LG teases its new “Velvet” smartphone and has released a video this weekend showing the design and an important specification. LG says this “Velvet” phone is the first in a “new product roadmap” and that the company “Move of alphanumeric labels “in its branding. In other words, the LG G-Series is dead and this is the phone that the LG G9 would have been.
We are mostly here because the rumors were true and this “flagship” smartphone is not equipped with Qualcomm’s most expensive chip, the Snapdragon 865. Instead, the Snapdragon 765 is being shipped prices, Snapdragon 765 devices should take smartphones out of the stratosphere while maintaining the speed and functionality of a flagship. The chip is popular in China and other more competitive smartphone markets, but we haven’t seen a phone with the 765 in the U.S. yet. The Nokia 8.3 has a Snapdragon 765G and will be launched worldwide sometime in summer 2020, as well as Google’s Pixel 5 should also use the chip.
The Snapdragon 865 is a two-chip solution with the usual computer components on the main SoC, while the LTE and 5G connectivity runs on a separate modem. A two-chip solution is larger, more expensive, and more power-hungry than the typical all-in-one setup. By incorporating the additional modem and mmWave components into devices, OEMs need to build larger devices with larger batteries to power the more power-hungry components, and all of this increases the price of smartphones.
On the other hand, the Snapdragon 765 is a strange quirk in Qualcomm’s lineup. It’s not the flagship chip, but it has a more forward-looking design: an integrated 5G modem. The Snapdragon 765 slightly reduces the 5G modem to reach theoretical speeds of only (only!) 3.8 Gbit / s, while the separate modem in the 865 can theoretically reach 7.5 Gbit / s. The 765 itself is cheaper, and the single-chip solution should also help reduce the size and power consumption – and therefore the ancillary costs – of the rest of the phone.
The video mainly shows the design of the new LG cell phone. The front has a U-shaped notch and slim bezels. The back has three camera lenses and skips the “rectangular camera block” design trend that you see on Apple and Samsung phones. Instead, it just cuts a few circular holes in the glass bottom. The back is available in four colors: black, white, green and a trendy color change option in red / orange.
Unfortunately, like on a Samsung or OnePlus phone, the display is curved left and right. LG highlights this in the video by swirling light over the phone and glass, causing the curved display sides to absorb a lot of glare. That’s the problem, LG! A display that catches glare from ceiling lights is bad and one of the most annoying aspects of a curved display. Curved displays also distort everything you look at along the curve, as websites and apps are flat.
The bottom edge of the phone should make some people happy by having a lower speaker, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack. After Samsung removed the headphone jack from its flagship devices, LG was one of the few outfits that shipped one in a high-end smartphone.
LG’s joke suggests that the Velvet should be released soon. Korean media reports Let’s say the phone will be off on May 15th.
Listing picture by LG