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V20 First impressions: Pros, Cons, and Questions

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by notacoach, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    So because a TMo store near me had one (ONE) in stock, I took the plunge. For those shopping, everybody/where I've asked has said they get maybe one unit per shipment, and they are usually gone the same day; they're obviously trickling them out, so I can only assume that demand has exceeded supply.

    I'm coming from different HTC models over the last 5 years; this is the first non-HTC Android I've had, and no denying there are some changes to get used to! I've got a bunch of questions (jump to the end for those), but I know people want to know about the device, so here are my first impressions. Plenty has been written about the camera and sound so I'm not going to focus on those (since I haven't used them much yet, but here's what I've noticed so far....

    Pros
    - screen size is magic. Looking at my m9 after working on the V20 to set it up feels cramped and pokey. I have a feeling I'm never going back to a smaller device!

    - very responsive so far, even after all my apps etc were transferred.

    - The second screen is AWESOME. Maybe some people think it's "gimmicky", but I think it's going to be one of my most-used features. I absolutely love it, and it opens up real estate on the homescreens. I'm also using it as a "speed-dialler" for my most-used numbers.

    - Bluetooth has paired quickly and easily so far. Seems stable (although bluetooth in my car is always kind of a pain, so we'll see how it handles that over the next few days!)

    - Qslide is a nice inclusion, and another option for miinimizing clutter on the homescreen, and getting quick access to frequently-used apps (although I have some questions about it - see below)

    - reception (so far) seems better than my m9. We live in a tiny little corner of our neighbourhood which has CRAPPY cell service (all carriers. We're one of about a dozen houses in a little hollow which seems to have issues, despite near line-of-sight to the nearest tower; Tmo looked it up the day I was playing with the phone in store (they were empty, I was waiting for my car's oil change lol) and apparently we only get band 12, and even that can be iffy. It's worse in summer, so I assume foliage is part of the problem. But I digress...). In any case, the V20 is showing 4-5 bars, whereas the HTC never showed more than 3-4, and frequently 1-2. Big plus

    Cons
    - tmo didnt give me the code for the headphones! Does that come by email, or....?!

    - It's big. I actually LIKE this, but some may not. Its very light for its size, and easy to hold.

    - The screen is lovely, but not as good as the one on my HTC m9. There is some lightbleed at the lower corners; not a dealbreaker, but it's there.

    - it did get a bit warm in heavy use (while plugged in). Time will tell whether this is a consistent problem, or just that it was working overtime while transferring info from old device etc.

    - Sim card, SD card and battery are a little fiddly to install - the sim and SD are nested on top of each other in the same slot which took some figuring out; coming from a sealed unit with sim/SD trays, that was a little confusing! The battery is a snug fit.

    - the camera bump-out is significant. I'd seen it in store, but it's only when handling the unit properly that one becomes aware of how significantly it protrudes. I'm not even willing to take this out of the house until it's in a case and has some kind of protection.

    - The layout on the "symbols" keyboard is crazy! Everything else is qwerty, but that seems random. Is there a way of customizing that portion of the keyboard?

    - if.you hold backspace down, it goes FAST right away (not gradually). Deleted nearly a paragraph before I realised what was happening. Lol

    Things I'm missing from HTC (and/or the HTC Sense UI) - if there are ways of doing these things, please somebody tell me how!

    * no cursor arrows on vertical keyboard, and no obvious way to set them - this is one of the HTC keyboard's options. Do any 3rd-party keyboards offer this too? On a plus note, the numbers on the main letter keyboard are great, as is the ability to customize the bottom row buttons.

    * No obvious way to add extra homescreens - it must exist, but I can't figure out how!

    *I'm really missing the "People" widget, where I could keep my 9 most-used numbers as a speed-dial center on a separate homescreen, with images for easy recognition (eg to dial in the car). The "Easy home" layout presents me with EXACTLY what I want for my contacts - large, grid/image layout, on a separate home screen - but then I can't customise the rest of the home screens the way I want as "Easy Home"doesn't let you move icons or put them into folders. Is that easyhome dialler embedded somewhere that I can use in the "Home screen + app drawer" option? I'm using the second-screen for now, but would prefer the larger icons and easier access of the widget!

    *is there a drive mode with gigantic icons, like HTC's car mode?

    * People have said they use a magnetic mount in the car - does that work through a case, or only on a "naked" body?

    * Is it possible to select which apps live in QSlide? And where are the settings/options for that? Can't find them.

    I need to re-read the Phandroid tips article (I saw it a while back, but need to re-find it now!) but answers to any of these other questions would be hugely welcomed!

    Overall: I like it, although I'm not yet at the "zOMG best device ever!" stage; I have a feeling that the camera and recorder may push me to that, and can't wait to give both of those a spin round the block. My HTC devices feel more solid and better built - although they're also heavier, and the LG's size:weight ratio is impressive, as it's very light in the hand despite being a larrrrrgggeee phone. There are some software things that are going to take some getting used to; there's a learning curve for sure, and I won't fault the device for that - just need to give it time and see what I think once I'm more used to it.

