LG has been no stranger to dual-screen smartphones in recent years, but the company just officially announced its daring foray into a dual-screen device in recent years: the LG Wing. It’s a wild-looking, swiveling display smartphone that – in the truest sense of the word – offers a new twist on the possibilities of a phone.
The new phone is inspired by LG’s current trends in dual-screen smartphones like the G8X ThinQ and Velvet, as well as the company’s classic swiveling LG VX9400 feature phone that was released over a decade ago. The Wing will be the first device under the new LG “Explorer Project” brand that is looking for ways to “breathe new life into what makes a smartphone”.
The most interesting feature of Wing is of course the two OLED panels. The first is a standard 6.8-inch main screen with no bezels or notches (LG opted for a pop-up lens instead, as the Wing didn̵
And LG has great ambitions for the types of features this new form factor can enable. The idea is that in “pan mode” you use the main display for each of your main tasks, while the second display serves as an additional window for another app or advanced functionality.
For example, LG envisions using the secondary control panel for camera control while using the camera application and exposing the main display as a neat viewfinder. Flip it over and you can use the main display as a massive widescreen keyboard while responding to a thread of messages that appears on the smaller vertical display. Video applications can use the second display for media and volume controls. Much of this, however, will depend on third-party developers using the second display to extend their apps. Otherwise, it will be a cool feature that is only limited to LG’s own software.
Of course, you can also use it to simply run two applications side by side: play a mobile game on your main panel while streaming it online to friends and fans via the second display, or read Twitter while you stream the latest soccer game.
The wing doesn’t have to be used only in landscape format. LG is just as excited about using the main display in a standard candy bar portrait mode as it is about the more obvious widescreen format. The secondary control panel acts as a sort of extra display while you navigate Google Maps or read the latest document from work. The secondary half display can also be disabled while it is being unfolded using a “handle lock” feature. For example, you can use it as a useful grip when watching a movie.
The Wing’s unique form factor also translates into one of the phone’s most interesting features: a “gimbal mode” that allows the secondary display to be used as a handle, including joystick controls for adjusting the camera. LG added a second dedicated ultrawide camera to the rear to capture footage while the main display is in panned landscape mode (with a rotated sensor to match the orientation). It’s also equipped with a new Hexa motion sensor, which the company says will help prevent disruption. The wing can also record in a dual recording mode while recording video from the front and rear cameras.
With so many moving parts, obviously there are many durability and longevity concerns. LG says it is aware of these concerns and promises the wing will hold. There is also work being done on cases that are compatible with the pivoting design, which requires a little more work than a traditional phone case.
The rest of the hardware for the LG Wing is pretty ordinary. There’s a Snapdragon 765G processor with Qualcomm’s built-in X52 modem for 5G support, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a 4,000mAh battery, a built-in fingerprint sensor, and support for wireless charging. The biggest oversight, of course, is the seal – something to be expected on a phone with so many moving parts.
The second display also adds to the phone’s thickness and volume, albeit not as much as, for example, the self-contained, full-size screen housings from LG used in the past. The wing is 260 g (9.17 ounces) and 0.43 inches thick – for comparison: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra with a similarly sized display weighs 220 g (7.76 ounces) and is 0.35 inches thick.
The LG Wing also has an opening 32-megapixel front camera and a triple camera on the back of the device. There is a 64-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel ultrawide camera, and the aforementioned 12-megapixel ultrawide gimbal mode, which is dedicated to landscape mode.
LG says the Wing will be released first in the US on Verizon, followed by AT&T and T-Mobile. According to LG, the price, release date, color options and specifications vary depending on the network partner. This means there may be a split between an LG Wing model under 6GHz for AT&T and T-Mobile and a more expensive mmWave version available exclusively from Verizon, similar to the previously released LG Velvet. However, as of now, the company hasn’t even announced a vague release window or price estimate for the upcoming device.