Do we have a good one for you today – the LG V20 goes up against the new ZTE Blade V8 Pro. The LG V20 is made from aircraft grade aluminum and is designed for those that like photography with its dual cameras, as well as those that like good sounds coming through their earphones as it uses four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters) that is a first for a smartphone. The first thing you will spot is a slight difference in their display sizes – the LG V20 has a 5.7-inch LCD Quad HD display while the Blade V8 Pro uses a slightly smaller 5.5-inch LCD Full HD display. Another area that has a huge gap is in the pricing with the LG V20 costing about $670 and the Blade V8 Pro coming in at just $230. We are looking to find out which device offers the best bargain for specifications and performance. Let’s compare what they have in common first and then we will look at each device in more detail to pick the winner in this comparison.
The LG V20 and the ZTE Blade V8 Pro have several things in common. The display on the LG V20 is only 0.2-inches larger, which makes the physical size is very close to the Blade V8 Pro, although the V8 Pro weighs in at 11 grams heavier. The displays use the same LCD technology but different resolutions. They both have a 32GB variant, and both can expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas are identical in that they use dual cameras, but a different setup. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device as well as authorizing mobile payments – however, the LG V20’s is located on the back, and the Blade V8 Pro’s is located on the front. The LG V20 has one speaker and truly beautiful sound with earphones, but the Blade V8 Pro, with one speaker, also has some good sound technology. Both have large, non-removable batteries with rapid charge capabilities. They both come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and both use the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below, and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Many admired the chiseled-out look of the stainless steel LG V10, but the new LG V20 uses an aircraft quality aluminum that has a smoother and more refined look than its predecessor. There is no more silicone backing, but LG fashioned a pair of silicone-like bumpers on the top and bottom of the LG V20. The LG V20 retained the dual display for notifications, although LG increased the brightness of the secondary screen. The LG V20 is looking to find a home for those users interested in experimenting with photography or that demand a great sound through the earphones.
Rather than using a single display with the ‘always-on’ technology, LG designed the V20 with two displays. The primary display is an IPS Quantum Quad HD panel that measures 5.7-inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and results in 513 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The secondary display measures 1040 x 160 pixels with the same density of 513 PPI. The secondary display saves battery life by allowing the primary display to stay off while only the smaller display stays on to feed you notifications. The LG V20 uses a Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores running at 1.6GHz and dual cores running at 2.15GHz. The LG V20 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of faster UFS 2.0 internal storage with room to expand.
The LG V20 went after photo buffs by using a dual camera arrangement that includes a 16MP primary camera and another 8MP wide-angle lens that acts as a secondary camera. For regular shots, the V20 defaults to the 16MP, but when you want to take a shot that needs a wider perspective, the 8MP wide-angle sensor can step in. LG included both laser and phase detection autofocus (PDAF,) added a large f/1.8 aperture on the primary camera and f/2.4 for the secondary 8MP sensor, OIS, and a dual-tone LED flash. The front-facing camera (FFC) uses a single 5MP sensor with a f/1.9 aperture for selfies or video chatting. The LG V20 packs a 3200mAh removable battery that should last you throughout the day – unlike the LG V10, which quickly drained the battery. The user has the option of using Quick Charge 3.0 for a fast charge, or you can just replace it with a new battery.
LG was targeting the Hi-Fi buffs with the V20 and included four DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters), which is a first for a smartphone. The V20 comes equipped with an EQ and left/right balance controls, and is B&O Play certified. This will enhance the sound on a good set of earphones, but it is a shame that all LG did was include one speaker on the bottom of the devices. They should have added dual front-facing speakers to take advantage of the technology. The LG V20 was awarded an MIL-STD-810G certification due to its rugged build. The V20 measures 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm and weighs in at 174 grams and cost about $670. The LG V20 is available in Titan and Silver, and it’s running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.
ZTE Blade V8 Pro
ZTE is known for offering a mid-range smartphone at a bargain price, and the new Blade v8 Pro is another fine example. The Blade V8 Pro is available now in the US, but only through retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Newegg for the sum of only $230. It has a solid metal frame with a plastic back that is made to look like faux leather with a diamond style pattern that offers a firm grip that is comfortable to hold. You will not find a QHD display in this price range, but ZTE was able to squeeze in a dual camera setup with some interesting camera software. ZTE includes a Snapdragon processor, an Adreno GPU, and expandable memory. Let’s see if it has what it takes to stand up to the more expensive LG V20.
The Blade V8 Pro sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD display, which provides it with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels or a respectable 401 PPI. It uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor (MSM8953) clocked at 2GHz and an Adreno 506 GPU to handle the graphics. The processor is designed to use very little battery life while providing an overall good experience. The Blade V8 Pro packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of internal memory that is expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card.
The camera area on the Blade V8 Pro employs an interesting concept that includes dual 13MP primary cameras that have bokeh, monochrome, and monocolor modes. The cameras use PDAF and a dual LED flash that has seven levels of brightness. Those features will allow the user to experiment in B&W or Monocolor photos with some interesting outcomes. The FFC uses an 8MP sensor to capture selfies for social media or to handle a video chat. A 3140mAh non-removable battery powers the device and uses Quick Charge 2.0 for quickly charging the battery. ZTE claims the Blade V8 Pro will last you the entire day on a full charge.
For only $230, the ZTE Blade V8 Pro comes with some nice features. It is available in the US, but it will only work on GSM networks, such as AT&T or T-Mobile. It does have NFC capability and a fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the front so that you can unlock the device, as well as authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. ZTE packed in Hi-Res Dolby audio for listening through the earphones. While it has two grills at the bottom end of the device, only the left one has a speaker – the grill is there, the Hi-Res sound is there, why not include two speakers. The 3.5mm earphone jacket is on the top of the phone. The Blade V8 Pro measures 156 x 77 x 9.1mm and weighs in at a hefty 185 grams. It is available in our favorite color, Black and costs about $230.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
No, I am not out of my mind - I realize the LG V20 is superior in materials and on the processor/GPU side but is it $440 better? Both have a good sized display and both have Hi-Res audio - granted the LG V20 has a better package, but only one speaker - as does the ZTE Blade V8 Pro. It has one extra Gigabyte of RAM, and both can expand their internal memory. Both devices have dual primary cameras and great software for special effects, in particular on the Blade V8 Pro. Both offer a decent sized battery, although the V20 does offer a removable battery for a quick change.
Both devices have their good and bad points - for instance, the LG V20 has only one speaker with that high-end sound system and the Blade V8 Pro can only be used on AT&T or T-Mobile. However, for $440 savings, the Blade V8 Pro is worth considering if you are in the right circumstances.