LG is launching its latest flagship phone at an odd time - just off the heels of the Note 7 debacle and right as the Google Pixel is gaining momentum as one of the best Android devices ever. Still, the LG V20 has some unique features that makes it worth a look.
The device builds upon the LG V10, which was one of my favorite Android devices last year. These are powerful devices with no compromises. You get a big, bright screen, great cameras, a removable battery, expandable memory and fantastic audio. I also like LG's software much better than Samsung's. It's cleaner and in my testing rarely slows down to a stall like we see on Samsung devices.
You can have a lot of fun with the wide angle lens on the LG V20. It allows you to do neat things like fit a huge building into picture or take a photo of your entire group without using a selfie stick. The camera is very capable, but my review unit from LG was a pre-release version of the phone so things might be improved a bit by the time the device hits retail stores. I found the camera to be a top performer - not quite as good as the Pixel or the Note 7 - but solid. The biggest downside I found was how it would overexpose parts of the photo where there was a bright light source. This is something that can easily be corrected in a software update.
The biggest downside of the LG V20 is the design - it just doesn't look as great as other phones on the market. I found it to be super slippery in my hand and a little bulky. Not a deal breaker, but not as beautiful as something like the iPhone 7 or what Samsung has been doing lately.
Power users will love the flexibility of this thing. You get a lot of features you rarely see in smartphones these days like a removable battery and expandable memory. The audio experience is also among the best available on a smartphone. The only other phone that rivals it is the HTC 10.
Bottom line - when it comes to big screen phones, lots of people will be comparing the LG V20 to the Google Pixel. It really comes down to what you want out of your smartphone.