LG unveiled its new flagship V20 smartphone in New York on Tuesday evening, just 24 hours ahead of Apple's iPhone 7 event in San Francisco.
A successor to last year's LG V10, the new 5.7-inch phone is pitched as a "multimedia heavyweight" and boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, a 2560x1440 QHD IPS LCD display, and a fingerprint sensor home button.
The front of the handset boasts an always-on screen "ticker" strip along the top that can display mini apps and notifications, such as music controls and calendar events.
The V20 sacrifices a unibody aluminum design in favor of a microSD slot (up to 2TB) and a removable 3200mAh battery via a metal backplate, while the top and bottom parts of the phone are made from silicon polycarbonate, earning the V20 a MIL-STD 810G drop and shock resistance rating. The device packs a USB-C port, water resistance is non-existent though.
While Apple is expected to drop the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 series, LG is very much relying on the analog port to appeal to audiophiles: the V20 boasts a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and a 72-stage volume control fine-tuned by Bang & Olufsen, with support for most lossless music formats including FLAC and Apple Lossless. It also includes a HD audio recorder able to capture "studio quality audio" from three ultra-sensitive built-in microphones.
The rear of the phone houses a 16-megapixel camera with a 75-degree field of view backed by optical image stabilization and laser, phase, and contrast autofocusing, with a second wide-angle 8-megapixel sensor boasting a larger 135-degree field of view. The front-facing 5-megapixel camera also packs a wide angle mode.
Software-wise, the V20 is the first phone to come pre-installed with Android 7.0 Nougat, which features vertical split screen view, picture in picture, VR mode, file-based encryption, and more.
With Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 suffering from a disastrous global recall due to reports of exploding batteries, LG's feature-packed V20 phablet finds itself first in line to go up against the iPhone 7 Plus, at least for now. While LG is yet to announce pricing and availability, consumers can expect the V20 to hover around the same $800 price point as the iPhone 7 Plus and Note 7.
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