LG's Dual Screen V50 Responds to Folding Phone Race With a Twist

LG's V50 Dual Screen is not your run-of-the-mill smartphone.

LG has a folding phone with a difference. The company unveiled its V50 ThinQ 5G at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress on Sunday, marking its debut into the 5G connectivity race, alongside the G8 ThinQ. The V50 comes amid a conference deeply enfolded in folding devices, and the Dual Screen looks like it could capitalize on some of its biggest benefits.

The Dual Screen is an optional add-on for the V50. In addition to the phone’s 6.4-inch OLED screen with 3,120 by 1,440 pixels, the accessory adds a second 6.2-inch OLED screen with 2,160 by 1,080 pixels for scenarios like gaming and multitasking. It uses a three-prong Pogo Pin to run directly from the phone’s battery, acting as a clamshell for the device when not flipped out to its two positions at 104 or 180 degrees. Attaching the accessory makes an icon appear that enables users to get started, so they can run two applications at once, or display the controls for a game on one screen while viewing the virtual world on another.

LG V50's optional second screen can display alternative controls.
The second screen can display alternative controls.

See more: Samsung Announces Release Date for Its Next-Generation Galaxy S10 Smartphones

The device comes at a big time for foldable phones. While kids of yesteryear rocket flip phones like the Motorola Razr, the iPhone’s candybar design set the trend for years to come after its 2007 debut. This trend has showed signs of reversal, with 2018’s Cosmo Communicator offering a two-inch touchscreen on the exterior that folds out to reveal a six-inch screen and QWERTY keyboard. Another device, the Royole FlexPai, debuted in October 2018 with a four-inch OLED screen that folds out into a 7.8-inch tablet.

While the LG packs boosted screen real estate, it may fail to impress compared to other devices that debuted in the same week. Samsung and Huawei both unveiled phones with single, giant screens that folded in the middle. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold shows a compact smartphone display on the outside, unfolding to reveal a 7.3-inch screen in the center. Huawei’s Mate X works in the reverse by offering an eight-inch screen that folds backwards, offering a 6.8-inch screen on one side and 6.6-inch screen on the other.

Pricing and release date have yet to be revealed for the V50, but Samsung and Huawei’s devices have shocked observers with their high prices — the Galaxy Fold starting at $1,980 and the Mate X at around $2,600.

It may not offer the same technical prowess as the other two, but a cheaper price could make it a more attractive prospect.