The LG V60 and VELVET Review: A Classic & A Design Restartby Andrei Frumusanu on July 15, 2020 9:00 AM EST
It’s been a few months since LG has released the LG V60, and since then the company has also finally managed to launch the new Velvet phone to western markets outside of Korea, such as Germany. The two new 2020 phones are quite contrasting devices for LG – representing what one could say the company’s classic design philosophy versus a newer, more refreshing design language. They’re also contrasting devices in terms of their specifications and positioning, with the V60 being a successor flagship devices with a high-end SoC, whilst the new Velvet is a “premium” design with the new Snapdragon 765, coming at a lower price point and some compromises in terms of specification – but not too many as to call it a mid-range phone.
Both phones are overdue a closer look, and that’s precisely what we’ll be doing today.
|LG 2020 Flagships|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
1x Cortex-A77 @ 2.84GHz
3x Cortex-A77 @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 765
1x Kryo 475 (CA76) @ 2.3GHz
1x Kryo 475 (CA76) @ 2.2GHz
6x Kryo 475 (CA55) @ 1.8GHz
|GPU||Adreno 650 @ 587MHz||Adreno 620|
|DRAM||8 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||128 GB UFS 2.1
|128 GB UFS 2.1
|Display||6.8" FullVision OLED
2460 x 1080 (20.5:9)
|6.8" FullVision OLED
2460 x 1080 (20.5:9)
|Size||Height||169.3 mm||167.2 mm|
|Width||77.6 mm||74.1 mm|
|Depth||8.9 mm||7.9 mm|
|Weight||218 grams||180 grams|
|Battery Capacity||5000 mAh (Typical)||4300 mAh (Typical)|
|Main||64 MP 1/1.7" 0.8µm
|Wide||13 MP 1/3.4" 1µm
117° super-wide angle
|Extra||ToF 1/4" 14µm
117° super-wide angle
|Front Camera||10 MP 1/3.1" 1.22μm
|I/O||USB 2.0 Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack
Under-screen Fingerprint reader
|USB 2.0 Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack
Under-screen Fingerprint reader
|Wireless (local)||Wi-Fi 6
|Cellular||GSM, CDMA, HSPA, 4G/LTE, 5G|
|Splash, Water, Dust Resistance||IP68||IP68|
|Launch OS||Android 10||Android 10|
In terms of specifications and the brains of the devices, as mentioned, the LG V60 is a familiar phone as it’s simply sporting the best of the best. The Snapdragon 865 features four Cortex-A77 cores, one of which clocks in at up to 2.84GHz and three others at up to 2.42GHz, paired with four low-power Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8GHz. We’ve seen excellent performance and power efficiency out of Qualcomm’s latest chipset in other 2020 flagship devices, and the LG V60 is pretty much in line with the pack in terms of performance and efficiency.
The LG Velvet on the other hand is amongst a smaller number of devices which make due with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 765 SoC. This “premium” model functionally has the same level of features as the flagship Snapdragon 865 SoC, but just comes at lower performance levels. In terms of IP, we find two Cortex A76 cores, one up to 2.3GHz and another up to 2.2GHz, paired with six low-power Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8GHz. The GPU in the form of the Adreno 620 is also smaller than the bigger brother’s Adreno 650 configuration.
What’s special about both these SoCs is that they’re 5G enabled. The LG V60 makes use of an external X55 modem for connectivity, while the Velvet integrates its modem capabilities inside of the Snapdragon 765.
Both phones feature 8GB of RAM (LPDDR5 for the V60 and LPDDR4X for the Velvet), and feature 128GB of storage, expandable via microSD slots.
In terms of designs, both phones are very different to each other. The one thing they share in common is the display specifications; both phones feature 6.8” 2460 x 1080 OLED displays. The resolution doesn’t surprise too much for the Velvet as it’s a lower priced phone, but it is quite weird to see LG go backwards on the V60, offering a downgrade from the 1440p resolutions of previous, smaller, V-series phones. There are battery life considerations here which we’ll discuss in more detail later, but it does stretch out quite a bit for displays of these sizes.
Both displays still make use of “dewdrop” notch designs and the cut-outs here are virtually identical between the two phones. The Velvet tries to smooth out the bezel corner near the cut-out via blacked out pixels, but other than that I wouldn’t be surprised if these were actually the same display panels.
Of course, the immediately visible difference between the two phones is their bezel designs. The V60 has a very classic look to it; a flat screen with some quite sizeable side bezels and a chamfered metal frame. The Velvet on the other hand is a lot more contemporary, employing a curved front screen design on its sides, with only a thin glossy metal frame.
You could argue that the V60 looks a lot more industrial, but for me the ergonomics of the Velvet are immeasurably better – it’s not only a physically narrower phone, but it just feels much better in hands thanks to its curvatures as well as thinner form-factor.
Despite the fact that the screen diagonals on both phones are identical, and maybe even have the same panels, the Velvet is a much handier phone. There’s also a big weight difference between the two units, as the V60 comes in at a hefty 218grams versus the Velvet’s 180g. Admittedly, the V60 uses a bigger 5000mAh battery whilst the Velvet is 14% smaller at 4300mAh (which is still respectable).
