera-focused beasts. And although we should have some misgivings concerning the Pixel Four and Pixel Four XL, Google’s phones still provide one of the best total digicam results. LG additionally has to deal with Apple’s well-crafted iPhone 11 series, Huawei’s P40 series, and Motorola’s rumored return to the flagship house.

The optional Dual Display accent, which permits the V60 to supply a few of the advantages of a folding phone, undoubtedly helps set the phone aside from its rivals. Is it sufficient to persuade patrons LG is the way in which to go?

Design: Altering things up. Kinda

LG recycled its conservative designs for a number of years. The G7 and G8, and the V40 and V50, for instance, had been practically an identical gadgets year over year. Fortunately, this year LG made some welcome updates to its design language. Whereas the V60 does carry over many fundamental {hardware} parts from its predecessors, it’s on the very least sporting some new clothes.

The V60 is available in two colorways: white and blue. The place the white model has silver accents, the blue variant has copper accents. Each are enhancements over the strong black/blue of the V40 and V50. The blue and copper model, particularly, has a good-looking look to it that gives some persona. Typically just a little persona goes a good distance.

LG V60
LG V60

LG went with the glass sandwich method. The entrance and rear panels are strong glass, and are separated by a steel body. On our white review unit, the steel is naked and features a polished chamfer that catches the sunshine. It’s just a little Phone Design 2016, however I believe it’s elegant in its simplicity. The white glass is multi-hued and has a bluish, wintry forged to it. I’ve no reservations concerning the high quality of the supplies or the style during which they’re assembled. It’s a high-quality piece of {hardware}.

I hope you want big phones: The V60 is taller and wider than the already-too-big S20 Ultra.

I hope you want big phones, as a result of the LG V60 is perfectly gargantuan. It’s noticeably taller and wider than the already-too-large Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. There’s a saving grace Here: the V60 weighs 6g lower than the weighty S20 Ultra, and that is apparent whenever you maintain them aspect by aspect. It will not be a lot, nevertheless it’s one thing. In any other case, the V60 is a handful. When inserted into the Dual Display accent, the V60 borders on mini laptop size. Unwieldy is a phrase I’d use to explain it.

Taking a fast spin across the {hardware}, the V60 covers the basics after which some. The entrance glass is sort of perfectly flat and options solely the slightest curve the place it tucks into the steel body. The rear glass is far more rounded alongside the sides. You’ve bought separate quantity buttons on the left edge, in addition to a devoted Google Assistant button. The screen lock / power key’s on the proper edge. All 4 keys provide exMobileent journey and suggestions. The combo SIM / microSD card tray is on prime, and the USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and downward-firing speaker are all positioned on the underside edge.

If there’s one final factor concerning the {hardware} that I admire, it’s the digicam module. Moderately than paste a giant ugly sq. onto the rear panel, LG saved its horizontal line of lenses operating from side-to-side. The place the cameras had been flush on the V40 and V50, the module is raised barely on the V60. It comes across as much more tasteful and chic than blemishes on the backs of the S20, iPhone 11, P40, and Pixel 4.

Final, the phone is rated IP68 for cover in opposition to water and grime.

The LG V60 will not be setting the design world on hearth, nevertheless it’s not dousing it in chilly water both.

Display: Double the pleasure

Not like its rivals, the V60’s show doesn’t undertake any fancy new know-how. You gained’t discover a excessive refresh fee, nor even Quad HD decision. Nay, the V60’s 6.8-inch pOLED carries ahead Full HD+ decision at 2,460 by 1,080 pixels for a 20.5:9 side ratio. Pixel density is simply 395ppi, which is decidedly decrease than the ~540ppi of the S20 series. The usual refresh fee surprises me extra so than the decision. With Google, OnePlus, Samsung, and different producers adopting 90Hz and 120Hz panels, the V60’s 60Hz screen comes across as reasonably stiff. That stated, it’s still a fine screen.

LG has at all times made good screens and I’ve no actual complaints concerning the V60’s panel. (Okay, apart from the bezels.) The pixels are giant sufficient that particular person pixels stay hidden even upon shut inspection. Shade accuracy appears to be items, that means whites look white and colours seem wealthy. There’s solely the slightest blue shift whenever you tilt the phone at an angle.

