LG just announced the LG V10, its new premium smartphone, and we had a chance to check it out in person. It’s super premium, even more premium than the LG G4, and LG says that the V Series is here to stay. So what’s it all about?
Well, LG said the G Series, including phones like the G4, are for the visual generation, the folks consuming video and images and who want great photography. The V Series, meanwhile, is for “city adventurers,” folks who want to create their own content, specifically great video, and share it with the world.
The main highlight here is the secondary always-on display (though you can technically turn it off if you want.) When your primary 5.7-inch Quad HD display is off, this screen, above it and to the right of dual-5MP cameras (more on that in a bit), remains on and shows you things like the weather, signal strength, battery life and more. A quick swipe and you’ll get shortcuts to things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or the flashlight. It’s super convenient.
When the screen is on, the secondary display adds additional options. More controls in the camera app, like zoom, for example. Or customized icons for shortcuts you frequently use, or music controls from the LG music player and even your next upcoming appointment. I really enjoyed it during my brief time with the phone.
Now let’s get back to that premium design. The phone is supposed to be rugged, thanks to a pairing of 360L steel, the same used in Omega watches, and a “Dura” skin, which is a silicone-based product that prevents scratches and damage from falls. LG doesn’t promise any sort of durability rating, but you should feel safe with the phone, despite how premium it feels.
There’s a 16MP camera on the back with all kinds of software options, including software that automatically creates highlights of your day with videos you’ve shot. LG put a special focus on blur-free steady-cam technology, so video should be very stable. It also allows users to tweak the white balance, focus, EV exposure, ISO, shutter speed, and zoom, all in the video as well, and takes advantage of 3 microphones for clear audio. The front-facing dual-5MP cameras can shoot in either wide angle or regular mode, or even pair up with the 16MP rear camera and snap 3 photos at once.
Now for the spec heads out there: there’s a Snapdragon 808 processor under the hood in addition to 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a removable 3,000mAh battery, the aforementioned 16MP camera, dual-5MP cameras on the front, Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, a microSD card slot for adding up to 200GB of additional storage, and a 5.7-inch Quad HD display with Gorilla Glass 4. Oh, and that secondary display? It’s actually part of the main display, but has different backlight controllers. The resolution of that area is 1040 x 160, an LG exec told us.
LG said the V10 will launch very soon in Korea followed by a release in November in the U.S. Given the Verizon branding on the hands-on unit we checked out, it seems certain it’ll at least land there. No immediate word on pricing.