We review the LG X Screen’s dual display setup, checking out the main features and any advantages that the second screen offers, as well as any limitations.
Like the V10 before it, the big draw of LG’s X Screen smartphone is that dinky second screen sat directly above the main display. This offers a neat way of constantly displaying information while preserving battery life, as well as shortcuts to your favourite apps and services.
Here’s everything you need to know about the LG X Screen’s mini display, including how to set it up, the best secondary screen features and whether it’s actually any good.
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LG X Screen display review: Specs and quality
The LG X Screen’s main display is a 4.93-inch panel packing a 720×1280 HD resolution, and it’s a perfectly respectable lower-tier panel. Colours are quite muted and viewing angles aren’t fantastic, but it’s bright enough to counter irritating glare and sharp enough to make the most of your high-def videos.
However, the star of the show is that 1.76-inch secondary display above the LG X Screen’s main panel. This narrow strip stretches almost the whole width of the X Screen’s primary display and the two blend seamlessly, although they function completely separately.
The quality of that secondary display is pretty much identical to the main screen. A 520×80 resolution keeps things perfectly sharp again, so your icons and shortcuts look nice and crisp, but viewing angles are once again less than stellar.
LG X Screen display review: What can that X Screen second display do?
While the LG G5 had its always-on screen, which showed any waiting notifications when the phone was hibernating, the LG X Screen uses that second display to do much the same thing. While your X Screen is sleeping, that dinky screen still shows the date and time as well as any messages and other bits that haven’t been looked at yet. This saves you from having to wake the handset for a quick check (which at least can be quickly accomplished with a quick double-tap of the screen).
Information is displayed as white on black, so that screen drains very little power when the phone isn’t in use. In fact, if the X Screen is tucked away inside a pocket or bag, the second screen is automatically deactivated to conserve energy.
That’s not the end of the second screen’s functionality, however. Swipe left or right and you’ll bring up a selection of your preferred toggles and shortcuts (including quick camera access and WiFi) and media controls (with support for third-party apps like Napster and Spotify), which work perfectly without powering up the main screen.
When you actually wake up the X Screen and start to use it, the mini display continues to prove its worth. You can customise exactly what shortcuts and other info pops up when you swipe through the menus, including favourite contacts, app shortcuts, your next calendar entry and so on.
Messages and incoming calls also flash up in that window when you’re busy with other apps, so they don’t invade the main screen and fully disturb you. It’s a neat touch that’s much appreciated, especially when you’re playing a game.
LG X Screen display review: Shortcomings
Although it’s a useful and undeniably funky feature, the X Screen’s second display isn’t quite perfect.
When your phone is hibernating, it’s handy having the time and notification alerts available at a quick glance. However, while the G5’s Always On read-out was easy to see at a quick glance, thanks to the large, bold text, you’ll need to hover your face quite close to the X Screen’s dinky second display to see what’s on offer. A matter that’s not helped by the ropey viewing angles.
Quite often I found myself picking up or moving the X Screen to check on that dinky display, which almost tramples on the whole point of it.
There’s also no way to set airplane mode as one of the shortcut toggles, which is a real shame. We find ourselves using that feature a lot when heading into meetings or the studio, so a means of setting it in just a second or so without waking the phone would have been appreciated. It’s no biggie, but it’s still mildly annoying.
Check out our full LG X Screen review.