With the 5G-enabled LG Velvet, the South Korean phone-maker is attempting one thing new. The Velvet would not belong to any of the corporate’s established strains, just like the G- and V- sequence. It seems completely different than most LG telephones and at $599 within the US, it is extra reasonably priced than LG’s G8 and V60. (UK and Australian costs and availability are TBA, however the South Korean value converts to about £600 or AU$1,100.)
LikeSleek designHeadphone jackGood battery life up to now
Do not LikeNo new standalone software program featuresFingerprint reader is finicky
The Velvet is LG’s sign that it is heading in the direction of one other, extra reasonably priced however considerate path. However the firm ought to go even additional. After spending time with the Velvet, I’d nonetheless desire one thing just like the OnePlus 8 ($699 at OnePlus). Whereas it would not have a headphone jack or work with a secondary display accent just like the Velvet, it does have an awesome digital camera, a silky-smooth display with the next refresh price and a extra highly effective processor.
The Velvet is obtainable 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 assessment, I used to be testing a South Korean variant and US pricing hadn’t been introduced but. As such, it would not have a full score, however I am going to replace the assessment as soon as I get my fingers on a US mannequin. (Notice that this implies the general score might change from what you at the moment see.)
Even when it is anticipated to be cheaper than its top-tier G8 and V60 brethren, the Velvet now faces a complete new set of opponents, together with the aforementioned OnePlus 8, the Galaxy A71 5G and the Motorola Edge — all of which ship nice specs and 5G inside the similar value. Although the Velvet is not a wholly new radical path for LG, it is actually a diverging path. The corporate ought to proceed with the Velvet, or one thing comparable, whereas outpacing rivals in the identical value bracket.
LG Velvet: One of the best trying LG telephone we have seen shortly
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LG’s best-looking telephone
The Velvet seems in contrast to any premium US LG telephone earlier than it and it is the best-looking LG telephone I’ve dealt with shortly. In contrast with the V60, as an example, the Velvet has tapered edges, sharper corners and a rear digital camera array that runs vertically, not horizontally. The left and proper edges of the display fall off to the edges, which provides it a extra stylish look, and although it is about as tall because the V60, it is narrower, slimmer and lighter — and in the end 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 regarded for a bit, it is a refreshing change. The Velvet seems extra trendy, it is modern 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 telephone has a 6.8-inch OLED show.
Velvet’s Twin Display screen accent
The Velvet has a pointy and vibrant 6.8-inch OLED display. It additionally has a 60Hz show, which is frequent on most telephones, however that is a decrease refresh price than opponents such because the OnePlus 8, 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 similar time, or increase sure apps throughout each screens so that they work collectively like a pill. (Although you may must cope with a hinge that cuts down the center.) You may as well 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 ready to make use of one with the telephone. I used Wacom’s Bamboo Ink Sensible Stylus and regardless of it being made for Home windows 10 ($140 at Amazon) units, it labored high quality 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, coloration 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 telephone, bought 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, hold your eyes peeled on the varied offers and their inevitable restrictions.
The Velvet inside its Twin Display screen accent.
LG Velvet’s triple-rear digital camera takes high quality footage
Below brilliant, clear lighting the Velvet’s digital camera took sharp footage that have been colourful and in focus. With its 8-megapixel wide-angle digital camera, which I accessed by pinching out on the display’s viewfinder, I used to be in a position to match extra content material inside every body. Understand that footage taken with the wide-angle digital camera aren’t as sharp as photos captured on the usual digital camera, which shoots at a 12-megapixel decision by default, however can go as excessive as 48 megapixels.
The digital camera has a digital zoom as much as 10x. At this stage, footage have been rather a lot blurrier and muddled. A number of 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 telephone.
Because it was Fourth of July weekend not too long ago, I additionally took a couple of pictures at night time whereas lighting some sparklers. This can be a notoriously troublesome lighting state of affairs 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 3 ($450 at Amazon) in 2018.
Pictures taken with the front-facing digital camera have been clear, with correct skin-tone and colours. Recording video was additionally strong. Although it would not have optical picture stabilization, the footage I recorded whereas standing in a single place was high quality. The digital camera was in a position to readjust its focus and publicity rapidly and it picked up audio clearly.
Taken in out of doors lighting, this flower is vibrant and sharp.
A photograph of a salvage store taken with the usual lens.
The identical salvage store taken with the wide-angle lens. At full decision, the image is not as sharp because the earlier one.
A marina view taken with out zoom.
The identical boats at 10x digital zoom.
Although not very sharp, the digital camera managed to seize this troublesome lighting scene properly sufficient.
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 isn’t as strong as Qualcomm’s newest 865 processor, however it’s what retains the telephone’s value comparatively decrease than different flagships. The Motorola Edge and the ZTE Axon 11 5G additionally characteristic the 765 chipset, they usually 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 8, scored larger marks than the Velvet, however the Velvet comfortably beat out the Moto G Stylus ($270 at Amazon) and G Energy, which have the 665 chipset.
In the case of day by day utilization although, I did not discover a lot lag or any notable “lack” of pace 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 must learn my thumbprint precisely, to some extent the place it was getting a bit irritating. Aside from that, nonetheless, the Velvet opened apps, launched the digital camera and scrolled via net pages with ease.
3DMark Slingshot Limitless
Longer bars point out higher efficiency
Geekbench v.5.Zero single-core
Longer bars point out higher efficiency
Geekbench v.5.Zero multicore
Longer bars point out higher efficiency
Preliminary assessments for steady video playback on Airplane mode, confirmed that the Velvet’s 4,300-mAh battery lasted 22 hours and 38 minutes. This can be a strong battery life. For comparability, the OnePlus 8, which additionally has a 4,300-mAh battery clocked in 18 hours and 47 minutes. The Galaxy A51 ($325 at Amazon), with its 4,000-mAh battery, lasted 16 hours and 10 minutes. We will run extra battery assessments whereas streaming video. When the outcomes are in, I am going to replace this assessment and its remaining score.
LG Velvet spec comparability
Motorola Moto G Energy
Show measurement, decision
6.8-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
6.4-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels
6.58 x 2.92 x 0.31 in
6.Three x 2.Eight x 0.31 in
6.36 x 2.Eight x 0.37 in
6.29 x 2.98 x 0.38 in
167.2 x 74.1 x 7.9 mm
160 x 72.9 x 8.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
48-megapixel (customary), 8-megapixel (wide-angle), 5-megapixel (depth sensing)
48-megapixel (customary), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel (macro)
64-megapixel (customary), 8-megapixel (telephotos), 16-megapixel (macro/ultrawide-angle)
16-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 8-megapixel (ultra-wide angle)
Entrance-facing digital camera
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765
As much as 2TB
As much as 1TB
As much as 512GB
5G enabled; water-proof (IP68); wi-fi charging, Quick Charging 4.0
5G enabled; Warp Cost; 90Hz refresh price
5G enabled. 90Hz refresh price, 18W Turbo Charging
Worth off-contract (USD)
Anticipated to be $600-$700
$699 (8GB RAM/128GB), $799 (12GB RAM/256GB)
From South Korean gained converts to about £596
£599 (8GB RAM/128GB), £699 (12GB RAM/256GB)
Converts to about £199
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.