We first heard about the LG Wing in the first half of the year, with murmurings that the firm was working on a whacky form factor. The idea of a phone with a smaller, second screen that pops out from the back sounded really outlandish, but it’s real and it’s finally here.
What should you expect from this offbeat smartphone? And is it a one-trick pony or does it have much more to offer? Here’s what you should know about the LG Wing.
Editor’s note: This LG Wing buyer’s guide is current as of December 2020. We will regularly update it with new content.
LG Wing: At a glance
The LG Wing is the first phone in the manufacturer’s Explorer Project, promising innovative designs in the smartphone space. Of course, the dominant design feature here is the second screen that pops out from the back to sit at a perpendicular angle to the main screen. But another noteworthy design decision is a 32MP pop-up selfie camera, hidden at the top of the rear half.
Meanwhile, the LG Wing’s core specs are a Snapdragon 765G chipset with 5G connectivity (both mmWave and Sub-6), 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery. The chipset, in particular, isn’t quite flagship-level, but LG is hoping that the camera experience is.
The Wing packs a rather interesting rear camera setup, featuring a 64MP main camera, 13MP ultra-wide shooter, and a 12MP “Ultra Wide Big Pixel” camera. LG says you also have a “Gimbal Motion Camera” feature which allows you to use the second screen as a grip and delivers a suite of capabilities to the 12MP camera.
Some of the touted photo/video capabilities in this regard include a “joystick” for controlling the camera angle, a lock mode to reduce blur and judder, follow functionality for smoother video when on the go, a pan follow mode for horizontal movement, and a “first-person view mode” for “rhythmic and dynamic” movements.
LG Wing: The second screen explained
The phone can be used in a so-called Basic mode or in Swivel mode, with the former seeing the 3.9-inch second screen hidden away and operating as a normal phone. Pop out the screen for Swivel mode and you can use certain apps across both screens. You can also use two apps at once (one on each screen).
One early pre-release clip showed the main screen being used for GPS navigation while the second screen handled a call and music. A second pre-release video showed a racing game being played on the main screen and the game’s track layout on the smaller screen. LG also gave the example of watching a video on the main screen while texting on the second display, or watching a video on the big display and getting media controls on the small screen.
The secondary screen allows you to operate specialized apps running across both displays, or two different apps simultaneously.
The phone will only support certain apps optimized for Swivel mode, but we will hopefully see adoption improve over time. For what it’s worth, the LG Second Screen accessory hasn’t seen much adoption from developers.
LG is also offering a Multi-App feature that echoes a similar feature seen on the Galaxy Fold and Surface Duo lines. This allows you to create a shortcut to quickly launch a desired pair of apps. If you want to watch a local video while browsing the web, you could create a shortcut to open your video player and browser in one go.
LG has focused on durability too, saying that the hinge mechanism should last for 200,000 swivels. This is equivalent to just over 100 motions daily for five years, LG says. It’s also added a special material to the back of the main screen to protect the second screen from being scratched and to enable smoother pop-outs.
Is the LG Wing worth it?
Experimental and innovative tech is always rough around the edges, and the LG Wing is no different. It’s a slick piece of tech, but it’s far from perfect. In Android Authority‘s LG Wing review, our own C. Scott Brown called it “An incredible first try, but a first try nonetheless.”
That doesn’t mean that the LG Wing isn’t worth it. Everything about the phones sliding mechanism (except for maybe software support) worked swimmingly throughout the review period. The real drawbacks were found in other parts of the hardware.
First off is the camera, which despite the neat gimbal mode simply can’t compete with other phones in its price range. Next is the size: it’s big and heavy. This shouldn’t be a surprise given that it has two screens, but it makes it awkward to use in normal circumstances.
Finally, the processor isn’t powerful enough. For $1000 you’re essentially getting mid-range specs in the Snapdragon 765G chipset. Other two-screen or folding rivals all pack flagship processors, and it shows.
Ultimately this is a device for early adopters, which is fine. What’s really exciting is that LG is pushing the envelope with its devices, and doing something truly unique. It left us hopeful for the LG Wing 2, as well as whatever other crazy designs the South Korean company comes up with next.
