LG has finally ripped the covers off the latest addition to its flagship V series, the V20. In addition to being the first smartphone on the market to come with Android 7.0 Nougat pre-installed, the new model continues the multimedia focus of last year's V10 by bumping up the quality of video and audio recording and playback, and introducing deeper customization options when capturing media.
Last year, the V10 introduced the idea of adding a smaller secondary screen to the top of the phone for viewing notifications and multitasking apps. LG has carried the idea across to the V20, and while the main display is still the same 5.7-in QHD screen, the secondary one has seen some minor tweaks. It still crams the larger screen's pixel density of 513 ppi into its 160 x 1,040 resolution, but now it's twice as bright and displays text in a font that's 50 percent larger. Users can also now tap to expand a notification – to check a longer message, for example – and quickly send a reply.
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After touting the benefits of dual lens wide angle selfies last year, LG has removed one of the phone's front-facing cameras. The lone 5 MP cam picks up the slack with a 120-degree wide angle lens, while the rear camera can shoot in 16 MP with a 75-degree lens, or take 8-MP wide angle shots.
To keep clumsy fingers from blurring the shot when pressing the shutter button, LG has added an Auto Shot function that uses face detection to snap the photo as soon as it sees the subjects smiling and posing. A Hybrid Auto Focus system, meanwhile, is designed to keep video and photos sharp by first choosing between a Laser Detection or Phase Detection mechanism for each shot, and then subjecting it to a Contrast Auto Focus to further refine the focus.
For video, LG upgrades the V series to Steady Record 2.0, which adds digital image stabilization to the electronic system for smoother shots. Manual controls for audio quality allow users to apply a Low Cut Filter to reduce background noise, and set the recording distance with a Limiter to single out the desired voices and sound sources.
Audio recordings target a similar professional quality. The V20's three microphones capture a wide dynamic frequency range, and users can layer new recordings over old ones, adjusting the gains of different aspects to get it sounding just right. On the playback side of the equation, a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC is claimed to cut distortion and ambient noise by half, and supports lossless music formats like FLAC, DSD, AIFF and ALAC.
The brains of the operation is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, and memory-wise, the V20 has 4 GB RAM and a 64 GB hard drive, expandable up to 2 TB with a micro SD card. The battery's had a slight bump up to 3,200 mAh and can be quickly swapped out for a fresh one by snapping off the metal backplate.
As mentioned, the V20 will be the first smartphone to run on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, and is also the first to incorporate Google's In-App search, which allows users to search for a word or phrase within specific apps, like email or messages.
The phone measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6 mm (6.3 x 3 x 0.3 in) and LG hasn't set any pricing details just yet, but says the V20 will be available in Korea later in September, with other regions to be announced over the coming weeks. Specifications may also vary between markets.
The video below outlines some of the V20's features.