    Anyway, first impressions. Feel free to ask any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them. :)
     

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    #1 notacoach, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  2. 666cowboy

    666cowboy Newbie
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    There was no code for the headphones when i went through US Cellular. I went to the LG site and entered my receipt information from US Cellular phone. It worked.
     
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  3. bigralphn

    bigralphn Newbie
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    The easiest way to dial in a car no use voice commands. It works great and is safer. You can put a few quick calls on the second day screen but that isn't practical when driving. There is also the contacts widget that can be used like you stated
     
  4. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    Neither HTC's or my car's voice dial EVER works as they didn't read contacts properly - I gave up. Does LG have a built-in one that actually works?!

    The contacts widget only gives me a list - is there a way to set it up otherwise? I couldn't find it....
     
    #4 notacoach, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  5. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    I finally got the right link (the one I had from a service rep yesterday was wrong), but did you have any trouble uploading the images? Mine are below the stated size, but I keep getting HTTP 550 error messages (doing it from a Win 10 computer).
     
  6. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    The promised sound improvement hardware is there, but there is no way to use it. LG has not commented and has no ETA to fix it.
     
  7. desertrat67

    desertrat67 Newbie
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    I have yet to find a Car Mode and really want to. This article is from a year ago, but is a good starting point: http://android.wonderhowto.com/news/5-best-car-mode-apps-for-android-0164433/

    I wasn't even told about the headphones. I learned about the offer from another post here. Took 3 minutes to fill out the application and get the pictures of the receipt and IMIE number for submission.

    The voice commands are OK, but not perfect. You will learn that they want to use Google apps for everything. It dialed a 1-800 number on me twice. Two caveats to that; 1. I was calling through my helmet communicator and it was the first time I tried using it. 2. The rename I did on one of my contacts(the one I was calling) didn't transfer when I moved my data to the new phone. It reverted the name of the person I was calling to an older version, so i was asking for a name that didn't exist in my contacts. I tried again tonight in the living room (Kids may look at you weird when you are making a phone call on the couch while wearing your motorcycle helmet) and it worked properly. I'll keep playing with it to see if it keeps working well. I also asked it to play a song from my music and it closed my music player, opened google play music and started playing a station based on what I asked for instead of playing it on the player that was already active.
     
  8. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    I saw your other thread about this, but even though I have some experience with digital recording because I am a musician, I am not entirely sure I understand the points that you were making about the DAC. given that CD quality is 44.1 16 bit wave , I'm not sure why 48 is a problem. All of that said, my recording gear lust days are a few years behind me, so it may just be that I'm out of touch. Or confused. Can you explain further in layperson's terms?
     
  9. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I long ago gave up on "voice calling", it is totally friggin useless...

    I can't count the number of '800' numbers the damn thing tried to dial up for me.

    "Gesture Search" is by far the best way to go...
    * Gesture Search - Android Apps on Google Play
     
  10. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    As an audiophile I like to hear music the way that the artist intended. These days, many artists record at 96khz/24 bit digital or higher before they get their recordings mastered down for CD and download sites. I like to purchase music at the best recorded rate. It is at these rates and above that you get the full dynamic and frequency range possible.

    If I get these files, I like to play them back at the same rates. Some of these files are encoded using PCM and some are encoded using DSD. PCM is multibit, DSD is single bit. There are merits to each that goes beyond the scope of this reply.

    The DAC in a phone such as a Galaxy s7 or IPhone 7 is a very low cost part. They generally do quite well at decoding PCM files at 44.1khz and below. The noise floor isn't what it should be to discerning ears, but if you rip a CD or use MP3 files, things sound pretty decent, especially because most people use crappy headphones/earphones. The built in amplifier is usually also not powerful enough to drive less efficient headphones (generally larger and more expensive)

    The DAC in a Galaxy s7 and IPhone 7 will not play any files encoded in DSD and will not generally play PCM files above 44.1khz without losing quality by converting and downsampling first. Most audiophiles that want to use their phone as a hi-res audio player, must purchase a portable external DAC that connects via the digital interface with a cable. The headphone then goes into the external DAC. This arrangement is bulky and you have to keep two devices charged but the sound is great.

    The DAC included in the V20 is a very high quality part with a decent amplifier included as well. It will play PCM encoded files up to 384khz and DSD512... DSD512 is 11Mhz sampled! It is ideal for an audiophile that wants to carry just one device.
     
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  11. tonytx42

    tonytx42 Newbie
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    I think this is the Phandroid article you're talking about:
    https://www.google.com/amp/phandroi...ips-and-tricks/amp/?client=ms-android-verizon
     
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  12. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    Day 2:

    Holy CRAP this thing is faster than the m9!

    Nougat is better with Bluetooth and WiFi it seems, too. Much more stable than Marshmallow, which was always a pain on those two connections.

    Battery is also better than the m9. On standby overnight and went down ZERO % and after another 90 minutes of app downloading and more transfers (while reading the news and surfing) and it is at 85%.

