Keeps on ticking:LG X Screen quick review


Aways-on displays have been around for a while now. While Samsung, LG and Microsoft have employed the technology – that essentially allows users to view specific information on their smartphones without actually waking them up – in their top-tier offerings, Motorola has ensured buyers can get acquainted with this tech without burning a hole in their pockets. LG shares the spotlight over the adoption of an always-on display with Samsung, Microsoft and Motorola in the modern era; but there’s one thing where LG can proudly say, “hey, we got their first” …the introduction of a second screen altogether. (Well, not really. Samsung was there first with a phone called Continuum. But that was a long time ago, really. And, frankly speaking, it was bare-bones. Still ahead of its time though.) LG did this with the V10 back in October last year. That phone was mighty expensive, and also it had limited availability. The V10, sadly, never made it to India.Eight months hence, the company has launched the X Screen in the contry, its X-factor – any guesses – being its secondary ticker screen. It’s like the V10, alright, only that it has been shrunk down to match its relatively affordable Rs 12,990 price tag.The highlight of LG’s X Screen phone is its secondary ticker display that sits comfortably atop the main display, much like it is on the V10. The secondary ticker screen gives users quick access to time, date, battery level, and notifications even while the screen is in sleep mode. Quite obviously then, the secondary ticker display of the LG X Screen can stay always-on at all instances. It can be turned off at users’ will should they find it too gimmicky for their liking.he X Screen’s ‘second’ screen can show selected content depending on the main screen, which means it will show different content depending on whether the ‘main’ screen is on or off. When the screen is powered down, it works just like any other always-on display, showing date, time and pre-fed text (or signature) along with important incoming notifications. In ddition, swiping left brings up handy tools like camera, flashlight, Wi-Fi toggle and SOS. At the same time, there’s a whole lot of other things that you can do when the main screen is on. The second ticker screen gives you quick access to your recent apps, calendar reminders, contacts and settings tools when the screen is on. Also, it lets you manually add specific app shortcuts which can then be quickly accessed without having you to search for them on your home screen. The X Screen’s ‘second’ screen can show selected content depending on the main screen, which means it will show different content depending on whether the ‘main’ screen is on or off The X Screen’s always-on ticker screen can be very handy, either when you’re too busy or too lazy to power up the phone. Everything you need is right there, and you don’t even have to power up your phone. Unless, you want to do something about it. Then again, this is an LG phone that costs just Rs 12,990. Corners have been cut. For one, the secondary screen stans at just 1.76-inch and offers a resolution of 80×520 pixels. For your reference, the secondary display on the V10 is a 2.1-inch IPS Quantum one with a 160×1040 pixels resolution. The ticker screen of the X Screen is ridiculously dim, especially when the screen is set to off. The LG G5’s always-on display is also dim. But, the always-on screen of the X Screen looks anaemic in comparison. Things get brighter (obviously) when the screen is on, but the dimness of the screen (in powered down mode) kind of negates the whole point of having the feature.Now that we have all the gimmickry out of the way, let’s talk a bit about the design. The LG X Screen looks like a Xolo phone built by Samsung. Xolo in terms of materials used, and Samsung well, in terms of design scheme. LG has employed glass fibre in its construction – its higher resistance to impact keeps its glass-like aesthetics in great condition, it says – but there’s no additional protective covering (Corning, Dragontrail and the likes) on-board, a company reprsentative told me. The outer frame meanwhile is plastic with chrome finish. LG’s choice of build materials does not spark confidence, but the phone earns brownie points elsewhere. The X Screen has to be the most compact and easily the most pocketable phone at its price point. The thing weighs just 120 grams and measures just 7.1mm. It’s like it’s not even there while you’re holding it. And no, it isn’t slippery. Fingerprint magnet, yes.The X Screen has a 4.93-inch HD IPS primary display with a 720×1280 pixels resolution. HD resolution on an under 5-inch screen works well for LG’s phone.The phone is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor coupled with Adreno 306 GPU and 2GB of RAM and 16GB (just under 10GB available) of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 2TB via microSD card slot. The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based UX user interface. The X Screen certainly doesn’t accredit hardware bragging rights, in fact, it appears grossly underpowered when you look at rival phones from Xiaomi and LeEco. But remember, the Snapdragon 410 is no slouch (also, it has no overheating issues) and LG’s software is miles ahead of what Xiaomi and LeEco have to offer. As for Moto phones in and around this price range, well, they still hold an edge courtesy their near-stock Android experience. We will have more to say on the X Screen’s performance in day to day usage scenarios in our full review.  The phone supports dualSIM (via hybrid SIM slot) and 4G LTE connectivity.It sports a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture, autofocus and LED flash. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel camera with screen flash. The X Screen’s rear camera clicked some good photos in tricky light situations with good detail and some noise in our brief usage. The rear sensor was quick to focus, but each shot was accompanied by noticeable shutter lag. LG’s choice of build materials does not spark confidence, but the phone earns brownie points elsewhere. The X Screen has to be the most compact and easily the most pocketable phone at its price point. he phone is backed by a 2,300mAh battery which is non-removable. While a 2,300mAh battery would seem small on paper, remember, the X Screen has a 4.93-inch HD screen and a humble Snapdragon 410 CPU inside – relatively easier to manage. Then again, a bigger battery is always worth a shot, especially when the phone doesn’t support fast charging.LG’s new X Screen isn’t a remarkable phone. Some would say it’s mediocre especially amid the crowd of Chinese counterparts. And it is, for the most part. Some would say, it’s expensive. But seriously this is an LG phone, so a bit of premium is worth paying. Question is, would someone want to invest in a mediocre phone, even if it’s coming from a brand like LG? The second ticker screen is fun, and handy. But at the end of the day, it would be just another gimmick for someone who’s out in the market looking to buy a phone at around Rs 10,000. The LG X Screen wouldn’t necessarily appeal to that audience. The Moto G4 will. The Samsung Galaxy J2 2016, maybe. The Honor 5C, perhaps. In case hardware bragging rights is what they are looking at, it certainly doesn’t get better than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and the LeEco Le 2. The LG X Screen, in such a case, would be the odd man out.

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