LG has introduced what is probably its weirdest phone to date. It’s called the Wing, and it’s part of the company’s new Explorer Project where it explores new ideas of and pushes the boundaries of the technology we use on a daily basis. The Wing is definitely a prime example of this.
The entire premise of the Wing lies in the screen. When in its resting state, the Wing looks like a normal phone with a large 6.8-inch screen. But when you grip the bottom of the screen with your thumb and shift it to the left, you’ll watch the top portion of the device swivel and present the display horizontally. This will also trigger a secondary, 3.9-inch screen that lives below the horizontal panel. A setup like this on a smartphone has never existed before, and LG is taking full advantage of the whacky form factor by implementing a suite of new software features.
Right off the bat, multitasking is behind heavily advertised with this device. LG says you can run two apps at once, and we’ve seen that before with the company’s dual screen devices such as the V60 and Velvet. However, this time it’s a little different since the second screen is much smaller. LG calls this Swivel Mode. It could be used for media controls when watching YouTube, as an interface for Android Auto when navigation is enabled, as a phone UI when taking a call and surfing the web, and much more. Some apps will take advantage of this funky UI and some will not. It’ll kind of be up to you to discover them.
That’s not all, of course. LG is also capitalizing on the content creation experience you get with the Wing. Inside the camera app, LG includes a new gimbal mode that lets you hold the bottom portion of the phone as a gimbal for much more stable video. It comes with a joystick to adjust your angle, a lock to reduce shakiness, a pan/follow mode to track your subjects, and more. You can also edit photos or videos using the bottom screen as a control panel and the top display as a preview pane. Rounding things off, LG also throws in time lapse control, voice bokeh, ASMR recording, and the ability to record video from the rear and front cameras simultaneously into either a single video or multiple files.
Speaking of which, because of the awkward form factor the Wing sports, LG had to install a pop-up motor to house the selfie camera. Y’know, in case you were worried this gadget didn’t have enough moving parts.
With these moving parts, LG is aware of the potential for faster aging. It says its engineers took a lot of possibilities into consideration. For instance, if you drop the Wing it’ll
flap its wings and fly away retract the selfie camera to avoid damage. It also uses a Hydraulic Damper on the hinge for the swiveling screen to reduce stress on the mechanism. LG says they’ve tested the hinge 200,000 times and the swivel proved to be “perfectly reliable.” They even added thermoplastic polyoxymethylene to the back of the swiveling screen to prevent scratches on the bottom screen.
So yeah, a lot of factors were taken into consideration. Obviously, you don’t get waterproofing since you can’t really waterproof a device like this. But so long as you avoid swimming pools and rain showers, it seems like the Wing will be able to hold up to everyday life. Clearly, I won’t know that until I review it which I fully intend upon doing. Stay tuned.
With all of that out of the way, let’s get to some specs. The Wing has a 6.8-inch 20.5:9 Full HD+ P-OLED main display with a secondary 3.9-inch 1.15:1 1240×1080 G-OLED screen. Under the hood, you’ll find a Snapdragon 765G processor, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery. On the back, there’s a main 64MP f/1.8 lens, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide “Big Pixel” lens (the one used to power the gimbal features), and a 13MP f/1.9 ultra-wide. The selfie camera weighs in at 32MP. You also get 5G connectivity, Android 10, an in-screen fingerprint reader, USB-C, and Bluetooth 5.1.
Perhaps one of the most jarring design decisions of the Wing is the lack of a headphone jack. This is the first high-end LG phone to omit the plug which will come as disappointing news to LG fans around the world. It may be a sign of what’s to come for the rest of the company’s lineup (especially since the Velvet kept the jack but got rid of the hi-fi DAC), but nothing’s known at this point.
LG will ship the Wing in two colors: Aurora Gray and Illusion Sky. It’ll be sold through Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile in the U.S. No price or release date was given at press time, but that info will likely arrive at some point in the near future.
Unbox Therapy got an early look and hands-on with the Wing. You can watch it below.
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