The S20’s screen appears to be extra sensible than the V60’s when the 2 are held subsequent to 1 one other.

LG claims that the screen pumps out 500nits relating to brightness. It’s actually vibrant sufficient to make use of open air underneath a sunny sky. The S20’s screen, nevertheless, appears to be extra sensible when the 2 are held subsequent to 1 one other.

Oddly, LG went with a teardrop notch to make room for the selfie digicam. Notches have turn out to be an outdated design selection and I’d have a lot most popular to see a punch gap cutout for the digicam. Moreover, LG’s New Second Display software, which lets you customise the background colours of the notification bar (and thus erase the notch) doesn’t work when the phone is ready to Darkish Mode. This befuddling selection means the notch is at all times seen in Darkish Mode. C’mon LG.

The show panel of the Dual Display is an identical to the primary screen. LG went with the identical size, decision, and side ratio to maintain the expertise constant across the 2. It even retains the notch, despite the fact that there’s no digicam on the Dual Display (what the what?). Importantly, the colour steadiness is identical. It wasn’t on older variations of the Dual Display, which suggests whites didn’t match. This time round, they do. That’s a superb factor.

As anticipated, you may management practically each side concerning the screen, together with night time mode, blue mild filtering, brightness, and far more.

Plucky and performant

Speed

As is predicted of a 2020 flagship, the LG V60 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with 8GB of RAM. That’s much less reminiscence than the S20 Ultra, however on par with many different flagships within the house. So far as on a regular basis use is worried, the phone feels speedy and powerful. It blasts by means of duties with ease and by no means felt slowed down or sluggish. So far as benchmarks go, I discovered the results to be a bit curious. For instance, it handily bested the S20 Ultra in GeekBench, however fell behind on 3DMark. The V60 matched the S20’s GFXBench scores. Bottom line Here is that I don’t suppose you’re going to run into any efficiency things.

It lives!

LG prioritized battery life, and it exhibits. The 5,000mAh power Mobile inside delivers exMobileent battery life. Day by day screen-on time simply surpassed 5 hours across per week, and even reached Eight hours over two full days. Our Speed Check G battery torture take a look at, which simulates how the phone handles most processor output with the screen set to 200nits, additionally confirmed 5 hours of battery life. That bests the S20 Ultra by about 10 minutes. In my time with the phone, I by no means bumped into battery life points. Actually, the battery would be the V60’s best characteristic.

As for charging, it helps quick wired and wi-fi charging. The included 25W charger pumps the phone stuffed with juice quickly. Going from zero, it reached 27% after 15 minutes, 52% after 30 minutes, and 100% after 92 minutes. It’s not the fastest-charging phone ever, nevertheless it shouldn’t must be plugged in too usually.

Dual screen: Heavy, hindered

Hunka {hardware}

By itself, the Dual Display nearly appears to be like a phone. Black glass covers the entrance, although the glass isn’t an precise show. A slender monochrome window close to the highest exhibits the time, climate, and notifications. The glass is encased in a soft-touch plastic body. It’s worthwhile to slot the phone into the case vertically to mate with the USB-C connector contained in the case, then press the phone in firmly. A slim cutout on the rear permits the digicam array to peek by means of. The precise second show is discovered inside.

The hinge strikes a fluid 360-degrees, permitting the Dual Display to wrap all the way in which round. The Dual Display has no drawback supporting itself, permitting the V60 to sit down like a laptop or stand like a tent. You’ll discover plastic nubs on the left aspect that allow you to activate the quantity and Assistant controls, whereas giant cutouts alongside the underside permit you to join headphones and to listen to the speaker. The fitting aspect of the phone is uncovered.

The LG V60 with Dual Display isn’t the most elegant contraption.

The phone’s USB-C port is inaccessible when within the Dual Display. As a substitute, LG put in a MagSafe-like magnetic connector to the skin of the case. An adapter included with the Dual Display goes on the top of the USB-C charging cable and attaches to the underside of the case magnetically for charging. This can be a horrible resolution. Certainly many will lose the adapter. USB-C pass-through makes extra sense to us. Thank goodness the phone can cost wirelessly when sporting the Dual Display.