LG Wing specs
2,460 x 1,080 resolution
20.5:9 screen ratio
60Hz refresh rate
1,240 x 1,080 resolution
1.15:1 screen ratio
60Hz refresh rate
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G|
|GPU||Qualcomm Adreno 620|
Expandable with microSD card (up to 2TB)
Quick Charge 4+
64MP sensor, ƒ/1.8 aperture, 0.8μm pixels
OIS, 78-degree FoV
13MP ultra-wide sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, 1.0μm pixels, 117-degree FoV
12MP ultra-wide sensor, ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1.4μm pixels, 120-degree FoV, Gimbal Motion Camera
32MP sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, 0.8μm pixels
|Connectivity||5G (both mmWave and Sub-6)|
Protected from limited dust ingress
Protected from water spray from any direction
|Operating System||Android 10|
|Audio||LG 3D Sound Engine|
No 3.5mm port
|Dimensions and weight||169.5 x 74.5 x 10.9mm|
|Colors||Aurora Gray, Illusion Sky|
LG Wing competition and alternatives
The LG Wing is unlike any other phone we’ve seen yet, so finding alternatives to it might be a tough endeavor.
In saying so, the Microsoft Surface Duo is similarly unique, while also offering two separate screens. The big difference here is that the Surface Duo offers two equally sized screens in a book-like arrangement, as opposed to the Wing’s big screen/little screen setup. Still, you’re also getting the ability to run an app on each screen or one app across both screens. You’re also getting the aforementioned app pair functionality to launch two specific apps at once. The Surface Duo’s $1,400 price tag and anemic spec sheet (no 5G, NFC, wireless charging, or multiple cameras) might be major deal-breakers though.
Another potential LG Wing alternative is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. This phone also offers multitasking capabilities and two screens (a smartphone display on the outside and a tablet-sized screen on the inside). Toss in a 120Hz refresh rate for the main screen, nifty Flex Mode functionality, and capable cameras, and you’ve got a great foldable. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost of $2,000.
The LG V60 (seen above) could also be up your alley if you’re looking for a full-featured smartphone with an interesting trick up its sleeve. Like other recent LG flagships, the V60 has a Second Screen accessory that gives you a dual-screen foldable experience. This isn’t quite as polished and pocket-friendly as the Galaxy Z Fold 2, but you still have the ability to run an app on each screen or one across both displays. Best of all, it’s available for around $900 in the US, making it much cheaper than the aforementioned Samsung and Microsoft devices.
Like the idea of the LG Wing’s gimbal camera functionality but don’t care for the second screen? Then the Vivo X50 Pro might be for you, packing a micro-gimbal system on its 48MP main camera. This allows for “incredible” low light images according to our own Dhruv Bhutani, while also offering “exemplary” video quality. It’s packing the same chipset as the Wing, but also delivers two telephoto cameras (2x and 5x), a 90Hz OLED screen, and a slightly bigger battery. The X50 Pro retails for ~$680 in India, but there’s no word on European pricing/availability just yet.
Pricing and availability
The LG Wing is currently available in a locked state from the three major wireless carriers in the United States. Unfortunately, there is still no way to buy the Wing outright in an unlocked format.
Verizon is selling the Wing for $999. At the moment, Big Red is offering a deal where you can get $950 off a second LG Wing if you buy one outright. Of course, this deal is contingent on you adding a line, having both phones on a specific unlimited plan, and paying for the phones over the next two years.
T-Mobile is selling the LG Wing for $999. It is offering a similar deal to Verizon’s offer, but you get the second Wing for free, not at a discount. As with Verizon, the free second device is contingent on signing up for a new line and keeping service active for two years.
The phone has also launched in India, coming in at Rs 59,990 (~$824) on Amazon India and Flipkart. This makes it cheaper than US models.
Top LG Wing questions and answers
Q: Does the LG Wing have a 3.5mm port?
A: Unfortunately, the LG Wing lacks a 3.5mm port. This means it’s quite possibly the first LG flagship without the port. The firm also says that it lacks quad DAC audio hardware as a result.
Q: Does LG’s new phone support wireless charging?
A: Yes, the Wing packs support for wireless charging. In addition to wireless charging, the phone also supports the Quick Charge 4 Plus wired standard.
Q: Does the LG Wing support storage expansion?
A: The phone packs plenty of storage, but it also supports microSD expansion up to 2TB if you really need more space.
Q: How much internal storage is available on the phone?
A: The Wing packs 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.
Q: Does the gimbal feature work with all rear cameras?
A: No, this feature is only available on the 12MP “Ultra Wide Big Pixel” camera.
Q: Is the LG Wing water-resistant?
A: The Wing packs an IP54 rating, which means it’s splash-resistant. You don’t want to immerse it in water though, as it lacks the IP67 and IP68 ratings we see on water-resistant devices.
Q: What colorways are available for the LG Wing?
A: The phone is available in Aurora Gray and Illusion Sky.