LG V10 review

A big Android phone with twice as many screens and front cameras

LG V10 review
LG V10 review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The LG V10 is one of Frankenstein's monsters that the greater mob may not understand. Its second screen and dual front camera setup are unheard-of features at this point.

That may not always be the case, actually, as this Android phone seems like more than just another random experiment by the ambitious LG phones team. I take heart in knowing that the team is trying new approaches and I hope to see its best ideas in smaller devices, too.

We liked

An always-on, 2.1-inch display headlines this phone with the date, weather and app shortcuts. Notifications also arrive in this space, while never interrupting the 5.7-inch main display. Snapping 120-degree wide selfies with its front-facing camera consistently surprised me, fitting in friends without cutting off someone's face at the edges and showing off backgrounds properly. Manual video controls and 4K capture modes make recording high-quality video possible and more tweakable than ever before.

LG V10

All of this is wrapped in a harder-to-break design with a grippy silicon back, which can be taken off to access the microSD card slot and removable battery. Burned by the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 that didn't include these perks? LG V10 is a good alternative.

We disliked

At 5.7 inches, with a second screen that brings it to 5.9 inches, this is a super-sized phablet that requires juggling to reach its furthest corners. Its protective, rubber-like back and stainless steel frame keeps it in your hand, but prevents this phone from being considered premium in design. It's a monster in more ways than one.

The small fingerprint sensor can be a different kind of ugly with its higher failure rate than the very same scanner used on the LG-made Nexus 5X. It also doesn't inherit the friendlier price of either new Nexus, or Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It's one of the most expensive phones on sale right now and it's runs the previous version of Android skinned with LG's less appealing user interface.

Final verdict

The LG V10 promised to deliver something different and it succeeded with its 2.1-inch sliver of a second screen at the top and two selfie cameras right next to it. Annoyingly timed notifications no longer get in the way as you try to focus on Google Maps or watch a YouTube video thanks to this always-on ticker display. It also acts as glanceable spot for time and date checks and frequently used app shortcuts.

The 120-degree camera makes sense for group selfies and actually capturing backgrounds that you're posing in front of. It's more meaningful than squeezing extra megapixels into the camera, and I hope more phone manufacturers follow LG's lead here. Around back, the camera not only takes fantastic 16MP photos, it shoots 4K video and debuts manual controls.

You're just going to have to deal with LG's inferior Android software, the phone's big size and a troubled fingerprint sensor. But if you're carrying around a selfie stick that everyone around you openly hates or extending your arms so much it's become a daily exercise, consider paying up for this expensive Android. People may stop despising millennials just a little bit if you do.

Matt Swider