Featured Review: LG V10 on AT&T

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What’s in a reputation?  First impressions are every thing, so if you see a phone named one thing easy like G4 or V10, you may assume it’s a reasonably easy phone.  That’s the place you’d be flawed although in case you assumed that the LG V10, LG’s latest high-finish phone on the market, was a easy phone.  It’s fairly the other, because the V10 not solely boasts a second screen above the primary one but in addition pushes the guide mode features of the camera on board to the restrict, blurring the road between skilled cameras and smartphone cameras.  All this tacked on prime of the already large and sophisticated ecosystem and OS that LG has constructed on prime of Android and also you’re taking a look at probably the most complicated and feature-wealthy telephones on the market.  However on this age of simplicity and velocity is that this actually the appropriate product for LG, or will this one eternally be relinquished to a distinct segment market?  Let’s discover out.



LG has actually intelligently designed the V10 as an alternative of simply pushing all of the numbers as high as they go, and it actually exhibits within the spec record.  Identical to they did with the G4, LG has opted to make use of the Snapdragon 808 as an alternative of the Snapdragon 810, which is a 64-bit hexa-core CPU comprised of a dual-core 1.82GHz Cortex-A57 processor and a quad-core 1.44GHz Cortex-A53 processor.  This one packs an Adreno 418 GPU but nonetheless pushes the 5.7-inch Quad-HD 1440 x 2560 pixel Quantum IPS display and a secondary one hundred sixty x 1040 pixel Quantum “ticker” display above the primary one.

4GB of LPDDR4 RAM are inside for the speediest expertise you'll be able to have, and 64GB of internal storage are right here with microSD card help in case that isn’t sufficient.  There’s a 16-megapixel 1/2.6-inch Sony Exmor IMX234 sensor on the again with OIS, and on the front there’s not one however two cameras as properly.  Each are 5-megapixel cameras however one features an 80-diploma lens whereas the opposite is a large-angle one hundred twenty-diploma lens.  A 3,000mAh battery retains the phone going all day lengthy, and there’s even a high-decision 32-bit DAC inside for superb audio high quality.



LG’s Quantum IPS shows have been making their look in a couple of flagships now and present LG’s reliance on LCD know-how for its mobile units.  It’s notably fascinating to see this whereas they’re those pushing OLED TVs to the market greater than another producer on the market, and it leads one to marvel why.  Black ranges  vary from poor to respectable however are usually inside the vary of most LCDs on the market.  There’s some vital mild bleed that comes from that second screen, notably in ambient screen mode when the highest screen is displaying solely date and time.  The one time black ranges look nice are when the display is stored to a darker brightness degree, a degree that it typically prefers when in auto brightness mode.  Viewing angles are principally good apart from the black degree loss, and there’s some bizarre screen sharpening going on right here too that provides it a jarring look.  It’s not as dangerous as on the G3, nevertheless it must be completed away with completely.

Color accuracy is fairly good as nicely and features much less saturated colours than your typical AMOLED panel, nevertheless, white stability was a tad too on the cool aspect for my liking.  Brightness was definitely phenomenal as you'd anticipate from an LCD and I had zero points seeing the whole lot even in broad daylight.  The touch expertise was additionally excellent and exhibits that LG nonetheless sources a few of the best digitizers on the marketplace for correct and quick multi-touch responsiveness.  The highest display has all the very same qualities and setbacks because the bigger display, together with the good touch responsiveness and mediocre black ranges.  Each panels are tremendous high decision and also you’d be arduous pressed to see any pixels regardless of how shut you get to both screen.

Hardware and Construct


A 5.7-inch display is a tad bigger than the shows that LG has been utilizing in its flagships of late, and it’s truly fascinating to see them do that provided that there’s now a further smaller ticker display on prime of that one too.  It’s completely potential that LG is making an attempt to show some extent by offering additional screen actual property but once more with out truly growing the dimensions of its telephones over rivals, as this phone features the identical sized 5.7-inch display of the Nexus 6p, as an example, whereas including a further screen and nonetheless coming in with a barely shorter type issue.  It's a tad wider than the 6p although because of these metallic bars on both sides, however general the slight curve of the again of the phone, coupled with the silicone rubberized materials on the again, make this one straightforward to carry for followers of bigger telephones.

