With the 5G-enabled LG Velvet, the South Korean phone-maker is attempting one thing new. The Velvet does not belong to any of the corporate’s established strains, just like the G- and V- collection. It seems to be totally different than most LG telephones and at $599 within the US, it is extra inexpensive than LG’s G8 and V60. (UK and Australian costs and availability are TBA, however the South Korean worth converts to about £600 or AU$1,100.)

Like

Glossy designHeadphone jackGood battery life to this point

Do not Like

No new standalone software program featuresFingerprint reader is finicky

The Velvet is LG’s sign that it is heading in direction of one other, extra inexpensive however considerate route. However the firm ought to go even additional. After spending time with the Velvet, I might nonetheless desire one thing just like the OnePlus Eight ($699 at OnePlus). Whereas it does not have a headphone jack or work with a secondary display accent just like the Velvet, it does have an incredible digicam, a silky-smooth display with a better refresh fee and a extra highly effective processor. 

The Velvet is offered in South Korea, and can come to the US on Verizon and AT&T, with preorders beginning July 22 for the latter. On the time of this overview, I used to be testing a South Korean variant and US pricing hadn’t been introduced but. As such, it does not have a full ranking, however I will replace the overview as soon as I get my arms on a US mannequin. (Be aware that this implies the general ranking might change from what you at present see.) 

Even when it is anticipated to be cheaper than its top-tier G8 and V60 brethren, the Velvet now faces an entire new set of opponents, together with the aforementioned OnePlus Eight, the Galaxy A71 5G and the Motorola Edge — all of which ship nice specs and 5G inside the identical worth. Although the Velvet is not a completely new radical route for LG, it is definitely a diverging path. The corporate ought to proceed with the Velvet, or one thing related, whereas outpacing rivals in the identical worth bracket.

LG’s best-looking cellphone

The Velvet seems to be in contrast to any premium US LG cellphone earlier than it and it is the best-looking LG cellphone I’ve dealt with shortly. In contrast with the V60, for example, the Velvet has tapered edges, sharper corners and a rear digicam array that runs vertically, not horizontally. The left and proper edges of the display fall off to the perimeters, which provides it a extra stylish look, and although it is about as tall because the V60, it is narrower, slimmer and lighter — and finally extra snug to carry. 

If this introduces a brand new design language for LG telephones, I am for it. However I’ve a couple of design gripes. As an illustration, I do not like how the corners of the display do not run all the best way to the perimeters. Not like the Galaxy S20, the place the bezels and body are constant and skinny throughout, I can see the silver framing on the corners of my white Velvet unit. The middle teardrop notch can stand to be smaller too.

Given how stale LG telephones have appeared for a bit, this can be a refreshing change. The Velvet seems to be extra fashionable, it is glossy and I really like that the rear cameras aren’t housed collectively by some single round bump. And to substantiate, the Velvet does have a headphone jack. LG’s dedication to the beloved audio port is what makes its premium telephones stand out, which is sweet information to wired headphone customers.

The cellphone has a 6.Eight-inch OLED show.

Angela Lang/Proinertech

Velvet’s Twin Display screen accent

The Velvet has a pointy and vibrant 6.Eight-inch OLED display. It additionally has a 60Hz show, which is frequent on most telephones, however that is a decrease refresh fee than opponents such because the OnePlus Eight, which has a 90Hz show. Just like the V60 and different LG telephones, the Velvet works with a Twin Display screen accent that provides a second display. 

With the second display you’ll be able to multitask and show two apps on the identical time, or broaden sure apps throughout each screens in order that they work collectively like a pill. (Although you will should cope with a hinge that cuts down the center.) You may also arrange one display as a digital controller for cell gaming, which is appropriate with some video games. 

Although LG did not create a stylus particularly for the Velvet, I used to be in a position to make use of one with the cellphone. I used Wacom’s Bamboo Ink Good Stylus and regardless of it being made for Home windows 10 ($140 at Amazon) units, it labored advantageous with the Velvet. By clicking on its built-in button I may rapidly name up LG’s QMemo Plus app to jot down notes, seize GIFs and, if I am actually bored, shade in some preloaded drawings.

With US pricing for the Velvet nonetheless unknown, pricing with its Twin Display screen is even additional up within the air. With earlier LG telephones, some carriers bundled the case with the cellphone, offered it individually or supplied it at a reduction. Every community can have its personal strategies, so as soon as the Velvet is official within the US, maintain your eyes peeled on the varied offers and their inevitable restrictions.

The Velvet inside its Twin Display screen accent.

Angela Lang/Proinertech

LG Velvet’s triple-rear digicam takes advantageous footage

Below brilliant, clear lighting the Velvet’s digicam took sharp footage that have been colourful and in focus. With its Eight-megapixel wide-angle digicam, which I accessed by pinching out on the display’s viewfinder, I used to be capable of match extra content material inside every body. Remember the fact that footage taken with the wide-angle digicam aren’t as sharp as photographs captured on the usual digicam, which shoots at a 12-megapixel decision by default, however can go as excessive as 48 megapixels.

The digicam has a digital zoom as much as 10x. At this stage, footage have been rather a lot blurrier and muddled. Among the zoomed-in pictures I took have been paying homage to watercolors or Impressionist work. If you happen to plan on utilizing the zoom to get extra particulars of faraway objects, you will not obtain it with this cellphone.

Because it was Fourth of July weekend just lately, I additionally took a couple of pictures at night time whereas lighting some sparklers. It is a notoriously troublesome lighting scenario and whereas the photographs got here out clear sufficient, they have been a bit washed-out and weren’t as vibrant or as deeply contrasted as those I took on, say, the Pixel three ($358 at Amazon) in 2018. 

