Review: LG V10 has two screens, two selfie cameras and more
Android phones are a dime a dozen. How can any of them really stand out from the crowd?
Bigger screen? It's been done.
Second screen? Not unheard of, but you have my attention.
High-quality camera with full manual controls? You're getting there.
Replaceable battery and expandable storage? We might have a winner.
The LG V10 (lg.com/us/mobile-phones/v10) has almost everything I'm looking for in a smartphone, which is good, and a few things I hadn't thought of, which is even better.
Thanks to AT&T for providing the review phone.
Let's start with what makes the V10 unique: It has two screens and two cameras on the front of the phone.
The main screen is a 5.7 IPS LCD with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, which is a pixel density of 515 pixels per inch.
Stacked on top of the main screen is a second screen with a resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels.
The second screen is always on, even when the main screen is sleeping.
It unobtrusively displays the time, date and battery level as well as a few notification status icons.
When the main screen is on, the secondary screen can show different information, including quick launch shortcuts to the flashlight, camera, photo gallery, text messages and phone settings.
You can swipe across the secondary screen to bring up application shortcuts, media playback controls and other information.
The two front-facing cameras both have 5-megapixel sensors, but the cameras have different focal lengths.
One camera is for selfies of one person and the other has a more wide-angle lens for selfies with groups of people.
Both offer the same quality.
The main camera is one of the best cameras I've ever used on a phone, including full manual shooting controls for still and video.
The main camera has a 16-megapixel sensor with optical image stabilization and an f/1.8 lens. The V10 shoots 4K video and has three microphones for capturing audio.
The V10 is big. It's about the same size as the iPhone 6S Plus, with a stainless steel frame that extends out to the edges of the phone for increased drop protection. The display has two layers of glass, which LG says will help protect against shattering.
The phone measures 6.28 inches by 3.12 inches by 0.34 inches and weighs 6.77 ounces.
It runs Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset with 4 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of storage.
The V10 has a microSD card slot for extra storage, and it has a removable 3,000 mAH battery. Fast charging can bring the battery up to 50 percent charge in 40 minutes.
There is a fingerprint reader in the rear-mounted sleep/wake button.
Radios include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. The V10 also has NFC and GPS.
The phone is available in black, white, beige or blue. The plastic rear plate is textured for good grip but slides in and out of pockets easily.
The V10 is available from Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T.
AT&T's cash price is $699. AT&T offers the V10 with a two-year contract for $249.99.
T-Mobile's cash price for the V10 is $599.99, while Verizon has it for $672.
The V10 is a seriously nice phone, with just about every feature I could want.
It has a killer screen and a great camera. The battery isn't huge, but you can carry a spare for the days you'll need it and you can expand the storage as you see fit.
It runs as fast as you could hope with 4 gigabytes of RAM.
I don't really think the second screen adds too much, as you can get most of its functionality by swiping down from the top of the screen on other phones.
The dual front cameras are nice, but also not really necessary. I'd be quite happy with one selfie camera with the wide-angle lens.
Again, I'm not knocking LG for including two selfie cameras or a tiny second screen, just saying that I don't really think they're necessary.
Calls were connected quickly on the AT&T model I used. The speaker phone was loud and clear.
I think the V10 is my Android phone choice at the moment.
It's every bit as nice as the top handsets from Samsung, and it still has a replaceable battery and storage slot.
Pros: Great screen, manual camera controls, replaceable battery and storage.
Cons: Battery life could be better.
Bottom line: Two screens and two selfie cameras are nice, but not the reason you'll want to buy the V10.
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