The construct itself is strong sufficient, however it truthfully seems a bit bizarre.  The body is chrome steel and fairly strong, with an excellent weight to it that makes it really feel extra sturdy than most telephones.  Couple this with the silicone materials used on a lot of the physique and the again and also you’ll perceive why the V10 acquired the MIL-STD-810G toughness score.  Which means the phone ought to be capable of be dropped someplace within the ballpark of 26 occasions on a picket floor, and considerably much less when it hits concrete.  That in fact, doesn’t imply it’s infallible as we’ve seen from a couple of drop checks across the net, however it definitely will last more in these situations than the overwhelming majority of high-finish units on the market.  All in all of the phone is available in Area Black, Luxe White, Trendy Beige, Ocean Blue and Opal Blue colours, supplying you with loads of selection.

On the again, you’ll discover these well-known LG buttons together with a spherical power button which doubles as a fingerprint scanner. Quantity up and down buttons encompass the power button and are recessed into the body whereas the massive spherical camera sensor protrudes a tiny bit from the physique, and a metallic ring protects the lens from hopefully getting scratched or damaged.  On both aspect of this camera module, you’ll discover the dual-LED flash in addition to the colour sensor and laser auto focus.  On the underside, you’ll discover all of the ports together with the 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB charging port, and a single small speaker. Up prime, you’ll solely discover certainly one of three noise-cancelling microphones in addition to the IR blaster for utilizing the phone as a distant management.

Performance and Reminiscence


LG has as soon as once more opted to make use of the much less highly effective Snapdragon 808 as an alternative of the highest-tier Snapdragon 810 as they did with the G4.  Which means whereas benchmarks and different exams are going to point out this one being a tad bit weaker than even final yr’s flagship telephones, just like the Galaxy Word 4, you in all probability gained’t discover a lot of a distinction in on a regular basis duties.  LG’s interface is definitely cluttered and messy wanting, nevertheless it’s quick and fluid and presents some significantly butter-like efficiency in each key space.  The solely place I observed any distinction in any respect in efficiency was throughout gaming, by which games persistently ran at a decrease framerate than on a Snapdragon 810 powered phone with the identical decision, just like the Nexus 6p for instance.  The most important holdup right here goes to be the weaker GPU coupled with a high-decision Quad-HD display and the extra ticker display, which doesn’t push any graphical boundaries however continues to be extra pixels to render.

Multi-tasking was phenomenal, which must be anticipated given the 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM.  This makes the LG V10 among the many absolute prime-tier in RAM efficiency and out there utilization measurement, which means apps shortly load out and in of memory when wanted and apps keep asleep in memory extra typically, retaining their relaunching quicker than ever.  A devoted multi-tasking Overview button is right here and is all the time welcomed, because it provides a one-touch strategy to get to apps.  There’s additionally multi-window help right here for excessive multi-tasking on apps that help it, though that listing is comparatively brief until you need to root the phone and broaden it.  Lastly is the memory efficiency which is completely off the charts.  This phone isn’t encrypted and on prime of that LG makes use of absolutely the cream of the crop internal NAND for storage, incomes it the EPIC certification from SanDisk.  This is absolutely the quickest internal storage I’ve ever seen in a phone. On common it’s a completely bonkers 5-15 occasions the velocity of many different telephones on the market, particularly encrypted telephones just like the Nexus 5x and 6p, which don’t use hardware encryption options and endure for it in storage velocity.



As was stated earlier than, benchmarks will possible be disappointing to behold, however they don’t imply a big quantity in actual-world conditions.  The exception right here, in fact, is that insanely quick internal storage velocity, which has a huge impact on multitasking and loading of apps and different info.

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Telephone Calls and Community


AT&T’s network is usually wonderful and offers each nice LTE protection and a strong 3g/HSPA network to again that up.  I discovered that the sign power was kind of just like T-Cellular’s, which suggests LTE almost all over the place you go together with a number of spots of HSPA-solely whenever you’re inside some buildings.  Rural protection, particularly LTE protection, was higher than T-Cellular in my testing, however general LTE speeds have been the identical or slower than T-Cellular’s in areas the place obtainable.  Name high quality was wonderful and the network sign was dependable in each state of affairs I used to be in.

Sample AT&T LTE speed

Pattern AT&T LTE velocity

Battery Life


3,000mAh is fairly commonplace for a phablet-sized phone these days and even ranges on the small aspect when in comparison with some current phablets just like the Nexus 6p.  No matter this bodily distinction I discovered the battery life to be higher than common in each regard, particularly in relation to standby.  On common I acquired by way of a full day from waking as much as bedtime (round 18 hours) with at the very least 20% left every single day, even on days with heavy utilization.  Standby time was unimaginable and I discovered the phone would final days on finish with little to no draining of the battery, all occurring even with out Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s new Doze battery saver mode.  Benchmarking put this one round 5 hours of screen-on time and I discovered that to be barely greater than my common of slightly below 5 on its best day.



