With the LG Wing, the South Korean company shows that it uses the same strategy as other major manufacturers whose smartphone branch – to put it mildly – performs less well. The focus is on experimenting, new designs for smartphones, cool features and niches. Usually such manufacturers cannot do without a smartphone department, because they are part of a smart ecosystem. LG, for example, has a lot of success with its OLED televisions and smart home products, which can often work closely with the company’s phones.
That’s why the company announced it in the fall of 2020 Explorer Project On. This is a team that works on special devices and comes up with new shapes and designs for devices that we have been using in the same way for years. So the team’s first product is the LG Wing. The focus of this team is to combine innovation with user-friendliness. In what ways can you expand existing devices so that they are just a little more accessible? Apart from this branch, LG of course still makes phones that have a traditional design.
LG Wing- Specification
|Display (Primary)||6.80-inch (1080×2460)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G|
|Rear Camera||64MP + 13MP + 12MP|
The remarkable design of the LG Wing
The LG Wing is a large unit. The device is quite thick and heavy, making it uncomfortable in your pocket. You really need deep pockets if you want to take this device with you. Remarkably enough, this gives the Wing a completely different target group (probably unintentionally) than the target group that Samsung wants to reach with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. For that smartphone, Samsung has precisely young women in mind, who have little space in their bags or pockets. If you have a larger bag, the Wing will undoubtedly fit in there.
The bulky design ensures that you do not feel that the LG Wing just breaks. It is built quite solidly when used in basic mode. The basic mode is the traditional mode. You do not slide the screen to the side and use it in the old-fashioned way, as it were. The other way becomes the swivel fashion mentioned. You then tilt the screen to the left, creating a T-shape. The large screen is then on its side, while you have access to a second screen below, which is also a lot smaller.
This is what makes the LG Wing a unique smartphone. Where Samsung and Huawei focus on a market for foldable smartphones, you see that LG is going in a different direction. We saw another LG model before. The V60 also has a second screen, but in the form of an accessory. You could say that it is technically a foldable model, but that is actually not the case. The Huawei Mate X, Samsung Galaxy Fold and the aforementioned Galaxy Z Flip are much better examples of this.
But what do you do with it?
LG puts the LG Wing as one multitasking monster in the market. Are you someone who often uses two apps simultaneously on your – suddenly small and cramped – smartphone screen? Then the Wing can offer a solution. We have with the Galaxy Fold already seen that it can be quite handy to have a second (or sometimes third) app available in a smaller window. How exactly is that with the Wing? The implementation is completely different there. You do not have a tablet screen at your disposal, but in fact two separate screens below each other.
Let’s say the tilt works fine. With the device in your right side, it takes little thumb force to push the screen to the side. It is less intuitive for left-handers, as your own hand gets in the way. LG envisions that we will use this device in different situations. For example, that you chat with someone when you are gaming in the meantime. You then chat on the bottom screen, while the game is open on the large, horizontal screen. In itself a great idea.
Another idea is to have Google Maps open on the large screen, while on the other screen you have the phone app open and you are calling someone. You can probably think of even more situations yourself. How about watching a series on the big screen, while answering messages on the small screen? In the meantime, you can also look up information about the movie or series you are watching. Incidentally, it does not matter whether you hold the device horizontally or vertically, since the software of course just rotates with the orientation.
And is it really useful?
The situations are therefore easy to imagine. But that is precisely the problem of the LG Wing: you have to think of a situation in which you use it. With that we quickly come to the conclusion that this device offers a solution to a problem that we actually did not have. Because a real solution for using two apps on the same device is the device and that has to do with the smaller screen. That is just too small to be really useful. It’s not the big screen, you know. That is otherwise fine.
Yes, you can just tap the keyboard at the bottom, if you want to look something up via a browser or chat in a messaging service. However, the keyboard also takes up most of the screen, so you cannot see if anything is happening on the screen. That’s a minor irritation that gets worse over time. Sometimes you reply to a message, while a new message has already arrived (which is common in group conversations). And because you miss those kinds of things while multitasking, you soon notice that you do less.
This results in situations in which you decide to slide the screen back or not to use it in swivel mode at all. And then you have a rather bulky smartphone in your pocket or handbag, which you do not use in the way it is intended. For other situations, the device can offer a solution when you combine two apps that both require little interaction. Consider the example of the combination of Google Maps and the telephone app. This way you can easily keep in touch with someone, while also seeing where you are walking.
The LG Wing unfortunately brings several irritations with it. When you have folded the screen to the left, the buttons on the side are less accessible. Fortunately, there are no buttons on the left, but on the right there are. There are buttons for volume and power. Even if you don’t have a big thumb, you can push those buttons with difficulty. You sit with the side of your thumb against the matte back of the large screen in front. This makes the device difficult to use without visually searching for the buttons.
In addition, it is striking that the software is simply not optimized for this system. That is because Android 10 now has to take into account two screens, with different resolutions and sizes. Moreover, the screens work independently and never actually form a whole. App developers are also not too keen to adapt quickly to hardware developments, as apps need to appeal to the widest possible audience. We therefore do not expect apps that are really optimized for the LG Wing.
We also think that you can really get better specs for a price of almost 1,000 euros. Under the hood is a midrange processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G. Yes, there is support for 5g, but this is of little use to you in the Netherlands for the time being. In addition, there is at least 128 GB of RAM, a battery with a capacity of 4,000 mAh and 8 GB of RAM (which is mainly used for multitasking). The top plastic (!) OLED screen is 6.8 inches, the smaller screen is 3.9 inches.
The gimbal camera
Another unique part of the LG Wing experience is the comprehensive camera system. There are a total of three lenses: a wide-angle lens of 64 megapixels (with optical image stabilization), an ultra-wide lens of twelve megapixels and a wide-angle lens of 13 megapixels. You can have the cameras on the back work together with the 32 megapixel front camera. You can then save the images within one file or export them as separate files. The bottom screen can act as a sort of on-the-fly editing program.
In addition, LG offers various functions through the Creator Kit that you also encounter on other smartphones from the manufacturer. There is also a gimbal camera. You can then use that second screen as a grip, allowing you to film images with extra stability. A gimbal is a means with which you can film images stably, while you are not using a tripod. That is done completely digitally in this case, but the most important thing is that the images are actually recorded stably and are therefore not jerky when you film.
That results in a number of nice situations. For example, you can rotate the camera while the image remains fixed. You can also use a digital bat to shift the focus of the camera, without having to turn your phone. Video makers undoubtedly know what to do with this. Moreover, it is great to use some more camera options on a smartphone. The market is fairly stagnant, and so have the possibilities. The camera hasn’t been as interesting and exciting in ages as it was on the LG Wing.
Unfortunately, we have to add that the image quality is not very good. And we say that not only because of the price tag. The colors are often a bit smeared, details disappear very quickly and in some cases the phone overcompensates the colors. Especially when there is just too little light, the camera system stumbles. The night mode, on the other hand, does quite well, but it must also be really dark. All in all, we are not very enthusiastic about the system, except for the gimbal mode.
Is the LG Wing Worth the Money?
The LG Wing is clearly an experimental smartphone, but one that is at the price. The phone brings a breath of fresh air in two ways: the design and the gimbal camera. This makes the smartphone feel quite unique. However, the lack of software optimization, the disappointing cameras, the internal specifications and the fact that the device is a solution to a problem that did not really exist, mean that we cannot make a brilliant recommendation. The LG Wing unfortunately does not exceed the level of a cool gadget.
Positives of LG Wing
- Unique design
- Gimbal camera
Negatives of LG Wing
- Lack of software optimization
- High price
- No high-end hardware
- Disappointing camera system