Conventional smartphones have just become boring glass-metal sandwiches, and there often isn’t much around to truly differentiate one smartphone from another. So when a smartphone comes around that pushes our boundaries of expectations, we’re bound to get excited.
LG is no stranger to this, with devices like the V10 coming in with dual-front screens, and the LG V50 pushing some more boundaries with its take on a dual-screen “folding” smartphone. Now, LG is back to spinning things around with its new smartphone. Meet the new LG Wing, a smartphone with a swiveling display, and a gimbal camera.
To say that the LG Wing is an interesting smartphone would be an understatement of what LG is trying to achieve. The LG Wing is part of the new LG Explorer project that is “both an initiative and a category and will include devices that deliver distinctive and yet unexplored usability experiences.”
The LG Wing is a re-exploration of a swiveling-screen experience that LG once experimented with on devices like the LG VX9400 (that even got featured in the opening scene of Iron Man (2008)). With the Wing, LG is not only building upon the dual-screen experience with a swiveling display, but it is also aiming to address several of the issues that were present in its dongle-approach to a dual display.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the highlight of the LG Wing is its large 6.8″ front display that swivels 90° from a portrait orientation (Basic Mode) into a landscape orientation (Swivel Mode). Once swiveled, you also get access to a secondary 3.9″ display sitting right below the main display. This unique setup gives you access to a large horizontal display that you can hold as if you are holding a phone vertically. The swivel screen in landscape orientation gets its own dedicated swivel homescreen with a carousel UX that lets you run apps on both of the screens at the same time.
You can also configure a pair of apps to run at the same time through the “Multi-App Shortcuts” feature, similar to the approach that Microsoft is taking with the Surface Duo. Essentially, because of how the displays are set up, you can use the main display for a primary task, and use the smaller display for a secondary task.
Several apps, like the camera app for instance, will use the second screen as an integrated control panel for a variety of apps. LG says that it is working with partners on APIs for the Swivel Mode so that more apps can support this unique dual-screen tech in many other ways.
If you are worried that you will accidentally keep touching the second display when holding the phone, LG has built-in a Grip Lock mode that disables touches on the secondary display. This way, you can hold the phone in a grip and still watch a horizontal video. LG says that the hinge and swiveling mechanism has been tested for over 200,000 rotations, which is over 5 years of use even if you swivel 100 times every day.
There are other use cases for the displays too, with features like App Expansion (on certain apps) that use one app across both screens for desktop-quality controls, and Multi App that is re-imagining how you can multitask across two displays. And since the phone employs a 32MP pop-up front camera, you get uninterrupted access to the main display — no notch or hole punch to annoy your usage.
You can open up apps across both the displays, and that includes apps like keyboards — you can type on the small display with landscape content on the main display; or you can type on the main display in landscape and have your content displayed on the smaller display, provided you flip around the phone. There’s also a touchpad app that you can use to control the top display from the bottom display.
And then there’s the camera setup. The LG Wing comes with a triple rear camera comprising of a 64MP main shooter, a 13MP wide-angle camera, and a 12MP wide-angle camera with hexa motion sensors. This camera, combined with the Grip Lock in the Swivel Mode, opens up cases such as a Gimbal Motion Camera, allowing you to pan, tilt, and follow subjects easily using the one-handed joystick UI with a dedicated menu.
Pricing and Availability
The LG Wing will be available in Aurora Gray and Illusion Sky colors. It will be available in the USA through Verizon at first, followed bt AT&T and T-Mobile a little later. Exact pricing and availability have not been revealed, so we expect to hear more about it soon.