In the last couple of years, prices of premium smartphones have shot up like there’s no tomorrow. There’s no doubt that these devices pack in state-of-the-art hardware, insane power, and more features than you can shake a stick at. Of course, this is ideal for power users who take their handsets to the limits. But, what about the silent majority that may not require such overkill? Well, it seems someone at LG thought about this too. And the result is the latest LG Velvet Dual Screen smartphone that promises to offer premium features such as sleek design, clever cameras, and water resistance without breaking the bank. The idea behind it is sensible and LG has all the resources to make it work. But, has it got the recipe right? Let’s find out.
Right from the first glance, the LG Velvet Dual Screen draws you in with its unique aesthetics. It looks nothing like the South Korean company’s established G or V series handsets. In terms of design, it doesn’t have a predecessor. When designing this phone, LG has surely started with a clean slate. And the result is sophisticated minimalism. The phone has no prominent branding on its back. The attention to detail is impressive. For instance, even the three camera lenses at the back are stacked up keeping aesthetics in mind. On the other hand, most brands don’t care about such minute things.
The new design language also comes with improved ergonomics. Unlike the current wide phones from the company, the LG Velvet Dual Screen is perfect for one-handed usage. The overdone rounded corners are gone too. They are replaced by more subtle curves. The front is dominated by an OLED display with a tiny waterdrop notch on the forehead and an incredibly thin bezel at the bottom. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the sides have no bezels at all. The display gently curves into the frame, which looks absolutely cool.
The handset comes in interesting hues. LG refers to them as Aura White, Aurora Green, Aurora Gray, and Illusion Sunset. The latter has a dual-tone gradient, which looks unique. Though, my favourite is green, which looks stunning. Oh and you can take this stylish handset to pool parties. It is rated IP6 for water and dust resistance.
The display supports multi-touch and also plays nice with Wacom stylus. So, if you fancy jotting down notes on your smartphone, you can simply buy a compatible digital pen. I have terrible handwriting, so this feature is not for me. But, I like the fact that LG has given an option for those who might be interested.
LG is one of the few smartphone manufacturers that produce their own screens. And for the LG Velvet Dual Screen, LG uses its in-house P-OLED screen. OLED panels are inherently superior to LCDs. You get vibrant colours, uniform brightness, high contrast, and perfect blacks. with a resolution of 2460 x 1080, the screen offers a pixel density of almost 400 ppi. Little wonder then, that it is a treat to watch movies and play games on this display. But, there’s more! LG offers an optional dual-screen case, which as its name suggests adds another high-quality display to your smartphone. Such setup comes in handy for multitasking or gaming. For instance, you can assign the secondary display as a controller. Moreover, you can reply to a WhatsApp message without having to pause a Netflix video. It is not as seamless as proper foldable phones from Samsung and Huawei. But, on the bright side, LG’s implementation gives you the flexibility to detach the secondary screen when you don’t need it.
The LG Velvet Dual Screen is powered by an upgraded octa-core processor from Qualcomm. After using it for over a week, I can tell that this SoC (System on Chip) is stable and refined for power efficiency. I’m yet to notice any stutter or lag in this handset. Switching between half a dozen apps is flawlessly smooth. And even games such as Call of Duty Mobile don’t seem to strain the phone’s resources. Yet, I’m sure many people are going to scoff at this phone based on specifications. It is kind of like how car buyers check their vehicle’s lap time at Nürburgring. It makes sense if you have an interest in motorsport, but totally pointless if you are buying a car to drop your kids at day care. If you look beyond the spec sheet, the LG Velvet Dual Screen offers stellar performance.
The LG Velvet Dual Screen’s impressive viewing experience is complemented by its superior sound output. Despite its slim body, the phone squeezes in stereo speakers. These are so well tuned that even if you crank up the volume, there’s barely any distortion. It is so good that while watching YouTube videos I didn’t bother reaching for my earphones.
For music aficionados, LG has retained the good old 3.5mm headphone jack. This gives users the freedom to fallback to their favourite pair of headphones. The phone’s sound output is excellent. Paired with the right earphones, the handset delivers a balanced sound. There’s even a 3D Sound Engine setting for those who prefer the punchy sound.
The LG Velvet Dual Screen sports a triple camera on its back. It includes a 48MP main camera accompanied by an 8MP wide lens and a 5MP depth sensor. On a sunny day, the LG Velvet Dual Screen’s primary camera can give any flagship phone a run for its money. It crams in plenty of detail while keeping noise under control. The colours appear natural and there are no soft spots around the corners. The camera also holds its own in low light conditions.
The wide-angle camera is good for landscape snaps. However, its performance isn’t as great as the primary camera. Understandably so due to its smaller optics in addition to the lower megapixel count. I wish manufacturers stick to the same picture quality on the main and wide camera for consistency in your photo gallery. The 5MP depth sensor does what it says. It captures enough information to simulate a neat background blur effect.
The phone records detailed 4K clips at 30fps. For higher 60 fps recording, you have to switch to 1080p recording. The videos turn out fairly good with the onboard EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation). The 16MP front-facing camera is a delight for selfie addicts. It captures surprisingly good images. And even gets the portrait shots right.
The LG Velvet Dual Screen holds a 4,300 mAh battery, which looks underwhelming on per. But, thanks to the power-efficient chip and OLED display, the phone easily lasts from dusk till dawn. Results may vary if you game a lot though. Still, you won’t have to put up with long charging hours as the handset supports USB Power Delivery 3.0. A compatible 25W charger tops-up 70 percent battery in about an hour. The phone also supports wireless (induction) charging. Compared to the wired fast charging, induction charging is limited to 9W.
The LG Velvet Dual Screen is a solid mid-range device that offers a stylish design and premium build. LG may not throw gimmicky numbers at you, but it has used a top-notch OLED on this handset. The cameras are good too, but there’s some room for improvement. And then, there’s a whole line-up of accessories to choose from. Be it, stylus support or dual screen, LG has you covered. All things considered; the LG Velvet Dual Screen is a sensibly priced phone that punches above its weight. In short, it is a flagship killer done right.