Together, the V60 and Dual Display weigh an unimaginable 351g — greater than three-quarters of a pound. The mixed package deal is considerably bulkier and heavier than simply about any phone I’ve ever used. It’s really annoying to hold round in your pocket. This isn’t on your tight denims. Actually, it’s so cumbersome that I fear many individuals will forego the Dual Display for the sake of usability.

It’s not the most elegant contraption, however the LG V60 ThinQ with the Dual Display does present the basics of a two-screen / large-screen expertise.

software

The Dual Display is managed by a floating widget on the house screen. Faucet it to entry the assorted Dual Display features. You may as well flip the second screen on through Fast Settings.

By default, the Dual Display acts as a separate home screen with its personal app dock on the Bottom. You may open any app on the second screen it doesn’t matter what you’re doing with the primary screen. You may as well: select a default app to launch at any time when the Dual Display is toggled on; push the house screen over to the Dual Display; put the primary screen to sleep; or swap screens.

A number of extra choices turn out to be out there inside applications. For instance, you may open the huge view, which stretches an app across each screens. Remember, the hinge separates the screens by half an inch and it’s reasonably ugly operating down the center of your app. Moreover, not all apps assist this view. Fortunately LG has improved the listing since final year and fundamental Google apps (Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Images, YouTube) are supported. Most different apps don’t assist huge view, which is a significant bummer.

Here’s the worst half. Just one app runs at a time on the Dual Display. And you can not drag-and-drop an app (or content material from an app) on one screen to an app the opposite. The Galaxy Fold can run as much as three apps at a time, and means that you can transfer content material backwards and forwards.

LG put in a Game Launcher app that serves as a house on your video games. Here, you should use the LG Game Pad when taking part in supported video games. The primary screen turns right into a controller to handle the motion on the second screen. What’s extra, you may absolutely customise the sport pad and even create your individual.

The V60 with Dual Display does not fairly do what I needed or hoped it could.

In my time testing the phone, I discovered the largest advantage of the Dual Display was to easily have two full-screen apps side-by-side. I might run Slack on one and browse the net within the different.

Bottom line, the V60 doesn’t fairly do what I needed or hoped it could, which is to open up and provides me a bigger, single house on which to play and create. As a substitute, it gives two separate areas that gained’t work together with each other.

Camera: Missing optics

If there’s one characteristic flagship phones must excel at, it’s the digicam. competition between Apple, Google, Huawei, LG, and Samsung is fierce relating to imaging. “Simply okay” isn’t ok for flagship patrons. The V60 doesn’t fairly match its rivals, nevertheless it comes nearer than ever.

LG made an attention-grabbing change this year. For some time, the G series had been restricted to 2 rear cameras whereas the V series added a 3rd for the ultra-wide, common, and telephoto configuration. The V60, nevertheless, drops the optical telephoto lens and as an alternative depends on digital zooming in the primary sensor. That is an attention-grabbing shift at a time when the competition is rolling out periscoped telephoto lenses for even higher optics.

The V60’s predominant sensor captures 64MP photos at f/1.8. The pixel size is 0.Eight microns, and the digicam provides a 78-degree area of view. This sensor bins right down to 16MP. LG says it helps zoom from 2x to 10x. The ultra-wide digicam has a 13MP sensor at f/1.9 with 1-micron pixels and a 117-degree FoV. The delta between the primary sensor and ultra-wide is big, as you’ll discover whenever you zoom out and in whereas utilizing the digicam. These are each assisted by a time-of-flight sensor, which generates depth data.

shots I took with the LG V60 look fine, however not exceptional.

shots I took with the LG V60 look fine, however not exceptional. White steadiness was nearly at all times correct, however publicity was inconsistent. The phone struggled when utilizing HDR. Within the monument shots you may see that the tree is overexposed whereas a lot of the element within the cubby is misplaced to darkness. I hoped for higher. I additionally seen a whole lot of sharpening utilized to shots, which ends up in a barely noisy look. shots of individuals look strong, for the most half. Bokeh in portrait shots is first rate, with sharp aid between the topic and background.

As a lot as I like ultra-wide cameras, I used to be a bit let down with the V60’s results. The 117-degree FoV results in Ultra seen optical distortion. I anticipated to see some, nevertheless it’s a too robust an impact in some photos. Zoom works pretty effectively. Keep in mind, there’s no optical zoom Here; it’s all managed through software digital crop. The high-resolution sensor helps preserve photos pretty detailed and sharp as you zoom in, however you may see some noise within the zoomed shots.