Let’s get the much less thrilling half out of the best way first this time round and speak concerning the meek speaker on the underside of the phone.  This speaker placement is definitely higher than again facing indisputably, however having audio system on the front is significantly higher for apparent causes.  Regardless this can be a respectable tiny speaker with loads of volume and readability, however not an entire lot else to cowl.  Sound output by way of the headset jack is the actually thrilling factor right here, and LG has paid notably shut consideration to the V10’s talents on this space.  A 32-bit DAC offers high-decision audio for models that help it and might be toggled on and off to save lots of battery when the upper-powered DAC doesn’t have to be used.  On or off although the V10 outputs a few of the most spectacular sound I’ve ever heard on any smartphone, and can probably blow you away with its high quality. This may increasingly truly be the only phone to personal should you’re an audiophile simply due to this specific feature.

Software program


LG customers because the 2013 G2 will know precisely what to anticipate right here.  LG’s pores and skin definitely appears distinctive with that gray and teal colour scheme.  Little to nothing has modified right here because the newest design was unveiled on the G3 announcement final summer time, apart from a couple of additional features being tacked on right here and there.  Initially the phone was utterly overwhelming and I discovered myself not figuring out precisely the place to start out first.  There’s a whole lot of visible info on screen at any given time limit and whereas primary customers ought to be fantastic simply utilizing the mainstay phone, messaging, e-mail, browser and camera apps, these in search of some additional features might need to hunt round a bit.  Menus are nested inside menus, settings are hidden and normally the entire expertise is fairly complicated.  Most of LG’s features are extremely helpful and very nice, however there’s virtually too lots of them, and it might be good to see LG trim up their OS considerably subsequent time round.

Outdoors of the muddle and hidden nature of most of the features there’s not an excessive amount of to complain about right here.  LG actually must get with the occasions and permit customers to increase the fast toggles into the complete-screen grid, as having a scrolling row of 15 icons is neither fast or straightforward to make use of, and finally ends up being a complicated affair that the majority will in all probability by no means use outdoors of the primary few set there by default.  The remainder of the features listed here are all mainstays of LG telephones and we’re not going to go in depth with each single one since they’re not likely something new, nevertheless you possibly can absolutely anticipate to take pleasure in numerous additional features just like the IR blaster distant management app, loads of AT&T pack-ins and pre-put in apps, and a house screen launcher that’s principally wonderful.  All of LG’s apps have been absolutely up to date to look extra trendy, together with flat shading, tinted standing bars and hovering materials design action buttons.  As long as the odd shade scheme right here or there doesn’t bug you these are all extremely practical, helpful apps.

Second Display


One of many largest features of the V10 is the second screen and it is useful in multiple means.  Apart from appearing as an all the time-on display to provide you info with out having to show the massive screen on, the ticker additionally shows shortcuts, additional controls for apps just like the camera, and even extra detailed notifications that don’t should pop up on your most important screen.  There are two totally different configuration modes for the second screen, the primary of which is whereas the phone is off.  That is the simplest mode and can both display a easy message that’s utterly customizable, or the date and time as an alternative.  It’s good to have the ability to pull the phone out of your pocket to examine the date and time with out having to show the entire screen on, particularly in case you don’t have a watch or aren’t close to a clock.  It saves battery and it’s one much less step in having to press that power button.

Whereas the primary screen is on there’s a ton of various issues that may be achieved with the second ticker screen together with protecting a signature or message up prime, shortcuts for 5 apps of your selecting, music playback controls, fast contacts and calendar occasions.  All of those panes might be enabled or disabled to your selecting, and I discovered myself disabling the signature one immediately because it’s pretty ineffective (it’s only a easy textual content that does nothing).  App shortcuts are fairly probably one of many best makes use of of the display and hold you from having to return residence simply to launch your favourite apps.  There’s additionally the fast contacts feature which helps you to dial or message a contact instantly from the second screen, once more with out having to navigate away from what you’re doing on the primary screen.  All this comes collectively to make the V10 an absolute beast in terms of multi-tasking.  Greater than probably people who love to root and modify their telephones could have an absolute hayday with this one.

