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Hands-on LG V60 ThinQ: 5G with 8K video and dual-screen

The LG V60 features a 6.8-inch display, dual rear cameras and a headphone jack.

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The newly announced LG V60.

Angela Lang/CNET

The LG V60 ThinQ 5G (pronounced "thin-queue") is a premium phone that's poised to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S20. Similar to the LG V50 ThinQ and the G8X ThinQ from last year, the V60 works with a Dual Screen case that essentially adds a second display to the phone.

LG hasn't announced availability dates and prices yet, but the company said that the V60 will be cheaper than the Galaxy S20, which currently starts at $999 (£899, AU$1,499 for the 5G versions). Whether that means the V60 ends up being $998 or $100, I don't know. But since last year's G8X cost about $780, I anticipate the V60 would start around that price or likely higher. LG's first 5G phone, the V50, launched with an initial price of $1,152, so the fact that its successor will be cheaper already signals that more affordable 5G phones are indeed in the making.

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Though 5G deployment kicked off in 2019, more will take place throughout this year and next. As such, though you may not have 5G in your area now, the next generation of high-speed mobile data could be coming to your market later. In the US, the V60 will be available from AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon. It's LG's second 5G phone for the US, and more 5G devices are expected to come down the pipeline not only from LG, but from other phone-makers as well.

Design: Big screen, big phone

Compared to last year's V50, which had a 6.4-inch display, the V60 has an even larger 6.8-inch OLED display. That extra real estate does make viewing YouTube videos and browsing the internet more comfortable, and colors are indeed rich and vibrant. But the phone is also very large. If you have a small grip like mine, maneuvering with one hand will be tricky. And once I added the accessory case, I could forget about fitting it at all in my pants pocket. The case's grooved back, which has ridges running vertically down its back, doesn't help with the bulk either. Last year's V50 was just smooth plastic and I'm not sure why LG didn't go with the same look.

Taking advantage of the Dual Screen does require some time to learn. When I first got my hands on a preproduction unit, I found myself tapping around the screen several times to find specific actions, even though I already had a chance to use this accessory last year. But after a while, I did get the hang of it. With the Dual Screen you can use one display as a virtual game controller that you can customize, or multitask on both screens, or expand certain apps across the whole thing like a tablet. Keep in mind though that there's still a big hinge that cuts right down the middle. It will obstruct videos and apps in expanded view, so it's definitely not the same kind of seamless folding experience as, say, the new Motorola Razr or Galaxy Z Flip. That being said, there are other advantages -- you can use the case as a kickstand, for example, and it's entirely removable. 

Exactly how the case will be bundled with the purchase of the phone will vary from carrier to carrier, so keep an eye out for any restrictions. Last year, a few US carriers included the case for free. But after a limited time, users had to pay extra for it, and carriers like AT&T ended its two-for-one deal.

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Google Maps and the Chrome web browser on both of the V60's displays.

Angela Lang/CNET

Camera: Doing more with less

Unlike some premium phones today that have three, four or even more cameras, the LG V60 has two rear cameras. This isn't a deal-breaker for me though; having more cameras does give me more photo options, but two is more than enough for most people. The setup includes a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 64-megapixel standard camera. You can take photos with the latter at full resolution, but there is also an option to shoot images in a 16-megapixel resolution that yields the same kind of closeup, crop job as a telephoto lens. This is due to a technique called "pixel binning," which at its most basic, combines a sensors' pixels. While this method decreases resolution (by a factor of four), it improves the camera's performance in low-light conditions.

The V60 has dual rear cameras.

Angela Lang/CNET

On the back there's also a third time-of-flight camera for AR and depth-sensing applications, like selfie stickers and LG's native 3D photo effect, which is new to the V60. This lets you take portrait pictures with a moving sense of depth -- you may have seen similar photos posted on Facebook. The feature is a bit rough around the edges, though. When I took a photo holding up a peace sign, the depth effect ended up being grayed out and wonky around my fingers and flyaway hair.

You can capture 8K video too, and digitally zoom up to 10x. Keep in mind that Samsung's latest Galaxy S20 phones can also record footage in 8K, and the S20 and S20 Plus has a digital zoom up to 30x. (The S20 Ultra can zoom up to 100x using both digital and optical zoom combined.) On the front is a hole-punch, 10-megapixel camera for all your selfies.

I only had the chance to take a few shots with the camera during my time with it, but so far the images looked great. I particularly liked how the phone handled low light and white balance in these two shots. Even though the lighting was dim and warmly orange in this room, the photos still have a lot of detail, and colors look accurate.

Taking a photo in a rather dim room with the V60.

Lynn La/CNET

The V60's camera did a good job at handling this tricky lighting situation.

Lynn La/CNET

Other LG V60 features and specs 

One standout feature of the V60 is that it has a headphone jack. Unlike most high-end phones available today, the phone still has that beloved audio port so you can plug in your wired headphones. The phone also runs Android 10, has wireless charging, an in-screen fingerprint reader and it's water resistant. For more specs, check out our chart below.

LG V60 vs. Galaxy S20 and Pixel 4 XL


LG V60 ThinQ 5G Samsung Galaxy S20 Google Pixel 4 XL
Display size, resolution 6.8-inch OLED; 2,460x1,080 pixels 6.2-inch AMOLED 6.3-inch OLED; 1,440x3,040 pixels
Pixel density 395ppi 563ppi 537ppi
Dimensions (inches) 6.67 x 3.06 x 0.35 in. 2.72 x 5.97 x 0.311 in. 2.9 x 6.3 x 0.3 in.
Dimensions (millimeters) 169.3 x 77.6 x 8.79 mm 69.1 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm 75.1 x 160.4 x 8.2 mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 7.72 oz.; 218g 5.75 oz.; 163g 6.8 oz.; 193g
Mobile software Android 10 Android 10 Android 10
Camera 64-megapixel (standard), 13-megapixel (wide-angle), time-of-flight camera 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 10-megapixel 10-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video capture 8K 8K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz) 2.84GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Storage 128GB 128GB 64GB, 128GB
RAM 8GB 12GB 6GB
Expandable storage 2TB Up to 1TB No
Battery 5,000 mAh 4,000 mAh 3,700 mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen No
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack Yes No No
Special features 5G enabled; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging, Fast Charging 4.0 5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; water resistant (IP68) Soli motion sensing and touchless gestures; 90Hz display; water resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD) TBA $999 $899 (64GB), $999 (128GB)
Price (GBP) TBA £799, £899 (5G) £829 (64GB), £929 (128GB)
Price (AUD) TBA AU$1,349, AU$1,499 (5G) AU$1,279 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB)