The recent announcement by LG of the LG V10 indicates a departure in the strategy of the Korean company. LG is one of a raft of smartphone manufacturers being influenced by a diversification in the smartphone marketplace, with Samsung also affected by cheaper Android offerings in the East Asian marketplace in particular. The LG V10 is an attempt to relaunch the concept of the LG flagship, and produce a device that will appeal to a wider range of consumers. But how does it compare to the last generation LG G4?
When the LG G4 was initially launched, the design of the device garnered a lot of attention. The optional leather skin included with the LG G4 was undoubtedly a talking point, with the unusual display to body ratio also significant. Although it is perhaps too much of a stretch to suggest that the curvy design of the LG G4 was a precursor to the curved screen technology included in Samsung devices, it certainly indicated a general trend in the industry as well. The LG G4 measured 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm, and weighed in at 155g.
By comparison, the LG V10 is very much focused on durability. The stainless steel frame and damage resistant rear ensure that this is one of the most durable smartphones available on the market. As a consequence of this increased durability, the LG V10 is significantly larger and heavier than the previous smartphone in the series, with this new handset measuring 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6mm and weighing 192g. However, one might note from those figures that the LG V10 is also slightly slimmer than the larger version of the LG G4.
With a dura frame, reinforced corners and MIL-STD-810G standard shock resistance, there is no doubt that the LG V10 is a sturdier device that its predecessor, and it also offers a striking and attractive design as well.
The LG V10 also features superior screen technology to its predecessor. The LG V10 features a 5.7-inch IPS display with a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution, effectively delivering a pixel density of 513ppi. Intriguingly, this design also incorporates a secondary display, designed to be on at all times, providing information at a glance without having to wake the main display of the device. This is an innovative twist intended to somewhat resemble old clamshell phones, albeit with new dynamic functionality.
The LG G4 does offer some advantages over its new cousin. The 2,560 x 1,440 pixel display is certainly comparable, and owing to the fact that it features a slightly smaller 5.5-inch screen, the pixel density of 538ppi is superior to the LG V10. However, naturally there is no secondary display included in the old LG G4, certainly the main innovation of the LG V10, and this makes the older LG handset a much more standard smartphone product choice.
The central specifications of a smartphone are always virtual to the performance of a device, and this is another area in which the LG V10 edges out the previous LG G4 hardware. The handset is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 chipset, but instead bumps the RAM memory up to 4GB in this generation. This added memory should ensure that the LG V10 somewhat outperforms the previous generation LG G4.
When it was released, the LG G4 offered 32GB of storage as standard, while the LG V10 provides 64GB by comparison. Both devices offer micro SD expansion, which is welcome in an industry that has increasingly moved away from this optional extra. Samsung in particular has been criticized for removing micro SD slots in recent hardware releases, and it is an excellent move by LG to enable the LG V10 to be boosted up to 128GB by external card addition.
Both the devices also offer removable batteries to continue the theme of customization. Indeed, LG is pretty much the last smartphone manufacturer in the contemporary marketplace to allow this aspect to remain. The LG V10 features a 3,000mAh battery, as does the G4, but improvements in Android Marshmallow should ensure that the LG V10 is capable of superior battery life to its predecessor.
One new feature in the LG V10 is a fingerprint scanner, something that was conspicuous by its absence in the LG G4. This can be seen as a particularly useful inclusion, considering that security is becoming an increasing concern for smartphone consumers.
Another area in which the LG V10 makes a significant improvement over the LG G4 is in terms of its camera capabilities. Most notably, the device includes two front-facing 5-megapixel cameras, providing dual-selfie capabilities. This will enable purchasers of the device to capture regular 80-degree selfies, or wide 120-degree group shots. The LG G4 by comparison has a solitary 8-megapixel front-facing camera.
Both devices feature 16-megapixel rear-facing cameras with autofocus. The LG V10 has been particularly supercharged for video, enabling capture through all three lenses simultaneously. One disappointing oversight in both devices is the lack of inclusion of optical image stabilization, but LG insists that the camera lenses are able to absorb so much light that this is not a significant loss for the series.
The LG V10 will run the Marshmallow version of Android, providing increased customization and software functionality as compared to the Android Lollipop that was resident when the LG G4 was released. Enhanced video controls are central to this package, and overall the LG V10 simply runs slightly more slickly than its LG G4 predecessor.
LG has certainly produced an innovative device with the LG V10, and it is this aspect of the smartphone that makes it stand out from the LG G4. A focus on high-quality video creation, the conspicuous second display and innovative camera layout means that this is a significant step forward over the LG G4, and the Korean company can be commended for attempting to do something genuinely original.