Security and Privateness


Fingerprint scanning has been an business-altering development over the previous 2 years, and whereas this solely runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and doesn’t embrace Google’s new native fingerprint scanning help, it’s acquired LG’s custom answer as an alternative.  Sadly I discovered that the fingerprint scanner actually wasn’t all that nice when in comparison with the 2015 Samsung flagships, the Nexus 5x, or the Nexus 6p.  It was sluggish and sometimes simply wouldn’t register my fingerprint to unlock the phone, and whereas I by no means eliminated the fingerprint unlock safety in the course of my review I discovered myself getting irritated with it greater than as soon as.

Oddly sufficient you possibly can’t simply unlock the phone by putting your fingerprint on the scanner, you need to press it first and depart your finger there for it to be learn and unlock the phone.  This wasn’t superb, particularly after being spoiled by the Nexus 5x and 6p’s lightning quick one-touch unlocking.  Not having native Android fingerprint scanning help in Lollipop means no help for fingerprint NFC funds, an replace that’ll be coming quickly to the V10 in all places and can remove this concern.  On the brilliant aspect you can even lock content material like footage and video by way of the fingerprint scanner, so these personal photographs can’t simply be checked out by anybody that has your phone.

Digital camera


Software program

The second actually huge feature of the V10 is the camera, and it’s the feature that LG has pushed probably the most each within the unveiling of the phone in New York Metropolis and in all of LG’s advert campaigns.  LG has develop into a market chief in camera software and efficiency, notably the guide mode on the camera, and has taken it as much as 11 with this phone.  There’s not solely a guide camera mode right here with all of the settings you'd anticipate and RAW picture help, there’s additionally full guide film management mode as nicely.  This phone is designed to take beautiful photographs and close to movie-class movies if you realize what you’re doing, and that could be the most important drawback for some customers when delving into this camera.

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There could be too many features, and whereas that sounds ridiculous it’s doubtless all within the format of the software.  Row upon row of icons are what LG makes use of for its settings as an alternative of a properly marked or labeled menu and it may be downright complicated at occasions.  It’s actually a disgrace too as a result of the general format is simply effective and truly works extremely nicely given simply how a lot there's to do right here.  For example going into video mode there are icons for the decision, framerate, bitrate, toggling the grid and the timer, however bitrate choices don’t inform you something past an H, M or L label.  In case you take note of the knowledge bar up prime it’ll present the bitrate altering, so it’s only a slight little bit of trial and error till you work it out, however it might be higher labeled.

Along with this there’s no decision itemizing within the camera mode in any respect, only a easy facet ratio.  This can be a 16:9 16-megapixel sensor and is about to that by default, however what’s complicated is that the software by no means tells you that.  Couple this with the truth that almost each different camera sensor on the market is 4:3 and sometimes occasions OEMs will ship the software in 16:9 with a cropped decision and also you’ve received some confusion throughout.  LG wants so as to add some higher labels or no less than a toast notification to the camera to raised clarify a few of these features, however on the similar time they're meant for extra superior customers which are in all probability conversant in a lot of the icons already.  Regardless the extra primary customers on the market should not have any hassle as all of the default settings are simply superb and a easy faucet of the shutter or document button is probably going all some individuals will ever do, and there’s no configuration required for that.

Guide mode is extremely highly effective and has all of the instruments you’d ever want as a photographer together with white stability, publicity, guide focus, ISO, shutter velocity and even an publicity lock button.  All the things is about to automated when launching the guide mode so that you simply solely have to regulate parameters you are feeling are vital.  Because the software does a usually good job of mechanically detecting the state of affairs you’re taking a picture of this can be a phenomenal answer for serving to ease customers into guide mode.  These on the lookout for present settings will discover them up prime within the info bar, by which actually all the things you’d want outdoors of the particular decision is current.  There’s even directional audio capabilities because of 3 nicely positioned microphones on the physique.  Verify that out in action within the video under:

Selfies and Social Video

LG has included not one however two front-facing cameras on the V10.  Each are meant for selfies in fact however one features an 80-diploma lens for extra private single photographs of your self, whereas the opposite features a one hundred twenty-diploma large-angle lens for getting teams of individuals or backgrounds within the shot.  These aren’t the best high quality selfie cameras round and I discovered that even with HDR enabled issues tended to get washed out, however it’s what you are able to do with these cameras that’s actually fascinating.  LG has included a mode within the camera software referred to as Multi-View in which you'll be able to choose totally different collage grids and take footage inside these grids utilizing any of the 3 cameras on board.  Swiping in every field modifications between cameras and also you’ll take the photographs one by one quite than suddenly, letting you do a lot of various things between photographs to get the purpose throughout.  It’s a very enjoyable mode that makes creating enjoyable photographs fairly straightforward.

