Update: A piece of LG marketing for the V20 launch event suggests the phone is set to have the “best video and audio experience” suggesting the company is set to focus directly on how you consume media on your phone.
The LG G5 is a great phone, but not without its issues, so a second 2016 flagship could be just what the company needs to compete with the biggest and best of its rivals.
That flagship hope is coming in the form of the LG V20, the successor to the LG V10, a phone which launched in 2015 with little fanfare in Asia and the US, but tons of innovation.
Although news and rumors of the V20 are only just starting to emerge there won’t be long to wait for the phone at all, with a September launch already confirmed. So to get you up to speed on what to expect here’s all the information so far.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The successor to the LG V10
- When is it out? September 6
- What will it cost? A lot
LG V20 release date
Of course it may not land in shops until weeks later and probably won’t until sometime after Google officially launches Android 7 Nougat.
What we’re also not clear on is how global a rollout the LG V20 will have. The LG V10 launched in the US and a number of other markets, but the UK and Australia weren’t among them.
However, given the acclaim it achieved and the lower than expected sales of the LG G5 there’s a good chance the company will give the V20 a wider launch. Given the San Francisco announcement a US launch seems almost guaranteed.
TechRadar’s take: September 6 is confirmed for the announcement, but the V20 may not touchdown in stores until late September, allowing Google to officially release Android 7 on the world before LG jumps in with its Nougat-toting V20.
LG V20 design
- Similar build to the LG V10
- May support modules
A source speaking to phonesspot claims the LG V20 will have a similar build to the LG V10, which had steel sides and a silicone skin back. It wasn’t a bad design but it was a bit rugged and divisive.
The source also claims that unlike the LG G5 it won’t support modules, though a shaky Google translation of Sedaily.com suggests otherwise. If LG does roll out its modules again hopefully it will widen the available selection.
TechRadar’s take: The design may not stray far from the V10’s, though modular support would make sense since LG’s already invested in them, especially if it can get its existing selection working with the phone.
LG V20 screen
- 5.5 or 5.7-inch display
- Either a 1080p or QHD resolution
- Two screens
Oddly the earliest screen rumors for the LG V20 suggest it might actually be a downgrade on the LG V10. According to Sedaily the V20 has a 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 screen, where the LG V10 had a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 one.
But a more recent leak suggests it will actually have a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 screen, just like its predecessor.
That leak also mentions that it will have a secondary screen above the main one, which on the LG V10 was a 2.1-inch 160 x 1040 always-on display, used to show notifications and the time, as well as providing quick access to favorite apps.
There’s no information on whether it will be changing for the V20, but it was one of the key features of the V10, so it’s sure to stay in some form.
Combined with the 5.7-inch main display the LG V10 was actually arguably too big, so a size reduction to 5.5 inches could be for the best, but the drop in resolution is a disappointment if true.
TechRadar’s take: A 1080p resolution seems strange, especially for LG, which was one of the first companies to stick a QHD display on a phone, so we’d expect a 5.7-inch QHD screen again here.
LG V20 camera and battery
- A 20MP or 21MP rear camera
- Dual 8MP front-facing cameras
- A huge battery
According to Sedaily the LG V20 will have a 20MP camera on the back and an 8MP one on the front, which would be an upgrade (at least in megapixel numbers) from the 16MP and 5MP pairing on the LG V10.
A leak from phonesspot largely agrees, though states it will actually have a 21MP rear camera and dual 8MP front-facing ones. We’re fully expecting dual cameras on the front, as this was one of the LG V10’s defining features.
On the V10 this allows you to use both lenses together for wide-angle shots, or just one lens for a standard width one and it would likely work the same way here.
The battery could get a boost, with a big 4000mAh juice pack rumored. That’s larger than the LG V10 or LG G5’s batteries or indeed most other smartphone units. According to Sedaily it will offer up to 320 hours of standby time and will charge via USB-C, with support for fast charging.
There’s a good chance it will be removable too, since the batteries in many of LG’s handsets are.
TechRadar’s take: An increase in megapixels to 20MP or 21MP and 8MP would make sense and we’re fully expecting to see dual cameras on the front.
LG V20 OS and power
- A Snapdragon 820 processor
- 3GB or 4GB of RAM
- Android Nougat
The LG V20 is said to have a Snapdragon 820 processor and either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. That, like so many other rumors about the phone, comes from Sedaily, with another source now agreeing that it will have a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM pairing – though no mention of 3GB this time.
Both the LG V10 and the LG G5 have 4GB of RAM, so logically we’d expect at least that much here, but given that the screen might be a downgrade it’s possible that the RAM will be too.
A Snapdragon 820 chip would be an improvement on the V10’s processor though and a match for the G5’s. In fact, it’s the 2016 flagship standard, so no surprise that it’s rumored for inclusion.
LG itself has confirmed that the V20 will run Android 7.0 Nougat, which given its September launch should make it one of the first phones with the software. In fact it’s looking like it will land before the new Nexus handsets, potentially making it the first ‘new’ phone to land with Nougat.
TechRadar’s take: A Snapdragon 820 chip and 4GB of RAM, just like the LG G5, seems likely.
LG V20 other features
- Up to 64GB of built-in storage
- A microSD card slot
LG is nothing if not innovative, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the V20 packs in some fancy extra features, but what they’ll be remains a mystery for now.
We have heard, again from Sedaily, that it will supposedly come with either 32GB or 64GB of storage and a microSD card slot, which is no real surprise, since that’s broadly in line with other LG flagships.
The LG V20 is also likely to have a fingerprint scanner, given that the V10 and most other high-end handsets do.
The invite to the LG V20 South Korean event says the phone will feature “the best video and audio experience” suggesting the phone will be set to focus on how you watch and listen to media.
TechRadar’s take: LG won’t ditch its fingerprint scanner and there’s almost certainly going to be a microSD card slot. Hopefully we’ll get some exciting new features too.
LG V20 rivals
Assuming it maintains the unique dual-screen and dual-front cameras of the LG V10, the LG V20 won’t have any direct rivals, as no other handsets can quite offer everything it does, other than the aging and not widely available V10.
But it will face competition from other flagships and especially other phablets. That puts it in the path of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which is expected to launch with a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 screen, a stylish waterproof build, an iris scanner and a stylus.
It also means the V20 will have to face off against the iPhone 7 Plus, which could have a dual-lens rear camera and bundles of power. The V20 isn’t likely to sell in the same numbers as either of those phones, but may offer an attractive alternative for anyone who wants something a bit different.
LG V20 cost
There’s no word on the LG V20’s price yet, but the V10 was anything but cheap, coming in at US$700 without a contract. It didn’t launch in the UK or Australia, but had it done the price would probably have been around £600/AU$1,100.
It’s possible that the LG V20 will be less expensive however, as early rumors suggest the screen might not quite be cutting edge and as LG will want to make up for the lacklustre sales of the LG G5, still, it’s definitely not going to be cheap.
TechRadar’s take: A lower price than the V10 would make sense, but don’t expect to find the V20 for much less than £500/US$600/AU$900.