Why LG Velvet
The LG Velvet is a gorgeous smartphone at a lifelike price, however, opponents have greater to provide if the DualScreen does not tempt you enough.
Things have been a little quiet for LG currently however the Korean massive is lower back with a new method for the smartphone market. But can the Velvet stand out in a busy market as a ‘low-end flagship’?
I promise this isn’t an strive to keep away from the query so you study the whole review, however, the reply is complicated.
The Velvet is truly a step up for LG in some ways, especially layout, and the DualScreen case provides a fascinating element. In fact, it’s greater than that, however, it’s additionally no longer an extraordinary answer and for the greater tech-savvy buyer, the Velvet has some challenging competition.
NOTE: Please be conscious that LG sent me the Korean model of the Velvet so there are some hardware and software program variations to the version that will arrive elsewhere. I’ll factor these out as we go.
Design: A sight for sore eyes
We don’t constantly begin with this part in opinions these days, rather focusing on what is most essential about the product we’re reviewing – particularly.
Design is the key factor right here even though as LG has certainly long gone to city on the Velvet to create a proper smartphone.
Arguably LG has been doing that for a long time however many of the firm’s telephones from the closing few years have been poorly received. It’s now not that they had been all at once ugly, however, in standard the opposition was once transferring quicker.
Well, the Velvet brings matters up to velocity with an extraordinarily slick and polished design, pretty literally. This is nearly totally a slab of brilliant glass with an aluminum band walking around the side to separate the two pieces.
Like a positive Korean rival (you understand the one opening with S), the metallic receives extraordinarily skinny alongside the facets and the glass is curved at the edges on the front and back.
It’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and I additionally love the raindrop arrangement of cameras, with solely the most important lens sticking out a tiny bit which makes the first-rate exchange from the massive modules we’re now used to seeing on the again of phones. It’s additionally IP68 waterproof.
Although it’s a sight for sore eyes, there are a few matters about the layout which I’m no longer so eager on.
It’s tremendously frequent so this isn’t a pop at LG however the glass makes it surprisingly slippery and there’s no case covered in the box. The Velvet over and over tried to slide off my backyard desk onto the looming concrete beneath notwithstanding being distinctly level.
The cellphone is additionally extraordinarily tall. Another aspect that’s highly fashionable these days however the 20.5:9 element ratio is absolutely pushing it. I have moderately giant arms however it’s close to not possible to stretch to the pinnacle 1/3 of the 6.8in display.
I’m no longer a huge fan of white tech so the Aurora White didn’t do it for me however the Velvet comes in some clearly fine colorways such as a wonderful inexperienced and if you clearly prefer to make an impact, Illusion Sunset.
It’s clear that LG has long past down a greater stylish route with the Velvet calling is ‘minimalistic design, top-rate finish’ and on that the front I suppose it simply suits the bill.
Now to address the DualScreen case which provides any other show to the Velvet. Eagle-eyed readers will note that this setup is simply like the LG V60 and you’re right, it’s close to identical.
The Velvet slots into the case without problems adequate and like magic you have two telephones side-by-side.
Whether or no longer this makes it a rival to the likes of the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate Xs is up for debate, however, this definitely can’t be known as a folding phone. It’s higher to suppose of it as a cowl case that takes place to have a show on the inner and consequently a more cost-effective alternative.
It’s a neat trick and the case turns the Velvet into a type of Nintendo DS fashion system with its tough plastic case with hinges that can rotate 360 degrees. This is generally so you can use the most important smartphone to kind except the 2d display being in the way of your left hand.
First the appropriate bits…
The DualScreen has a small 2.1in mono display screen on the front which offers you some key information such as the time, date, notifications, and battery info. It’s especially accessible however notice that you can’t have interaction with it.
The foremost gain is being in a position to run two apps side-by-side. It’s like conserving two same telephones subsequent to every different solely a lot handy to use, so if you like multi-tasking however choose a complete display screen for every app then this is perfect.
LG even presents a folder of shortcuts to launch an exceptional app on every display and you can create your very own combinations. A pop-up menu on the principal display screen approves you to pick more than a few DualScreen features like cross an app to the different show or change one-off etc.
It’s well worth noting that the DualScreen’s show is equal to the Velvet’s, even inclusive of the notch. There’s no digicam however it’s simpler for LG to manufacture this way and does grant symmetry so though it irks me a bit, I do recognize the reasoning.
You can additionally use the pair in panorama mode (like a Nintendo DS) which can work absolutely properly for some productiveness factors however mainly gaming. LG presents a software program so you can put a digital controller on the backside display screen whilst dedicating the pinnacle one to the authentic game.
This makes taking part in video games like Asphalt 9 a lot simpler to play, and you can map the buttons to any game. It will work higher for some video games and no longer others, though.
And the horrific bits, I hear you cry…
Well, the Velvet inner the case may be thinner and lighter than the V60’s generation however it’s nevertheless cumbersome and isn’t the variety of components you can raise around in a trouser pocket. The dual-screen is higher perfect to sitting on the espresso desk and being put to use around the house.
