Hands-on: LG's V10 is a phablet made for videographers

Whether you like to make short home movies or full-length features, the V10 offers some amazing manual controls for doing so.

The LG V10 is actually not as hokey as it sounds—and I’m not just saying that because Joseph Gordon Levitt was part of the presentation. Sure, no one asked for dual front-facing cameras, but in a selfie obsessed world, it’s nice to have the option between a regular- and wide-angle shot.

That’s not the only new feature of the V10. It offers complete manual camera controls and a new second screen feature. And although I’m not entirely sold on that second screen, I like LG’s new smartphone. The V10 appears to be a solid phablet release and I’m really looking forward to delving into those camera controls when we get the device in for review. For now, here’s a sneak peak at what it has to offer.

About those manual controls

lgv10 9984 Florence Ion

The V10’s manual controls for video.

If you’re familiar with the G4’s manual camera controls, you’ll have no problem with the V10’s. It has all the same offerings: you can adjust the ISO, exposure, shutter speed, and white balance even as you’re recording video. You can also choose the frame rate and bit rate, as well as adjust individual audio controls. It’s a neat feature, and will prove extremely helpful if you’re filming a video and the sun is blaring down or you’re switching to another room with different lighting. However, the best feature of the V10’s manual camera controls is its image stabilization capabilities. No matter how hard I tried to shake the phone, the camera would immediately adjust itself to stay focused on the subject.

lgv10 9975 Florence Ion

The V10 even offers individual manual controls for audio.

When you’re done filming your video segments, you can choose to option to have all of your individual clips jumbled together into a 60-second narrative. I didn’t have time to use the feature myself, but it reminds me of HTC’s Zoe, though without the ability to add in still shots to the video collage.

An unnecessary second screen

lgv10 9954 Florence Ion

The second screen with the display off.

I hate to say it, but when I heard about the V10’s second screen, I immediately thought about Samsung’s edge display. It’s not an exact copy, but it does function similarly. When you’re on the Home screen or in another application, you can use the second screen as an application launcher. In the camera application, it functions as another menu screen. And when the display is off, it’s a notification ticker that you can also use to display the date and time or fire up the flashlight.

lgv10 9971 Florence Ion

The second screen in use inside an app.

I like the ability to store shortcuts and the extra bit of room the second screen adds for menu items, but it’s weird that it’s an entirely separate display. What’s worse: when you drag icons from main display to turn them into shortcuts, they don’t conform to the rounded-edge icon standard unless they’re LG-made applications. Bummer.

Dual-cameras for better selfies

lgv10 0020 Florence Ion

The 120-degree wide-angle selfie looks similar to the Galaxy S6’s.

I’m a big fan of the Galaxy S6’s 120-degree front-facing camera, but I can’t turn it off. When I take regular selfies by myself, my face tends to look a little distorted. The V10 can switch between a regular 80-degree selfie to a 120-degree one, so if you need to squeeze in a few friends in between shots, you can easily do so with the tap of a button.

lgv10 0024 Florence Ion

The switch between 80-degree and 120-degree selfies.

lgv10 0022 Florence Ion

The front-facing camera's Multi View feature is fun to use.

What’s it like as a phone?

The V10 is like the G4 in so many ways. It has a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, a removable 3,000mAh battery pack, and a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera. The biggest difference is its size and build: rather than opt for another phone with a leather back, this one has a ruggedized rubber one. It also has a 5.7-inch screen, which makes it a tad bit larger than the 5.5-inch G4 and tips it over into phablet territory.

lgv10 9964 Florence Ion

The V10 in black.

The V10 is really dense. It’s heftier than most Android smartphones and my arm actually grew a bit tired from holding it up to record video. Off the bat, that’s not a good sign for other videographers out there, though I’d hope that if you’re planning to be that serious about phone videography you’d invest in a tripod. Also, while the V10 is comfortable to hold, but the rubber backing actually adds a bit of bulk. At the very least, the phone is really sturdy.

lgv10 0007 Florence Ion

It’s thin enough, but that’s easy to ignore when you consider the phone’s heft.

lgv10 0001 Florence Ion

At the very least, the baby-blue version is really good looking in person.

lgv10 0005 Florence Ion

The V10 features a rubber backside that’s actually quite comfortable, though I imagine it’ll make it difficult to slip into a pocket.

Overall, I like the design on the V10 way more than the G4; it looks like it appeals to more than just one particular demographic of smartphone user.

The V10 will be available later this month at Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. We’re looking forward to getting the device in for review and really putting its new video modes to the test.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags lgAndroid

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Florence Ion

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?