LG V10 Smartphone Breaks New Ground - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Devices
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10/1/2015
03:25 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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LG V10 Smartphone Breaks New Ground

LG's V10 handset has two screens, two selfie cameras, and specs to spare. The company also showed a smartwatch that makes phone calls.

10 Best Smartphones, Wearables From IFA 2015
10 Best Smartphones, Wearables From IFA 2015
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LG showed off the V10 smartphone and Watch Urbane 2nd Edition at an event in New York on Thursday. The fresh handset, which includes a second display, brings some interesting ideas to the smartphone space and may help LG gain ground against competitor Samsung. The company also showed no signs of slowing down its push into the wearables market.

The LG V10 is a curious animal that the company says is meant for content creators. As such, LG took special care to give the phone a high-quality display and capable set of cameras.

The main screen measures 5.7 inches across the diagonal and quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution. The kicker is the ticker. A small, second display sits above the main screen and is meant to serve as an info panel. The Second Screen, as LG calls it, can be on at all times in order to show status icons and incoming notifications. LG is pitching the Second Screen as a way to get distracting alerts off the main screen so they don't interrupt what the user is doing, such as watching a movie.

The idea feels somewhat gimmicky and is not unique. Samsung fielded a Galaxy handset back in 2011 that included a secondary ticker display. It wasn't a smashing success. Can the Second Screen help the V10? Perhaps.

LG V10
(Image: LG)

LG V10

(Image: LG)

The cameras are sure to impress those with a penchant for taking selfies. The V10 has two front-facing cameras to help capture wider images. LG says the 5-megapixel sensors can snag 80-degree images on their own or 120-degree images when working together. The wide field of view means the V10 will be better for snagging group shots without a selfie stick.

Videographers may be excited to learn that the V10 offers manual video recording. Users can control shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and exposure all their own for the ultimate in creative video capture. The phone can record in full HD (1080p), quad HD (2K), and ultra HD (4K). In addition to the expanded set of controls, the video camera has several editing and sharing tools for putting the finishing touches on your video projects.

[What's new in the Android arena? Read Google's Android Event: Pixel Tablet, Served With Marshmallow.]

Beyond these features, the V10 is somewhat similar to the LG G4, which the company released earlier this year. It trades the polycarbonate frame for stainless steel. This adds strength and rigidity while also boosting the quality of the phone.

LG listens to its customers. Not only is the rear shell self-healing, but it -- and the battery underneath -- are removable. The phone supports storage cards up to 2TB, but ships with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor. It ships with Android 5.1 Lollipop. LG didn't say if or when it will receive Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The LG V10 is a much better contender for LG to fend off Samsung's goliath-like Galaxy line.

Similarly, the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition with LTE will help LG make inroads with the smartwatch crowd. LG claims this new wearable is the first Android Wear-based device to offer LTE data and 3G cellular for phone-free voice calls. The Watch has a 1.38-inch display, 570mAh battery, 768MB of RAM, and a Snapdragon 400 processor.

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition
(Image: LG)

LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition

(Image: LG)

Samsung's Gear S2 family of wearables is able to make calls, too, but run Samsung's proprietary Tizen platform.

The LG V10 and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition will be available in Korea later this month, and the US and other countries later this year. Pricing was

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
10/4/2015 | 5:21:32 PM
Screens
I don't totally understand the purpose of having two separate screens, and there's a few reasons why I think that. 

Firstly, I don't really care about notifications, and it sounds like that's all this second screen would provide. Then, there is battery life. The battery on smartphones only last as long as the screen is not constantly used – and it sounds like on this device the second smaller screen is going to be on quite a bit. Not sure the utility of that if phone makers are trying to increase battery life. 
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