LG seems to accept the mantra “go big or go home”. Not only is the LG V60 ThinQ 5G physically huge, but it’s also a big bet for LG given the tough competition from Samsung and others. The V60 marks the third function of the LG phone with an optional second screen that turns the phone into something foldable. LG is also trying to take a position on pricing by undermining hundreds of dollars on other flagships. The final result? A new phone that picks up old ideas when you move the bar, even a little.
This a review of LG V60 from Gadget Center. Let’s get started.
LG V60 review: The big picture
This is the time when LG usually announces its G-series phones, which are in direct competition with the Samsung Galaxy S and Huawei P series. Instead, LG released its media-centric V-series months earlier than usual. LG remains condemned to the fate of the G-Series mother, even though rumors claim that it will be downgraded to full flagship status or even rejected altogether.
Regardless of G’s fate, the V60 faces tough competition. Samsung’s Galaxy S20 trio phones are powerful, camera-focused beasts. While we’re still concerned about the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google phones still offer the best camera results. LG will also have to compete with Apple’s well-designed iPhone 11 series, Huawei P40 series and Motorola’s rumored return to the flagship market.
The optional dual-screen accessory of the V60 offers some of the benefits of a flip phone, and will certainly set it apart from its competition. Is it enough to convince buyers that LG is the way to go?
Design: A New Design I think…
LG has recycled its conservative designs for many years. For example, the LG G7 and G8, as well as the V40 and V50, were almost identical devices as a year ago. Fortunately, LG has made some welcome updates to the design language this year. While the V60 still has many of its predecessor’s basic hardware, it wears at least some new clothing.
The V60 has two color variants: white and blue. The white model has a silver accent, the blue variant has a copper accent. Both are improvements to the solid black/blue of the V40 and V50. The blue and copper models, in particular, have an attractive appearance that offers a certain personality. Sometimes a small personality is enough.
LG continued its glass sandwich approach. The front and back are made of solid glass and are separated by a metal frame. In our white review unit, the metal is bare and has a polished bezel that adheres to the light. It’s a small phone design for 2016, but I think it’s elegant for its simplicity. The white glass is multicolored and bluish and cast in winter. I have no doubts about the quality of the materials or the assembly method. It is a high-quality device.
“I hope you like big phones- the V60 is bigger and wider than the S20 Ultra, which is already too big.”
I hope you like big phones because the LG V60 is absolutely brilliant. It is significantly larger and wider than the large Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, the V60 weighs 6 grams less than the heavy S20 Ultra, and this becomes clear when you hold them side by side. It may not be much, but it is something. Otherwise, the V60 is a handful. Inserted into Dual screen accessory, the V60 becomes a compact laptop. A word I would use to describe it is Unwieldy.
A quick look at the hardware, the V60 covers the basics and then some extras. The front is almost completely flat and has only the smallest curve to which it adheres to the metal frame. The rear is very rounded on the edges. There are separate volume buttons and a separate Google Assistant button on the left. The screen lock/power switch is on the right. The four buttons provide perfect feedback and travel. The combination of SIM/microSD card is on the top, and the USB-C port, the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the lower speaker are at the bottom.
If I still appreciate some hardware, then it is the camera module. Instead of putting a big ugly square on the back, LG continued the horizontal line of the lenses and took them from side to side. If the cameras in V40 and V50 were in the same mode, the module in V60 rises slightly. It’s much more stylish and elegant than the backs of the S20, iPhone 11, P40 and Pixel 4.
Finally, the IP68 protection of the phone can protect it from water and dirt.
The LG V60 may not ignite the design world but it won’t soak the world with cold water either.
Display: A Pleasant Display
Unlike its competitors, the V60’s display doesn’t have any unusual new technology. You won’t find a high refresh rate or quad HD resolution. No, the V60’s 6.8-inch POLED offers a Full HD+ resolution of 2460×1,080 pixels with an aspect ratio of 20.5: 9. The pixel density is only 395ppi, which is significantly less than the ~ 540ppi of the S20 series. The normal refresh rate surprises me more than the resolution. Because Google, OnePlus, Samsung, and other manufacturers use 90Hz and 120Hz panels, the V60’s 60Hz display seems pretty stiff. Still, it’s still a good display.
