LG presented two new mid-range smartphones next to its flagship LG G5 at MWC in Barcelona this year. Now we're putting one of those devices, the LG X Screen, to the test. One particularly exciting question is whether the second screen is really a selling point. Come and see how this smartphone performs.
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LG X Screen release date and price
The LG X Screen is already available for purchase from retailers. The prices run around $359. The devices are available in black, pink and white and the prices don't vary between colors. You can get the device from the link below.
LG X Screen design and build quality
The LG X Screen is made of polycarbonate but the edge is made to appear like metal. Its display is 4.93 inches making it seem like a compact smartphone. But the upper part of the device has the special 1.8-inch extra always on display and makes the device a bit longer. Therefore, it cannot be considered a compact device.
At one edge we find a microSD and nano-SIM card slot with the powerbutton. On the other edge there is the volume rocker. The micro-USB port is next to the speaker at the bottom of the device. The capacitive buttons have a good response time.
The 4.93-inch high-definition screen is flat. LG didn't use the slightly bent screen we saw from the LG Spirit. The edges are slightly on the screen which protects it from scratches. However, the feel suffers a bit from this because the edge always remains perceptible.
A typical LG feature is not found on the LG X Screen: the back buttons are gone and set on the side edges to enable a flatter surface. The design of the LG X Screen is minimalistic. The flat back material is reminiscent of the time-honored Optimus G. For visual variety, all of the buttons and ports are integrated within a metal-like strip running around the device.
LG X Screen display
The LG X Screen has a dual screen display. The main display is a 720p 4.93-inch LCD. The pixel density is high enough so that individual pixels are hard to see. However, the round or sloping edges are slightly blurred. This effect disappears only with higher resolution displays.
Disappointingly, the maximum brightness of the LG X Screen display is low. In bright conditions it is always a bit too dark. Also, even when you manually adjust the screen to maximum, the display remains too dark. This is not optimal for viewing a various angles. Even so, there is no color distortion.
LG X Screen special features
The most important feature of the LG X Screen is the second screen, which is located above the main screen. Like with the V10, the second screen is 1.8 inches diagonal with a low resolution of 520 x 80 pixels. On it you can create or display notifications and include your app shortcuts. And you can switch back and forth between the different functions of the second screen.
The secondary display has an always on function. However, the small screen is on standby mode and is weak so it's not possible to view in bright conditions or with odd viewing angles. The quick settings are always on like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, sound and flashlight. These settings are generally not so helpful as they are not used frequently.
Operationally, the additional display provides further functionality. The LG X Screen shows notifications as well and allows configurable app shortcuts or access to contacts. LG allows apps where it will display your own content or control.
It would be more helpful to have a zoom function, which is there but not adjustable. The second screen is really handy when displaying the recently used apps. Up to five recently used apps are up and you can see and switch between them.
LG X Screen software
The LG X Screen uses the same Android 6.0.1 as the G5 with a renewed software interface. It looks more elegant due to the Roboto font, modified symbols and more elegant structure than previous devices. Only 20 apps are pre-installed on the phone. These include a fitness app from LG and the usual Google apps. With less pre-installed apps you have more creative freedom and space.
You can access additional settings for the notifications panel by clicking on the edit button (the pencil) here you have some additional settings like hotspots, battery saver and color inversion. LG also decided to grant access to widgets in another tab where the installed apps are stored.
LG X Screen performance
The built-in LG X Screen quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at a maximum of 1.2 GHz and is designed for certain games and other applications. The focus of the LG X Screen is on enabling chatting, surfing and listening to music without interruptions. The chipset is backed with 2 GB RAM and is adequate for extensive multitasking.
LG has managed to optimize the software insofar as the UI is rarely jerky and usually responds nimbly. Apps launch quickly but the recently used apps open with a delay.
High-performance customers will not be satisfied with a Snapdragon 410. Demanding games are playable but the frame rate is a bit low. But if you're interested in less elaborate games then the device will run smoothly. The benchmarks reflect our experience with the device. Geekbench shows average results for the X Screen.
LG X Screen audio
The built-in LG X Screen mono speaker is located on the bottom right of the micro-USB port. We listened to music on the device and the sound was uninspiring because the sound output is slightly labored. The maximum volume is decent but a little distorted. The mono speaker is not able to provide decent bass. If your finger obscures the speaker hole you can hardly hear the X Screen.
The quality of calls were good in our time with the device. This was true whether we made calls on speaker or not. The X Screen does not support VoLTE.
LG X Screen camera
The LG X Screen has a 13 MP camera with an 8 MP selfie camera. The main camera illuminates dark areas with a simple LED flash.
The camera app can be switched between manual and automatic modes. The automatic mode should be the easy one but indeed the manual mode takes pictures faster. You need to release the button for automatic photos before a picture is taken but with the manual mode you just need to tap the display.
The quality of the photos fits with the price of the device. Outdoors, the X Screen images were solid but lacked an automatic HDR function that could provide uniform illumination of images. The striking difference between the HDR and non-HDR images were in daylight shots.
The detail in our test shots with the main camera were sufficient. In close-ups, fine details are clearly visible. A test shot with a small bunch of flowers had a good structure. The colors were true to real life. But smartphone photography enthusiasts will be unhappy with the X Screen's camera system.
Selfies on the X Screen performed quite well. The camera software provided a filter that could lessen the irregularities in the images. At a minimum, the result is a more realistic shot, as you can see from my test selfies below.
The LG X Screen captures video at a maximum of Full HD resolution and HD is preset. In video mode, the second screen serves as a zoom, which is an interesting feature.
LG X Screen battery
The LG X Screen comes with a 2,300 mAh non-removable battery. This is sufficient enough to get a full day's normal use without a charge. However, a second day without a charge is out of the question.
We tested the battery with a PCMark test. This measures the amount of time it takes a smartphone to decrease in battery level from 80 to 20 percent. The benchmark simulates conventional activities such as surfing, texting and watching videos. The LG X Screen scored 6 hours and 13 minutes. This is a slightly above average result.
LG X Screen technical specifications
|Dimensions:||142.6 x 71.8 x 7.1 mm|
|Battery size:||2300 mAh|
|Screen size:||4.93 in|
|Screen:||1280 x 720 pixels (298 ppi)|
|Front camera:||8 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||13 megapixels|
|Android version:||6.0 - Marshmallow|
|Internal storage:||16 GB|
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 410|
|Number of cores:||4|
|Max. clock speed:||1.2 GHz|
|Connectivity:||HSPA, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1|
The LG X Screen would be a fairly ordinary mid-range smartphone if it weren't for the second screen. The X Screen doesn't perform all that well but the second screen does prove to be useful especially with recently used apps. It's also light-weight and convenient.
Otherwise, the mediocrity of the X Screen is apparent. The display is always a bit too dark and the processing performance is just sufficient. The camera takes good snapshots and the front cam provides ordinary selfies. The battery is decent and lasts a full day without a charge.
There are plenty of alternatives to this device like the Honor 5X or the Moto G 2015. The performance and features of these smartphones are adequate but the prices are lower than $200. With the Lenovo Moto G4 there will be another opponent on the market; albeit more expensive than the last generation.