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LG Velvet evaluation: A classy 5G telephone that I want would step it up just a little extra


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 appears to be like totally different than most LG telephones and at $599 within the US, it is extra reasonably priced than LG’s G8 and V60. (We nonetheless do not know if it is coming to the UK and Australia, however the US value converts to about £460 or AU$830.)

LikeSleek designHeadphone jackGood battery life to date

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 route. However the firm ought to go even additional. After spending time with the Velvet, I might nonetheless choose one thing just like the OnePlus 8 ($699 at OnePlus). Whereas it does not have a headphone jack or work with a secondary display screen accent just like the Velvet (which, by the best way, prices an additional $199), it does have an important digicam, a silky-smooth display screen with the next refresh price and a extra highly effective processor. 

Although the Velvet is not a completely new radical route for LG, it is definitely a diverging path. With out the acquisition of the Twin Display case, the Velvet is cheaper than its top-tier G8 and V60 brethren. Nevertheless it now faces an entire 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 identical value. The corporate ought to proceed with the Velvet and construct out extra reasonably priced, high-powered telephones, but it surely wants to take action whereas outpacing rivals in the identical value bracket.

The Velvet is offered within the US on AT&T and can come to Verizon on Aug. 21 for $699. Verizon’s mannequin prices $100 extra as a result of its capability to faucet into the community’s quicker millimeter-wave expertise. T-Cell is anticipated to hold the Velvet later in the summertime. Once I first reviewed the telephone I examined the South Korean variant, however have since frolicked with AT&T’s mannequin, too.

LG Velvet: The perfect wanting LG telephone we have seen shortly
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LG’s best-looking telephone

The Velvet appears to be like not like 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, 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 screen 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 just a few gripes. For example, I do not like how the corners of the display screen do not run all the best way to the sides. In contrast to 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 could possibly be smaller, too.

Given how stale LG telephones have seemed for a bit, it is a refreshing change. The Velvet appears to be like extra fashionable, it is smooth and I really like that the rear cameras aren’t housed collectively by some single round bump. And to verify, 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 nice information to wired headphone customers.

The telephone has a 6.8-inch OLED show.

Angela Lang/CNET
Velvet’s Twin Display accent

The Velvet has a pointy and vibrant 6.8-inch OLED display screen. It additionally has a 60Hz show, which is widespread 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 accent that provides a second display screen.

With the second display screen you possibly can multitask and show two apps on the identical time, or develop sure apps throughout each screens so that they work collectively like a pill. (Although you will must cope with a hinge that cuts down the center.) You can too arrange one display screen 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 ($158 at Amazon) gadgets, it labored superb with the Velvet. By clicking on its built-in button I might shortly name up LG’s QMemo Plus app to jot down notes, seize GIFs and, if I am actually bored, colour in some preloaded drawings.

With earlier LG telephones, some carriers bundled the case with the telephone, offered it individually or provided it at a reduction. Every community can have its personal strategies. Proper now, it prices an additional $199, however maintain your eyes peeled on the assorted offers and their inevitable restrictions.

The Velvet inside its Twin Display accent.

Angela Lang/CNET
LG Velvet’s triple-rear digicam takes superb footage

Underneath vibrant, clear lighting, the Velvet’s digicam took sharp footage that had been colourful and in focus. With its 8-megapixel wide-angle digicam, which I accessed by pinching out on the display screen’s viewfinder, I used to be capable of match extra content material inside every body. Remember that footage taken with the wide-angle digicam aren’t as sharp as photos 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 had been quite a bit blurrier and muddled. A few of the zoomed-in photographs I took had been paying homage to watercolors or Impressionist work. For those who 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 throughout my time reviewing it, I additionally took just a few photographs at night time whereas lighting some sparklers. This can be a notoriously troublesome lighting scenario and whereas the photographs got here out clear sufficient, they had been a bit washed-out and weren’t as vibrant or as deeply contrasted as those I took on, say, the Pixel 3 ($530 at Amazon) in 2018. 

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

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

Lynn La/CNET

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

Lynn La/CNET

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/CNET

A marina view taken with out zoom.

Lynn La/CNET

The identical boats at 10x digital zoom.

Lynn La/CNET

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

Lynn La/CNET
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, but it surely’s what retains the telephone’s value comparatively low in comparison with different flagships. The Motorola Edge and the ZTE Axon 11 5G additionally function 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 replicate this type 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 relation to 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 space: 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 a degree the place it was getting a bit irritating. Apart from that, nevertheless, the Velvet opened apps, launched the digicam and scrolled via internet pages with ease. 

3DMark Slingshot Limitless

Observe:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.5.Zero single-core

Observe:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.5.Zero multicore

Observe:
Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Exams 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 ($389 at Amazon), with its 4,000-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 evaluation and its remaining score.

A typical pace check on the LG Velvet. Discover the 5G indicator on the highest proper and on the Speedtest app.

Lynn La/CNET

As for AT&T’s 5G community, I ran a number of pace assessments utilizing Ookla’s pace check app and downloaded a few apps. I discovered it on par with 4G LTE speeds on a Pixel Three telephone. After eight runs, the telephone averaged about 37.9Mbps down and 16.45Mbps up, that are hardly mind-blowing 5G speeds. My peak obtain price was 63.7Mbps.

I examined the telephone each inside and out of doors a constructing in a Bay Space metropolis the place I ought to have AT&T protection (at the least so far as AT&T’s protection map signifies). The telephone did present the 5G image on the highest bar all the time I used to be related, and Ookla’s app confirmed I used to be related to a 5G server. Nevertheless, once I checked my “cell community sort” in Settings (Settings > System > About telephone > Community), the telephone indicated I used to be on LTE.

I’ve reached out to AT&T and requested why I used to be getting these obtain and add charges if I had been really related to its 5G community and can replace this evaluation once I hear again. However given all of the variables concerned — totally different networks, location and protection — your expertise will differ from mine.

LG Velvet spec comparability

LG Velvet

OnePlus 8

Motorola Edge

Motorola Moto G Energy

Show dimension, decision

6.8-inch OLED; 2,460×1,080 pixels

6.55-inch AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels

6.7-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels

6.4-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels

Pixel density

395ppi

402ppi

385ppi

399ppi

Dimensions (inches)

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.

Dimensions (millimeters)

167.2 x 74.1 x 7.9mm

160 x 72.9 x 8.0mm

161.6 x 71.1 x 9.29mm

159.85 x 75.Eight x 9.63mm

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

Digital camera

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 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

4,300 mAh

4,300 mAh

4,500 mAh

5,000 mAh

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 4.0

5G enabled; Warp Cost; 90Hz refresh price

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

N/A

Worth off-contract (USD)

$599 (AT&T), $699 (Verizon)

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

$699

$250

Worth (GBP)

Converts to about £460

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

£549

Converts to about £199

Worth (AUD)

Converts to about AU$830

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

Converts to about AU$1,000

Converts to about AU$365

First revealed July 15.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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