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LG V20 squares up against Google Pixel XL

We take a look at the key features in LG's new flagship smartphone and where it stands in comparison to the Google Pixel XL

LG V20 will be available at offline retail stores and for Rs54,999
LG V20 will be available at offline retail stores and for Rs54,999

LG is taking another stab at the Android flagship smartphone category in India, with a phone called the V20. It will be available at offline retail stores and for Rs54,999.

The V20’s big highlight isn’t the modular design that we saw in the G5, but rather a dual screen set-up and the latest version of Android. It is one of the first smartphones, apart from Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL, to be released with Android Nougat out of the box.

Among Android flagships, the V20 is competing mainly against the Google Pixel XL (Rs67,000 onwards), which has done well in an Apple-dominated premium smartphone market in India, in the few weeks it has been on sale here. According to a research report by CounterPoint Research, Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones have managed to capture 10% of the premium smartphone market share in India.

Read more: Is the Pixel gamble working for Google?

Dual screen

The big talking point of the phone is the dual screen feature, which was first seen in the V10 and later in a budget smartphone called the LG X Screen. This second screen is placed right above the main 5.7-inch screen and shows options such as your favourite apps, recent contacts, notifications and quick settings. The objective of the second screen is to help users access some of these features without wasting time.

Google Pixel XL has a single 5.5-inch display but offers the same 2,560x1,440p resolution as the LG V20. If the dual screen set-up doesn’t really mean much to you, and it ideally wouldn’t to most users, you might want to consider the Pixel XL instead.

Removable battery

Though the V20’s back panel is made of metal, it is removable and so is the phone’s 3,200mAh battery. It is rare to see a flagship smartphone, priced upwards of Rs50,000, offering a removable battery these days.

The phone also comes with a microSD card slot which allows one to add up to 2TB more to the phone’s 64GB internal storage. The Pixel XL has no surprises in this regard. Its 3,450mAh battery is packed inside the unibody metal casing and is non removable, at least by the user. It doesn’t have a microSD slot either, but takes care of storage by offering a 128GB storage variant of the phone that costs Rs76,000. The entry variant of Pixel XL offers only 32GB storage. Clearly, the LG smartphone has an upper hand as far as storage is concerned.

Power of flagship

The LG V20 is powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, with 4GB RAM and Adreno 530 graphics. It is a powerful processor and has been used in a number of high-profile and impressive smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S7 (US version), LG G5, HTC 10, OnePlus 3 and LeEco Le Max 2. The Google smartphone runs on a slightly better Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with 4GB RAM and Adreno 530 graphics. This new processor has only been used in the small screen (5-inch display) Pixel smartphone and the recently announced OnePlus 3T.

New look Android vs custom UI

The LG V20 is a typical LG smartphone when it comes to software. Though it runs Android Nougat 7.0, one can’t really tell it by looking at the interface as LG has overlayed the interface with its proprietary custom UI with no app drawer but plenty of options for users to play around with.

What gives the Google Pixel XL an edge over it is the clean Android interface, assured Google updates before any other smartphone, unlimited storage on Google Photos and the new AI (artificial intelligence)-based Google Assistant.

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