LG V60 ThinQ 5G with Dual Screen: An awfully long name for a phone short on innovation

Update 2/26: LG has provided ballpark pricing for the V60.

You don’t actually need to see the LG V60 ThinQ 5G with Dual Screen to know what it is. Based on our experiences during a recent briefing and hands-on opportunity in New York, the V60 clearly looks like LG’s V50, V40, G8, and G7. It has a few gimmicks and some unnecessary carrier compromises. And it has a headphone jack.

In short, it’s an LG phone. It’s not entirely clear whether it will be the only flagship of 2020 from LG, but if there is a G9 in the works, my guess is that the only difference will be screen size. For better or worse, LG has a formula, and it’s sticking to it. I’m not really sure what, if anything, the ThinQ surname even means at this point, but you won’t find the G8’s 3D face unlock or touche commands, nor the V50’s tailored intelligence services in this iteration.

lg v60 dual screen Ben Patterson/IDG

The Dual Screen’s second display perfectly mirrors the one on the V60 itself, notch and all.

That said, the LG V60 ThinQ 5G is a perfectly fine 2020 phone. With a 6.8-inch screen and more bezel than the Galaxy S20 Ultra has, it’s a bit too big for my tastes, but LG is merely following the big-screen trend line. The Dual Screen case that we first saw on the G8X has some useful features, but it still feels like a very cheap imitation of the Galaxy Fold.

But if you’re looking for an Android phone with premium specs, the V60 checks off most of the boxes. We don’t know yet how much all of those components will cost—one of LG’s irksome carrier capitulations—but it’s certainly ready to go head to head with the S20 on paper:

  • Dimensions: 169.3 x 77.6 x 8.79mm
  • Display: 6.8-inch Full HD OLED
  • Processor: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Rear camera: Dual 64MP, f/1.8, OIS + 13MP Ultra Wide (117 deg), f/1.9
  • Front camera: 10MP, f/1.9
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • OS: Android 10
  • Colors: Classy Blue, Classy White

Those are all perfectly fine specs, though the 1080p 60Hz display will certainly show its inferiority alongside the S20 and upcoming OnePlus 8. LG has lagged somewhat with its smartphone displays, having only recently made the switch to OLED—so the V60 feels a bit behind the times, even with a screen size nearly as big as the 6.9-incher on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

lg v60 full Ben Patterson/IDG

The V60 is the biggest V phone so far.

The same can be said of the design. While the corners are a bit more rounded, the V60 follows the same basic language LG introduced with the G7, and it very much looks like it’s stuck in 2018. The camera cutout at the top of the display is significantly smaller than the G8X’s, but the V60’s sizable top bezel doesn’t do it any favors. The chin is just as large, and the side bezels, while not as big as the top and bottom, are still distractingly thick.

Speaking of thick, the phone is pretty chunky at nearly 8.8mm, though its slight teardrop shape does well to hide it. At 218 grams it’s a bit lighter than the S20 Ultra (222g), though it’s less top-heavy due to the horizontal camera array. When you add the Dual Screen case, however, it tips the scales at nearly 350 grams.

Around the back, LG has ditched the V50’s telephoto camera and brought back the bump, two decisions I’m not all that happy about. The lack of a telephoto lens is particularly head-scratching for a phone in 2020, but I’m more perplexed by the bump. The V50’s most unique design element was its flush, smooth camera array that was completely encased under the glass, so the bump on the V60 feels like a step backward.

lg v60 camera bump Ben Patterson/IDG

The V60 has fewer cameras and a bigger bump than the V50.

I don’t quite understand the decision—it’s not like the phone isn’t thick enough—but such as it is, the V60 has very little to set it apart from other phones in its class. LG says the V60 has “a sleeker quality to it” with “a little more elegance,” but the return to the camera bump says otherwise.

The lack of a telephoto lens aside, the V60 will record in 8K, and LG has beefed up its night mode using AI as well. We didn’t get a chance to test it in the well-lit briefing room, but low-light photography is an area where LG has lagged Apple and Google, so we’re anxious to try the V60 at night.

The second screen tells the story

The V60’s claim to fame, as with the G8X, is its dual-screen accessory. LG still hasn’t committed to going all-in on the case, so it may or may not come with your purchase, a choice that will “depend on the carrier.” In fact, LG won’t be offering an unlocked version of the V60, so whatever bundles are offered will be entirely at the carriers’ discretion.

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