Every now and then, a product will come along and change not only your expectations but really divert your brand loyalty. It does not happen often, but in the case of the LG V10, the simple truth is that it has raised my level of expectations in the smartphone field.
For as long as I have had a smartphone, I have had a Samsung branded device, all the way back to the Blackjack up to the most recent Galaxy S5. I got comfortable with the features and gradual changes over the years, and in a way, comfortable with the small steps the manufacturer was making from device to device. Each one was easy to transition from to the next, and despite the hiccups that sometimes came, I was generally happy. But, to be honest to you and myself, I always felt like something was missing.
When the LG V10 was introduced though, it really caught my eye. LG, being a bit later to the game in the smartphone market than others, seems to have really taken their time with each device, and with the V10, it shows they really thought things out. So I knew I had to give a crack at it, see if the specs and hyper added up to everything I thought it could, and maybe even convert me from the Samsung devices.
The LG V10 is not a small phone by any means, sizing in at 6.28 x 3.12 x 0.34 inches and weighing 6.77 ounces. It’s not the heaviest or largest, but with its stainless steel accents, it has a nice build quality feel to it without becoming a brick to carry around. The screen is 5.7 inches, with a secondary top display that is 2.1 inches. Some might say this was a little gimmicky, but as I got used to it as an app switcher and notification bar, it became a valuable feature.
There are three cameras on the V10, with one 16 megapixel, f1.8 28mm lens on the backside, and two front-facing 5-megapixel cameras ready for selfies. As with the LG G4, the camera quality on this phone is beyond extraordinary, especially in the Android market, and stands out with a crisp capture and incredible deapth of field ability. More on that below.
Inside, the V10 packs an impressive punch with 4 gigs of ram, standard 64 gigs of built-in storage, and the ability to expand that storage up to 2tb (yes, 2000 gigs) through microSD/SDHC/SDXC. Now, that is not something to turn away from.
Testing out the LG V10 on the AT&T network here in Colorado, I feel like I put this phone through its paces. The network is not always the best, especially at my house and in my office building, but overall I had no complaints. The connections with quick and crisp, and while the voice sometimes came through with an ultra-crisp sound that reminded me of the early VoIP days, I never had a problem understanding the person on the other end of the line. The same comes with its connection through mobile Bluetooth where the voice quality was crisp even through the secondary system.
The camera was the first feature that caught my eye and really wowed me, especially once I started playing with the manual controls. Being able to control everything from shutter speed to white balance, I was in love with this feature. I would not go as far as to say it will replace my DSLR, but when I was out and about, I took my time to take a better shot with my camera phone and was beyond satisfied with the results. We actually used the LG V10 in our photo studio taking photos of products for coming pieces, which will be highlighted over the next few weeks. And with minor editing in VSCO, I must say I am impressed with the overall capability of this lens and LG’s camera app. It is above and beyond anything from the competition.
This phone is huge, and to most, might be too big when it comes to the idea of a one-hand phone. But for me, it was almost perfect. In one hand, I could use my thumb to control most of the screen. Now, I will admit LG’s skin on Android was just a bit much for me to get used to, but as it is Android, I was able to customize it with exactly how I would need to use the screen using NOVA Launcher. This probably comes from my years of use of TouchWiz, and am sure over time I could get used to LG UX, but for the time being, was satisfied. And with the power this phone brings, running NOVA was no big deal to the device.
The other area that I have had to get used to are no physical buttons up front or on the side. With only 3 physical buttons on the back, I had to learn the double-tap on the screen, as well as the main control buttons at the bottom. Did this hinder my use daily? Not really, but I did find myself looking fro the side buttons. At the same time, I respected the design aesthetics of no physical buttons on the front or side as it helped to maintain the clean look of the phone.
Well, I have to say this is an incredible device. LG delivered a phone that not only packs a heap of power under its screen, but ensures that with expandable storage and a swappable battery, this phone stands out from the other big names on the market. And with the capability to go up to 2TB in the future, I actually wonder if I would ever need that much space, but am happy to see a company actually over-engineering a product instead of providing limitations in its longevity and use. Handling the phone has become second nature, and as mentioned, the size of the device fits me well. The build quality is a 9/10 in my book, and it surpasses any doubts I had for LG and its phones.The only thing that has concerned me is the glass
The only thing that has concerned me is the glass. In 2 weeks, without a screen protector on it, some very light scratches have appeared on the front glassed that can be seen from different angles. And this is with me taking care not to place the phone screen down and setting it gently on surfaces. Whatever that cause might have been, I have placed a tempered glass piece over it and cannot see them anymore and increasing the protection.
In the end, I would buy this phone and have recommended it to every person who has asked. LG pulled out all the stops on the V10, and in doing so, stands out from the rest in features, design, and longevity.