Now, this is what I'm talking about. Weeks after revealing its drearily dull Velvet phone — another glass slab Android phone that I predict won't save LG — LG is now said to be working on a sick dual-screen phone, according to the Herald Corp. Codenamed "Wing," the Android phone reportedly has a 6.8-inch display that swivels open to reveal a smaller 4-inch inner screen with 1:1 aspect ratio.
Think different — In a sea of metal-and-glass sandwiches and a pond of questionable foldable phones, the Wing is exactly the kind of unorthodox phone design that LG needs to make its phones enviable again. The T-shaped design when open is new, but at the same time, throws it back to LG's cell phone heritage.
Cool kids will recognize the similarity between the LG Wing (a mockup, but still) to LG's old VX9400 (below), better known as the VCAST TV on Verizon in the U.S.
Phones like the VX9400 were cutting edge for their time (2007-2008). We all take rich video, games, multimedia messaging, and the internet for granted on smartphones — any $50 smartphone will do now — but 12 years ago, this stuff was just emerging. Remember: the iPhone wasn't a thing yet in early 2007 and Android wouldn't launch for another year.
Mid-range specs — Here's where things might upset you. Like the LG Velvet, ET News, a frequent source for unreleased gadget leaks, reports the Wing will have mid-range specs. That means a Snapdragon 700-series chipset, 5G, and a triple-lens camera system with a 64-megapixel main sensor. The report claims LG's positioning the Wing's design as the main sell, not specs.
It makes sense. Mid-range phones — a market that includes devices anywhere between a sub-$500 device to a premium $1,000 phone — are seeing a burst of innovation as consumers demand more for less. People want something that's fresh, don't want to refinance their house to get it, and are willing to risk reliability to rock it.
Nostalgia doesn't mean success — We've seen phone makers play the nostalgia card many times over the past few years. Nokia turned things up with the 3310 revival, Xiaomi tried to trigger some emotions with its Mi Mix 3 slider phone (OMG, slider phones!), and now LG is hoping its T-shaped swivel phones of the mid-2000s could help reinvent its struggling mobile division, which has continued to lose money for 14 consecutive quarters. Despite its fall from the podium years ago, LG has vowed not to toss in the towel for its smartphones.
With the Velvet and Wing, LG is at least trying a different strategy this year. It's finally woken up and realized it can't compete with Apple and Samsung and OnePlus by releasing more me-too phones. The time has come to play a different hand. Between LG's current dual-screen phone accessory and the Wing, LG could mount a tiny comeback (however small that would be). Better to try to survive than go extinct like HTC or wander aimlessly like Sony.