“The LG X screen brings the secondary ticker display of the V10 to the mid-range segment. Here’s a first look”
LG has been steadily pushing out mid-range smartphones over the years, but none of them have really made an impact on the market. In fact, in the face of stiff competition from Chinese companies, it’s been hard to recommend anything from LG’s mid-range stable. Which is probably why the company decided to refresh this segment with a new X series of devices. Introduced earlier this month, the first two devices in this range include the LG X cam (first impressions) and X screen, and each bring one feature of a flagship LG device on a budget. While the X cam offers the dual camera setup of the LG G5 (first impressions), the X screen features the secondary ticker display introduced with the LG V10 (first impressions). Among the two devices, the X cam is the more premium of the two, with a full aluminium body, full HD display and octa-core processor, but the X screen isn’t too bad off either.
At MWC 2016, we had a chance to check out both devices at LG’s booth, and here’s our first impressions of the latter.
Just like the LG V10, the X screen’s secondary display lies above the main display. While the former is a 1.76-inch LCD with a resolution of 520 x 80 pixels, the latter is a 4.93-inch unit with HD resolution. The secondary display sits just above the main display, so it’s not obtrusive to regular usage. When the screen is turned on, you’ll be able to use it to access frequently used apps, control music playback and even answer calls, all without interrupting the current activity on the main screen. The ticker display is always on, so you’ll additionally be able to check time, date, battery status and notifications from the lockscreen. You can cycle through the various options on the ticker screen by swiping to the left or the right. It’s an interesting usage of a second display, and we have to say, one that seems very useful for quickly accessing apps and viewing notifications.
The front of the X screen is standard fare otherwise, with the earpiece and sensors on the top bezel, and the front 8MP camera placed on the left corner of the secondary display. You get onscreen navigation controls, which leaves the bezel below the screen featuring just LG branding. The X screen is a slim smartphone, measuring 7.1mm around the waist, and it sports a brushed metal frame. The right spine is where you’ll find an ejectable tray that holds the SIM and microSD card slot, along with the power button. The volume rocker has been moved over to the left, while the bottom is packed with the micro-USB port, 3.5mm audio jack, loudspeaker grill and primary microphone.
The rear of the smartphone is made of glass, and the black finish is very similar to what we’ve seen on the OnePlus X. We’re not a fan of glass back panels, owing to their slippery nature and tendency to pick up smudges. The one on the X screen is no different, and we suspect you’ll need a case for protection. Adorning the rear you’ll find the primary 13MP camera, LED flash and more LG branding.
The LG X screen is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core chipset (unspecified), mated to 2GB of RAM. You get 16GB of expandable storage, and a 2,300mAh battery for fuel. The smartphone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, layered with LG’s proprietary UI. The smartphone supports NFC and LTE, along with other standard connectivity options. We don’t have the pricing of the X screen yet, but we do know that the smartphone will go on sale in select markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America in March. We’ll bring you more updates on this smartphone when we have them.