We’ve known for a while that LG would reveal a 5G phone in early 2019, just like every other OEM apparently. What we didn’t know, or even suspect until late January was the name of the device: LG V50.
Confirming a previous report from Korean media, Evan Blass just published a press render allegedly showing the Sprint version of the LG V50 ThinQ. It looks very legit, and there’s a few things worth talking about here. Let’s break it down.
- The LG V50 looks broadly similar to the V40 before it. There’s a notch, tiny bezels, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a horizontal triple-camera setup. Considering the V40 is only a few months old, it’s possible that LG reused the platform for a new device.
- Unlike crosstown rival Samsung and a slew of other competitors, LG is sticking to a rear-mounted fingerprint reader here. We can’t say we mind it, as in-display readers are still a little slower and less reliable than conventional designs.
- One notable change: the cameras are no longer raised, which can mean two things: LG found a way to shrink cameras so they fit in a body of roughly 7.5mm; or, the V50 is slightly thicker than the V40, potentially to house a larger battery. The latter option is more likely.
- LG has told us last month that its first 5G phone will be coming at MWC with a 4,000mAh battery and an advanced cooling system. The company did not confirm this phone was the V50, but we can put two and two together.
- In fact, the leaked render all but confirms the LG V50’s MWC launch – the date shown in the image is Sunday, February 24. That’s when LG will hold its press conference in Barcelona.
- The Sprint 5G branding is extremely in-your-face. As carriers are wont to do, Sprint emphasized its service with that heavy wallpaper and a custom 5G logo in Sprint yellow on the back. If the 4G rollout is any clue, that logo will feature prominently on retail units and throughout Sprint’s marketing, so you better get used to it. A 5G indicator is visible in the status bar. At least it’s the real thing, not the fake and misleading “5G E” logo Sprint is suing AT&T over. (Read more about Sprint’s 5G plans here.)
- Speaking of branding, the much-derided ThinQ brand is still there. Why?
LG V50 ThinQ for Sprint 5G pic.twitter.com/TNLQsYPgPS— Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 16, 2019
Overall, the LG V50 looks very conventional. Its main reason of existence is probably to serve as a showcase for 5G, and it may very well be a great showcase at that. But we can’t help feeling the V50 will have trouble competing against flashier competitors launching around the same time. It will probably have a high price tag too, owing to the complexities of 5G. Let’s hope the LG G8 ThinQ saves the day.
Read next: LG in 2019: No more excuses
Thoughts on this render?