The LG V10 - How Does It Stack Up Against The Juggernauts?


For the past two weeks, I've been able to spend some quality time with the LG V10 smartphone via the AT&T 4G LTE network. I'm pretty impressed with this handset, and have a lot to report about it, and also how it stacks up against the big boys of Apple, Samsung & HTC.

First of all, this is definitely an improvement in the line of LG smartphones with close resemblance to the LG G2, G3, and G4 renditions. I think LG has done a fine job in keeping a general theme for look and feel of their flagship smartphone. But they took the V10 to the next level by powering up the G4 in a few key areas.

The LG V10 is built on a Qualcomm Sapdragon 808 1.82GHz CPU with an Adreno 418 GPU, plus a whopping 4Gb of RAM. What this means is you have the ability to run applications with speed, load superb video content, and multitask several apps without a problem. It's going to get the work done for you efficiently, and allow you to run the most cutting-edge apps Android has to offer. So that is definitely a big upgrade.

Another key upgrade from the G4 smartphone is the addition of the thumbprint scanner which is located on the power button of the LG V10. This keeps pace with current Samsung and Apple smartphones, and it gets a passing grade on functionality. Most of the tech blog sites are reporting an 80% success rate of the fingerprint scanner, and I'd say that's equal to or better than what we already see on the market. This keeps the V10 on the forefront of smartphone security.

Battery power gets a passing score, and might even be considered better than the competition with a 3000mAh removable battery. Samsung, Apple, and HTC have all gone the way of integrated batteries that take a technician to remove. If by chance you are unlucky enough to get a bad battery, you can easily replace it on the V10. But having a spare and the ability to swap out batteries is a huge plus in my book.

Internal storage has been bumped up, and I would even give the LG V10 an edge over the Samsung and Apple equivalents in this category because the basic storage amount is 64Gb. But you also have the ability to pop in an SD card for as much as 2 Terabytes of extra storage. Apple and Samsung chose to eliminate SD card storage, because it doesn't run as fast as internal memory. They didn't want people think their flagship smartphones were slow, on account of the SD memory. But LG has decided to allow the consumer to make that decision. That's a big win in my opinion.

Let's talk about cameras. The LG V10 has a 16mp camera with f/1.8 aperture, image stabilization, and a laser-guided auto focus feature. With the low F-Stop number of this camera, you can get some pretty amazing effects like "shallow depth of field", similar to what you could do with a professional DSLR camera. This is the same camera on the LG G4, but it's so good, it doesn't need much improvement at this point to still stand out in the field as superior.

On the flip side of the LG V10 you'll find the dual front facing 5mp cameras. One has 80 degrees, one wide angle at 120 degrees. This allows you to get 2 different choices of wide angle selfie shooting, and can also give you some options on 3D shooting. They take fantastic selfies, I might add!

Video recording on the V10 is monstrous. You get 4k 1080p video recording with slow motion capability, plus a bonus of "Cinematic mode" that slows the frame rate down to 24fps. There's a "Steady mode" for video stabilization, and it works better than Apple's advanced lens on the iPhone 6 Plus. You'll get tons of special effects, and one that I really like is "Snap Mode" where you tap to record 3-second video segments that get automatically stitched together into a 60-second video. Way too much fun if you're into video creation!

The form factor of the phone is passable, as long as you like the "phablet" size. It's as ergonomic as possible, with the super-grippy rubbery back plate. The sides are shiny metal which help to give it more of a premium feel than plastic alone, but it is a bit slick compared to the tacky feel of the back plate. The headphone jack is located in the bottom of the phone, which follows the new design standard set by Apple. I do like that. But what makes the phone unique, as usual, are the placement of the power button and volume rocker on the back of the phone.

The screen is enormous, with a 5.7" diagonal for the IPS LCD display that boasts Quad HD resolution, which amounts to a whopping 515 ppi pixel density. When you add the shortcut buttons bonus area on the top right of the screen, it's basically a 6" diagonal phone display. That is enormous, but the functionality of that extra notification screen is pretty awesome and useful. You get icons of recently used applications that you can launch, and it also serves as a notification bar. This feature is unique to the LG V10.

Flipping between applications using the top shortcut bar makes this phone easier to use for multitasking than any other phone I have owned. I also like the "Uninstall" and "Remove" boxes that appear when you long-press an icon. It's very straight-forward and clear. The shortcut bar Add to that the "double-tap-to-wake-up" screen feature and you've got a phone that you can jump-start quickly and easily.

One more thing regarding the display, the Swype keyboard is super smooth and slick on this smartphone making it very easy to compose messages. You can't quite operate the entire phone one-handed because of its size, and you certainly can't reach the shortcut bar one-handed, but it does seem to be accurate on producing the words you are attempting to enter.

My overall recommendation? I give it a green light, if you like the style of LG smartphones. For overall quality and feel, it is on the level of Samsung, Apple, and HTC. It's lighter than most, which for some means less "quality", but for others it means the phone won't break into a gazillion pieces every time you drop it to the ground. That's a definite advantage.

I don't see any major potential issues with this handset other than the size, but all of the manufacturers have gone to the phablet form factor. But for a phone, the calling experience was definitely good, with great sound quality over the AT&T network.

If you have a hankerin' for LG, you can't go wrong here. Head to your AT&T store and pick one of these up, and you probably won't regret it. Shout-out to AT&T St. Louis for test phone, I had a blast with it!

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru