Not to let Samsung hog all the attention, LG has announced its first smartphone with support for 5G connectivity at Mobile World Congress 2019. Rather than spinning off a new brand, LG will release its 5G smartphone as the LG V50 ThinQ.
LG has been pretty transparent about the existence of its 5G smartphone, although it was Korean media that unveiled the phone’s branding. Last month, LG announced that its 5G device will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, a 4,000mAh battery, and a vapor chamber for better cooling. A leaked render revealed a partnership with Sprint, and LG confirmed that the V50 ThinQ will be launched between March and April of 2019. Now the company has officially announced the details of the LG V50 ThinQ’s upcoming launch.
LG’s bi-annual flagship release schedule has been shaken up with this announcement, as it’s supposed to be the turn for a G-series refresh. Indeed, the Korean company also announced the LG G8 ThinQ with 3D facial recognition, Hand ID, Crystal Sound OLED, Air Motion gestures, and more new features. Unlike the LG G8 which offers significant improvements over the LG G7 ThinQ, the LG V50 ThinQ is an upgraded LG V40 ThinQ with the same 5 cameras (3 rear and 2 front-facing), the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, a larger 4,000mAh battery, and 5G.
LG’s decision to slightly upgrade the V40’s internals seems odd in light of its fellow Korean giant, Samsung, introducing a crazy new SKU like the 5G Samsung Galaxy S10+. LG says their main achievement with the V50 ThinQ was managing to cram its hardware plus mmWave antennas in basically the same footprint as the LG V40 ThinQ. The LG V50 ThinQ measures 159.1 x 76.1 x 8.3 mm and weighs 187g while the LG V40 ThinQ measures 158.7 x 75.7 x 7.7mm and weighs 169g. Thus, the LG V50 is only very slightly thicker, longer, taller, and heavier than the V40 despite them both having 6.4-inch displays. The LG V40 ThinQ is a terrific phone that we’ve reviewed positively on several occasions, so I’m not too disappointed by the lack of significant internal upgrades. Of note, Xiaomi’s 5G Mi Mix 3 also made marginal upgrades over an existing model.
LG V50 ThinQ Specifications
Here’s the specification sheet that LG provided for the LG V50 ThinQ. Remember that the V50 is basically an upgraded LG V40 ThinQ in terms of battery capacity, chipset, and network connectivity. Assuming LG uses the same displays found in the V40 ThinQ, the V50’s display should be excellent. The LG V40’s five cameras make a return. There’s a standard lens, a wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens on the rear of the device. In my opinion, these three lenses are very useful, which is why I’m happy to see other companies copy LG here. On the front, there are two cameras, which are perfectly serviceable but largely unremarkable.
|Display||6.4-inch, 19.5:9, QHD+|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with Snapdragon X50 modem|
|Dimensions and weight||159.1 x 76.1 x 8.3 mm, 187g|
|Front Cameras||8MP f/1.9 aperture, 1.12μm pixels, 80° field-of-view
5MP f/2.2 aperture, 1.0μm pixels, 90° field-of-view
|Rear Cameras||Standard: 12MP f/1.5 aperture, 1.4μm pixels, 78.7° field-of-view
Wide: 16MP f/1.9 aperture, 1.0μm pixels, 107.8° field-of-view
Telephoto: 12MP f/2.4 aperture, 1.0μm pixels, 47.2° field-of-view
|Memory||6GB LPDDR4 RAM|
|Storage||128GB storage, expandable with up to 2TB microSD|
|Software||Android 9 Pie with LG UX|
Besides confirmed availability on Sprint in the U.S., Verizon has also announced that they will carry the smartphone, but exact pricing and availability dates have yet to be announced.
LG has a lot to prove in 2019. I think they’ve done a great job differentiating themselves with the LG G8 ThinQ, even if its design seems uninspired with its large notch. Although the LG V50 doesn’t change much from the LG V40, LG will offer a crazy second screen case that literally adds a second screen to the phone. It’ll let you do things like split the controls and gameplay between both screens—kind of like a Nintendo DS. We’ll keep you updated if we learn more about the LG V50 ThinQ.
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