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LG has always made excellent smartphones, every bit the equal or better to its rivals. The LG Velvet 2020 is every bit the equal too, packing the latest tech in an attractive, thin, very well-made handset.

We have an LG Velvet 2020 to review, but our deep-dive reviews take some time. More importantly, it is the third Qualcomm SD765G based handset we have tested, and preliminary results are impressive.

To segue – the Qualcomm SD765 is a mid-range 5G, sub-6Ghz system on a chip and it is almost as powerful as last years SD855 flagship processor. It allows 5G handsets to come in at under $1000. As such there are over 100 brands/models coming including OPPO Find X2 Neo and Lite (review here 4.9/5), the rest of the BBK family (realme, vivo, OnePlus, IGOO), Xiaomi, TCL, ZTE, and in some markets the Samsung A71.

In all the Qualcomm SD765 is a great platform to build a high-specified, mid-range phone on. And that presents an issue to the LG Velvet 2020. How do you stand out in a ‘red ocean (that is a marketing term for a feeding frenzy of ‘sharks’)?

Let’s have a first look at the LG Velvet 2020 Model LG-G900EM Single Sim

  • Website here
  • Price: $899
  • Warranty: 2-years ACL on phone/battery and 1-year on accessories (requires registration)
  • Country of Manufacture: Vietnam
  • LG (Est 1958) is a South Korean company. It comprises four business units: Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliances & Air Solutions and Vehicle Components.

What is the LG Velvet 2020, and how does it fit in?

LG’s flagship has been its V-series that are exceptional phones with the lot. Just under that are the G-series that are wannabe flagships, often with most of the V-series tech. Then there was the awful ThinQ branding that every journalist learnt at their peril to include in any description – all very corporate.

LG Velvet 2020 is a brand within a brand – a more expressive name that crosses boundaries.

Mr Dan Lim, Managing Director, LG Electronics Australia said,

“We wanted to launch a 5G smartphone that grabs attention and truly stands out in the Australian market. With LG incorporating a design that fits perfectly and feels great in hand, we can appeal to consumers who are looking for something a little different yet has all the features Aussies know and love.”

Basic specs

  • Display: 6.8” 2460×1080, 395ppi, 20.5:9, 60Hz, DCI-P3, P-OLED with a gentle 3D Arc curved edge
  • Soc: Qualcomm SD765G (we have run some quick tests, and it performs as well as the other two SD765Gs)
  • Memory/Storage: 6/128GB and micro-SD to 2TB
  • 4G Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 28, 40
  • 5G Sub-6Ghz n1, n3, n5, n28, n78 (Australia)
  • Single Sim with VoLTE and VoWiFi
  • 167x74x7.85mm x 180g
  • Sound: 3.5mm jack, LG 3D stereo speakers
  • Rear camera: 48+8+5MP, front camera: 16MP
  •  4300mAh 5V/1.8A and 9V/1.8A (16.2) charger. Also, Qi wireless and QC 4.0++ compatible
  • Fingerprint (under the screen), GPS (Dual), NFC (Magstripe and PayWave), Wi-Fi AC, BT 5.1
  • Aurora White or Grey – glass front and back over an aluminium frame
  • Android 10 and LG UX 9

But the specs don’t do it justice as they are pretty similar to every other entrant in this space.

Here is where the LG Velvet 2020 shines.

  • OLED where most will use IPS LCD. Brightness: Typ/Max 400/600nits. Contrast: Infinite. Widevine L1
  • Up to 2TB microSD (most have 256GB to 1TB)
  • IP68 and MIL-STD-810-G – it’s a keeper (and we suspect its Gorilla Glass 5 both sides)
  • LG 3D sound engine and matched top and bottom speaker and 5.6W D-Class Amps plus 3.5mm jack
  • Qi 9W charging – 10-points as well as optional QC4.0+ or USB-C PD 3.0 charge
  • New camera tricks including voice bokeh (video), autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR voice recording), Steady CAM, Night View, 3D AR stickers, 3D Tilting photos and Live Captions
  • Wacom pen compatible 4096 pressure levels and tilt
  • Optional dual-screen

Look for the full review in a couple of weeks.