How often do we wake up our phones just to check time or notifications? Too often, it seems. After a series of innovative features — rear volume controllers and its first commercial modular smartphone — LG has released its 'X Screen', a phone that features a secondary screen that promises to make your time-check habits more instinctive.
We find out where the Rs 12,990 phone stands in the already heated affordable-smartphone market.
First thing one notices about the X Screen is its weight. At 120 grams, it feels extremely light and, thanks to its thin design and rounded edges, it is also equally comfortable to hold. What adds to the overall appearance of the phone is its glass-fibre design that makes it look neat and sharp.
Highlight of this phone are its two displays. The primary display of the phone measures 4.93 inches while the second display, which sits on top of the standard display, is a thin strip measuring 1.76 inches.
The concept of second screen is not exclusive to X Screen, LG had first introduced the feature on its V10 smartphone which is yet to hit the Indian market. However, with the X Screen, the dual-screen functionality makes its entry into the sub-Rs 15K segment.
The purpose of putting a second, always-on display is to avoid unnecessarily waking up the device just to check time, notification, or control the music player.
The second display is customisable and one can choose what shows on the display even as the main display stays locked. From app shortcuts to a personalised phrase, a user can decide what stays visible on the secondary screen all the time.
On the regular display or the primary display front, the 4.93-inch HD display on the LG X Screen is both bright and responsive, which means a decent visual experience while watching videos.
In terms of battery backup, the 2300mAh battery survives an average day if you are not a heavy gamer or video consumer. The phone is 4G compatible and runs the latest Google Android Marshmallow with LG’s own UI 5.0 layered on top. The Marshmallow OS gives you all the latest features such as app permissions and more privacy while the custom Android skin by LG is non-intrusive.
What’s Not So Cool
The phone's processor is decent enough to handle everyday tasks. The 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad core processor and 2GB RAM in LG X Screen is lower if pitted against the similarly priced LeEco Le 2, Lenovo ZUK Z1, or Redmi Note 3 which come with faster processors and more RAM.
The LG X Screen comes with a hybrid slot to insert either a second SIM or memory card to expand its 16GB (10.7GB user available) internal storage.
The speaker on the phone is decent enough for just a small, closed setting. Even when played at full blast, the audio output remains low.
The phone comes with a 13 megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel front camera. The rear camera is supported by flash while the front screen doubles up as a flash while clicking selfies. But the quality of the output is disappointing. There are no camera customisation options before the shot is taken. There are editing options available for post capture but there are just a handful of them.
The LG X Screen lacks any of the newer features like a USB Type-C or fingerprint sensor, and attempts to bank heavily on just the ‘dual-screen’ feature. With the hybrid slot, the entire purpose of offering a 'dual-SIM' phone is defeated. Other than a decent design and the freedom to check time or notification without having to unlock or wake up the device, there is nothing truly impressive about this phone. In the sub-Rs 15K range, you have plenty of options like the newest Motorola Moto G4 Plus that comes with a front fingerprint sensor or LeEco Le 2 that features the unconventional USB Type-C based headpone jack.