12 tips and tricks to get the most from your LG V20

It's a big phone with a big list of features.

lg v20 tips primary

LG's big phone is chock full of features to exploit

The V20 is LG’s attempt to move past the disappointing sales of its modular G5 flagship smartphone. The V20 doesn’t have the module “chins” from the G5, but it does inherit the dual-lens camera and improved LCD. It also has the neat second display like 2015’s V10. It’s a phone overflowing with features, but you need to know where they all are and which ones are worth your time. These tips are a good place to start.

lg v20 tips knock prints

Set Knock Code and fingerprints

The LG V20 has two neat ways to wake up and unlock the phone. You can use the rear-facing fingerprint sensor, or you can just tap on the screen a few times. The latter is exclusive to LG’s phones and it’s called Knock Code. If you want to use Knock Code, find the Lock Screen menu in settings. You’ll be asked to create a pattern of taps covering at least three of four quadrants of the screen. Then, you can use that same pattern of taps to wake up and unlock the phone in one step.

In addition to Knock Code, you can have fingerprint scanning enabled. You can add prints in the same Lock Screen menu after verifying with your Knock Code. This way, you can easily unlock your phone when you’re holding it (tap the sensor on the back) or if it’s on a table (enter Knock Code).

lg v20 tips second screen

Tweak second screen features

One of the V20’s defining features is the second screen above the main one. This small ticker can show app shortcuts, notifications, and more. You should probably make some tweaks, though. By default, it shows a “signature” most of the time. If you need help remembering your name, maybe that’s good enough for you. For everyone else, head into the Display settings and tap Second Screen.

You can change the settings for what is displayed when the main display is on and off. Date and time is handy when the screen is off, and the quick tools are always just a swipe away. When the display is on, you can have multiple toolbars accessible like custom app shortcuts, recent apps, music controls, and contacts. Take a few minutes to try them various options out.

lg v20 tips nav buttons

Customize Navigation buttons

LG uses the standard Android arrangement of back, home, and overview buttons at the bottom of the screen. If you want to change it up a little, head into the Display settings and select the Home Touch Buttons item to make some changes. You can switch the order of buttons, the color, and add a fourth button if you like. There are only a few options for that fourth slot, but the notification pane toggle can be handy on such a large phone. The navigation buttons can also be hidden when using certain apps (swipe up to access them).

lg v20 tips app drawer

Resurrect the app drawer

LG’s default home screen doesn’t have an app drawer, which is terrible. You’ll drive yourself mad looking for apps unless you make a change. Go to General > Apps > Menu > Configure apps. On that screen is the option to change your home screen. LG includes a “Home and app drawer” option on the device. Since you have to change this anyway, you might also consider trying a third-party home screen like Google Now Launcher or Nova. At the very least, turn the app drawer back on.

lg v20 tips quick settings

Customize Quick Settings

LG has adopted the standard Nougat quick settings setup on the V20, but it’s skinned to match LG’s theme. Still, you can edit the assortment of toggles just like you can on Nexus and Pixel phones. Tap the edit button at the bottom of the quick settings panel and drag unwanted buttons to the bottom section. Also make sure you put your most-used toggles into one of the first five slots. Those will be visible at the top of the notification pane without expanding quick settings.

lg v20 tips display size

Adjust the Display Size

The LG V20 has a huge 5.7-inch display, but the home screen icons, text, and buttons are all rather large. Unless you’ve got vision problems, you should make the UI more dense. You’ll find this setting buried under Display > More > Display size. Drag the slider to the left to get smaller icons and denser text—it’s essentially a DPI adjustment. You will be able to fit more text, icons, and anything else on the screen. Third-party home screens will also get a larger 5x5 grid this way.

lg v20 tips comfort view

Ease your eyes with Comfort View

Color accuracy is an important aspect of your smartphone display, but sometimes you might want it to be a little less accurate. Research has indicated that the normal level of blue light emitted from a smartphone display can have a negative impact on your sleep patterns if viewed in the evening.

LG is one of the device makers offering a blue light filter on phones, which it calls Comfort View. The settings for this feature can be accessed in the Display menu. You have the choice of black and white mode and three levels of red-shifted colors. One of the red-shifted options is probably your best bet. Comfort View can be enabled in the system settings or via quick settings.

lg v20 tips power saving

Extend your battery with power saving modes

The V20 has a slightly larger battery than LG has used in most of its recent phones, but you never know when you’re going to be away from a charger for an extended period of time. So, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the V20’s power saving settings. Go to Settings > General > battery & power saving. There are two power saving modes—game battery saver is enabled by default. This setting lowers the rendering resolution and framerate in games. You can make it less aggressive or tweak the optimization individually for each game. You can also just turn it off, but it doesn’t seem to cause any noticeable performance degradation.

The general Battery Saver is off by default and will flip on automatically at 15% remaining in the tank. You can change this level to 5% if you want, and also set the second screen to turn off in Battery Saver. This is probably a good idea. Battery saver can be turned on at any time from the settings menu or quick settings.

lg v20 tips smart settings

Go over the Smart Settings

Keeping your phone running in tip-top shape can involve a lot of diving into the settings. Luckily, LG Smart Settings can automate some of that. You’ll find Smart Settings in the General settings tab. These are triggers that can change settings based on where you are and the phone’s state.  Be aware, you need to enable the My Location service to use Smart Settings, which is in the main Location menu. Not the smartest setup process for Smart Settings, LG.

Once you’ve added your home location, you can create settings profiles for home and away that include WiFi, sound profile, and Bluetooth. There are also triggers for connecting to Bluetooth and plugging in headphones. So, you could have your music player automatically open when headphones are plugged in or launch Google Maps when the phone connects to your in-car Bluetooth.

lg v20 tips dac

Tune audio with Quad DAC settings

The V20 is an audiophile’s dream with a 32-bit HiFi digital analog converter (DAC). That means you can get extremely high-quality sound over the 3.5mm headphone jack, assuming you’ve got good enough cans (and ears) to hear it. When you have headphones connected, check your quick settings for the HiFi Quad DAC toggle. Turn it on and you’ll hear the difference. It uses a little more power, but the audio does sound richer with HiFi enabled. The system settings also includes an option to change the left-right audio balance when the HiFi is enabled.

lg v20 tips split screen

Get more done with Split Screen apps

LG ditched its split-screen app implementation in marshmallow when the G5 was launched, anticipating it would simply implement Google’s split-screen mode in Nougat. The V20 has the stock Android version of split-screen multitasking, which is a relief. LG’s version was always clunky and had poor app support. Most apps will work with split-screen mode on the V20 now. To open an app in split screen, simply long-press the overview button. You’ll get a list of recent apps to choose which app to open in the other half, or you can press the home button to find a different one. When you’re done with split-screen mode, drag the divider all the way to one end of the display. 

lg v20 tips mini mode

Try Mini Mode for one-handed use

The V20 is a big phone, so big that sometimes reaching to top corner of the screen can be nigh impossible. You should make sure Mini Mode is enabled in case you need to use the phone with one hand. It’s kind of hidden, though. You need to go into Settings > Display > More, and toggle on Mini View.

To shrink the display swipe across the navigation bar in the direction you want the screen to be justified. So, if you want the Mini Mode window in the lower right, swipe left to right across the nav bar. You can change the size of the shrunken window with the handle in the upper corner, drag it around using the top bar, and hit the ‘X’ to return to full screen mode.