LG’s second generation of dual-screen devices – Wing and Velvet – are now available in India. Of these, the LG Velvet has a secondary screen within a detachable cover and this year users have the option to buy the standalone version for INR 36,990 or to buy the dual-screen cover combo for INR 49,990. 

LG Velvet includes a cinematic HDR display, a fine set of stereo speakers, IP68 rated glass body, but it also banks upon the good old Snapdragon 845. We saw the merit in LG’s approach with dual-displays and multitasking on the G8x Thinq and were eager to test what refinements the Velvet brings to the table.

We have been living with the phone for a while now, and will now detail our experience in our LG Velvet 4G Review.

Contents:

LG Velvet 4G India Price & Specifications

SpecificationLG Velvet
Display6.8-inch POLED display with 20.5:9 aspect ratio & 2460×1080 FHD+ resolution
ProcessorQualcomm 10nm Snapdragon 845 octa-core
Memory6GB+ 128GB UFS 2.1; Expandable up to 1TB using microSD card slot
Battery4,300mAh with 15W fast charging, 8W wireless charging
Rear Camera48MP + 8MP Ultrawide + 5MP Depth Sensor
Front Camera16MP, 1080p@30fps
Other Features3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port, In-display fingerprint scanner, Voice-out Focus, ASMR Recording, IP68 water & dust resistance
SoftwareAndroid 10 with LG’s custom UI on top
PriceWithout dual-screen: Rs. 36,990With dual-screen: Rs. 49,990

LG Velvet 4G Box Content

The dual-screen cover is packaged separately and this year it’s easier to discover the magnetic charging connector that you’d need to charge the phone with the dual-screen cover attached. This year LG hasn’t bundled any TPU case in the Velvet box and there is no pre-installed screen protector either. Here’s what you do get: 

  • LG Velvet Handset
  • Dual screen cover
  • Magnetic charging pin connector
  • 18W Charging Adaptor 
  • USB A to C cable 
  • Documentation and Sim Ejector PIN

LG Velvet 4G Review: Design and Build

LG has reinvented its design language for the Velvet, and it’s now more in sync with what most other manufacturers practice these days for their high-end flagships (for some reason, resemble with Huawei P30 Pro is what comes to mind).

The Velvet is suave, slim and light, and a delight to hold.

Of course, the individual design elements like curved-edge displays and curved glass back are very common on 2020 flagships, but not as much on phones that cost under 40K. The point being, that Velvet manages to retain some distinctness and surely looks and feels like a phone you’d pay top dollars for.

The glass back on our black color variant is prone to smudges, so you’d be better off with a case. The aluminum side frame adds to the durability and premium appeal. Velvet also brandishes IP68 water and dust resistance and is MIL-STD-810G compliant.

Also Read: Revisiting LG G8x Thinq Dual Screen – Did LG get it right the first time?

LG is using a curved-edge P-OLED display with 20.5: 9 aspect ratio that is also used in theaters and consequently the screen doesn’t feel as broad as a 6.8-inch panel usually would. LG sticks to the drop notch and we like that the bezels at the top and bottom are uniformly thick.

Attaching the cover display, however, robs the phone of its charm. The combination understandably feels bloated and the weight shoots up dramatically. So, the attachment is worth it only if you can appreciate dual-screen productivity. I, for one, value two-screen multitasking and am willing to take the trade-off.

The cover-hinge is sturdy and folds all the way back. It serves as an excellent stand and you can choose any orientation or angle to position the Velvet on any flat surface. Thankfully, the outer surface doesn’t have the annoying and smudge-prone mirror finish this year. It retains the small ticker display that can be used to check the time, notification icons, and incoming calls. Speaking of which, we had no trouble attending calls without flipping open the cover.

LG is using an optical in-display sensor that uses green light for illumination (unlike the white light on the latest generation ones) but it’s a lot better than what we have on LG G8x Thinq. We didn’t face any issues with unlocking speed or reliability.

The phone has dual SIM slots, a hybrid SD card slot, stereo speakers, and also retains the audio jack. 

LG Velvet 4G Review: Dual Display Experience

LG is using an excellent panel on the Velvet and that’s one of its biggest strengths. The OLED screen has awesome contrast and is deft at reproducing near black levels. HDR videos look excellent and the screen gets bright enough for outdoor usage. The software has a thoughtfully designed black theme and also an Always-on mode.

This full-HD panel, however, doesn’t support a 90Hz or 120Hz high refresh rate. 

By default, the display is set to Natural (sRGB) color profile which has a color temperature toggle that you may use to adjust the white point. 

The good thing is that the white-point (in the default natural profile) is well matched to that of the cover display – which wasn’t the case on LG G8x ThinQ. The changes you make to display colors of the primary screen, however, won’t reflect on the secondary one, so you’d be better off sticking to default color settings while using the phone in dual-display mode.  

Both screens don’t support simultaneous touch input, but most users are not likely to ever notice this. The LG Velvet 4G has DRM L1 certification but doesn’t support HD streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. This could be fixed with a future update.

Another peeve point we had was that the dual-screen menu bubble lies on the curved edge where it isn’t as responsive. The trick is to hit the flat portion of the display right next to the bubble instead of on the curved side edge – and we got used to this in no time.

Things that you can do with the extra screen remain similar. The idea is to use two screens as two separate screens for effective multitasking – and that makes sense.

The problem is that people have been conditioned to use the single screen for so long that it takes some effort to break the mold. But, once you do get used to using two screens simultaneously, doing serious professional work on the phone becomes so much simpler! Since we recently explored the G8x Thinq, we didn’t have to start afresh with the Velvet.

