LG Velvet 5G

Cool factor 5/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 3½/5

LG opted for a different approach with its new Velvet. Gone is the naming convention from the previous G8 ThinQ. This is the best-looking phone from the company in years.

The Velvet has a sleek design, with curved edges; there is no huge camera bump, as is the norm these days, and it has 5G support.

It features a 6.8-inch OLED screen that is powered by a not-so-new Snapdragon 765G chipset, which has an integrated 5G modem, unlike a newer chip. This processor is what allows the phone to be so slim.

It has 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage — expandable up to 2TB — and a 4,300mAh battery. It retains a 3.5mm audio jack and has a USB-C port and a dedicated button for Google Assistant that cannot be remapped.

The Velvet comes with LG’s Dual Screen accessory, a 6.8-inch screen with a 2.1-inch front mono display for notifications. This adds a significant amount of bulk, so it’s best to remove it when it’s not needed.

The full HD display is well suited for consuming multimedia content.

The second screen is great for multitasking, allowing you to run two apps together, turn it into a gamepad for gaming or choose a specific app to run upon launch.

Even with the dual screen, battery life is excellent and a charge lasts a full day.

LG’s 3D Sound Engine makes audio noticeably better; however, the Velvet does not have LG’s usual Quad DAC setting, which allowed for high-quality audio through connected earphones or headsets.

The Velvet is equipped with triple rear cameras; all sit flush except the main 48MP shooter, which is slightly raised. It has an 8MP wide-angle lens with a 120º field of view and a 5MP depth camera. It shoots 4K videos.

The quality of photos is decent, but cannot be compared with premium flagships.

The 16MP selfie cam is excellent with HDR turned on. It is triggered with hand gestures while propped at a distance, which beats asking a stranger to take photos of you.

The LG Velvet is an ambitious phone that brings 5G support in a slim design with excellent battery life but lacks 2020 features such as a higher screen refresh rate and facial unlocking.

It is priced at R11,799 on Vodacom, and the Dual Screen accessory costs R4,299.

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