MWC 2019 has so far been all about foldable phones. The Huawei Mate X stole the show with its flexible OLED and eye-watering price, while the Samsung Galaxy Fold is still fresh in everyone’s mind after its launch alongside the Galaxy S10.
Now it is LG’s turn to show off its foldable future, but not quite in the way you’d expect. The LG V50 ThinQ can be fitted with a secondary Dual Display OLED Panel and then folded in on itself when not in use. It’s a DIY foldable phone solution that’ll definitely be much cheaper than the competition.
Related: Here are the folding phones we’ve seen so far
The LG V50 itself is the Korean brand’s first 5G phone and it said going forward all V-series handsets will have the ability to connect to the next generation wireless network.
It also retains the five-camera array of the V40 – standard, wide and telephoto – with an extra wide-angle camera on the front too. These cameras also boast LG’s ‘AI’ scene detection and built-in Google lens support.
There’s also a main 6.4-inch HDR10 OLED display, 4000mAh battery and a quad-DAC with a headphone jack for excellent sound.
But it’s this optional secondary display that really shows LG is at least trying something different. Along with being able to be used as an extension of your phone’s home screen, it can act as a controller when you’re playing games or an extra area for multitasking. The use cases feel thin and very specific and the demo we were shown at a briefing didn’t exactly fill us with excitement.
Related: 5G phones
The secondary screen mirrors the OLED tech of the phone’s actual display, lowering the size to 6.3-inches and the resolution down from quad-HD+ to FHD+. These differences feel odd and it surely would have made more sense to keep the size and resolution the same across both panels.
To get the two separate items to connect you slide the V50 into the included case and it connects to the external display via a set of three pins on the back. Battery is then taken from the phone to power the screen. This seems like it’s going to seriously deplete the juice from the 4000mAh cell, but we’ll have to properly test it out to know for sure.
Pricing remains a mystery both for the phone itself and the display and, however in the UK it will be available through EE.
Also announced was the LG G8, which packs a 6.1-inch OLED that acts as speaker, the ability to be unlocked by your hand and an array of touchless navigation methods. Again, release information for this remains a mystery.