LG Wing review: Keep the weird stuff coming


LG Wing review

See that image above? That’s not two phones on top of each other, that’s the incredibly strange LG Wing.

The phone flips around, giving you two screens on top of each other that are fully functional. It’s a bit of a shoot off of the latest round of folding and two-screen phones that we’ve seen lately, even from LG’s own Dual Screen line.

So of course we had to take it for a spin. Let’s see if this incredibly strange device is worth it in our LG Wing Review.

Design

The LG Wing is a lot of things, but you can’t call it scared. Sure, it’s still your typical black slab of a smartphone, but when you’re feeling weird you literally swivel the top screen around. This gives you the same standard 6.8-inch display that you’ve been working with, but with an extra roughly half sized screen on the top/sides/bottom/whatever. Hold the phone in landscape and you get an extra window on the top to pull up a web browser, or get some extra screen sticking off to the side. Whatever you want to do.

This does come at the expense of making the LG Wing pretty thick. It’s got two screens, and even though the top screen is relatively thin as you can see when it’s swiveled out, together they make for a large phone.

LG’s also not using the most premium material here, which is likely to keep weight down. It’s a heavy device.

You’ll find the power button and volume buttons on the right side of the phone, with the USB-C port and speaker along the bottom. The SIM tray is on the left, and there’s no headphone jack to be found, leaving behind a relic of previous LG flagships.

On the backside you’ll find an array of cameras, including a standard lens, telephoto lens, and ultrawide lens. The selfie camera is a pop-out style, with a sliding mechanism on the top of the phone.

Hardware

  LG Wing
Announced September 14th, 2020
Software Android 10, Q OS
Main Display 6.8-Inch P-OLED FullVision, FHD+ Resolution (2460 x 1080), 395ppi
Second Display 3.9-Inch G-OLED, SXGA Resolution (1240 x 1080), 419ppi
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Octa-core
Memory 8GB
Storage 128GB/256GB
MicroSD Support Yes, Upto 1TB
Rear Cameras 64MP Main sensor: F1.8 / 78°/ 0.8µm;
12MP Ultra-Wide: F1.9 / 117° / 1.0µm; 12MP Ultra-Wide Big Pixel: F2.2 / 120° / 1.4µm
Camera Features Gimbal Motion Camera / Front Pop Up Camera / Hexa Motion Stabilizer / AI CAM / Google Lens / Google Assistant / Q Lens / Dual Recording / LG Creator’s Kit / Black Stabilizer / ASMR Recording
Security In-Display Fingerprint sensor
Front Camera 32MP Standard 3: F1.9 / 79.6° / 0.8µm
Network 3G / 4G LTE-A / 5G
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.1 / NFC / USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1 Compatible)
Water and Dust Resistance, Drop Protection IP54, MIL-STD 810G Compliance
Battery 4,000mAh, Quick Charge 4.0+
Wireless Charging Yes
Dimensions 169.5 x 74.5 x 10.9 mm
Weight 260g
Colors Aurora Gray / Illusion Sky

Performance

Anytime you’re dealing with multiple screens, there’s a risk of performance problems. Some of the older phones from years back in strange form factors (think the ZTE Axon M) really struggled here.

Fortunately with advancements in optimization and processor speed we don’t see that so often. Samsung seems to have this nailed down, and aside from mismatched screen tinting, even the Dual Screen phones and accessories from LG have been almost flawless.

We’re glad to report that’s still the case with the Wing, even with its relatively slower Snapdragon 765G CPU. Flipping it around to use both screens is pretty much seamless, and even playing games on one screen with a video on the other works just fine.

The screen itself also looks great. Both displays are temperature matched, and viewing videos, movies, images, and browsing the web look fantastic. The lack of a high refresh rate is a sore spot in 2020, though.

The speakers are fine, although not the best LG’s ever done, and the haptic feedback and vibration motor are of usual LG quality.

Battery

Despite the LG Wing being a serious chonk of a phone, it’s only sporting a 4000mAh battery inside. I imagine a big portion of the size is relegated to twisting mechanisms and other components, but disappointing nonetheless.

The battery life is generally fine on the LG Wing. Even with both screens in use, it’s pretty easy to keep it going all day, but don’t expect much more than that. If you get really into gaming and watching videos or some other combination of intense multitasking, this might be a problem, though.

Software

LG has recently been refreshing their software to compete with the likes of Samsung’s One UI, and you’re getting that newer UX on the LG Wing. The downside? It’s still running Android 10, and LG’s update history doesn’t seem promising for Android 11 or beyond.

The newer interface feels a little flatter and more modern in places, but there’s still some odd design choices. The volume bar has some funky shadowing going on that feels very outdated, and LG hasn’t done a ton to its icons to revamp them from older versions of their interface.

But what’s special here is the rotating screen and how well that works. For all the other middling things I have to say about LG software otherwise, they did a pretty great job of integrating this strange hardware feature into their software. Twisting the screen displays some fitting animations, then kicks the top screen into a carousel home screen of apps and the bottom screen shrinks to accommodate the smaller screen real estate. No widgets on the swivel home, however.

You can set up shortcuts to open pairs of apps, which works perfectly here, and each screen works totally independently, almost like they’re two different phones. But that almost feels more like a drawback than a positive the more you use the device.

There are a few small things, like a super strange inclusion of LG Touchpad, which turns the bottom screen into a trackpad to use a mouse on the landscape screen, or getting YouTube playback controls on the smaller screen if that’s all you’re doing. But overall, this really is just like two separate devices. Games don’t tend to use both screens, and the gamepad feature from LG’s Dual Screen accessories is missing here, even if you can get the relatively more boring game tools that let you disable alerts and search for clips on YouTube. There’s no easy way to flip apps between screens, and you can’t drag and drop between them.

It’s understandable, because some apps don’t work on that smaller screen. The top screen is always landscape, which also causes issues (looking at you, Instagram) so you’re actually kind of limited on what apps will work in this setup. LG will let you force apps to run on the smaller screen, which sometimes works just fine, but sometimes has serious issues that make it unusable, or they simply crash on startup. It’s all trial and error.

These things aren’t entirely LG’s fault. They can’t control that Gamestop’s app turns into a jumbled mess on this tiny screen, but it sucks either way.

Camera

The camera here is fine, but won’t beat out some of its contemporaries or even cheaper Pixel devices. Photos tend to be a little noisy, even in good lighting, and some low light shots produced weird artifacts and glows that weren’t great.

It’s totally serviceable, but for regular photography, I don’t think the LG Wing is winning any awards.

What is cool, however, is the built-in gimbal that you get access to if you use the camera while the screen is swiveled. This uses the phone’s telephoto lens to steady your shots like you would with a regular gimbal, and even gives you a virtual joystick to pan the camera around and follow your subject. It’s actually pretty cool, but not something that I think most people are really searching for.

Worth it?

The LG Wing is an incredibly cool device. I’m glad LG made this, and they should continue to make this weird stuff. But I really don’t think you should buy this, especially at the $999 MSRP.

It’s an incredibly thick phone that I think most people won’t enjoy, and you know cases will be few and far between. For this amount of money you can grab something with better cameras, longer battery life, and more features that aren’t gimped by Android apps’ lack of support, and LG doesn’t do themselves any favors with their track record on Android updates.

But it is really cool as a strange gadget or proof of concept device. If you’re a heavy multitasker then it does have its advantages, and when it works it feels so futuristic. It’s just hamstrung in so many places that I feel much better seeing how cool it is from afar, not using it everyday.


Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo’s Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.




Source link