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LG is about to unveil a new flagship phone unlike anything else we’ll see in 2019

Published Jan 17th, 2019 2:59PM EST
LG Foldable Phone

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We have almost reached the edges of the phone when it comes to display size, but smartphone makers this year will continue to increase screen-to-body ratios. The best example is the Galaxy S10, a highly anticipated Android flagship that will feature an Infinity-O display with very tiny bezels. The only other way to extend a phone’s screen is to go for a foldable design — mobile devices that can operate in tablet and smartphone modes. Samsung is also doing that in 2019, although the Galaxy F will reportedly be released with limited availability and a sky-high price tag. But new reports say that a new LG phone, not necessarily the LG G8 that should be unveiled at MWC 2019 next month, might feature a totally different design unlike anything else we’ll see this year.

Reports say that the unnamed phone will feature more screen than any regular flagship smartphone this year, because LG is toying with the idea of adding a secondary display to the phone. And this isn’t the kind of rear-facing secondary display that we saw on some Android devices last year, because you’d be able to use both screens at the same time.

Korean news site Naver says that the dual-display handset will be unveiled at MWC alongside the G8. It’s unclear whether or not the G8 will also have two screens.

This unusual phone will have two displays that can be connected to form a single screen. Here’s where things get a bit crazy. When the second display isn’t connected, the device will supposedly have a display that only measures about 4 inches, which is smaller than what you find on a modern smartphone these days. But the screen goes up to 7-inches when the second screen is used.

It’s unclear what the handset will look like, as we have no illustrations at this point. Smartphones with two connected displays already exist, like the ZTE Axon M, and it’s what we used to refer to as foldable phones. Ugly foldable phones, that is.

The report also notes that the phone will feature a “touchless” input mode where the user will be able to interact with the screen from 20 to 30cm away without actually touching it. The front camera would be able to detect and recognize the movements and turn them into actions on the screen.

This LG phone will reportedly be significantly cheaper than the Galaxy F foldable handset, retailing for a price closer to what regular smartphones go for these days.

A second report from CNET delivers the same news, that LG is working on a phone with two displays, but that’s not a foldable handset. The name of the product hasn’t been finalized, the report says.

The attachment, which the person describes as a sort of case with a screen, could potentially double the total screen size of the device.

It’s one of multiple phones launching at the Mobile World Congress trade show next month, the person said. While the company is mulling the G8 name, it’s unclear whether the multiple-screen phone will carry the name of its flagship line.

Even if LG doesn’t launch a foldable phone this year, the company must be developing technology for such devices. Reports said in the past that Apple partnered with LG Display to keep the design of its foldable iPhone prototype secret from Samsung.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.