Update: February 10, 2020 (3:28 PM ET): We’ve updated the article with new information regarding LG’s withdrawal from participating in Mobile World Congress 2020 and how it might affect the launch of the G9 ThinQ. Read on for more information!
Original: January 15, 2020 (3:30 PM ET): LG’s smartphone division has been struggling significantly over the past few years. Although the company releases decent hardware, pricing is usually too high and it has a poor record with software updates. With that in mind, a lot is riding on the upcoming LG G9 ThinQ, the next flagship from the company.
We don’t know a whole ton about the G9 quite yet, but we do have enough compelling information to create a rumor roundup. Below, you’ll find everything we know (or think we know) so far about the G9.
Be sure to bookmark this page as we will constantly update it with any new LG G9 ThinQ rumors we find.
Name and release date
LG has held strong to the naming convention of the G series since 2013 with the launch of the LG G2. Sure, it added the much-derided “ThinQ” branding back in 2018 for the LG G7 ThinQ, but there’s no reason to think that this year’s device will be known as anything other than the LG G9 ThinQ.
Of course, Samsung changed up its naming convention pretty significantly this year with the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, so anything is possible. However, for now, we’re betting that the LG G9 is what LG will announce soon.
As for a release date, LG launched last year’s flagship, the LG G8 ThinQ, right before Mobile World Congress officially kicked off. As such, we initially assumed the company would launch the G9 during the same time period this year, which happens at the end of February 2020. Unfortunately, LG announced in a recent press release that it won’t be participating in MWC 2020 due to rising health concerns, potentially delaying the device launch date.
Instead, LG said it would be holding separate events in the near future to announce its 2020 smartphones. We will likely learn an exact launch date for the phone in the coming weeks.
LG G9 ThinQ: Design
Thanks to reliable source @OnLeaks (via Cash Karo), we already have some leaked renders of what the LG G9 ThinQ will probably look like. Granted, renders such as these can be wrong from time-to-time, but the general idea is likely accurate.
See the renders below for yourself, or watch the YouTube clip above:
Right off the bat, the LG G9 looks a bit different from the LG G8 of last year. The large notch is gone with a waterdrop-style notch in its place. The rear camera module is wider and includes more lenses and the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is gone.
Those details allow us to infer a few things about the device when it comes to specs and features — see the next section for more on that.
For what it’s worth, LG executive Ken Hong called the leaked renders “fake” and “sad.” Hong also disputed the accuracy and legitimacy of the renders @OnLeaks published last year for the LG G8 — which turned out to be pretty much dead on. In other words, despite LG’s statements to the contrary, it’s a good bet that the LG G9 ThinQ will look very close to the images above.
LG G9 ThinQ: Specs and features
For right now, all we have to go on for the LG G9 ThinQ is the leaked renders above. However, we can infer quite a bit from those renders, past entries in the G series, and LG’s recent statements about its smartphone business.
From the renders above, we can see that the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is gone. That leads us to believe that the device will feature a (likely optical) in-display fingerprint sensor instead. LG could also take the route of only using face unlock, which is what Google did with the Pixel 4. However, the waterdrop notch on the front of the LG G9 leads us to believe that won’t be the case, as there would need to be a lot more sensors there to make a face unlock system secure.
The renders of the LG G9 ThinQ give us quite a bit of info on which to speculate.
We can also see the headphone jack sticks around on the G9. With Samsung abandoning the 3.5mm port on its flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Note families, LG is one of the very few companies to still release flagships with the legacy port. The presence of the headphone jack leads us to believe that LG will continue to include its popular Quad DAC for increased audio quality.
The renders appear to show four lenses on the rear camera setup, and the camera module appears to be protruding slightly from the back. This is a big change from the LG G8, as that phone only had two rear lenses and they were all flush with the body. It’s possible LG needed to make the camera module thicker to accommodate the extra lenses.
One last thing about the renders: this device looks very similar to the LG G8X ThinQ, which you can see at the top of this section. That device came with a second display that you could optionally use to make the device into a pseudo-foldable. Could LG be planning to offer a similar system with the G9?
Moving on from the renders, it’s pretty much a given that the LG G9 ThinQ will launch with the latest-and-greatest smartphone processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. All of LG’s flagships in the G line include the latest from Qualcomm’s 800 series, so it would be very surprising if it wasn’t included here.
Finally, we have some statements from LG’s CEO discussing some “wow factors” that will be included with the company’s 2020 phones. These “wow factors” are supposedly so cool that they will bring LG’s mobile division back to profitability. Those are some big words, but we’re left wondering what these new features could possibly be. At this point, the only thing that’s really going to push LG into being successful again is to drop the introductory prices of its phones. That leads us to the next section.
LG G9 ThinQ: Price and availability
LG launched the G8 in 2019 with a list price of $820. While that’s certainly not the most expensive smartphone of 2019, that put the device in competition with major flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S10. Meanwhile, phones with similar specs and features to the LG G8 came out with much lower pricing.
If LG wants its phones to be successful again it needs to finally admit to itself that it is no longer in competition with Samsung and Apple. Instead, it is competing against OnePlus, Xiaomi, and other companies rooted in the mid-range market.
Related: LG in 2020: Time for a turnaround
That all being said, we don’t have much of a clue what LG will want to charge for the LG G9 ThinQ. However, if it thinks it can push the list price up into the $900 range, it’s likely not going to be successful. Here’s hoping that the G9 starts at a very competitive price, maybe even under $750.
As for availability, the G series from LG is usually available from all four of the major wireless carriers in the United States and usually makes its way to most countries around the world. We don’t see any reason why this year would be any different, so expect the G9 to be easy for you to get, no matter where you live.
That’s all the info we have on the LG G9 ThinQ so far! Come back often to see if any new rumors are added to the collection. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the LG G9 so far in the comments below!