LG has always made good displays, and I have no real complaints about the V60 panel. (Okay except for the bezels). The pixels are large enough that the individual pixels remain hidden even when viewed closely. Color accuracy looks good, which means white looks white and rich. There is only the slightest blue change when you tilt the phone at an angle.
The S20 display looks brighter than the V60 when the two are held side by side.
LG claims that the screen has 500 nits blank in terms of brightness. It is certainly bright enough for outdoor use under a sunny sky. However, the S20 screen looks brighter when the two are held together.
Oddly enough, LG went through a teardrop notch to make room for the selfie camera. The notches have become an outdated design option, and I would have preferred to have seen a cut hole for the camera. Also, LG’s new second Screen software, which allows you to adjust the background colors of the notification bar (and thus remove the notch), does not work when the phone is in the dark. This confusing choice means that the notch is always visible in the dark.
The dual display panel is identical to the main one. LG chose the same size, resolution, and aspect ratio to keep the experience constant in both areas. It even retains a notch even if there is no dual screen camera (for what?). It is important that the color balance is the same. It wasn’t in previous versions of the dual-screen, which means whites didn’t match. They do it this time and it’s good.
As expected, you can control all aspects of the screen, including night mode, blue light filter, brightness, and more.
As expected from the flagship 2020, the LG V60 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with 8 GB RAM. It has less memory than the S20 Ultra but is similar to many other flagships in the market. The phone feels quick and efficient for everyday use. It easily explodes through tasks and never feels lost or slow. As far as the benchmarks are concerned, the results seem a bit curious to me. For example, the S20 Ultra easily beat GeekBench but lagged behind 3DMark. The V60 matched the GFXBench results of the S20. Most of all, I don’t think you’re facing performance issues.
Battery: It lives up to the expectation
LG prioritizes battery life and it shows. The 5,000 mAh power cell inside offers excellent battery life. The daily flow on time easily exceeded five hours per week and reached up to eight hours on two full days. By simulating how the phone handles a 200-nits display and with the highest CPU performance, the Speed Test G torture test also yielded a five-hour battery life. It beats the S20 Ultra by about 10 minutes. During my time with the phone, I have never had any problems with battery life. In fact, the battery may be the best feature of the V60.
LG V60 supports fast wired and wireless charging. The included 25 W charger quickly pumps your phone full of juice. It charged from zero to 27 percent after 15 minutes, to 52 percent after 30 minutes, and to 100 percent after 92 minutes. It’s not the fastest charging phone, but you don’t have to connect the charger quite often.
Dual Screen: Not so good
In fact, the dual-screen looks almost like a phone. Black glass covers the front, although the glass is not the actual screen. A narrow monochrome window at the top shows time, weather and notifications. The glass is enclosed in a soft plastic frame. You need to place the phone vertically in the pocket so that the USB-C port fits in the pocket, and then press firmly on the phone. Thanks to the slim cut on the back, the camera kit can see through. The real second screen is inside.
The hinge moves a fluid 360 degrees so that the dual-screen can rotate. The dual-screen is easy to hold so that the V60 can sit like a laptop or a tent. On the left side there are plastic posts with which you can activate the volume control and the assistant control. Large cuts below allow you to connect headphones and listen to the speaker. The right side of the phone is exposed.
The phone’s USB-C port cannot be used on the dual screen. Instead, LG installed a magnetic connector like the MagSafe outside the case. The adapter supplied with the dual-screen is located at the end of the USB-C charging cable and is connected to the bottom of the housing for magnetic charging. This is a terrible solution. Surely many will lose the adapter. USB-C power supply makes more sense for us. Thanks to the use of a dual-screen, the phone can be charged wirelessly.
Together, the V60 and dual display weigh an incredible 351g, more than three-quarters of a pound. The combo pack is massive and heavier than any phone I’ve ever used. It is really annoying to carry it in your pocket. This is not for your skinny jeans. In fact, it’s so difficult that I’m worried that many people will give it up due to usability.
Not the best solution, but the LG V60 ThinQ and dual-screen provide the foundation for a dual-screen/big-screen experience.
