LG has already released one flagship smartphone this year: the (rather decent) LG G5. But the Korean company is not content to stop at a single high-end handset.
Step forward its second big launch of 2016: the LG V20.
A successor to 2015’s quirky (some might say “gimmicky”) V10, the V20 promises to be a very different prospect from the G5. We know it’s coming very soon and already LG has revealed some tantalising info about its capabilities. Read on for the lowdown on everything we know about it so far, and be sure to check back regularly, because we’ll be updating this preview as we learn more.
Mods to remain?
Leaked renders of the V20 (obtained by Android Authority and @OnLeaks) suggest it will follow the modular route taken by the LG G5. In the pictures, it looks as if the V20 has the same pop-off base as the G5, as well as a button to release it, meaning you may be able to use the same mods – as well as any new ones LG introduces in the future. Alternatively, LG could be planning a set of modular units that work only on the V20.
The renders also appear to show a secondary ticker display on the front side of the handset, above the screen – just like on the V10. The ticker would presumably used in the same way as the V10’s: to show information like the time or weather or display notifications, so you aren’t constantly turning on the main screen (and draining precious battery power) to check these things.
Of course, because these renders are leaked, we don’t know if they represent the actual final design of the V20. Take all of the above with a generous pinch of sodium chloride.
Those leaked images also hint at a dual-lens, dual-sensor rear camera. Again, we’re not in uncharted waters here, because LG has already delivered such a camera earlier this year in the G5. Will the V20’s setup echo the G5’s – one camera offering a normal field-of-view while the other offers wide-angle shots? Or will LG send the V20 down a different dual-camera route, perhaps using the two-camera setup to capture better low-light images in the same way as the Huawei P9?
DUAL CAMERAS FRONT AND BACK?
A leaked shot of a V20 render clad in a Ballistic jewel case suggests that the phone may actually come with two dual cameras: one at the back and one at the front. The need for a dual-sensor, dual-lens front-facing camera is certainly debatable, but tech companies aren't always just about giving people what they want - sometimes they feel they need to go above and beyond in order to stand out from the competition.
DAC’s the way to do it
The V20 will be the first ever smartphone with a Quad DAC – a 32-bit one made by ESS Technology, in fact.
This isn’t rumour or speculation; LG has announced it via a press release, saying that sound from a Quad DAC “is superior to that produced by a traditional DAC, as it can reduce up to 50 percent of ambient noise levels”. The release also says that the DAC helps the V20 record higher fidelity sound to accompany any videos you take on the device.
The DAC also means, of course, that you can listen to high resolution music files (which you could on the V10 as well). The V10 also featured a headphone amplifier, which we’d expect to be retained by the V20 in part of LG’s attempt to pitch it as the ideal smartphone for discerning audiophiles.
Here’s a tasty bit of news for readers with a sweet tooth: the V20 seems highly likely to be the first smartphone to launch with Android 7.0 Nougat installed. Presumably, LG will have tinkered with the UI to bring us its own touches, but the base platform is set to be Google’s latest OS.
Google confirmed this in a post announcing the rollout of Nougat on the official Android blog last week.
For more on why you should be excited about Android 7.0 Nougat, check out our preview.
When’s it out?
LG has already confirmed the location and date for the V20’s launch event: 6 September, in San Francisco. The launch announcement bears the phrase “Play More” – a hint, perhaps, that there’ll be some kind of gaming flavour to the event? Maybe the latest LG Friend peripheral – a gamepad, perhaps – will join the V20 on stage?
We’ll bring you the latest when we get it.