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LG X Cam review hands on - Are two cameras better than one?

Michael Passingham
23 Feb 2016
LG X Cam cameras
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With dual cameras and a Full HD screen, the LG X Cam could set the mid-range standard

LG's push for the mid range continues, with its new X Screen and X Cam phones attempting to differentiate themselves from what is a fairly cookie-cutter portion of the market. LG says that it's trying to elevate one part of each of its phones to premium status, and as the name X Cam suggests, it's the camera that gets the premium treatment this time around.

Or, I should say, cameras. Like the LG G5, the X Cam comes with dual cameras at the rear. The standard camera has a 13 megapixel sensor, but then there's a 5-megapixel, wide-angle snapper as well. The latter results in some fairly neat looking wide-angle shots that work particularly well in more cramped situations, like in a bar or on a historic city street. You can switch back to the conventional single 13MP camera by hitting a button that's constantly displayed in the camera app, so you can pick a shooting mode to suit the situation.

Without exception I found the pictures I took in the wide-angle mode significantly nicer to look at than the single camera shots. The wide shots seemed to have better centre-frame focus and also looked a lot more depth of colour than the single camera mode.

LG X Cam standard image
LG X Cam wide image

^Standard angle at the top and wide-angle below

Images shot using the main camera have a 4,160x2,336 pixel resolution while wide-angle shots are just 2,560x1,440, presumably because the wider aspect ratio of the images doesn't fill the square 5-megapixel sensor. While I preferred the expansiveness of the wide-angle shots, there's some fairly obvious curvature towards the edge of the image so you'll have to pick your subjects carefully.

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The camera's the star here then, but that's not to say the rest of the phone isn't a nice piece of work. The X cam takes the form of a 5.2in, metallic-coated device handset that's just 6.9mm thick. LG says it's the thinnest phone it's ever made. Despite this, its in-the-hand feel is still comfortable although I am slightly concerned that LG hasn't learned the lessons of its older, slippier phones. Only real-world testing will see to that. I should also note that at 118g, it's incredibly light - almost too light.

LG X Cam

Elsewhere, there's a 2,520mAh battery, which LG isn't making any bold claims about. The processor is an as-yet unnamed octa-core chip paired with 2GB of RAM. I have to say it feels significantly snappier than the lower-end silicon found in the X Screen, that I tried out yesterday. 16GB of storage is included, which can be expanded via a microSD card.

LG X Cam rear

The screen is also significantly (and ironically) better than the X Screen's, taking the form of a Full HD panel. It's very bright, and while I don't think colours stand out on it as much as they do on the LG G5, it's a decent piece of kit. That phones moniker comes from its dual-screen setup rather than the quality of its main display, so it's not entirely nonsensical.

The X Cam will be a more expensive option than the X Screen, and while pricing hasn't been announced I'd expect something in the region of Samsung Galaxy A5 territory, at around £300. If its camera proves it worth, it could be a great buy for smartphone photography enthusiasts.

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