The dual-screen is controlled by a floating widget on the home screen. You have to tap to access various dual-screen functions. You can also turn on dual-screen using quick settings.
By default, the dual-screen acts as a separate home screen with its own application base at the bottom. You can open any app on another screen, no matter what you do on the main screen. You can also: select a default application to start when the dual-screen is activated; Slide the home screen to the dual-screen; put the main screen to sleep or change screens.
Some other options are available in applications. For example, you can open a wide-angle view that covers the application on both screens. Note that the hinge separates the screens a half-inch and is ugly to run an application in that state. Not all applications support this view either. Fortunately, LG has improved the list from last year and Google apps (Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Photos, YouTube) are supported. Most other applications do not support the wide view, which is a huge drawback.
This is the worst. Only one application runs on a dual-screen at a time. You cannot drag and drop an application (or application content) from one screen to another. Galaxy Fold can run up to three applications simultaneously and transfer content from one page to another.
LG has installed Game Launcher, which works as a home for your games. Here you can use the LG GamePad while playing compatible games. The main screen becomes a controller to control the operation of the second screen. In addition, you can customize the game controller completely and even create your own.
The dual-screen V60 doesn’t do what I wanted or expected.
While testing the phone, I found that the biggest advantage of a dual-screen was simply keeping two full-screen apps side by side. You can run Slack with one and surf the Internet with another.
Most importantly, the V60 doesn’t do what I wanted or expected to do, that is, it opens up and gives me a bigger and more unique space to play and create. Instead, two separate areas are offered that do not interact with each other.
Camera: Lack of optics
If there’s one feature of flagship phones that needs to shine, it’s the camera. The competition between Apple, Google, Huawei, LG and Samsung is tough when comes to images. “Just OK” is not good enough for those who want to buy flagship smartphones. The V60 doesn’t fit its rivals, but it comes closer than ever.
LG made an interesting change this year. The G-Series was currently limited to two rear cameras, while the V-Series added a third for ultra-wide, regular, and telephotography. However, the V60 drops the optical telephoto lens and relies on the digital zoom of the main sensor. This is an interesting change at a time when the competition is launching periscope telephoto lenses for even better optics.
The main sensor of the V60 captures 64-megapixel images at f/1.8. The pixel size is 0.8 microns and the camera has a field of view of 78 degrees. This sensor bins down to 16MP. LG says it supports 2x to 10x zoom. The ultra-wide camera has a 13MP f/1.9 sensor, 1-micron pixel, and 117 degrees FoV. The delta between the main sensor and the very wide sensor is huge, as you will see when you zoom in and out with the camera. Both are supported by a time-of-flight sensor that generates depth information.
The photos I took with the LG V60 look great, but not exceptional.
The photos I took with the LG V60 look great, but not exceptional. The white balance was almost always accurate, but the exposure was inconsistent. The phone had problems using HDR. The monumental images show that the tree is overexposed, while many details of the cube location have disappeared in the dark. I was expecting something better. I also noticed a lot of sharpness in the pictures, which resulted in a slightly noisy appearance. The pictures of people mostly look like solid. Bokeh and portraits are decent and there is a sharp sharpness between the subject and the background.
I like very wide cameras, I am not glad about the results of the V60. The 117-degree FoV leads to clearly visible optical distortions. I was expecting to see some, but it has too much of an impact on some of the photos. Zoom works quite well. Please note that there is no optical zoom here. Everything is controlled by digital software crop. The high-resolution sensor ensures that photos remain fairly detailed and sharp as you zoom in. However, noise can be seen in zoomed images.
The selfie camera captures 10 megapixels at f/1.9. The field of view is quite narrow at 72.5 degrees. This means that there are no wide-angle selfies. However, it must be determined that the images are clean, sharp, and properly focused. The portraits are a bit noisy, but still acceptable.
Compared to video, the V60 can record 8K of video at 24 frames per second. According to LG, the frames per second can actually be 25 or 26, but this ensures that the average is 24. Without an 8K TV or monitor, we cannot judge how good the quality is. On the other hand, the 4K video I shot at 60 frames per second looks good.
