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LG’s High-End V10 Smartphone Wants to Replace Your Smartwatch and Your Selfie Stick

Daniel Bean
Assistant Editor

Photo: LG

Apparently LG believes the best things come in pairs. The company’s new top-tier smartphone has two screens, two front cameras, and is cased in a body built with two different materials. After playing with it, I was tempted to make a Noah’s Ark joke.

The phone is called the V10, and though it’s positioned as a larger, more powerful version of LG’s recently released G4, it also adds some new and weirdly attractive twists to the Korean company’s handset repertoire. 

But when you’ll be able to get your hands on one — and how much coin it will require — was still a mystery at press time.

Two screens (kind of)

Perhaps the oddest thing about the V10 is its “Second Screen” — notched next to the V10’s selfie cameras and above its 5.7-inch display — which remains on by default. When the phone’s big screen is turned off, the smaller screen goes from showing extra settings and recently used app shortcuts to simply displaying things like the time, weather, and battery life. LG said the inspiration for an “always on” screen came from the rise of smartwatches.

You can swipe through settings and recently used apps on the “Second Screen,” right. When the phone’s main screen is off, left, the Second Screen stays on to show time, weather, etc. (Photo: Yahoo Tech)

Of course, LG also admitted that its Second Screen isn’t actually a second screen: The illusion is created by placing two different backlighting components behind one large screen. Still, this is probably a better second-screen concept than what was tried way back when with the Samsung Galaxy S Continuum. That phone’s second display acted as a notification ticker below its main screen.

Dual selfie cameras

The 120-degree selfie, top, and the 80-degree selfie, bottom. (Photo: Yahoo Tech)

“We don’t want you to carry a selfie stick anymore.”

This was the reason LG said it put a second, wide-angle selfie camera on the V10. Both of the phone’s front-facing cameras are five megapixels in quality, and LG’s camera app on the V10 can take a multiframed wide and tight selfie with two quick presses of the shutter button.

The V10’s rear, non-selfie camera is a 16-megapixel shooter — same as on the G4.

Designed for content creators

Second Screen camera app options. (Photo: Yahoo Tech)

The LG V10 can handle 32-bit audio and offers a manual shooting mode for video capture. But even if you’re not a professional photographer, the content-creation software like Snap Video and 15 Sec. Auto Edit that come bundled on the phone can help you curate and create quick videos to share with your social media fam.

Built with high-quality insides and outsides

Unlike the G4’s mostly plastic build, the V10’s body is composed of a steel frame (called Dura Guard) partly wrapped in a silicone-like, scratch-resistant shell (called Dura Skin). LG claims that the V10’s durable housing makes the phone “Transit Drop Compliant,” which means it’s been independently certified to survive drops of up to 48 inches. 

With its six-core processor, the brains of LG’s new phone are more like the G4’s, though its extra gig of RAM (the V10 packs 4GB to the G4’s 3GB) should help you quickly navigate between multiple apps. The handset sure felt zippy as heck in the few minutes I was able to test it out.

Photo: LG

The V10 is being released with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, but LG said 6.0 Marshmallow will likely be coming to the handset “early next year.”

With the V10’s advanced features, LG wants it known that it’s targeting the iPhone 6s Plus market. At about the same weight and size as the Plus, LG’s new smartphone offers more screen(s) and more under the hood. Without any pricing information or a definite timeline for a U.S. release, however, we’ll have to put any hopes for an actual V10 vs. Plus battle on pause.

Email me at danbean@yahoo-inc.com. Follow me on Twitter at danielwbean.

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