Since the Velvet plugs into the case by a bodily USB-C port, charging whilst docked capacity attaching a small magnetic attachment which affords the area to plug a cable in. It’s nifty however is simply asking to be misplaced inside a few weeks.
The Velvet does have wi-fi charging fortunately however you can’t cost the cellphone and use it at the equal time that way – if you have misplaced the attachment.
A larger hassle is how apps are used throughout the two screens. Sure it’s exciting to use an exclusive app on every display screen however it can’t do a total lot past that.
LG consists of a Whale for LG Dual Screen customized browser which indicates off how the two can work together. For example, double-clicking a hyperlink will open the web page on a different screen.
It’s neat however you can’t do this Chrome or different apps and it’s not likely builders will adapt apps for this precise LG case.
What you can do with Chrome – and different Google apps like YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and Photos – is run them in ‘wide-view’. Oddly this has to be switched on for person apps in the settings menu and approves them to run throughout the shows like it’s one massive one.
But as Henry put in the LG V60 review “it for sure appears horrible thanks to the honking amazing hinge in the middle” and that’s no special with the Velvet’s DualScreen.
Using YouTube reduces my colleague’s head in two and trying to use Google Maps simply supposed I ended up inserting the focal factor on one of the monitors to see it exact – so it’s no marvel LG doesn’t simply let you put any app you like throughout the two in this view.
It’s an actual blended bag for the DualScreen factor as it’s no longer a doable choice to a suitable folding telephone – each in bodily dimension and performance – however, does furnish some beneficial approaches of doing extra except having to splash out.
What I don’t understand is whether or not LG is bundling the DualScreen with the Velvet or not. Hopefully, it comes covered in the fee giving the Velvet a key promoting point, even if it is simply an accent you connect occasionally.
Back to the Velvet itself and even though the display screen is too tall for my liking, it is pretty placing and now not completely due to the curved edges.
LG, of course, is aware of how to make shows and you get an OLED panel right here with luggage of color, super distinction, and masses of brightness to boot. I’ve determined it a pleasure to use in nearly all aspects.
If you’re a greater geeky consumer then there are factors that can also dissuade you from getting the Velvet though.
Namely the truth it’s 60Hz when you can get greater refresh fees from a number of rivals, even in the finances market thanks to units like the Realme 6. Pushing matters to 90Hz or even greater offers a smoother ride however I don’t assume the LG Velvet is aimed at customers who comprehend what this stuff means.
You may want to additionally argue that opponents have a greater decision however the Velvet is flawlessly crisp for my liking and the desire to go Full HD+ mixed with a popular 60Hz is top for battery life.
LG has managed to get a fingerprint scanner embedded into the display, which is optical like the V60. At first, I determined it extraordinarily flawless however it did the fighting on a range of activities even when my thumb wasn’t wet.
Specs & Performance
To gain an extra low-priced charge point, LG has averted Qualcomm’s pinnacle tier 800 collection processors and long gone with the barely decrease seven-hundred range.
In Korea, the Velvet comes with a Snapdragon 765 and some other place it receives the 765G. Either way, this chip has 5G and makes the smartphone a less expensive choice if you prefer the present-day standard.
It’s every other indication that the Velvet isn’t aimed at each person who will be searching at the spec sheet for the processor mannequin number.
Either way, I’ve no longer had any overall performance problems with the Velvet and I’ve been checking out the much less spectacular Korean model, so everybody shopping for the cellphone will get an enhanced thanks to the 756G.
You get a first-rate 128GB of storage and both 6- or 8GB of RAM, plus a microSD card slot.
Overall it’s flawlessly good, however, if you are the type of man or woman who desires the quality specs round then the Velvet isn’t for you. Check out the OnePlus 8, for example, especially if you’re searching for something extra low cost than the likes of the Galaxy S20.
My benchmark effects are under however observe as soon as once more that this is checking out the Korean mannequin of the Velvet with a Snapdragon 765. I’ve delivered the apparent opponents however additionally the Realme 6 to exhibit what you can get at the price range give up of the market these days.
LG Velvet Cameras
I stated in the past how excellent the raindrop association of cameras appears truly nice. It’s a disgrace that none of them are mainly amazing, though.
Although there are three, one is a depth sensor so this is in reality simply a principal 48Mp with an 8Mp ultrawide alternative – a combination, I would possibly add, LG was once doing lengthy earlier than competitors began to add a wider perspective addition.
Sure, the principal 48Mp can take some pictures with an appropriate quantity of elements and brilliant colors. Note that like different telephones with excessive decision sensors, it’s truly outputting a 12Mp image. You can take full 48Mp decision pix if you like for greater element however it’s now not really worth the more storage area and the drop in dynamic range.
I’d as a substitute have an ultrawide digital camera than telephoto and this creates a lot wider shot with nonetheless first-rate quality. It’s simply no longer as effortlessly get admission to in the app in contrast to different phones, having to toggle the zoom to 0.5x which I didn’t locate intuitively.
