We went into Mobile World Congress expecting a bevy of similar-looking phones, and came out surprised and enthused by LG’s V50 ThinQ with its second touchscreen. Fast forward a couple of months and the phone is ready to launch with Telstra on their nascent 5G network (and the company’s excellent 4G network).
LG’s V50 is one of the more unique offerings we’ve seen in the mobile market in recent years. Where manufacturers are experimenting with notches and popup (and even hidden) cameras, LG’s made the V50 distinctive by offering a second screen that you can clip to the phone.
The main phone screen is 6.4-inch 19.5:9 QHD+ OLED display. When you clip on the second screen, you get an extra 6.2-inch FHD+ display that opens like a notebook (it gives off a serious Nintendo DS vibe when closed).
LG will let you run an app on each screen, or split the screens so you can get 4 things going at once. Use it to multitask, get a full screen keyboard or game controls, and more.
Ausdroid got to go hands-on with the V50 and a mostly-functioning second screen accessory and the G8 at MWC – click here to read our impressions.
We’ve seen the V series get a flagship-like focus from LG as it’s become more popular, and they’re throwing everything into the V50. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 855 (and, unsurprisingly, Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem) with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (plus up to 2TB via micro SD).
That also extends to the cameras. There’s five of them, three rear in a familiar standard / wide / zoom configuration (f/1.5-2.4) and two on the front (standard/wide). LG’s put some focus on video, with both front and rear cameras able to track and focus on moving objects and a Point Zoom feature allowing users to select a point and zoom in on it.
The V50 boots and controls the second screen on request, and powers it from its internal battery. That battery comes in at 4,000 mAh so you should have plenty of juice to get to through the day even partaking in a bit of dual screen action. The V50 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge, so that battery will charge up pretty fast over a suitable USB-C connection, and can also top up wirelessly from a Qi charging pad.
Pricing, plans and network access
Launching on June 11, the V50 will be the third 5G phone to hit Australian shelves and carries a $1,728 price point with the second screen accessory included in the box.
The price hits a sweet spot between Oppo and Samsung. It’sa pleasant surprise as we’d been lead to believe the second screen would be an optional extra purchase when we saw the phone in Barcelona.
However, it does represent a new high for LG, which has struggled in the past to sell too many phones in Australia, or to keep the ones it has sold up to date (in some cases, at all). We hope that LG manages to turn that impression around this time, as that premium price all but demands that they do.
That qualm aside, for a phone packing these specs and the extra touchscreen, it’s a pretty good deal and it’s good to see multiple choices at different price points emerging this early into the 5G future.
You’ll also be able to get the phone on a Telstra plan. As with other 5G devices launching on Telstra at the moment, the plans on offer right now will change later this month. The new plans will be subject to Telstra’s 5G network access charge ($15/month) after 12 months.
If you want to go 5G, you’ll need to decide whether you want to jump in on the existing plans and get 5G free for the duration of your contract or take your chances and wait to see what Telstra is going to announce. If you’re not in a 5G coverage area, maybe you should sit this round out.