Source: The LG Wing will cost around $1,000 when it launches in the U.S. this fall
Do a Google search for “smartphones are boring” and you’ll find a handful of articles lamenting the state of smartphone design. 2020 has upended our expectations of what’s normal, though, with smartphone makers taking advantage of advancements in display tech to experiment with new form factors and designs. The industry seems to be trending toward smartphones with either under-display camera or foldable display tech, but Korean tech giant LG is experimenting with its own unique smartphone design. The company is rumored to be working on a smartphone called the “LG Wing,” an aptly named dual display smartphone with a secondary display that swivels horizontally behind the main display. Many in the media assumed that such an experimental smartphone will only launch in LG’s home market of South Korea, but we have now learned that LG plans to launch the Wing in the United States.
A source close to LG tells me that the LG Wing will launch in the U.S. this fall for around $1,000. That’s significantly cheaper than suggested by a recent report making the rounds from South Korean publication Herald Corp, which pegged the LG Wing at a price as high as ₩1,900,000, or ~$1,607 when converted to USD. Keep in mind that smartphone prices can’t be cleanly converted between markets because of differences in taxes, distribution, local market needs, carrier deals, etc. For example, here is a table comparing the starting prices of the LG Velvet, LG G8 ThinQ, LG V50 ThinQ, and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in Korea versus the starting prices of these same phones in the United States.
|Smartphone||Starting Price in Korea/Converted to USD||Starting Price (Actual) in USA|
|LG Velvet||₩899,800 / ~$761||$599|
|LG G8 ThinQ||₩897,600 / ~ $759||$849|
|LG V50 ThinQ||₩1,199,000 / ~ $1,015||$999|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra||₩1,450,000 / ~ $1,227||$1,299|
As you can see, some of the U.S. models ended up being cheaper than their South Korean counterparts, but the opposite has also been true in some cases. The prices in South Korea include the VAT rate of 10%, and I’m told by some South Koreans that people in the country typically buy phones from carriers on contracts rather than buying them outright, much like in the United States. That’s why I recommend against converting South Korean launch pricing to U.S. launch pricing since the converted prices won’t always end up being accurate.
LG Wing – Design, Specifications, Features
Our source can also confirm that the device that’s shown in videos published by AndroidAuthority is indeed the LG Wing. The publication earlier this week shared two videos recorded in a moving vehicle. The first video shared by AndroidAuthority shows the LG Wing’s two displays being used for navigation and controlling music playback; in that video, the primary display is shown in portrait orientation while the secondary display is in landscape orientation behind the primary one. The second video AndroidAuthority shared earlier today shows a passenger playing a game on the main display while the secondary display shows what appears to be an in-game map; in that video, the passenger is holding the LG Wing with the secondary display on top.
These videos give us brief glimpses at the potential utility of the LG Wing’s dual screen design, though they, unfortunately, don’t show the actual swiveling mechanism in action. Regardless, we can piece together an understanding of what LG is trying to achieve with the Wing. The company is no stranger to dual screen phones—they offer a Dual Screen attachment for the V50, G8X, V60, and Velvet that receives input via signals sent over what’s essentially mmWave. LG’s Dual Screen attachment is a great way to expand the viewing area, and hence, the multitasking capability. However, because it’s an attachment, it becomes yet another thing that you have to carry around in your pocket or bag. Having a secondary display that’s always there when you need it would be much more convenient, though we’ll have to wait and see how LG engineered the Wing to determine how practical it actually is. How does the secondary display get stowed away, if at all? How thick is the phone with this display behind it? How does Android treat this display, and what, if anything, do app developers need to do to support it? These are all questions that can only be answered once we see more of the LG Wing, either from official sources or from leaks.
Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out. Our source told us that the LG Wing is launching in the U.S. this fall, so we’ll only have to wait for up to 3 months before we see an announcement. When it lands in the U.S., it’ll cost around $1,000. We’ve seen evidence it’ll be supported by Verizon, but our source could not confirm this.
Our source also could not confirm any specifications, but earlier rumors suggest the LG Wing will fall in line with LG’s new “mass premium” market strategy. ETNews reports that the device will feature a 6.8-inch main display, a 4-inch secondary display, a triple camera setup comprised of a 64MP primary image sensor, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 700 series processor with 5G capability, which means we can expect the Snapdragon 765, the Snapdragon 765G, or the Snapdragon 768G. Multiple Geekbench listings for a device with model name “LGE LM-F100N” and code-name “winglm” suggest the device will feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G in particular as the GPU is listed as the Adreno 620. Skipping the Snapdragon 865 would make sense if LG wants to keep the pricing down as they did for the LG Velvet.
I’m personally excited to see a smartphone company break the mold once again. My initial reaction to the LG Wing was to call it “crazy” and “weird”, but I’ll reserve final judgment until we see the phone in action.