Pictures taken with the front-facing digicam have been clear, with correct skin-tone and colours. Recording video was additionally stable. Although it does not have optical picture stabilization, the footage I recorded whereas standing in a single place was advantageous. The digicam was capable of readjust its focus and publicity rapidly and it picked up audio clearly.

Taken in outside lighting, this flower is vibrant and sharp.

Lynn La/Proinertech

A photograph of a salvage store taken with the usual lens.

Lynn La/Proinertech

The identical salvage store taken with the wide-angle lens. At full decision, the image is not as sharp because the earlier one.

Lynn La/Proinertech

A marina view taken with out zoom.

Lynn La/Proinertech

The identical boats at 10x digital zoom.

Lynn La/Proinertech

Although not very sharp, the digicam managed to seize this troublesome lighting scene nicely sufficient.

Lynn La/Proinertech

LG Velvet’s efficiency is quick, however not as quick as flagship telephones

The Velvet is powered by a variant of the Snapdragon 765 chipset that allows 5G connectivity. It is not as strong as Qualcomm’s newest 865 processor, however it’s what retains the cellphone’s worth comparatively decrease than different flagships. The Motorola Edge and the ZTE Axon 11 5G additionally characteristic the 765 chipset, and so they too each have a premium look however aren’t as highly effective and costly as different marquee telephones.

Benchmark scores mirror this kind of middle-of-the-pack place. Telephones with the 865 processor, just like the LG V60 and OnePlus Eight, scored greater marks than the Velvet, however the Velvet comfortably beat out the Moto G Stylus ($300 at Amazon) and G Energy, which have the 665 chipset. 

Relating to day by day utilization although, I did not discover a lot lag or any notable “lack” of velocity on the Velvet when evaluating it to the V60 besides in a single factor: the fingerprint reader. It appeared to take a hair longer to unlock the Velvet utilizing the scanner than what I recalled on the LG V60. It additionally took one or two extra makes an attempt than it ought to should learn my thumbprint precisely, to a degree the place it was getting a bit irritating. Apart from that, nevertheless, the Velvet opened apps, launched the digicam and scrolled by internet pages with ease. 

3DMark Slingshot Limitless

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.5.zero single-core

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.5.zero multicore

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Preliminary assessments for steady video playback on Airplane mode, confirmed that the Velvet’s Four,300-mAh battery lasted 22 hours and 38 minutes. It is a strong battery life. For comparability, the OnePlus Eight, which additionally has a Four,300-mAh battery clocked in 18 hours and 47 minutes. The Galaxy A51 ($325 at Amazon), with its Four,000-mAh battery, lasted 16 hours and 10 minutes. We’ll run extra battery assessments whereas streaming video. When the outcomes are in, I will replace this overview and its ultimate ranking.

LG Velvet spec comparability

LG Velvet

OnePlus Eight

Motorola Edge

Motorola Moto G Energy

Show measurement, decision

6.Eight-inch OLED; 2,460×1,080 pixels

6.55-inch AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels

6.7-inch OLED; 2,340 x 1,080 pixels

6.Four-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels

Pixel density

395ppi

402ppi

385ppi

399ppi

Dimensions (Inches)

6.58 x 2.92 x zero.31 in

6.three x 2.Eight x zero.31 in

6.36 x 2.Eight x zero.37 in

6.29 x 2.98 x zero.38 in

Dimensions (Millimeters)

167.2 x 74.1 x 7.9 mm

160 x 72.9 x Eight.zero mm

161.6 x 71.1 x 9.29 mm

159.85 x 75.Eight x 9.63 mm

Weight (Ounces, Grams)

6.35 oz; 180g

6.35 oz; 180g

6.63 oz; 188g

7.01 oz; 199g

Cell software program

Android 10

Android 10

Android 10

Android 10

Digicam

48-megapixel (customary), Eight-megapixel (wide-angle), 5-megapixel (depth sensing)

48-megapixel (customary), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel (macro)

64-megapixel (customary), Eight-megapixel (telephotos), 16-megapixel (macro/ultrawide-angle)

16-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), Eight-megapixel (ultra-wide angle)

Entrance-facing digicam

16-megapixel

16-megapixel

25-megapixel

16-megapixel

Video seize

4K

4K

4K

4K

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765

Snapdragon 665

Storage

128GB

128GB, 256GB

128GB

64GB

RAM

6GB, 8GB

8GB, 12GB

10GB

4GB

Expandable storage

As much as 2TB

No

As much as 1TB

As much as 512GB

Battery

Four,300mAh

Four,300mAh

Four,500mAh

5,000mAh

Fingerprint sensor

In-screen

In-screen

In-screen

Again

Connector

USB-C

USB-C

USB-C

USB-C

Headphone jack

Sure

No

Sure

Sure

Particular options

5G enabled; water-proof (IP68); wi-fi charging, Quick Charging Four.zero

5G enabled; Warp Cost; 90Hz refresh fee

5G enabled. 90Hz refresh fee, 18W Turbo Charging

N/A

Value off-contract (USD)

Anticipated to be $600-$700

$699 (8GB RAM/128GB), $799 (12GB RAM/256GB)

$699

$250

Value (GBP)

From South Korean gained converts to about £596

£599 (8GB RAM/128GB), £699 (12GB RAM/256GB)

£549

Converts to about £199

Value (AUD)

From South Korean gained converts to about AU$1,077

Converts to about: AU$1,103 (8GB RAM/128GB), AU$1,261 (12GB RAM/256GB)

Converts to about AU$1,007

Converts to about AU$365

First printed on July 15.

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