You can use this to zoom in 2x however this is simply a crop of the essential sensor. That said, the consequences aren’t too awful at all thanks to the excessive decision sensor.
There’s no macro lens right here however the major digital camera can take first-rate close-ups and on telephones with a committed macro camera, I’ve located the essential digicam to be higher anyway.
Low mild and night time isn’t the Velvet’s forte, however, effects aren’t too awful either. It’s the portrait mode, arguably the most essential mode, which disappoints the most.
This is stunning thinking about the devoted 5Mp auxiliary digital camera for depth estimation. As you’ll see in the gallery below, the telephone simply struggles to reduce matters out exactly for that blurred history effect.
I located the selfie digicam a long way greater brilliant with super effects in each ordinary and portrait mode. Even even though the latter isn’t perfect, the Velvet did a top job of slicing round my hair with solely a minor slip that most humans won’t word searching at the image briefly.
In phrases of video, the Velvet can shoot at up to 4K at 30fps, or you can get 60fps at 1080p if you prefer. There’s no optical picture stabilization right here however the software program does a first-rate job of removing motion and shake. Panning is trickier however it’s now not bad.
Overall the first-rate is exceptionally true with plenty of element and correct colorations at 4K, with low noise. However, there are problems at 1080p with an over-processed seem to be at 30fps and terrible rendering at 60fps.
As I alluded to earlier, LG’s desire of specs blended to no longer solely hit a greater inexpensive rate than many rivals, however, it aids battery life.
The Velvet has a respectable 4300mAh battery and can effortlessly ultimate via a day of assorted utilization for the common user. Of course, hammer it with gaming – particularly going for walks the DualScreen – and you’ll want to pinnacle it up a lot sooner.
I’ve had some trouble with the battery benchmark but will add the discern as soon as I’ve received it.
LG provides real looking 25W quickly charging however getting to 31% in 30 minutes beginning from zero is nothing to write domestic about. Still, I wasn’t waiting to discover wi-fi charging right here so that’s an exceptional extra.
Perks & Software
A strange subheading I understand however it’s well worth praising LG for factors such as a headphone jack. It’s mad but that’s an actual bonus and the association continues to appear after these who care about audio.
Although if you are an audiophile, it’s awful information due to the fact the Velvet doesn’t have a Quad DAC like the V60. This, I imagine, is the section of the alternate in approach and to shop money.
Still, the stereo audio system is very surprising with higher sound than most price range Bluetooth audio system and you can strive LG’s 3D Sound Engine from the rapid settings. This goal to modify the sound correctly to what’s playing. I desired the ordinary sound however you may like it.
I can’t remark totally on the software program as I examined the Korean model of the Velvet, however ignoring all the pre-loaded apps that I can safely count on won’t come on a western model, the software program is decent.
It’s easy and colorful seem to be that’s difficult to locate offensive honestly – with the caveats of the DualScreen stuff I blanketed earlier.
LG offers you the alternative of matters like the app drawer and whether or not to have on-screen navigation buttons or the extra present-day gesture way of controlling the phone.
I used the latter which was once often fine, however like some others, I observed that swiping sideways frequently caused ‘back’ when I wasn’t attempting to do that.
LG Velvet Price
So how tons is the LG Velvet?
We’re ready for UK details, however, LG has established that the cellphone fees US$700 and 650 Euros and from what I can acquire the DualScreen are solely covered if you can pre-order.
I honestly assume LG desires to bundle the case as widespread to trap clients however this is handy for me to say. Regardless, its capacity LG has stiff opposition even if it does undercut telephones like the Samsung Galaxy S20.
The iPhone 11 and OnePlus 8 are each extraordinarily performed telephones which outclass the LG Velvet in most approaches – dismissing the DualScreen seeing that it is now not included.
There is additionally a number of units that are magnificent at an awful lot decrease prices. Lots to pick from however the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, and Asus ZenFone 6 all spring to the idea from the mid-range. And you can get some severely mind-blowing finances telephones like the Realme 6, which is simply £219.
I locate the LG Velvet a specially challenging telephone, to sum up, in particular, whilst we wait for UK details.
I applaud LG for nailing the top rate diagram and construct the best of the Velvet (and getting rid of the ThinQ branding), however, it is no longer like different telephones out there are precisely horrible in comparison.
Whether this is the telephone for you relies upon on the place you are coming from:
Are you troubled about having the exceptional specs and overall performance – ie a cellphone geek? The LG Velvet is not for you to think about it is a lack of matters like a 90Hz display, telephoto camera, flagship processor, and different matters you are likely searching for.
Are you searching for a stylish, top-class smartphone more cost-effective than most flagships? Maybe the Velvet catches your eye, however, if you are no longer an LG diehard then there are lots of opponents with a lot to offer, many of which are at decrease prices.
For me, it comes down to whether or not or no longer you are taken with the thinking of the DualScreen, no matter its shortcomings. If you are, and we may additionally be down to a small number of conceivable consumers now, then the Velvet is a high-quality preference – specifically if LG decides to bundle it as standard.