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printed December 13, 2017
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Review: LG V20 for AT&T

Hardware Software Wrap-Up Comments  

The LG V20 is one of the most powerful smartphones available today. LG made appreciable strides in its hardware capabilities, and yet managed to stumble pretty badly with respect to the software. This leaves the V20 in a confusing space.

There's no doubt the V20 is one of LG's finest efforts in design and execution. It rights the wrongs of both last year's V10, and this year's G5. The slim — yet gigantic — frame is simple but appealing in its own way. The screen is amazing, the removable battery delivers plenty of power, and it's the best-sounding phone I've heard in some time.

It's great to see LG adopt the latest version of Android, though its user interface skin is so over-the-top you hardly know what OS is underneath. The software is powerful and provides an incredible array of customization, but this comes at the expense of usability. In fact, LG obliterated some of the most useful new features of Nougat.

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The camera takes excellent photos. The app is powerful, yet it often gets in the way. This stands in stark contrast to the approaches taken by Apple and Google with their new flagships, which are far simpler to use and deliver just-as-good results.

Last, the price. The full retail cost varies wildly between the carriers (AT&T - $830; Sprint - $792; T-Mobile - $769; Verizon - $672.) Each offers monthly financing with payments ranging from $27 to $36 for 18 - 30 months, depending. Don't think you can buy the phone full price from Verizon and use it on AT&T's network, either, as the carrier versions do in fact vary in their LTE band support. The phone is just as expensive as the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus.

The LG V20 is a high-end phone that's refined and raw at the same time, a confusing mix of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If you can put up with the beastly software, the hardware is among LG's best.

Our Ratings

4
Overall
4
Reception
4
Battery Life
4
Hardware Usability
4
Hardware Quality
5
Display
4.5
Interface Speed
5
Audio Volume
4.5
Camera
 

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