(By Anuj Sharma)
LG Electronics is known for trying out fresh and innovative ideas with its smartphones to make them stand out in the crowd. Its flagship Rs 52,990 G5 -- touted as the world's first modular smartphone featuring a "slide-out" battery design and dual rear cameras -- is an apt example.
This time, LG has done magic in the front display and introduced a new secondary screen on top of the main screen in its mid-range offering -- X Screen -- to ease user interaction.
The Rs 12,990 X Screen is also equipped with a panic button in line with the Indian government's initiative.
The smartphone goes head to head with Moto G4 and LeEco Le 2 devices in the mid-range segment.
What works for the device?
The plain-looking device comes with specifications that you will expect from a mid-range smartphone. The back is covered by crystal-clear glass-fibre material.
The smartphone features 4.93-inch display along with a 1.76-inch HD In-cell touch display which LG calls "second screen".
The second screen's "Always-on Display" allows users to check basic information such as time, date and notifications without having to wake up the phone. It shows the last four apps used on top right corner of the primary screen, along with a facility to receive calls without interrupting the main display.
Just tap between the apps and it opens them instantly, making multi-tasking easy.
You can also include your signature in the second screen wherein you can express yourself in the signature bar with your name or motivational phrases -- including your word of the day.
With Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 2GB of RAM and running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, LG X Screen matches all expectations when it comes to performance (even giving you a feeling of holding a high-end device).
The internal memory is 16GB of which 10.7GB is available to user. If you store more videos, pictures or watch a lot of movies on the go, 10.7GB might be less for you.
However, you can expand the memory by up to 128GB via micro-SD card which will give you ample amount of storage for multimedia content, games and more.
LeEco Le 2 device, on the other hand, gives you 32GB of on-board storage.
The 13MP rear camera captures superb shots with rich colours in bright-light conditions. We achieved best-quality images outdoors or indoors with ample light.
LG has packed some add-on features into camera app. With Quick Share, you can directly share your captured videos and photos on to your social media account.
As soon as you are finished with the shot, a small icon will appear that will allow you to share your captured moment.
The 8MP front camera captured better selfies than Moto G4. With Auto Shot, you can take selfies with front camera using face detection.
When your face is detected, a white indicator appears and, as it turns blue, you need to hold still and the shot is taken automatically.
This cuts the risk of the device from falling to the ground as otherwise, you have to hold and click picture simultaneously either by pressing volume button or tapping onto the screen.
The 2,300mAh battery gave enough juice to fuel apps for one day on a moderate-to-heavy usage.
What does not work?
LG going with 720p display in its X Screen does disappoint. Full-HD screen would have been appreciated as smartphones that are priced lower than X Screen carry one.
The camera protrudes slightly out from the back panel so it may get scratches when kept on rough surface.
Expect drop in quality in low-light photography.
Conclusion: If you want to make most of your money, LG X Screen is the device that will not disappoint. With a secondary screen, good performance and a satisfying camera, it holds a respectable place in the mid-price range devices.
(Anuj Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)