The LG V20: you might ask why someone who claims to be a power user is using a 3+ yr old phone. In this review, I will tell you why.
7/27/20 I have moved on. Unfortunately, I haven’t kept this guide up to date for the past few months life has been very hectic. I have recently moved To a Redmi Note 9 Pro as my daily driver, mainly due to the overheating of my V20.I still use my V20’s as my main media consumption device but haven’t put very much time into modding it as of late. I would like to thank this great community and apologize if I offended anyone during my stay. I’m also sorry that this article has become so convoluted over time if I can clarify or help in any way feel free to dm me or email me [email protected]
FYI STAY ON NOUGAT AS OF 3/31/20
CHECK OUT SECOND SCREEN STATUS BAR.
Why The V20
After finding the LG g5 to be a pretty terrible phone compared to its competitors, I was looking for a replacement. I had, what would seem to be, a pretty reasonable list of stuff I wanted in a phone.
- Headphone Jack
- Removable Battery
- OLED Screen
- High-End SOC
- USB C
- Non-Curved Screen
The funny thing was that the Samsung Galaxy S5 fulfilled all these requirements (except for USB C, which wasnt around yet) including waterproofing. All phones after the S5 come only with 6 of the 7 requirements listed. But, I digress.
So I bought the v20 for 185 USD and then got a case and two batteries for a grand total of 215 USD.
Before I even get started into the specifics of this phone please keep in mind you have to root this phone. This phone without root is mediocre at best, though with root it is my ideal phone. Hundreds of hours and one bricked phone later, I’m gonna try to advise you on the best way to set up this phone, but remember, this is a tinkerer’s phone, not a set it and forget it. Sorta like iOS is to Android, this is to a more mainstream S7 etc.
Let’s go through the main hardware with a quick overview of each point.
The first thing you’ll notice when you play with this phone is the screens. Yes, that notch in the top right corner isn’t a notch in the typical sense. This phone has two separate LCD panels. There is the main 5.7-inch panel and a secondary ticker display in which different things can be put up, (even a status bar). The notch has the front-facing camera and proximity sensors.
After that you will see a headphone jack which has a separate Hi-Fi DAC, including a high impedance mode which on stock enables automatically, if necessary. (With root you can force it).
USB Type C
On the rear side of the phone, you have a dual-camera setup which is great when shot in manual and great in Auto with Gcam. (Stock auto is terrible!)
There is also a dual flash setup which also gives you a flashlight that is way brighter than other phones.
The backing of this phone is the thin, yet super strong (5000 aircraft grade aluminum )backing which allows a removable battery. You will also find your sim and MicroSD card slot near the battery.
So how does this phone actually feel? Quite honestly, build is fine and the metal-based phone is super refreshing. I don’t like phones with glass on both sides. IMO glass is the dumbest material to put on the back of a phone as it’s super prone to shatter. Putting it on the other half as well would just give me more to worry about. You may ask how thin this phone is, but it doesn’t really matter. You’re putting it into a case! Who are you kidding??!! It is thin enough!
Lg’s current design of putting the power and fingerprint reader in one button is my favorite feature. Yes, the downside of having to pick up your phone to fingerprint unlock is a drag but having it on the back is so much more natural, not to mention, a real space saver. The other complaint I see is that you now also have to pick up your phone to turn it on to see notifications etc. That’s completely negated by phones such as this one, with the always-on displays, because the second screen or double tap to wake which this has stock without root. That’s why I believe it to be the best way to do power buttons and fingerprint readers
The volume buttons are metal rocker design and feel great.
The phone is large and unwieldy being that it’s using a regular 16:9 aspect ratio but you should be aware of that before getting into this.
The camera glass is prone to shattering and is probably the weakest part, in terms of durability. Luckily, it’s cheap and super simple to replace so its a non-issue in my opinion. Here is a link for it on Amazon.
Before you start, I recommend you first do a test to see if you need to do the hardware thermal paste mod using this You should be getting somewhere around 75,000 average, after ten minutes. Please do this in airplane mode. If not, then repaste.
In case you don’t know, thermal paste is the toothpaste- like concoction that you put in between the CPU and the heat sink of any computer. The better the compound is as well as the manner in which it is applied, the more efficiently the heat will transfer from the processor. This will enhance the clock speed of the processor and sustain it for a longer period of time, which ultimately leads to better performance.
LG’s stock thermal paste application is usually terrible, so what you want to do is test out the phone for thermal throttling by using this app. If your phone has a range like this you want to replace the thermal paste. Most people are recommending a pad like this (which is .5 mm) and just watching a youtube video.
Please note Stock Rom Software Mods not Los or Aosp
I’m personally sticking with stock-based ROMs, although people have had good experiences with using Los and resurrection remix. I urge you to go look at those forums. It seems like performance and battery are slightly better but the overall experience is much better with a stock rom.
(The reason why stock rom is a better experience is because all the features work properly. Stock camera, Dac,second screen etc. These vary in support on Los.)
So Roms, it’s pretty simple to root your phone with Dirty Santa or Laf depending on your phone. Be sure to use the latest stock-based
oreo Nougat rom for your phone from XDA. OREO IS NO LONGER RECOMMENDED SEE HERE And the MK BTTF OC kernel.
Upon further review, all variants perform similarly
I would like to mention that for myself on the h910 which is the att variant, the kernel seems to have a lot fewer performance issues than other models. You should note that even on the h910 there is some scrolling lag. I haven’t had an issue with it especially since in general I don’t find androids scrolling animation of performance to be on par with either Windows or iOS. So it’s a good thing to keep in mind all of my reviews is based on the h910 and for some reason, LG’s variants have a lot of performance variations. Again YMMV since I don’t have another variant to test with. I recommend this modded version of the main stock based kernel which is mk2000. It is based on his latest version with some improvements.
After you have your rom installed, here are the mods you should use.
In a kernel manager of your choice set the colors to one of these.
In Developer Options
Turn OFF automatic system updates
Force GPU on 2d
Force allow resizing apps