Audio: Best Until now
LG is still one of the best phone manufacturers in terms of sound. We have to thank LG for keeping the 3.5mm headphone jack on the phones. That alone could make LG worth considering. But LG goes a step further. The V60 streams our beloved Quad DAC app for audio processing, and the result is excellent sound for media playback. Then there is the audio recording. The V60 has four microphones that can record crystal clear sound. A feature we really appreciate: When recording videos, the sound can be “zoomed” effectively with the lens, which means that the sound is focused on the subject. The results are significant. LG surpasses the audio competition.
Stereo speakers often collide or disappear on flagships, but LG kicked them out of the park. The V60 combines headphones and subwoofer output and delivers a crisp, powerful sound that can even go up. It is the best handset, which I’ve heard this year.
5G Support: Good Coverage
LG has lent us a T-Mobile version of the V60 that supports T-Mobile’s 5G network. We were able to get the phone out and test it on T-Mobile’s 5G-Sub-6 GHz network. T-Mobile’s 5G footprint on the subway in the New York region is pretty solid and the download speed is over 150Mbps.
LG has cleaned up its Android interface, but it’s still not the best on the market. Newer fonts and graphic elements look outdated and inelegant. I liked the pre-installed themes and wallpapers way better. It offers plenty of room for adjustments. At least the V60 has Android 10 and the February security patch has been installed.
I need to make an exception for the amount of pre-installed bloatware. About 20 T-Mobile and other applications have been downloaded to the phone. While some can be removed, others cannot. The phone’s 128GB of storage isn’t overwhelmed, but it’s annoying if removable apps get stuck on your phone.
LG V60 review: Specs
|LG V60 ThinQ 5G|
2,460 x 1,080 resolution (Full HD+)
20.5:9 aspect ratio
Dual Screen accessory support
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
microSD card slot (2TB max)
– Main: 64MP sensor, ƒ/1.8 aperture, .8μm pixels, 78-degree field-of-view, 1/1.72″, 2x to 10x zoom, supports 16MP 1.6μm pixel binning
– Super wide: 13MP sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, 1.0μm pixels, 117-degree field-of-view, 1/3.4″, EIS
– Time-of-flight sensor (Z Camera)
8K video recording at 7,680 x 4,320 resolution
Timelapse: x1, x5, x10, x15, x30, and x60 frame rates
– Main: 10MP sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, 1.22μm pixels, 72.5-degree field-of-view, 1/3.1″
LG 3D Sound Engine: Uses AI to optimize audio playback by changing settings based on content (i.e. sports, movies, news, music, etc.)
Quick Charge 4+
Verizon: mmWave and sub-6GHz
All other carriers: sub-6GHz
LTE / 3G / 2G
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, ax|
USB-C (USB 3.1)
|Biometrics||In-display fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions and weight||169.3 x 77.6 x 8.9mm|
|Colors||Classy Blue, Classy White|
|Dual Screen accessory||Main display:|
2,460 x 1,080 resolution (Full HD+)
20.5:9 aspect ratio
Dimensions and weight:
175.9 x 86 x 14.9mm
Oh yes, the main question. Here’s the deal: The LG V60 ThinQ 5G is affordable. The phone costs $800 without a double screen or $999 with a dual-screen. (Some U.S. cellular operators even offer a display phone for $899.) That’s hundreds less than Apple, Huawei, and Samsung charge for their flagships, and it significantly increases the price-performance ratio of the V60.
If you appreciate LG’s typical strengths, the V60 may work for you. LG did a great job, especially in terms of hardware, sound, and battery. The V60 is a battery champion that is just winning. In addition, the optional dual-screen offers additional features, if not as much as a real foldable display like the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
On the other hand, some aspects of the phone are disappointing. The camera is pretty good and still manages to cope with the functions of competing phones. Perhaps more terrifying is that the camera doesn’t offer any great features or functions. Then there is the screen. While it’s an excellent Full HD+ panel, it doesn’t offer the resolution or refresh rate used in competing models. After all, the software sometimes feels childish and could use more sophistication.
For the less demanding buyer, the low price and battery life may be reason enough to get into the V60. For those who are looking for a bit more, the LG V60 ThinQ can do whatever you want.