The LG Velvet is a solid, but not exciting, Android phone

Words by Terence Mentor aka AfroDaddy

I recently had the opportunity to give the LG Velvet a proper test – as in, I used it as my daily driver for more than two weeks, which was more than enough time to get a really get feel for this phone’s quirks.

So let’s start with the obvious, stand out feature: the dual-screen. This phone has, as an accessory, a second screen that is housed in the kind of phone case your mom uses to protect her phone – the one that opens like a book. At first, I thought that it would simply be a case of sliding the Velvet into the case, and we’d be in dual screen mode – but unfortunately, you have to activate it, which is surprisingly difficult due to the location of the button on the curved display.

Once you have activated it, and figured out which apps actually make use of the second screen, you might need to charge the phone (since the second screen is powered by the Velvet’s battery) which requires a small, easy to lose, magnetic adapter. 

Or you might decide to remove the phone from the second screen, but it fits so snugly in there that feels like you might break the entire case popping it out.

In short…I was not a fan of the dual screen, but if you really feel like you want one without having to sell your car to afford it (~cough~ Samsung ~cough ~) then this is a good place to start.

Pretty much everything else about this phone is, well, fine. It is definitely longer and narrower than what you might be used to, but not so much that it is impossible to reach most of the screen one-handed. What really does cause an issue is how smooth the phone is. I constantly felt like it was on the verge of slipping out of my hand, due to the smooth curves on the back and the curved display on the front.

Speaking of the curved display – I generally have a dislike of them and this phone proves why. Since it has to have stronger resistance to accidental touches from your hand as you reach across it, it struggles to register touches on the edge when you do mean to do it. 

However, once you get over the ergonomics, the LG Velvet really does become a good phone. It has a decent processor, combined with 6GB ram, to make it feel snappy. There’s very little lag when loading even big apps, and videos played smoothly. I didn’t really notice anything about the operating system – which is a sign that it’s doing its job well.

The under screen fingerprint sensor registered my finger consistently, and though it may not be the fastest unlock, it was not so slow as to be annoying

The camera is simply what you would expect at this price point. If you take a bit of time, and have some skill, you should be able to get some decent photos out of it. The camera app did take some getting used to and didn’t seem to work as smoothly as the rest of the phone – so don’t expect this to replace your primary or even secondary shooter any time soon.

Overall, the LG Velvet is a solid smartphone with a dual-screen ability that is vaguely useful but considering its price (R12000, depending on where you get it from), I would definitely recommend it, especially for someone looking for a great, mid-tier phone.