LG V60 First Impressions – A Good Phone at a Great Price
I have been reviewing smartphones for a long time. In that time I’ve used every LG G series device since the G4 and every LG V series device except the V50, so I am exceptionally familiar with LG phones at this point. The LG V60 ThinQ is the latest LG device to cross my desk and this is my second experience with the Dual Screen accessory.
Every manufacturer has its own way of doing things. While the designs may change over the years, the core remains the same. This is why people mostly find a brand they like and stick with it. As someone who has used a lot of LG devices, my first thought when using the V60 was “yup, this is an LG phone.” Here are my first impressions and more on what that means.
LG V60 Design
My daily phone for nearly two years now has been the Pixel 3. This means every time I get my hands on a new device I am struck by how large most flagships phones are. The LG V60 is certainly no exception to this. It’s a very big phone, especially if you use the Dual Screen case. With a display coming in at 6.8-inches, this really is getting close to tablet territory. I am a tall guy with big hands, but it still feels gigantic.
The back is made of glass and it curves into the aluminum frame along the edges. The glass back protrudes out from the frame quite a bit, making the phone feel thick even without a case. The model I received is white and it has a slight iridescence to it. I’m not always a fan of white phones, but the LG V60 looks nice. Like many other glass phones, the LG V60 shows fingerprints very easily.
Speaking of the back, LG has arranged the cameras in a very Galaxy S10-like horizontal line. The camera module sticks out slightly as well, which you’ll notice when laying it on a hard surface. Moving back to the front of the device, there is a U-shaped notch for the selfie camera. If you don’t like the trend of hole-punch displays, LG has you covered.
LG has changed up the design of the Dual Screen accessory in a few ways, but the execution is the same. The right side of the phone is uncovered so you can easily access the power button. The volume and Google Assistant buttons are integrated into the Dual Screen case. The secondary display is identical to the phone display, including the notch (which is still fake and weird).
Where things differ is the back of the case. The LG G8X Dual Screen case had a big square cutout for the cameras and the LG logo. Half of the back of the phone was unprotected. This time the cutout is the same shape as the camera module, like a regular case. LG has also added a ribbed texture to the back which I don’t particularly enjoy. I don’t have the G8X any more for comparison, but the Dual Screen case feels thicker this time around. I think that has to do with the ribbed texture.
Overall, the LG V60 ThinQ feels like a well-made, premium device. The glass and metal design feels great and the Dual Screen accessory seems to be of higher quality this time around as well.
LG V60 Display
As I’ve mentioned, the display is very large. It’s 6.8-inches, P-OLED, and has a resolution of only 2460 x 1080. That’s the main area where LG cut some corners compared to devices like the Galaxy S20. It also doesn’t have one of those fancy new high refresh rate panels. All of that being said, it’s still a nice-looking display. I haven’t personally used a high refresh rate phone yet, so my eyes haven’t been spoiled. It seems to get very bright as well. The display on the Dual Screen looks identical in terms of color and temperature.
The LG V60 ThinQ has an optical fingerprint scanner under the display. I was not a fan of this feature on the LG G8X and it seems to be the same scanner on the V60. I find it frustrating to use and would much, much rather have a simple scanner on the back of the phone.
Dual Screen Experience
I talked about the design changes of the Dual Screen accessory, but LG has also made some important software updates. The LG G8X only supported one app for stretching across both displays, but now there are several others that are supported. You can use Google Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Photos, Gmail, the Google app, and the Naver Whale browser in “wide view.” This is a big improvement, but strangely, LG makes you enable them one by one.
LG has also improved the experience of setting a wallpaper to span across both displays, and they’ve included more of them by default. Lastly, LG has included a folder of pre-installed apps that users can use to try out the Dual Screen experience. Unfortunately, one of these apps (Asphalt 9) is not supported by the device. Oops.
Overall, LG seems to have made some improvements, but the Dual Screen still has the same downsides as before, and I’m not yet convinced it’s a truly worthwhile gimmick. The good news is most carriers are bundling the Dual Screen with the device for a good price, so everyone can experience it for themselves.
Performance & Battery
Like most flagships we’ve seen as of late, the LG V60 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC and 8GB of RAM. In my brief time with the device, it has felt very quick and snappy. I’ve played a few games using the Dual Screen as a controller and haven’t noticed any hiccups. The Dual Screen accessory makes the V60 a solid gaming phone and it has plenty of power to handle any game you throw at it.
Battery life has been phenomenal thanks to the 5,000mAh battery and 1080p display. You should be able to easily last a day or more with the LG V60 ThinQ. Using the Dual Screen does have an impact on battery life, but it’s not as much as you might expect. I think if you’re more of a light user you could get away with charging this device every other day.
LG V60 Cameras
The LG V60 ThinQ has only three cameras in total, a big drop down from the five in the previous generation. Those cameras include a 64MP main camera, a 13MP 117° wide-angle camera, and a 10MP selfie camera. Due to COVID-19 precautions and everything being in lockdown mode, I wasn’t able to do a ton of camera testing. However, the main camera seems to produce crisp photos without any of the excessive smoothening that plagues Samsung devices. LG says the 64MP camera can be used for up to 10x zoom without quality reduction, but I haven’t found that to be true. It seems to suffer from the same issues that you see on any phone when using digital zoom.
Where the zoom abilities might be more useful is in video recording. The LG V60 can record up to 8K at 24FPS, which gives you a lot of freedom to crop and pan when editing videos after the fact. If you prefer 60FPS, you can record up to 4K with HDR10+ enabled. The V Series has traditionally been all about video, and once again, that seems like a strong suit here. Check out the Imgur album above to see some camera samples.
LG phones fall into this weird space of not being exciting enough to warrant hype, but also not being popular enough to stand on their own without gimmicks. For example, the Motorola Razr is a very basic phone with one extremely hyped-up feature. The Samsung Galaxy S20 has some eye-candy, but it’s mostly just a really solid phone.
The LG V60 ThinQ is attempting to play at both of those games. The Dual Screen accessory is cool, but it’s not folding display cool. And the LG V60 itself has essentially the same high-end specifications and features as the Galaxy S20, but it’s overshadowed by Samsung’s offerings. My time with the LG V60 ThinQ has felt like my first impression of most LG phones: good, but not great.
The one great thing that the LG V60 ThinQ has going for it is the price. It varies by carrier, but for around $900, you can get the phone and the Dual Screen accessory. If you don’t care at all about the Dual Screen case, you can get just the phone for around $800. That’s a great price for a device that has nearly the same specifications as flagship phones that cost $200-300 more.
Keep in mind that this is just my first impression, so there’s a chance my conclusion will change before the full review. As it stands right now, this is a solid phone that doesn’t seem to have much of an identity. The Dual Screen remains to be an interesting accessory, though not terribly useful or enjoyable for me to use. Hopefully, over the course of my review process, I will find more to love.
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