Review of the LG V10

By Jessica Oaks

If you are in the market for a new smartphone, we have good news: there are a slew of options to choose from! Of course, this availability can also be something of a Catch-22. With so many phones on the market, how can a person easily distinguish between one and the other? It can be difficult, particularly with every smartphone looking more or less identical. Into this fray joins the new LG V10. Can it stand out from the pack? And more importantly, how can you get the most out of it? Read on to find out.

The Basics

The LG V10 is a smartphone packed to the proverbial gills with features that today’s smartphone buyer will find appealing (if not obligatory). It runs Google’s Android Lollipop operating software, features a primary 5.7-inch Quad HD display (2560 x 1440 pixels), has two front-facing cameras (5mp each) plus a 16mp rear-facing camera, and a hexacore (six cores, as opposed to four, as commonly found in other cameras) Snapdragon mobile processor with 4GB of RAM powers the device. It is a large, powerful, incredibly capable phone that has been designed to replace the already quite good LG G4.

The phone itself is also well made; in a world where smartphones are becoming paper-thin and incredibly lightweight, the V10 feels robust and strong in your hand. This is partly due to the fact that it’s nearly 6.5 inches in height and 3 inches wide. It’s roughly halfway in size between an iPad Mini and an iPhone 4 or iPhone 5. In other words, it isn’t small. Of course, the phone’s steel frame (yes, steel, not aluminum) and textured rubber backing also help lend it a feeling of being precision-engineered. Into this large frame fits an optional SD card, which gives users the ability to expand the phone’s internal storage. If you are looking for a capable and usable mobile device, the LG V10 isn’t likely to let you down.

The Goodies

Getting the basic specs out of the way, what are the LG V10’s selling points? After all, most of today’s smartphone offerings are fairly accomplished in the specs department. So what does the LG V10 offer that other smartphones don’t? Perhaps its most unique feature is its second display. Unlike most smart devices, which make due with one display, the LG V10 features two. Above the primary display sits a narrow 2.1-inch display (160 x 1,040 pixels) which remains always on. The date, current time, weather status, and remaining battery life are displayed on this narrow band when the phone is in “sleep” mode. Once activated, you can then scroll between six different shortcut menus (which include recently used apps, favorite apps, favorite contacts, music player controls, and your calendar).

The other unique selling point of LG’s new V10 handset is its inclusion of two front-facing cameras. One features an 80-degree field of view while the other has a wider 120-degree field of view. The clever thing about these two cameras is that a user can toggle between the two or choose to take a photo with both cameras simultaneously for a slightly different look, to say nothing of the option of choosing between the two. The 120-degree camera also makes selfie sticks somewhat redundant, as it captures everything you think it will, plus more. You no longer have to worry about being too close to the lens.

Getting the Most from the LG V10

To get the most out of the LG V10, it’s important to take advantage of the many features and benefits that are unique to the phone. For example, the video mode features infinitely customizable manual controls. This includes the choice between a 16:9 or 21:9 aspect ratio, as well as manual adjustment of key settings, such as focus, ISO, white balance, exposure, and more.

The other thing worth noting is the second screen. It can also be customized and gives you the ability to quickly and intuitively access key features and functions directly from your home screen, even while the phone is in “sleep” mode. Not taking advantage of this unique user interface is doing the phone a disservice. As phones become ever more capable, it can be easy to lose track of certain apps and features. The second display on the LG V10 puts the ones that matter most right at your fingertips.

Finally, it pays to have suitable coverage for your device. As smartphones increasingly become our go-to devices for everything, having sufficient data and wireless service becomes more important. Carriers like T-Mobile offer attractive incentives for new LG V10 customers, but perhaps more importantly, a recent Nielsen report ranked them first in customer satisfaction and network speed as well. If you’ve blindly renewed your wireless contract year-after-year, it’s time that you look once more into your options.

Should You Buy One?

If you are seeking a powerful, well-built, and capable device with unique user functionalities and features, then the LG V10 has a lot to offer. Yes, it’s a bit larger than most smartphones and some buyers may not like this aspect of the handset, but it’s incredibly well made and usable. Unless you’re a diehard Apple fanboy (or fangirl), we can’t think of any significant deal breakers with the LG V10.