Smartphones have basically gotten as large as they can reasonably get without some sort of radical design change. Samsung and Huawei are working with foldable OLED technology to allow phones to transform into tablets, but LG is still pushing the dual-screen design. The new G8X is the latest phone with one of the company’s snap-on Dual Screen accessories. Even with some new design refinements, this is going to be a tough sell.
As you might have guessed, the LG G8X ThinQ is a modified version of the G8 that launched earlier this year. It ditches the silly and almost inoperable motion controls, allowing for a smaller display notch. Inside, it’s a typical 2019 flagship phone with a Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. There’s also a headphone jack, which is something of an anomaly these days.
The phone itself isn’t the interesting part; it’s how the phone interacts with LG’s latest Dual Screen case. The 6.4-inch OLED in the phone clocks in at 2340 x 1080 and the case has an identical OLED. This is a change from past Dual Screen accessories which didn’t always match the phone’s display. In fact, the case even has a fake display notch at the top for its non-existent camera. There’s another display on the outside of the Dual Screen case as well. This 2.1-inch monochrome panel lets you quickly check the time and notifications without opening the phone.
Past Dual Screen cases also relied on pogo pins on the back of the phone for connectivity, but this one connects to the phone via the USB Type-C port. LG also says it’s less of a drain on the phone’s battery, which has grown to 4,000mAh from 3,500mAh in the previous G8.
With the Dual Screen case connected, you can run two apps side-by-side on the G8X. Those could be two separate web pages or something more elaborate like a game and a video player. You can even turn the phone into a miniature laptop by pulling up LG’s keyboard app on one screen with an app in landscape on the other.
At this point, you may think this sounds like a good deal. After all, flip cases for phones are not exactly a new idea and plenty of people like them. However, like all LG Dual Screen systems, this thing is bulky at about 15mm thick and 326 grams. For comparison, the Galaxy Fold only weighs 263 grams, and it’s about half a millimeter thicker when closed. App developers need to get on-board to enable advanced functionality, too. LG will have to move a lot of units to have any hope of significant support, and that’s far from a certainty.
LG will ship the G8X ThinQ in the fourth quarter of the year. Specific market availability and pricing will be announced closer to release.