The selfie digicam takes 10MP snaps at f/1.9. The sector of view is pretty slender at 72.5 levels. This implies no wide-angle selfies. That stated, the shots come across as clear, sharp, and correctly centered. Portrait shots are just a little noisy, however still perfectly acceptable.

On the video entrance, the V60 is ready to file 8K video at 24fps. LG says the frames per second may very well run 25 or 26, however that is to make sure that the common is 24. With out an 8K TV or monitor, we have now no technique to assess simply how good the standard is. The 4K 60fps shots I shot, then again, appears to be wonderful.

Here and there

Now hear this: LG continues to be the most effective phone makers relating to audio. We’ve got to provide LG some applause for protecting the three.5mm headphone jack out there on its phones. This alone might make LG worth contemplating. However LG takes it a step additional. The V60 carries over the quad DAC we’ve come to like for processing audio and the result’s superior sound relating to media playback. Then there’s audio seize. The V60 has 4 mics that handle to file crystal clear sound. One characteristic we actually admire: The audio can successfully “zoom” together with the lens when you find yourself taking shots video, that means the sound facilities in your topic. The results are palpable. LG handily bests the competition so far as audio is worried.

Stereo audio system are sometimes hit and miss on flagships, however LG knocked them out of the park. Combining the output from the earpiece and bottom-firing speaker, the V60 delivers crisp, punchy sound which you can crank means up. It’s the best-sounding phone I’ve heard this year.

LG Pay: With an NFC radio no board, the LG V60 ships with LG Pay out of the field. That is LG’s Mobile fee service, which competes with Android Pay and Samsung Pay. We’re calling it out as a result of LG was a lot slower to roll it out than its rivals and it’s now Here. You’ll must create an LG account (if you happen to don’t have already got one) and naturally add a debit or bank card. When you do, you may make the most of tap-to-pay Mobile transactions. LG Pay additionally works on the internet.

5G: LG lent us a T-Mobile variant of the V60 and it helps T-Mobile’s 5G community. We had been capable of take the phone out and take a look at it on T-Mobile’s sub-6GHz 5G community and got here away impressed. T-Mobile’s 5G footprint is fairly strong within the metro NYC space and delivered obtain speeds in extra of 150Mbps.

UX: LG has cleaned up its Android person interface, nevertheless it’s still not one of the best one on the market. The newer fonts and graphical parts come across as outdated and inelegant. I want the pre-loaded themes and wallpapers had been higher. It does provide loads of room for customization. A minimum of the V60 is operating Android 10 and has the February safety patch put in.

I do must take exception to the quantity of preinstalled bloatware. There are practically 20 T-Mobile and different apps loaded onto the phone. Whereas some could be eliminated, some can’t. The phone’s 128GB of storage isn’t in any hazard of being overrun, nevertheless it’s aggravating to have unremovable apps caught in your phone.

LG V60 review: Should you purchase it?

Ah sure, the all-important query. Here’s the deal: The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is a steal. The phone goes for $800 with out the Dual Display, or $999 with the Dual Display. (Some U.S. carriers are even providing the phone with the screen for $899.) That’s a whole lot lower than what Apple, Huawei, and Samsung cost for his or her flagships, and considerably raises the V60’s worth for cash equation.

Should you worth LG’s typical strengths, then the V60 may be just right for you. LG did a bang up job with the {hardware}, audio, and battery life particularly. The V60 is the battery grasp to beat in the meanwhile. Moreover, the optional Dual Display does add a measure of performance, although maybe not as a lot as true foldables, such because the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

However, some features of the phone disappoint. The digicam is kind of good, and but still manages to fall wanting what competing phones ship. Maybe extra damningly, the digicam doesn’t provide any standout options or performance. Then there’s the show. Whereas it’s a fine Full HD+ panel, it doesn’t provide the decision or the refresh fee out there on competing fashions that some customers might pine after. Final, the software feels infantile at instances and will use a lift in sophistication.

For the not-too-picky purchaser, the low worth and stellar battery life could also be cause sufficient to leap on the V60. For these searching for that little further one thing, the LG V60 ThinQ may go away you wanting