LG Electronics has unveiled its first Explorer Project device, the LG Wing, at an online launch event live-streamed around the world from its Seoul headquarters. The Wing boasts a unique form factor that will certainly turn heads. Who says smartphones have become boring?
The Explorer Project’s aim is to "discover yet unexplored usability concepts in an effort to expand the mobile industry", and the LG Wing is doing certainly that. With a weird but intriguing swivel second display, the Wing is like nothing else on the smartphone market today. Here are all the features you need to know about.
That hidden second screen
The LG Wing is completely different from any other smartphone on the market. Users can switch between Basic Mode and Swivel Mode at any time to enjoy a unique user experience. In Swivel Mode, the entire front of the phone rotates clockwise 90 degrees, orienting the main screen in landscape mode to reveal a 3.9-inch Second Screen that LG says unlocks new usability and new possibilities to explore. A single application can be expanded to both screens or two applications can be displayed simultaneously, one on each display.
Watching video-sharing and streaming platforms in Swivel Mode allows you to interact with the second screen while content plays uninterrupted on the main screen. LG says it collaborated with industry-leading platform partners on this one.
When "vieWing" (that's how LG writes it in its press material) YouTube or Tubi on the preinstalled NAVER Whale browser, the video plays on the main screen while the second screen displays comments or the search bar. LG’s partnerships with other streaming platforms such as Rave and Ficto mean that LG Wing owners watch videos in full screen while simultaneously interacting with other viewers via the second screen.
The LG Wing’s two displays and strange form factor facilitate new ways to engage with certain apps and features, which is meant to make it easier to multitask. Users can watch their movies in widescreen while searching for information about actors or discussing the movie via chat with friends - at least that's the idea.
The Multi App feature also allows you to create shortcuts for pairs of apps you typically use together. Swivel Mode can also prove handy when driving, as we've seen from the leaks ahead of this official unveiling, allowing drivers to follow map directions on the main screen reserving the second screen for calls, which on other phones would cover the map.
An immersive viewing experience without distractions
LG says that with more consumers watching content on their smartphones than ever before, it is introducing various features to the Wing to improve the mobile viewing experience. The main screen of LG Wing is a 6.8-inch P-OLED FullVision display with 20.5:9 aspect ratio. Gaming is not ignored here. The second screen expands the viewable real estate of the device, but it also doubles as a grip when the main screen is in landscape mode. With Grip Lock activated, the second screen displays information such as time and date and ignores accidental touches.
In video platform apps optimized for its unique form factor, the LG Wing’s second screen acts as the media controller. When activated, a floating icon appears in the upper-right corner of the second screen, giving users the ability to change video and sound settings without having to pause the video or switch to another window. To eliminate any potential visual distractions that might get in the way of viewer immersion, LG has implemented a 32-megapixel pop-up camera that emerges from the body of the device when needed.
A gimbal feature for video recording
The LG Wing features three rear cameras – a 64-megapixel wide-angle with OIS, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, and another 13-megapixel wide-angle. You can enable dual recording in Swivel Mode by using the 32-megapixel pop-up camera and one of the phone’s rear cameras simultaneously. The results can be saved together in a single file, or in two separate files with the aspect ratio set to either 1:1 or 16:9.
The second screen can also be used as a dedicated editing palette while the video or photo is displayed on the main screen. The LG Wing comes with LG Creator’s Kit, a collection of advanced imaging solutions including Timelapse Control, Voice Bokeh, and ASMR Recording.
The Gimbal Motion Camera, the world’s first in a smartphone, turns the LG Wing’s second screen into a grip, providing the stability needed to capture clearer shots and smooth video footage in horizontal mode with one hand. The LG Wing comes with functions the brand says are typically found only on a real gimbal, just as a joystick for controlling the camera angle, a lock to reduce shakes and blurring, a follow mode for smoother videos when moving, panning for horizontal movement with minimal up and down shake, and a first-person view mode for capturing rhythmic and dynamic movements.
A lighter build
Even with two screens, LG says that its new Wing is still relatively light. LG used composite materials and a special perforation technique so that its engineers were able to keep the weight down to 260 grams. The goal is that when closed, the Wing feels like any other smartphone in your hands.
LG Wing engineers took into consideration the additional moving parts to employ features to enhance its durability and reliability. When taking a selfie, the accelerometer recognizes if the phone has been dropped and instantaneously retracts the pop-up camera lens to prevent any damage, a feature we've seen a lot of on pop-up cameras.
The hinge module itself is fitted with a hydraulic damper, which reduces stress on the mechanism when the main screen is rotated. Thermoplastic polyoxymethylene is applied to the back of the main screen to facilitate smoother swiveling and to prevent scratches on the second screen. LG claims that the hinge mechanism in the Wing has proven to be reliable even after 200,000 swivels.
A Snapdragon 765G 5G from Qualcomm
The LG Wing packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X52 5G Modem-RF System. As Qualcomm’s first mobile platform to integrate an application processor and 5G Modem-RF system, this chipset should deliver good AI performance, 5G connectivity, and intelligent multi-camera capabilities while also preserving battery life. Thanks in part to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, the LG Wing should deliver a solid entertainment experience with short response times, cinema-quality graphics, and LG's textbook high-quality audio.
The battery comes in at 4,000 mAh with support for fast charging and wireless charging. How that holds up when powering two displays we'll have a wait and see once we've had a chance to spend some time with the LG Wing.
"The LG Wing is a truly innovative device powered by the Snapdragon 765G 5G Mobile Platform that perfectly encapsulates the vision of LG’s new Explorer Project," said Jim Tran, senior vice president and general manager, mobile handsets, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Qualcomm Technologies actively collaborated with LG Mobile on ways to optimize the performance of the products of the Explorer Project that will bring new and different experiences to consumers."
"The LG Wing ushers in a new era of mobile discovery and is an exciting beginning to our Explorer Project initiative," said Morris Lee, president of LG’s Mobile Communications Company. "Different than anything else on the market today, this innovative device challenges the industry status quo and provides consumers with a new mobile experience that will open up new ways to think about the smartphone."
The LG Wing will initially launch in South Korea starting next month to be followed by key markets in North America and Europe. The phone will come is two colors, Aurora Gray and Illusion Sky. A sample is already on its way to our editorial office in Berlin, and we'll be back with a full review of this unusual yet intriguing device very soon.
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G Mobile Platform integrated with Snapdragon X52 5G Modem-RF System|
|Memory||8GB RAM / 128 or 256GB ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)|
|Display||Main Screen: 6.8-inch 20.5:9 FHD+ P-OLED FullVision (2,460 x 1,080 / 395ppi)
Second Screen: 3.9-inch 1.15:1 G-OLED (1,240 x 1,080 / 419ppi)
Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0+ Technology / Wireless Charging