LG V20 Review
I bought my LG V20 phone about a year ago, and this smartphone is the first smartphone I have owned and my second Android device. I have the unlocked LG-US996 variant of the phone. I have owned the phone for a year, and I feel like I can voice my thoughts on what I like and do not like.
LG V20 Phone History
LG Electronics released the LG V20 in 2016. The phone is part of the LG V series, and the LG V20 is the second phone in the series. The next phone in the series is the LG V30 LG which was released in 2017.
I Love Android Nougat on the LG V20
When I bought my LG V20, it came with Nougat, and the phone is supposedly getting updated to Android Oreo. I will update this review if this happens and after I see if I like the update.
Overall I love the look and feel of Nougat and compared to older versions of Android I have used this feels like the best version so far. Every once in a while I get weird slowdowns, but I am not sure if that is an Android thing or something to do with my phone. I love to look and feel of the Android system, and I don't have anything particularly negative to say about it.
Negative Aspects: Bloatware
The default LG home screen lacks many customization options I value from custom launchers, and I installed Nova Launcher right away, and I have been using it since. I am the type of person that wants everything exactly how I want it, and I spend hours customizing my home screen and organizing my applications into tabs and folders.
LG ships the phone with their own version of applications like a messaging application and music player. I disabled or ignored most of them. I am very picky about software and tend to prefer using applications I have picked as my favorites.
I wish I could uninstall this bloatware but disabling the applications does the same thing. I can't disable a few other applications, and I do not see why some of these applications need to be in the system folder. I figured seeing how I have an unlocked phone it will be free of such things.
I want the most control over my phone I can get and the ability to personalize my Android is a huge reason of why I love this phone so much.
The LG V20 supports Qualcomm quick charge 3.0 and the phone charges very fast. I was impressed with how short a time it takes to get back near full charge when empty. The phone also changes much faster when completely off.
USB-C cables work great for the most part, and my only complaint is that the cables tend to break easily. Cords breaking is not a fault with the phone though, and the cords are cheap to replace.
The battery life of this phone is short, and it shows some days. I tend to carry my phone with me everywhere I go, so it is constantly on. Depending on how I am using the phone I get anywhere from about two to six hours of battery life. I only have older devices to compare the battery life to and compared to my first Android device the battery lifespan is longer.
Plus the fact that the phone has removable batteries evens out the short battery lifespan. I bought a second battery and a battery charging cradle, and I use both often. When my current battery dies, I put in the cradle and starting charging it, and then I use the alternate battery. Having two batteries gives the phone the lifespan I would want so it works nicely.
My major complaint is that the battery dies with about 15% battery life left after a year of use. I know this is an issue with all batteries of this type though so I don't pin this issue on the phone.
Poll Do You Think Having a Removable Battery Is Helpful?
My LG V20 phone has 64 Gigabytes of storage. At first, I wondered if they would be enough storage for me and it is. I no longer have as many applications installed, and I only keep what I actually use.
In addition to the available on phone storage, the phone supports SD cards up to 200GB, and I bought an SD card with 200GB when I first bought my phone. I mostly use the SD card for storing my local music collection, and I store my music using FLAC. Using FLAC takes up a lot of space, and without SD card support I would not be able to put my music on my phone. I know I can use streaming services and cloud storage, but I still prefer having a local music collection.
Having SD card support is something I love, and I will try to get it in future phones buy. SD card support is support is one of the reasons I bought this phone.
Poll Do You Want to Use SD Cards on Android Smartphones?
One of my main annoyances is the fact that the speakers are on the bottom of the phone. Holding the phone the wrong way or putting it down mutes the audio. I think phones with stereo front-facing speakers sound better. The speakers sound nice otherwise though, and they get loud enough when necessary.
The phone with headphones sounds considerably better, and the better sound quality is due to the built high-quality DAC. Phone calls sound great while wearing headphones, and so does listening to music. The better audio quality is a plus for the phone, and I love using the phone to listen to music.
What I Think About the Display Quality of the Phone
The LG V20 has an OK LCD screen. The biggest issue I have with the screen is the screen burn in that happens.
After leaving things on the screen for too long, they start to appear as ghost images on the screen for a while. I have read about this issue online and it as to due to the color calibration of the screen. There are ways to fix this issue, but the fixes are a bit too dramatic for me.
The Second Screen
The LG V20 has a second screen at the top, and there are multiple pieces of information this screen can show. While at first, it sounded cool in practice I do not use it very often. Right now I have the signature on so I can receive phone call notifications and answer calls with the second screen.
The Power Button and Fingerprint Reader
The power button and fingerprint reader are on the back of the phone, and this is quite different than any other Android device I have used in the past. I have to lift the phone up to bring it out of sleep, and this is a slight annoyance.
I use the fingerprint reader often, and I took the time to register all of my fingers. I use the fingerprint reader to unlock my device, and I also use it applications often when I can.
I am not the most experienced with photography, and I only have a basic understanding of photography terms. What I can say is that the camera works great for when I need to take pictures, and it is the best mobile camera I have used so far. I use the auto features and let it take whatever pictures it can. I have also used the wide angle lens occasionally, and it is a nice extra feature.
My Final Thoughts
Overall I have enjoyed the phone, and I love to use it. While the LG V20 has some specific issues, the positives are better than the negatives. If you can live with the shorter battery life, and the occasional screen burn-in I would recommend picking up the phone. Now that the LG V30 is out the LG V20 is considerably cheaper so you should have no trouble affording one.
© 2018 Eric Farmer