- Secondary screen
- Smooth performance
- Camera strong in low light
- Main screen fails to impress
- Bettered by rivals
LG X Screen Review: We’ve spent a few days with LG’s new dual-screen smartphone, the LG X Screen, a more budget version of the premium LG V10 which came out last year. Here’s what we think of the LG X Screen, including the cameras, screen, performance, battery life and more.
LG X Screen Review: Design
The LG X Screen sports quite an attractive cut-price design that’s reminiscent of Samsung handsets like the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5. Silver edging gives way to a glossy rear, punctuated by an only-slightly-jutting camera lens. There’s a tiny bit of flex in the X Screen’s frame but it feels quite rugged, although don’t expect any water resistance.
You can’t prise off the back of the X Screen sadly, so there’s no way to access the battery like you can on LG’s flagship G5 phone. Instead, you slip the SIM card and memory card into a rather large drawer on the right edge, accessed with a bundled pin (or handy unfurled paperclip). And unlike many of LG’s other phones, the power and volume buttons aren’t rear mounted; they’re positioned on the sides instead.
The X Screen is quite comfortable to use one-handed thanks to its relatively compact design, although LG also gives you the option of a notifications drop-down button, which can be added to your toolbar at the bottom of the screen. This opens up the notifications bar with a quick tap, saving you from stretching your thumb up to the top of the display.
Check out our LG X Screen unboxing for a closer look.
LG X Screen Review: Screen and media
The biggest selling point of the LG X Screen is the secondary display, a slim panel that sits just above the main 4.93-inch screen. This alternative display has all kinds of uses and for the most part is a worthwhile addition, although it’s not quite perfect.
We’ve already reviewed the LG X Screen’s main display and that funky second panel, so check out our LG X Screen dual-screen analysis to hear more about what that bonus feature can do.
LG X Screen Review: Features and OS
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is pre-installed on the LG X Screen, with LG’s usual tweaks wedged in for good measure. You get the Capture+ tool for sketching on your desktops (particularly useful if you need to make a note during a call), LG’s suite of management tools for keeping the X Screen running smoothly and free of clutters, and so on.
Like the LG G5, the X Screen by default doesn’t have an apps tray like vanilla Android (similar to the iPhone and Huawei’s handsets). Thankfully this is easy to change with LG’s latest UX update, and you can also choose to hide away pre-installed apps that you particularly dislike.
LG X Screen Review: Performance and battery life
The LG X Screen packs in a quad-core ARMv7 processor and after a few days of use, we’ve not had any issues with performance. You can play the latest games at a decent frame rate and other apps run fine. Web browsing is a smooth experience too, thanks to the 4G support, although 5GHz WiFi is not supported.
Battery life is about average for a mid-range mobile. You can make it through a full day of use as long as you don’t go nuts, which sadly put the X Screen well behind rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy J5, which can survive for 48 hours on a charge. If you want to stream video non-stop then you’ll get just under five hours of playback, which is again more or less average.
LG X Screen Review: Cameras
A 13-megapixel camera with LED flash juts every so slughtly from the back of the X Screen, and it’s a perfectly respectable snapper – if you want a more capable camera, we suggest checking out the LG X Cam instead.
That said, the X Screen’s camera captures plenty of detail, impressing when photos are blown up on a big screen TV. Tricky lighting is its kryptonite, with bright areas often oversaturated; high contrast scenes give the lens some problems too, as you’ll see in our statue pic in the below gallery. But for an everyday shooter, it’ll do the job, and it’s surprisingly decent in low light too.
The front-facing 8-megapixel camera also produces crisp photos, but weirdly it seems more intent on focusing on the background rather than your face. Perhaps it was trying to save me from embarassment, to keep my weathered features as blurry as possible. In low light, you can expect very grainy, dark shots.
You can also shoot Full HD video on teh X Screen’s rear camera, with similar issues when it comes to lighting. However, detail levels are again strong and the lens is fast to focus, while some built-in stabilisation helps to cut down on judder when you’re walking and shooting at the same time. Check out our video sample below.
LG X Screen Review: Verdict
If it wasn’t for the LG X Screen’s second display, it would be a pretty bog-standard mid-range mobile. Performance is fine and battery life is about average, while the main 4.93-inch screen is a bit washed out and inferior to rivals like the Galaxy J5. Still, that secondary display is a cool feature that’s genuinely useful; but you’ll really need to want it to choose the X Screen over other handsets.
Many thanks to MobileFun for the X Screen review sample.