On the camera side of things, besides the SoC, it’s also where we see bigger differences between the two phones capabilities. The LG V60 has a new generation and larger 1/1.7” main camera sensor coming in with 64MP resolution, with a quad-Bayer colour filter layout binning down to 16MP in regular photos. LG uses this module’s high native resolution to achieve lossless 2x zooming – a necessity as the phone lacks a dedicated telephoto module.
The Velvet uses a similar method, albeit with a 48MP primary camera sensor that’s physically smaller in size than that of the V60’s.
In terms of ultra-wide-angle modules, the V60 features a 13MP sensor while the Velvet makes due with a mere 8MP unit. Besides price considerations, I think the Velvet might be limited by the thickness of the phone here and the deployable sensor sizes, as the phone lacks any protrusions with the UWA module sitting flush with the back glass panel (The main camera does have a small bump).
There’s also an extra ToF sensor on the V60, and unspecified 5MP depth sensor on the Velvet – both don’t actually serve as capturing modules but augment the capture abilities of the phones in modes such as portrait mode.
At the bottom of the phones, we see a similar setup of 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port and a three-holed bottom speaker setup (The top earpieces also serve as stereo speakers for playback). The fact that these phones still include the 3.5mm headphone jacks in 2020 makes them actually stand out to the rest of the competition who had opted to drop the useful connector in favour of profit making selling wireless audio accessories. Good on LG for sticking with their ethos.
Overall, the phones in terms of design are quite contrasting, and if you wouldn’t be familiar with them nor see their brandings, it would be hard to believe that they’re actually from the same company, released only a few months apart from each other. LG has had considerable trouble with the industrial design over the last few generations and the V60 is pretty much a continuation of that “outdated” look. The new Velvet is a fresh breath of air and I feel it actually belongs in 2020, its ergonomics are substantially better and the build quality is I feel higher than that of the V60, a bit ironic given that the two devices are positioned the other way around in terms of pricing and product categories.
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Pelonquin - Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - linkI went from a V30+ to a OnePlus 8. After getting the OnePlus replaced 3 times within 3 weeks i told them i wanted out and got the V60. I got two of them with dual screens for about the same monthly as what the 1+ would have been. I hated the thin candybar shape of the 1+ along with all the troubles that i had with it. I got tired of wasting screen protectors on the 1+.
s.yu - Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - linkInteresting but...you completely skipped LG's unique audio and video features, which the Oneplus obviously lacks.
Looking forward to an Xperia 1II review :)
BenSkywalker - Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - linkNothing about the quad DAC?
There are those of us who only buy LG phones because of that feature. It can drive high impedance cans, it is an entirely different tier than a regular 3.5mm jack.
Is high quality audio going to be like wide color gamut? Ignore it entirely unless Apple tells you it is important?
Quantumz0d - Thursday, July 16, 2020 - linkLook at G7 review and how the author disregarded the DAC, same for G8, in the comments for both, I made significant posts about the lack of the data. I think that's why here we do not see the ESS DAC or any of the LG's world's top smartphone in the Audio aspect doesn't even get a fucking spec list out.
A shame on journalism. When we see Apple's deep SoC SPEC measuring contest where in real life it translates to nothing but dust.
Quantumz0d - Thursday, July 16, 2020 - linkAlthough I applaud the author for making such a strong point on the 3.5mm jack it's really rare to see, AT is one of those places where there's integrity. SD card slot should also make it to that level of appreciation, sadly with Google fucking up storage I highly doubt we will see that PCIe class SD cards anytime soon when the OEMs are pushing for cloud bs.
nicolaim - Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - linkTypo: one place says Adreno 640, another 650.
Dave_S - Thursday, July 16, 2020 - linkThe V60 would be a great device to own. If LG would let us buy it!
Their marketing and distribution SUCK! Only available in very few countries.
Not good enough LG. Lift your game or lose market share big time.
RaduR - Thursday, July 16, 2020 - linkI loved LG G3. It was a true flagship at its time . Qi, huge screen , huge resolution. It was a true flagship killer.
Even the following phones with accessories were standing out of the crowd. It was G5 I believe.
But what on earth are they thinking now. Who in his right mind would buy these pieces of crap while Xiaomi Mi10 is half the price and better in any aspect. Also Samsung from last year is a better choice.
They should stop fighting against Samsung since they are not there anymore. They first should undercut Chinese products and only after that chase Samsung .
Look what One Plus and Xiaomi did. In a few yeats they are top brands but they did not fight Samsung in the first place.
LG , wake up !
TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, July 16, 2020 - linkWell, the Xiaomi and other Chinese brands are not really an option in the US unles you like playing russian roulette on network support, especially with VoLTE becoming mandatort in the next year or 2.
eek2121 - Thursday, July 16, 2020 - linkI had the V30 and it was solid.
I am not singing praises for LG here, because they lock their boot loader tighter than....yeah we will leave it there, but let’s just say that the majority of the problems with boot-looping and other oddities can almost always be traced back to Qualcomm.