Snap video is one other social mode the place LG has created a method to make fast 60-second movies of what you’re doing, or for the extra Vine or Instagram heavy consumer a option to clip these movies right into a a lot shorter clip.  From this mode you'll be able to both press and maintain to report clips as you're probably used to with apps like Vine and Instagram, or you possibly can let the software assemble a demo reel of what’s value watching within the clips and movies saved on your phone.  Take a look at our palms on from the LG occasion to see this in action!

Photographs and Video

Digital camera high quality as an entire is phenomenal and ranks among the many best of any smartphone on the market.  That 16:9 16-megapixel decision may throw you off at first simply because we’re usually used to seeing footage in 4:3 or 3:2 facet ratios, however know that these are the complete 16-megapixel decision they usually just about all the time look superb.  LG tends to overexpose only a tad bit in most photographs, and whereas that may result in blown out highlights it additionally picks up extra shadow element that different telephones may miss.  It’s definitely right down to what look you need and there’s all the time the guide mode too, the place you'll be able to depart all the things else at auto and simply choose the changes you’d wish to make.

Auto-HDR mode makes a return right here and tends to do an outstanding job of detecting what’s wanted in a cut up second.  HDR is usually wonderful though typically I discovered that the publicity bracketing took too lengthy and even the OIS module couldn’t assist maintain it from being a blurry shot, particularly when one-handing the phone to take pictures.  Focusing is lightning quick and virtually all the time will get it proper the primary time, and the white stability is nearly all the time wonderful too because of that colour spectrum analyzer subsequent to the laser auto focus module.  General I discovered that some pictures tended to look barely cooler than regular, however once more this slight adjustment may be made in guide mode if it bothers you.

Daylight high quality is downright superb and even indoor photographs come out crisp and clear.  LG’s denoise filter works properly right here and its destructive impacts are minimized just because there are such a lot of pixels to work with, and photographs typically turned out fairly a bit sharper than different cameras I've in my possession throughout nicely-lit or indoor scenes.  There’s actually not anybody space the camera struggles in and it even goes toe-to-toe with the Nexus 5x/6p on this space, which is spectacular contemplating that phone has a sensor that’s not solely a era newer however features bigger pixels too.  LG has put collectively a tremendous software package deal right here and it actually exhibits within the outcomes.

Video is probably going a few of the best video ever seen from a smartphone, and that’s simply as a lot to do with software as it's hardware.  LG has constructed a complicated optical image stabilization (OIS) sensor into this phone that works extra time to ship probably the most regular video potential.  4K 30FPS video is right here and appears nice, though it solely features common OIS, not the superior regular video mode that 1080p and 720p modes supply.  These trying to give decision up for that regular camera can be extremely comfortable right here, and there’s even 120FPS mode at 720p for sluggish-movement enjoyable.  Take a look at the camera and video samples under to see simply how good this camera is for your self!


The Good

Strong construct that’s army grade

Superb camera

32-bit DAC for high-decision audio

Nice battery life

Oodles of features

Second screen for superior multi-tasking

Liquid clean efficiency

The Dangerous

LG’s pores and skin is simply feeling bloated and complicated at this level

Single backside-facing speaker

Some phone colours are downright ugly

Poor black ranges on the screen

Fingerprint reader is mediocre and might be sluggish if not pressed precisely proper

Ultimate Ideas


The LG V10 is definitely one of many best telephones this yr, there’s completely little question.  It’s received a hardened construct, nice specs, unimaginable high-res audio and a camera that might make some skilled photographers actually completely happy.  These on the lookout for a extra simplified expertise could be comfortable too, as long as you don’t attempt to enterprise too deep into the settings menu, the place issues are typically nested and hidden from plain sight.  Outdoors of the marginally convoluted pores and skin LG has right here there’s tons of features to take pleasure in and many to study, which means you’ll be discovering out new issues the V10 does in all probability even months after proudly owning it.  In the event you’re on the lookout for an amazingly quick and fluid expertise, a prime-class camera with extra guide modes than some other on the market and even only a place to play high-decision 32-bit audio with out spending hundreds of dollars that is the fitting place to look.  It’s an enormous phone with a reasonably large price tag, however the payoff is properly value it!

Source : GottabeMobile