LG V10 Review: Big, Bold And Beautiful
Camera & Battery Life
Although dedicated cameras still have their place for capturing memories, the majority of our everyday snapshots often come from our smartphone’s camera these days. LG recognizes the importance of the modern smartphone camera and has taken a different approach to try and improve the overall user experience with the V10 by adding two front-facing cameras and a high-quality rear-facing camera.
By incorporating a standard 80-degree camera lens as well as an ultra-wide 120-degree lens, LG is letting you leave the selfie stick at home while still giving you the ability to capture more of your background scene or a large group of friends. You can also use the V10’s three cameras together in Multi-view Recording mode. For hands-free operation, LG incorporated its Gesture & Shot View, which is a feature previously available in the G4. In this mode you can shoot selfies without tapping the screen or pressing any buttons.
LG also recognizes the increased use of video in social media and has given the V10 a few features to satisfy the increased video demands from customers. A Steady Record feature uses electronic image stabilization to help you capture moving objects while running without sacrificing quality. In addition, LG has provided full manual controls for video capture. In Manual Video Mode, you can adjust white balance, shutter speed, ISO, and focus while you’re recording a video. The Manual Video Mode also has advanced audio settings that let you adjust the direction of the sound by controlling three directional microphones and enable a Wind Noise Filter.
Manual camera controls (left), Manual video controls (right)
In the camera Mode menu, you’ll find the following options: Time lapse, Slo-mo, Panorama, Multi-view, and Auto. If you choose Manual Mode for still shots or video, you’ll have the choice of a number of controls including white balance, manual focus, contrast, ISO, shutter speed, microphone settings, and more.
We were very impressed with the overall quality of our test images. Images captured both outside in good sunlight as well as indoors using incandescent lighting and window lighting were clear, crisp and balance with minimal noise. We would caution against using the beauty setting at maximum in selfie mode, however. Selfies captured using the maximum beautification option lost their crispness beyond what we consider acceptable, perhaps in an attempt to bring airbrushed-style skin softening.
LG claims the V10’s removable 3,000mAh battery will last for 13.6 hours of HD video playback and 93.8 hours of music using headphones. The V10 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology with the bundled AC adapter. You can purchase an optional Quick Cover for the V10 which enables wireless charging.
To get a feel for how the V10’s battery life compares to other phones, we ran it through our standard tests which offer best and worst-case scenarios. The first test, AnTuTu's Battery Test, is a high-load benchmark that aims to drain the battery of a device as quickly as possible, setting the display brightness to high and cranking up workload for the processor, graphics core and memory.
As you can see from the chart above, the V10’s battery subsystem handled relatively well under the high load and returned a score that puts the V10 in the middle of the pack. Again, this test stressed the phones continuously and the V10, as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 808 CPU are showing their efficiency here.
To offer a "best-case scenario" result, we ran our own HotHardware web browsing test where we cycle a page ever few minutes with screen brightness set to 50% and Wi-Fi enabled. All other radios such as Bluetooth, NFC and the GPS are turned off and the phone is forced to keep the display on for the entire test. Phones are then monitored for uptime duration.
In our web browsing test, the V10 still struggled to last as long as today’s top phones. It’s possible LG may be able to improve the battery life with a future software update but for now, battery life in our benchmarks was disappointing. However, we would underscore the fact that the V10 has other strengths here as well, including not only the ability to swap out an exhausted battery but also one of the fastest quick-charge times we've recorded to date - taking the phone from dead at zero charge to 100 percent in just a hair over an hour.
Further, in our real-world testing, the V10 made it through a day of casual use while checking email, surfing the web, taking pictures, making calls, and the like. Of course, your battery life will vary depending on usage and we'd also note that, with the second display available to you on top of the V10, you may not have to light up it's main display nearly as often, again depending on your use case.