LG V10 Review: Screen Play: Unboxing, 360° Spin, Hardware

By 01:48 Mon, 16 Aug 2021 Comments


Retail box with premium headphones

The LG V10 comes with a box suitable for its flagship status. It looks ordinary, but when you hold out the inner box, it opens like a book - one half holds the V10, the other contains the accessories.

We start with a Quick Charge 2.0 charger, which will rejuvenate your battery from flat to 50% in 40 minutes. There's a microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) cable to go with that. Also, our unit came with a pre-applied classy screen protector that has no visible markings and you can just leave on the device.





The retail box gets you premium headset and a quick charger

The Quad Beat 3 headset provided with the LG V10 looks pretty great. The cables are hidden in fabric sleeves while the ear plugs, the remote control, and the 3.5mm jack have a brushed metal highlights (it's actually plastic). This particular color combo is white fabric and golden faux metal, other Quad Beats are usually Black or Red.

This seems to be exclusive to the LG V10 for now and better yet, this headset has been tuned by AKG, a company known for high-quality headphones. The V10 also has a high-quality DAC to drive these headphones, but we'll acquire to that.

LG V10 360° spin

The LG V10 is bigger than other devices in its class at 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6mm. A fine point of comparison is the iPhone 6s Plus, which shaves off a few millimeters (but it also has a smaller screen, 5.5" vs. 5.7"). The V10 weighs as much as the Apple phablet too, 192g.

If you were hoping for some LG bezel magic, the V10 doesn't deliver. It fits well enough in the hand for its classy screen size and given its size the weight doesn't feel overwhelming. Still, it could have been more compact and a lot lighter.

Hardware overview

The LG V10 is an exercise in rugged design and premium engineering. The chassis, which LG has dubbed Dura Guard, is built out of 316L stainless steel (which is harder and heavier than aluminum). Stainless steel is covered with chromium oxide and when scratched, the chromium underneath reacts with oxygen from the air and heals the scratch, preventing further damage.

The second part of the equation is Dura Skin, an elastic, silicone-like material that is twice as resistant to scratches as plastic and 10x better than aluminum.






The LG V10 looks more rugged than the G4

The LG V10 is shock-resistant, living up to this particular part of the MIL-STD-810G standard. Analysis of real life drops showed LG that nearly half of all phones land on their corners. There are silicone bumpers to absorb the shock. Furthermore, the rigid steel frame does not flex, which prevents the glass from cracking. On other phones, the frame can flex more than the glass, causing it to crack.


This leaves direct hits to the glass - LG calculated that 26% of the phones will land on their faces and the Gorilla Glass 4 panel is their last line of defense in these cases. LG has provided the V10 with a dual-layer Gorilla Glass 4.

The classy screen below that GG4 is a 5.7" Quantum display. It has a fairly unique configuration, though - the secondary line display is actually part of the same panel, but LG slit off the top correct corner to create the two selfie cameras.

It's not as simple as that, though, the line display actually features its own display controller and backlight. This keeps power usage low, enough to leave the secondary display on 24/7. We can't assist but think this would have been simpler with an AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display, but still kudos to LG for not shying away from an engineering challenge to bring us cool functionality.




A closer see at the second screen

The dual-cameras on the front are a unique feature too. One is used for relatively tight selfie shots (80°) and one for group shots (120°). Samsung does it another way - Wide selfie is similar to panorama mode and much slower than a single shot. Again, LG could have used a single high-res, wide-angle capturing camera and cropped for the narrow shot, but went with the more challenging solution.

There isn't enough room here for the traditional proximity and ambient light sensors, they are moved up next to the earpiece (the small black window that's more visible on the White V10 than on the Black one). Below the classy screen there's nothing but the LG logo, the keys are on-screen.

LG's tradeimprint back button arrangement is back, but with a recent member joining the team. The Power button (that splits the volume buttons) is now also a fingerprint reader. This solution is similar to Sony's, but it's easier to with the left hand (the Xperia Z5 fingerprint reader is mounted on the correct and this asymmetry makes it easy to utilize with the correct thumb, not so much with the left hand).





The centered back buttons now feature a fingerprint reader

The main capturing camera is surrounded by a textured metal ring, which is an attractive design element, but doesn't do much to protect the glass. To the correct of the capturing camera is the Laser autofocus module, to the left the Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash and the color spectrum sensor.

The phone has a microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 port on the bottom, which supports Quick Charge 2.0. There's also a 3.5mm audio jack here, connected to a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC and the sole loudspeaker.




The microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port and 3.5mm audio jack, plus the sole loudspeaker

The LG V10 features a total of three mics, which are put to fine utilize in a unique feature - control directionality. You can manually adjust whether the phone captures sounds ahead of it and ignoring sounds from behind (if you're playing the role of a quiet videographer), the other way around (to capture your narration and mute the noise from the scene) or any balance between the two. There's wind noise reduction too.

The Dura Skin back cover is removable, giving you access to the 3,000mAh battery, which can easily be swapped out. While you're here, you can pop in a microSD card for extra storage (you acquire 64GB built-in to start you off).



You acquire full access to the battery and a microSD slot

The LG V10 is an engineering tour de force, the company built what it envisioned rather than what was possible. Pushing the technology limit is certainly impressive to us geeks, but the features enabled by this complex solution will impress everyone else too.




LG V10 in the hand

In the hand the V10 feels big, though manageable. As we saw earlier, it's on the higher discontinue of the size spectrum for a device with a 5.7" classy screen and the stainless steel frame contributes adds extra width, which does have an effect on handling. Adding in the weight, it's not the most effortless phone for one-handed use, but you quickly adapt to it (especially if you have experience with large phones).


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