The Samsung S20 has a new competitor; the premium LG V60 ThinQ 5G that’s on the US market with Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. LG is punching high with the V60 and its managed to achieve a few standout features of its own. Those who like a little nostalgia will be grateful for the headphone jack, and for the more advanced among us, there’s a special Dual Screen case that effectively doubles up on the screen size. It’s kind of cool to have as an add-on accessory, but you’re not going to cry without it.

Image credit: cnet.com

Factoring in the case, you’re paying out $900-950, depending on who you choose as your carrier, which still beats the grand you’d pay to get a Galaxy S20. There’s been no announcement on UK and Australian launches and availability, but it converts to somewhere around £730-770 and AU$1,480-1,560. If you don’t want the Dual Screen case, you’ll pay $800, which makes it nearly $200 cheaper than the S20, which is a fair chunk of extra cash in your pocket.

For a great phone, look no further than the LG V60, at least according to Lynn La who wrote the original version of the article for cnet. The photos you get are vibrant, the battery’s life seems promising at the moment, and the design is polished and stylish. However, there are few of the cool, added extras, that you get with the Galaxy S20 that are missing from the V60, just to make it interesting. You don’t get a 120Hz display, reverse wireless charging is missing, and you don’t get the telephoto camera. Are these features worth an extra $50 for the S20 compared to the LG phone with the special case? If you’re not bothered about the Dual Screen case, the features you lose for $200 are probably worth the savings and you’re getting a great Android device.

It’s big, it’s chunky, and it’s bright

The screen is a big upgrade from the V50’s 6-40inch screen; the V60 packs a massive 6.8-inch display that gives a wonderful viewing experience when you’re watching videos or browsing the internet. However, for one-handed use it’s almost impossible without regular droppage. For some reason, there are vertical ridges running down the back of the phone, which bulks it out further. Compared to the V50’s smooth back, the new version is lacking. 

Image credit: ixbt.com

Setting aside the issues with size, the display on the V60 is brilliant. You get rich colors full of vibrancy and viewing in sunlight is easy without straining the eyes. The build itself is also nice, there’s weight to it but it has a luxury feel. The sophisticated cobalt blue with gold trim is more classy than the S20’s pastel blue. 

It’s important to note that the display on the V60 is only 60Hz. It’s a pretty standard spec at the moment, so might not be a dealbreaker, but if you want to be up there with the ultimate geeks of phone tech, the Galaxy S20 and the soon-to-be-released OnePlus 8 both max out at 120 refreshes per second.

Using the V60’s dual display

The usefulness of the Dual Screen that you buy with the V60 is demonstrated in its ability to prop up the phone. La used it as a kickstand to help her when watching recipe videos on YouTube, as well as when watching video content in bed, which of course is a bad habit that isn’t recommended, but corona times are tough…

Image credit: gagadget.com

There’s some learning that goes into using the Dual Screen. La had already got to grips with the LG V50 in 2019 but she still had to relearn the control keys on the Dual Screen, which show up on the screen once connected. You can control whether you want to turn off one or both screens, use them for multitasking, or expand apps over both screens to make it tablet-like. You can even use one of the screens as a controller when you’re playing games.  

In the “expanded view” mode, you still have to contend with the hinge that runs the length of the middle and gets in the way of your videos and apps. The black line that runs down the middle means you don’t get near to the seamless folding offered by the Motorola Razr or the Galaxy Z Flip. It’s not completely awful, though. The case is removable so it still works as a phone when you’re on the move, and it still adapts to the larger tablet style screen for the home. 

Make sure that you read up on the deal you get with the Dual Screen from your carrier. Some carriers made an inclusive package with the screen for the LG G8X ThinQ for a short time, before reverting to having to buy it separately. Read the fine print so you know exactly what you’re buying.

Shooting up a storm

On the back, you’ll get a standard camera along with a wide-angle lens on the V60. The photos you produce will be clear and vibrant and it works well when picking out a moving object and maintaining focus.The digital zoom goes up to 10x and is great for getting up close and personal, whilst the Night View mode will get your evening photography lovely and bright. The zoom on the Galaxy S20 hits 30x, but for usable photos, you’re rarely going to need more than 10x.  

The Galaxy S20 has three camera lenses, as compared to the V60’s two. There is, however, a time-of-flight lens included with the V60 that is used for AR and applications that require depth-sensing. It’s not a photography lens, but it helps place stickers better and improves the 3D photo effect that’s new to LG on the V60. The tech allows you to take a portrait shot and achieve a sense of depth with movement, similar to what’s becoming popular on Facebook. It’s not completely polished; when La experimented with a shot flashing a peace sign, the depth effect was grey and wonky around the detailed parts of the fingers and hair. 

For your selfie requirements, you get a 10-megapixel camera on the front of the V60. It works pretty well for identifying the back- and foreground on shots with tricky bits like detailed hair and fluffy trims, although the bokeh effect can be patchy and doesn’t give a natural feel.

Taking videos on the V60 is satisfying. But La tried to capture a video of a bird that was five feet away using the 1080p resolution and when zooming things got muddy and blurry very fast. It does match up to the Galaxy S20’s 8K recording capabilities, though.

Speedy and sustainable

The chipset in LG’s V60 is the same as most of its competitors; it uses the Snapdragon 865 for smooth running. For gaming, browsing, or video watching you shouldn’t experience any issues like lag. The camera launches quickly so you can take photos in an instant. When looking at benchmark reviews, the V60 maxed out over the S20 in testing by 3DMark and Geekbench 5. There wasn’t a whole lot to separate the winner, however, and in day to day use you’re not going to notice any speed differences.

Image credit: cnet.com

La didn’t complete full battery testing on the V60, but she did note that the 5,000-mAh battery was able to run for an exceptionally long time. When continually playing videos using Airplane mode, the battery life lasted an astounding 31 hours and 14 minutes. To compare, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has the same capacity but only managed 21 hours in the same test with the screen set to 60Hz. Compared to the phones she tested in 2019, the V60 has had the best battery life. 

The V60 also has 5G capability, which is in the process of rolling out across the US this year. The unit that La tested was on AT&T and the 5G indicator was highlighted during her whole test whilst in the Bay Area. In speed testing using Ookla, there was only LTE network to be had. Looking at down- and upload speeds, they’re comparable with 4G LTE on AT&T, with the V60 achieving an average of 194Mbps downloading and 36Mpbs for uploads. It’s useful to note that locations, networks, and coverage are going to be different for everyone so don’t use this as a concrete guide.

LG V60 vs. Galaxy S20: head to head

LG V60 ThinQ 5GSamsung Galaxy S20
Display size, resolution6.8-inch OLED; 2,460×1,080 pixels6.2-inch AMOLED
Pixel density395ppi563ppi
Dimensions (Inches)6.67×3.06×0.35 in2.72×5.97×0.311 in
Dimensions (Millimeters)169.3×77.6×8.79 mm69.1×151.7×7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)7.72 oz; 218g5.75 oz; 163g
Mobile softwareAndroid 10Android 10
Camera64-megapixel (standard), 13-megapixel (wide-angle), time-of-flight camera12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide)
Front-facing camera10-megapixel10-megapixel
Video capture8K8K
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 86564-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz)
Expandable storageUp to 2TBUp to 1TB
Battery5,000 mAh4,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensorIn-screenIn-screen
Headphone jackYesNo
Special features5G enabled; water resistant (IP68); Dual Screen accessory5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; water resistant (IP68)
Price off-contract (USD)$800 (without Dual Screen case); $900-$950 (with)$999