LG V10 Review: Big, Bold And Beautiful
Software & User Experience
The LG V10 runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with a light skin that offers some additional features such as QSlide, which we’ve seen on previous LG devices. QSlide lets you open multiple apps in resizable and repositionable windows. As you’ll notice, LG offers a number of customization options to help you personalize the phone to suit your preferences.
The Back, Home, and Apps keys are built-in to the base of the V10’s display so you’ll sacrifice a bit of screen real estate here. Thankfully, LG hides these controls in certain apps such as the camera to give back the additional screen space. You can swipe in from the edge of the phone to access the controls at any time. If you don’t like this approach, you can disable the Hide Home Touch Buttons setting in the menu.
You can also customize the standard Android button combination in the Settings menu and add additional features for a total of up to 5 Home touch buttons. In the Settings menu, LG also offers the ability to add icons for Notification, Capture+, QSlide, and Dual Window features.
On the home screens, LG has placed an additional row of navigation icons above the Android control buttons. Here, you’ll find Phone, Messaging, Apps, Browser, and Camera icons. You can add two additional icons for a total of seven icons. All of the navigational icons in this row are customizable.
During our time with the V10, we were pleasantly surprised by the utility of the Second Screen and how much we used it. If the main display is turned off, you can swipe the Second Screen from right to left to access Quick tools. Here, you’ll be able to adjust the phone’s sound, toggle Wi-Fi on or off, turn on the flashlight, and open the camera. By swiping the Second Screen from either side when the main display is on, you’ll see icons for recently used apps and functions.
Customization options for the Second Screen are plentiful as well. When the main screen is on, you can choose to see a Signature, App shortcuts, Recent apps, the Music player, Quick contacts, or upcoming events and tasks from your calendar. When the main screen is off, the Second Screen can be configured to show the date and time or custom text known as your signature. LG provides the option to have two different signatures—one when the main display is on and one when it is off.
LG has provided a number of camera and video controls that are useful while shooting that we’ll discuss more in the coming pages. In addition to these controls, the V10 has a number of editing features and options that you don’t always see on today’s phones. For example, the V10 has a Snap Movie Mode that is designed to help you combine a series of events into a story movie. For more in-depth video editing, the Movie Studio function lets you add speed effects to clips, trim and merge videos, add filters and various animation effects, and add background music.
After you’re finished editing a video, there’s a Quick Share option that provides access to favorite social media sites. The V10 also has a 15 second auto edit feature that’s perfect for Instagram and other social media outlets. This Auto Edit feature is designed to eliminate blurry or duplicate pictures, track human faces, and delete transition points.
You’ll find the typical Google apps on the V10 including Android Pay, Chrome, Gmail, Maps, Docs, Play Music, Play Movies & TV, Drive, YouTube, Photos, and Hangouts. In addition to the standard Google apps, our V10 from AT&T came with AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Mobile Transfer, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Protect Plus, AT&T Ready2Go, AT&T Smart Wi-Fi, and a few others. Frankly, that's a lot of carrier-loaded software, but in actuality, some of these utilities like Mobile Transfer and FamilyMap can come in handy. Additional preinstalled apps include LG Health, WildTangent Games, QuickRemote, Uber, Plenti, Lookout, and others. Bottom line, if you're sensititve to bloatware, there's a fair bit to uninstall here.