- Android Authority has obtained an exclusive video showing the LG Wing in action.
- The upcoming phone from LG features a secondary display that flips out with a twisting motion.
- The video gives us ideas of possible use cases for a phone with this design, and they are pretty compelling.
Update: August 28, 2020 (7:41 AM ET): Android Authority has obtained another exclusive video of the LG Wing in action, this time showcasing its gaming prowess. Follow this link to watch the clip.
Original article: August 25, 2020 (6:30 PM ET): We’ve been hearing rumors over the past few months related to a secret phone project at LG, codenamed “Wing.” The LG Wing appears to be a new take on dual-display phones by featuring a secondary display that flips out in a twisting motion.
Android Authority has obtained an exclusive video that shows a near-final version of the phone, making us think its release date can’t be too far away. The video gives us a better idea of how the phone will work while simultaneously giving us some hints of why the secondary display could be useful.
The Wing’s orientation in the video shows it can be used in regular portrait orientation — with the second screen on the side — as well as in a T-formation. The video shows full-screen navigation on the main screen with music playback controls and an inbound call on the second screen. It’s interesting to see that neither display features a notch or punch hole cutout.
LG Wing: Two screens when you need them
LG has been into the idea of second screens since the original LG V10 in 2015. That focus shifted to dual-displays over the past year, first with the LG V50 ThinQ and the LG G8X in 2019. The LG V60 and LG Velvet from this year also have the ability to connect to a second display that is the same size as the phone itself.
However, the drawback with current offerings is that you need to carry around this second display even if you don’t need it at the moment. If you only want one display, the second display needs to live in your bag or, at worst, in your pocket. The LG Wing, though, builds the secondary display right into the phone itself, eliminating this problem.
Related: What is the LG dual-screen case?
Of course, the secondary display isn’t as big as the main display simply due to engineering constraints. Instead, the secondary display flips out from the bottom of the main display and sits perpendicular to it. This makes it look like a traditional phone display with a smaller 1:1 display right next to it.
The rumored LG Wing specs include a 6.8-inch main screen and 4-inch second screen powered by the Snapdragon 765 or 765G — our tipster did not confirm any specs, unfortunately.
Although the video does not show the screen “flipping”, our understanding is that the phone works a lot like the T-Mobile Sidekick from the pre-Android years. With that early version of a smartphone, the display would flip outward and expose the physical keyboard underneath.
This design could be incredibly useful
The video presents one cool use case that could apply to many different scenarios. If you are in the car and have the LG Wing mounted to your dash displaying full-screen driving directions, the secondary display can display incoming calls without interrupting your navigation. It’s a novel take on the multi-window or split-screen features we’ve seen on many phones throughout the years.
The fact that two different apps are being displayed on each screen means we can probably assume the same is true for other applications too. Perhaps you can watch full-screen YouTube videos on the main screen while composing a tweet on the second screen. Or shoot full-screen video while recording selfie video at the same time. Or stream games with your Discord server comments displayed on the second screen. The list goes on.
LG is betting big that you want two screens to multitask.
The big question becomes: does the second screen only work with LG apps (music player, dialer, etc) or can any two apps be displayed at the same time? With the latest versions of Android, dual-display functionality is built-in. Could LG even give us the ability to, for example, remove the notification dropdown and push all alerts to the secondary screen? Depending on if LG can get developers to support it or not, this could be a pretty kickass idea.
Perhaps the most obvious application is gaming. Gamers have already taken to the dual-displays LG offers, using the secondary display for on-screen controls while the game renders to the main display. This creates a similar feel to a Nintendo 3DS, and the LG Wing could theoretically do that, too. The rumor mill does suggest the Wing might use the Snapdragon 765G instead of the 765 so could the Wing be targeted at gamers?
When is the LG Wing going to be available?
Unfortunately, the video doesn’t let us know when we’ll see the phone, how much it will cost, or other details. Right now, all we know is that the phone exists and an official launch can’t be too far away. IFA seems too soon if we’re only just catching our first look at a functioning device now but the phone would need to be out well before Christmas, so we’d put our bets on a September to November release.
Considering how novel and untested this type of design is, it’s not unreasonable to assume it will see a limited launch and carry a high price tag. However, LG has been taking lots of big risks lately with devices such as the low-cost LG Velvet, so we could be wrong there. If the LG Wing makes it out of South Korea we’ll definitely be keen to get our hands on it.
Whatever happens, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a smartphone company trying some new things. Sure, we all love the classic smartphone design, but the industry as a whole is getting pretty stagnant. It will take some big risk-takers to change up the status quo, and LG is positioning itself as a leader in that vein. Even if the LG Wing doesn’t take off, we’re looking forward to seeing it spread its wings!