The LG V10 is the company's new dual-display smartphoneand the first device in its new V series. The hardware is similar to the LG G4$609.99 at Amazon, but two unique features separate it from any other device that we've seen before: the dual-display and dual-camera.
The V10 has a 5.7-inch QHD IPS Quantum display with a 2,560-by-1,440 resolution and 513ppi. The main screen is bright and crisp with good viewing angles and color reproduction. But it's the secondary display that draws the eye—especially since it's always on. The 2.1-inch 160-by-1,040 IPS Quantum display sits on the top right-hand corner, above the main display.
The secondary display is intended to fix the problem of users unlocking and checking their phones for every notification. LG claims that the average user checks their device 100 times a day, but with the secondary display, that's a thing of the past. It will give you notifications, quick-launch tools, app shortcuts, weather, time, date, battery status, extended camera settings, and added functionality for select apps. Most importantly, LG says that it will only use up about 5 percent of your battery power in a day. In the long run, it may even save battery by cutting down on the times you power the screen on and off.
The selfie camera also comes in a twosome. The V10 has two front-facing cameras, both 5 megapixels and separated to provide different points of view. LG says it added the feature in a bid to get rid of the selfie stick. You can use the 80-degree option to take a picture with just you in it, while the 120-degree option will utilize both lenses and stitch the images together. This is supposed to be better at taking group shots than wide-angle lenses, but we'll have to test that out in our review.
The rear-facing camera is the same 16-megapixel camera on the G4, but it comes with full manual control. That means you can control ISO, white balance, focus, frame rate, and shutter speed, as well as shoot in a 21:9 aspect ratio. These options will likely be used by more advanced users who are shooting 4K video and want greater control. But they are nice to have, and from the little time we had with the V10, they all seem to work. Interestingly upon launching the camera app, the secondary display shows several modes, effectively functioning as an extension of the camera app, and making it easier for you to choose your settings.
The design of the V10 is distinct from the LG devices that have come before it. The V10 is made out of something called "Dura Skin," which LG says is a combination of stainless steel and silicon. It definitely feels thicker and more rugged than plastic; in some ways it reminded me of the Droid Turbo'sballistic back. Speaking of the back, there's LG's usual rear power button and volume rocker, with the added benefit of a fingerprint scanner. The home button has a fingerprint scanner now, which should make unlocking the device easier. Of course, Knock Code is still an option.
Dimensions of 6.28 by 3.12 by 0.33 (HWD) and a weight of 6.77 ounces put the device firmly in phablet territory, but the only time I found it uncomfortable to hold was when I was trying to take a selfie by hitting the rear volume button. Despite having average-sized hands, I've never had trouble with big phones before, so maybe I struggled because the V10 doesn't have the same curved back as the G4. I'll have to spend more time with it to get a better sense of how it will feel in day-to-day usage.
In terms of hardware, the V10 is pretty much the same as the G4 with a few adjustments. It has a Snapdragon 808 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot that can theoretically take up to 2TB of removable memory (which doesn't exist currently); LG has tested it with a 200GB SanDisk. I benchmarked the V10 twice with AnTuTu. The first time I got 40,658, the second time I got 43,872. Neither scores are super impressive, but it's about par for what we've gotten with the LG G4 and the Moto X Pure Edition$399.99 at Best Buy. Also, keep in mind that since this is an early model of the V10, so it may not be running the final Android 5.1.1 Lollipop software that will be pre-loaded on retail units.
Aside from that, there's a 3,000mAh removable battery, all the usual bells and whistles including Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and USB 2.0. Pricing and release dates aren't currently known, but we do know the device will come to AT&T, since the unit we were handed had the logo displayed right on the back. The LG V10 will come in black, white, beige, blue, and opal when it launches.