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- collection. It seems to be totally different than most LG telephones and at an anticipated worth of $600 to $700 for the US, it is extra inexpensive than LG’s G8 and V60. Worldwide costs aren’t accessible but it surely’s about £600 or AU$1,100, transformed from South Korean received.
LikeSleek designHeadphone jackGood battery life to this point
Do not LikeNo 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 course. However the firm ought to go even additional. After spending time with the Velvet, I might nonetheless favor one thing just like the OnePlus 8 ($699 at OnePlus). Whereas it would not have a headphone jack or work with a secondary display screen accent just like the Velvet, it does have an important digital camera, a silky-smooth display screen with the next refresh price and a extra highly effective processor.
The Velvet is offered in South Korea, however as a result of there isn’t any official US worth but, I am unable to give this cellphone a totally rated evaluation. (As soon as there may be one although, I will replace this piece with remaining subratings. Word that this implies the general ranking could change from what you presently see.) However 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 worth. Although the Velvet is not a completely new radical course for LG, it is actually a diverging path. The corporate ought to proceed with the Velvet, or one thing related, whereas outpacing rivals in the identical worth bracket.
LG Velvet: The very best wanting LG cellphone we have seen shortly
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LG’s best-looking cellphone
The Velvet seems to be not like 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, as an illustration, 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 screen fall off to the edges, which supplies 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 comfy 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 screen do not run all the best way to the sides. 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 seemed for a bit, this can be a refreshing change. The Velvet seems to be extra fashionable, it is smooth and I 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 nice information to wired headphone customers.
The cellphone has a 6.8-inch OLED show.
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’ll be able to multitask and show two apps on the similar time, or broaden sure apps throughout each screens in order that they work collectively like a pill. (Although you will need to cope with a hinge that cuts down the center.) It’s also possible to 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 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 positive 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, colour in some preloaded drawings.
With US pricing for the Velvet nonetheless unknown, pricing with its Twin Display is even additional up within the air. With earlier LG telephones, some carriers bundled the case with the cellphone, offered it individually or provided it at a reduction. Every community could have its personal strategies, so as soon as the Velvet is official within the US, preserve your eyes peeled on the varied offers and their inevitable restrictions.
The Velvet inside its Twin Display accent.
LG Velvet’s triple-rear digital camera takes positive footage
Beneath shiny, clear lighting the Velvet’s digital camera took sharp footage that had been colourful and in focus. With its 8-megapixel wide-angle digital camera, which I accessed by pinching out on the display screen’s viewfinder, I used to be in a position to match extra content material inside every body. Take into account that footage taken with the wide-angle digital camera aren’t as sharp as photographs 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 degree, footage had been lots blurrier and muddled. A number of the zoomed-in photographs I took had been paying homage to watercolors or Impressionist work. In case you 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 not too long ago, I additionally took a couple of photographs at evening whereas lighting some sparklers. It is a notoriously tough 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 ($450 at Amazon) in 2018.
Pictures taken with the front-facing digital camera had been clear, with correct skin-tone and colours. Recording video was additionally stable. Although it would not have optical picture stabilization, the footage I recorded whereas standing in a single place was positive. 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 tough lighting scene effectively 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 is not as strong as Qualcomm’s newest 865 processor, but it surely’s what retains the cellphone’s worth comparatively decrease than 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 form of middle-of-the-pack place. Telephones with the 865 processor, just like the LG V60 and OnePlus 8, scored greater marks than the Velvet, however the Velvet comfortably beat out the Moto G Stylus ($265 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 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 need to learn my thumbprint precisely, to a degree the place it was getting a bit irritating. Aside from that, nevertheless, the Velvet opened apps, launched the digital camera and scrolled by means of 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 exams for steady video playback on Airplane mode, confirmed that the Velvet’s 4,300-mAh battery lasted 22 hours and 38 minutes. It is 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 ($400 at Amazon), with its 4,000-mAh battery, lasted 16 hours and 10 minutes. We will run extra battery exams whereas streaming video. When the outcomes are in, I will replace this evaluation and its remaining ranking.
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
Cellular software program
48-megapixel (commonplace), 8-megapixel (wide-angle), 5-megapixel (depth sensing)
48-megapixel (commonplace), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel (macro)
64-megapixel (commonplace), 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-resistant (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 received converts to about £596
£599 (8GB RAM/128GB), £699 (12GB RAM/256GB)
Converts to about £199
From South Korean received 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.