    The one thing im still really missing is my Sense people widget (contacts) - any suggestions for an ad-free alternative?
     
  13. bigralphn

    bigralphn Newbie
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    I had it happen once. I refreshed the web page and it worked fine.
     
  14. bigralphn

    bigralphn Newbie
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    I was in this boat until we got our newest vehicle. It is amazingly accurate so I tried again. I have not used the keypad on this in a week. I have used ok Google and the contact name. I have not had an error yet but I am sure I will now I said this. My iPhone was decent also. Prior to that they were horrible.
     
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  15. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I'm having trouble getting my old F-150's CD Player to recognize my cellphone :p
     
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  16. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    I think there is a car mode - native to android 6 and newer. And it might still be activateable via magnet - I thought that might have gone away. some phones don't have them and it was polarized such that one pole did car mode - but the opposite pole did dock mode. Moto Razor's did this IIRC>

    anywho there are apps for it also .

    Setting it automatically - there are methods such that if the car was tethered to bluetooth it will go into mode ______. I use tasker for this but there are other ways.

    voce calling - I mostly do the OK google - call ___________ . When it rings I need to figure out that voice command - but I'm sure there is one. BT wise in the car I press the phone switch.
     
  17. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    Found a great contacts grid that does exactly what I want (virtually the same as the HTC widget) "Favorites Contact Widget Blur" in the Play store. Works a treat.

    Now if I could just find a way to make the SwiftKey number/symbol screen show in qwerty layout, I'd be 90% of the way to having this thing set up the way I want....
     
  18. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    After a full day's use, some more impressions:

    Fingerprint reader =AWESOME.

    Curiously, one of the handset's pros is also one of its cons : it's extremely light and thin, which makes for a nice handfeel and easy carry of such a large phone. However, compared to my htc it also makes it feel flimsy. Conundrum there.

    It's slightly too big for easy one-hand use, but fine when I can hold with both (I'm a woman with average hands). I can use it one handed, but I have to stretch. LOVE the bigger screen, however.

    Super responsive - really zippy.

    Have only played a little with the camera, but seems nice. My usual camera is a Canon 5d3 slr so I'm used to incredible IQ - this obviously can't match that (or dslr lens quality), but for a phone camera it's darned nice, and handled some wide dynamic range I threw at it well. This on auto, and NOT HDR. 20161104_152223.jpg

    Have played a little with recording, but have only had a chance to listen on the phone's speakers. WOW they missed a trick to include front facing, high quality speakers to match the recording quality ; the ones on the HTC were superb, and I will miss that. Also, the slightest movement of the case changes the speaker sound (even with good cutouts).

    As far as I could judge based on the speakers, the recording quality is excellent - it doesn't match what I'd expect using my DPA omni mics (are there any USB c preamps that might make using those possible?) , but the dynamic range is excellent and HALLELUJAH being able to turn off the limiter is a godsend for my needs. I'll be playing with this more for sure. Does anybody have specs on the mic? It did amplify/reduce certain sounds, and I'm curious what the pickup pattern is.

    EDITED TO ADD: Listened on headphones. Very good indeed, with the sole exception that it seems to emphasise mid-range frequences (human speaking voice range), and thus makes those pop forward more than equally-loud sounds at other frequencies. Is the mic the same one used for phone calls, where it is, presumably, optimized for speaking-voice-range frequencies and closer (vs background) sounds? That would make sense, although for my purposes isn't ideal. I'm DYING to hear this thing with some really good external mics plugged into it, as the recorder itself sounds great.
     
    #18 notacoach, Nov 5, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
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  19. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    there are 3 microphones on the thing - IIRC. and no one is dedicated to phone use from what I understand.

    the others are dedicated to speakerphone/video recording. or something to that effect.

    I'm sort of glad they left off high quality speakers on the device - vs providing quality DAC and headphone amp output for plug up. Or even high quality BT streaming output.
     
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  20. notacoach

    notacoach Android Enthusiast
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    I'm honestly pretty happy with the BT sound too - it's definitely better than provided by my m9 (listening through the same BT speakers in the car). Whether that's the onboard EQ or what I don't know, but I'm liking it a lot :)

    Back to the camera; the superwide lens makes this thing a GREAT "street" camera. In addition to being a musician I'm also a photographer - while obviously it can't match the sensor of a full-frame dSLR, or even a higher end mirrorless, it is doing just fine with what I"ve thrown at it. The ultrawide is amazing as a "street" camera, which is something I don't have in any of my gear, so I'm a happy camper. Image quality is great - only complaint would be too much noise-reduction/sharpening applied at high ISO's, which degrades the sharpness overall. But (if I'm honest) no worse than the algorithm in the lower end Sony mirrorless cameras. I'm pretty impressed with it as "the phone I have with me".
     

LG V20

The LG V20 is a flagship that launched in September 2016. The device launched with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The phone featured a 5.7-inch Quantum IPS display, Snapdragon 820 chipset, dua-rear cameras,a secondary display, and more.
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