Last night, LG sent out a press release detailing its next flagship smartphone and teased its 2nd-generation Urbane watch. Today, at an event in New York, LG gave a more detailed first look to a select group of press folk. In so many ways, I can’t help but feel the LG V10 is the phone the LG G4 could have been. With so many flagship phones being equipped with fingerprint sensors and durable metal frames, the G4 has been a little out of place.
Now that the V10 has been outed, we can take a look at how its spec sheet compares to its little brother…
Many of the V10’s specifications and features are similar to the G4. Both are equipped with a 1.8GHz Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, and both have the same 16MP camera with 4K video, laser autofocus and optical image stabilization. Both also have the same speedy Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC chips. The two phones also have single loudspeakers, Micro USB ports, MicroSD expansion, Micro SIM and removable 3,000mAh batteries.
In many other ways, including design, the V10 is a beefed up version of the G4. Starting with the outside, instead of being made from a cheap, light plastic, the V10 is built from stainless steel which — although more expensive than aluminum — is a more durable material. The phone has a DuraGuard silicone material on the outside to make it drop-proof. In fact, LG tested it dozens of times from different angles and heights to ensure it met specific standards. While the G4 went for style and fashion with its leather backs, the V10 goes for durability. That comes with a cost though, the V10 is noticeably bigger. It’s more than 10mm taller and 3mm wider, making it a little unwieldy.
From the movie-themed press event, it’s clear, LG wants this phone to replace your camcorder (because everyone has those still, right?). It has a ton of features to make it ideal for shooting and editing your own videos. There are three mics, and you can direct the phone to record from a specific one to optimize audio. What’s more, it’s compatible with Sandisk’s 200GB MicroSD card, just so you don’t have to worry about overfilling your device with all that 4K video goodness. It also has some handy software to help you cut your videos down to just 15 second clips without having to work hard.
The Duo camera on the front can take 120-degree images for extra-wide selfies and ‘groufies’ (group selfies). But it’s what sits alongside this duo-camera setup that makes the phone unique. It has a 2.1-inch secondary ticker display which is constantly on, even when you’re phone’s in standby. It shows your usual status bar icons, notifications and — when unlocked — it can be used as a handy app-switcher. The main display, like the G4’s, is Quad HD resolution, albeit slightly larger.
It’ll be interesting to see how the V10 fares in the run up to the holiday season. T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon will all carry the V10 when it launches in the next few weeks. With the LG G4 now available for under $450 on Amazon and eBay, the V10 could struggle if it hits the market for $600+. Is the secondary display, arguably gimmicky dual front camera and metal chassis worth the extra $100-$200?