The new device from the Korean house is light, elegant and offers features absent from competitors. The dual screen case is interesting, but there are still few compatible apps
An increasing number of manufacturers are rediscovering the attraction of the mid-range smartphone market, with prices hovering around € 600. The reason is simple: in a neighborhood of this price, products of already very high quality can be offered, with characteristics that bring them closer to premium models, with few compromises. Devices in which design remains at the center, and in which the average consumer finds everything he needs.
The merit, from a technical point of view, is of Qualcomm’s 765G chipset: it offers high-level performance, equal to that of a flagship smartphone of about a year ago, it is 5G enabled with the integrated X52 modem, it manages to manage 4K video and other advanced functions related to artificial intelligence, all at a price that leaves producers with a good operating margin without having to aim for the thousand euro range.
The charge of the “765G” also includes the new Velvet smartphone, presented by LG in mid-June and available in Europe for 649 euros.
LG Velvet Design
LG smartphones in the past have never really achieved the commercial success they deserve. It’s a shame, because they are technically advanced devices, “well thought out”, with a good design, excellent displays and with innovative and somewhat experimental functions. The fault lies not only with a market that has not understood them, of course, but also with a somewhat weak global marketing strategy.
With the new Velvet, the smartphone division of the Korean company seems to want to do things differently. The break with the V models of the past ( including the last V60 of a short time ago) is immediately evident in the design. Velvet abandons the somewhat “massive” format of its predecessors in favor of slender and light lines. The result is a well-balanced device with very good ergonomics, although in some cases the smooth finish of the body makes it a bit slippery.
On the back of the body, LG managed to insert two of the three flush cameras, while it only slightly protrudes the lens of the main 48 Megapixel camera. The photographic quality of the Velvet is good, unsurprisingly, in line with the range to which the device belongs. In addition to the main sensor there is a second 8 megapixel ultrawide and a third 5 megapixel which is only used to improve the detection of depth in photos. Good features of the integrated photo software, to which LG usually dedicates the right care.
You can shoot movies in 4K 30p and the color quality and dynamic range, although not comparable to that of flagship photographic devices such as iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy 20 Ultra, is still very good.
LG Velvet Screen and dual screen
As usual on LG smartphones the screen convinces with color balance and management. It’s a large (6.8 ”) and bright P-OLED, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz. It is a detail that is perceived only relatively unless you use the phone to play video games at high frame rate, but the 90Hz, now become almost standard on many devices of this range, would have helped a little also the fluidity of the interface.
The accessory that the Korean company had also flanked to previous top models of its offer, is interesting but still suffers from poor compatibility with third-party software. It’s great for those who play video games, because it allows you to use the additional screen to view the game and the phone to “remap” the controls on a virtual joystick. For productivity it does not add much in our opinion to a device that already has a large enough screen and advanced multitasking functions thanks to Android 10.
Net of the user experience, the Dual Screen has another problem, and it is the design: the gray case does not go very well with the lines of the Velvet: it is a bit anonymous, with details from business accessories such as the back corrugated, and completely changes the aesthetics of the device, hiding its elegant lines and subtle cut. Finally, there is another element that must be put, literally, on the weighing pan: the overall weight of the Dual Screen and the phone becomes significant and thwarts the advantage of the lightness of the phone.
LG Velvet Performance and software
In everyday use, the performance of the LG Velvet convinced us. The call quality is very good, the most demanding applications in terms of graphics and computational resources run smoothly, the 4300mAh battery exceeds the day of use if the smartphone is not used for particularly energy-intensive activities. Also noteworthy is the presence of the headphone jack input, which is far from obvious on devices of this range, and the IP68 waterproof and dust proof certification, very useful in times when disinfecting the mobile phone after use outside the home it is a widespread practice.
The only drawback, in our opinion, is LG’s Android customization. The interface does not have any particular problems, but the setting, the graphic themes, the icons, the notification panels appear a little dated and would need to be updated. It is not only an aesthetic question, but also of general phone user experience, especially in a market saturated and full of competing smartphones which, with the same performance and relatively similar designs, must aim to stand out precisely for the UX and the Feel of using the device.
The final opinion on LG Velvet dual screen is therefore positive overall, especially for the design and handling, while we would have liked an extra effort on the software.
– Elegant design
– Good technical features
– Wireless charging
– Waterproof with IP68 certification
– Light and easy to handle