Many of the default LG apps and its Whale Browser can make use of both screens. There is also LG Gamepad that transforms one screen into a console controller, and this is surprisingly effective.

Then there is a wide-view mode that spreads an app across both of the screens, but with the substantial gap between the two screens one of which is flat, the other curved – we don’t see why you’d want to.

We are glad that LG has added an option for app pairs which shows up as multi-apps under display settings.

In over a month that we used Velvet as our primary device, we didn’t really care much for the dual-screen features, but for dual screens themselves. Be it for simple tasks like sharing the number of a delivery guy from call logs open on one screen to a contacts Whatsapp open on another or looking up word meaning or taking notes while hearing a podcast or multitasking with two separate apps – having two screens proved to be a legit advantage for productivity and one of the main reasons why I kept returning to Velvet.

Also Read: QD-OLED vs OLED – What’s the difference?

LG Velvet 4G Review: Performance and Software

LG employs Snapdragon 845 for the 4G variant, which is a little long in the tooth for 2020. It’s still a powerful chipset with raw performance comparable to Snapdragon 765G, but of course, we’d pick the latter given a choice.

We haven’t noticed any signs of aging when it comes to performance power while executing regular tasks or while handling two screens. we’d say the Snapdragon 845 holds good for performance on a mid-range phone in 2020.

In India, the Velvet is available in a single configuration with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Users may add up to 128GB of expandable storage using the hybrid card slot. 

LG software is quite exciting. The skin is intuitive and has a tasteful design. It’s still based on Android 10, but there are useful add-ons sprinkled through the interface that makes the Velvet fun and convenient. We didn’t face any issues with call quality or connectivity.

LG Velvet 4G Review: Camera Performance

The primary camera is a 48MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture and it’s paired with a basic 8mp wide-angle shooter and a 5MP depth sensor. The primary camera can shoot 1080p videos up to 30fps. On the front, there is a 16MP camera for selfies that can record up to 1080p videos@30fps. 

The camera app is well designed, integrates an effective Night mode, and lets you directly share photos to social media or on WhatsApp or even directly live stream videos on YouTube. 

Camera performance is where the inadequacy of the Snapdragon 845 shows up. LG Velvet doesn’t seem very deft at processing complex scenes.

This isn’t a bad camera, but it just lacks that wow factor – which is perhaps an excusable flaw in the mid-range.

In bright daylight, HDR images turned out pretty decent. Indoors and in low light, the Velvet at times struggled to lock focus and with proper metering. The Night mode performance is quite decent.

LG Velvet 4G Review: Battery and Audio

The 4300mAh battery on ou phone lasts for a day of moderate to heavy usage. We have managed to consistently clock 7 hours of screen-on time over the last few cycles.  

It must be noted that the 10nm process-based chip is less power-efficient than the current generation option and that’s probably why the battery mileage doesn’t see any improvement over the LG G8x ThinQ that had a relatively smaller 4000mAh battery. 

The overall battery mileage is not at par with the best available options, but it’s very manageable and we don’t think you’d have to skip Velvet over battery longevity concerns. The 15W charging, however, feels painfully slow. It takes around 1 hour 45 minutes to fully charge the battery.

LG has always given due consideration to audiophiles and the Velvet doesn’t seem any different. The stereo speakers are quite loud and clear, and the audio via headphones is great too. 

Also Read: Oppo Find X3 phones will have system-wide 10-bit colors

LG Velvet 4G Review

LG isn’t hitting really hard with specs, but there are things that Velvet does really well. The HDR display is awesome, the design is thoroughly premium, and the stereo speakers are loud and clear. Also, LG has eliminated many small and big peeve points we had with the LG G8x Thinq’s dual-screen experience while adding some enhancements.

On the downside, the lack of proper fast charging, high-refresh-rate screen, and Snapdragon 845 is bound the rub the wrong way.

The dual-screen variant feels a tad overpriced, but it must also be considered that it’s the only decent option if you value dual-screens for multitasking and the fact that Foldables and Surface Duo still cost more than twice as much. 

We do wish that more people could try and get used to the convenience of dual screens for themselves, but that seems a bit too optimistic at this point in time.

At INR 36,990, it’s easier to appreciate the standalone version despite its flaws. It gives the impression of a competent last-year flagship now available at a mid-range price. This could be an even more appealing option after the first few price cuts.

We’d say that the LG Velvet 4G is surely one of the most underrated phones of 2020. The overall experience is quite impressive and yet there are a few legit reasons for buyers to look hard at available alternatives.

Pros

  • Premium design
  • Good quality, HDR compliant AMOLED display
  • Dual-display experience is convincing
  • Powerful stereo speakers

Cons

  • No high-refresh-rate display
  • Moderate charging speeds
  • Lowlight camera performance

LG Velvet FAQ

Q) What is the SAR value of LG Velvet?

A) Head SAR is 1.09W/Kg and Body-worn SAR is o.429 W/kg

Q) Does LG Velvet has call recording?

A) No, it does not.

Q) Does LG Velvet support Dual VoLTE and Career aggregation?

A) Yes it does

Q) How effective are live captions on LG Velvet?

Live captions work as effectively as they do on Pixel 4a. No reason to complain here. 

Q) How is the haptic feedback on LG Velvet?

Haptic feedback is good but not stand-out good. 

Q) Does LG Velvet support HD streaming on Amazon Prime and Netflix

The handset has DRM L1 certificate but doesn’t not support HD streaming on Amazon Prime and Netflix.

LG Velvet The Dual Experience Video [in Hindi]

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