LG Releases T-Shaped, Twin-Screen Smartphone

John Lister's picture

LG has released a dual-screen Android cellphone with a difference. Rather than fold out like a book, one of the screens swivels round to create a T-shape.

The big question now is whether the LG Wing really will prove genuinely useful and solve existing problems or if it's just a gimmick in search of a benefit.

In its default position, the phone looks just like a normal modern smartphone with a full screen display on the front and a blank cover (except for the phone lenses) on the back, the main difference being it's much thicker than most handsets.

Two Screens Can Work Together Or Alone

That's because the front screen can rotate into a landscape mode, revealing a smaller square display below, with the handset now in a T-shape. The two screens can work together for a single application or can operate completely separately and both display a separate app at the same time.

Click here to see an image of the LG Wing.

The phone has several hardware features to prevent damage. The underside of the main screen has a special coating to stop it scratching the smaller screen while being rotated. The phone can also detect if it's being dropped and, if so, while almost instantly retract its pop-out camera lens. (Source: bbc.co.uk)

Some of the suggested uses for the T-shape display include camera and video modes where the users can access settings and "buttons" on the small display while being able to see the entire picture being captured through the main screen.

Similarly, the small screen could be used for controls for video playback or gaming that's displayed on the main screen. Another possibility is to make it easier and safer to mount the phone on a car dashboard, using the small screen for media controls or phone access without having to switch away from the GPS navigation display.

Price Likely To Be Painful

It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, though. While LG has published open source code that it says makes it easier for developers to make apps compatible with the unusual twin screen setup, it's unlikely many will bother putting the effort in unless the model becomes widely used. However, that seems unlikely until buyers can see a genuinely useful reason to get such a phone.

Another question about finding a market is the price. There's no confirmation yet, but speculation is that it will be a bit below $1,000. That's much less than some high-end dual-screen phones, but far more than most standard shaped and sized models. (Source: tomsguide.com)

What's Your Opinion?

Does this phone have any chance of success? Can you think of other worthwhile ways to use the dual screens? Is this evidence that manufacturers have run out of useful ways to improve the design of phones?

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Comments

Dennis Faas's picture

A t-shaped phone seems like a gimmick to me, and as the article mentions, I doubt that app developers will take advantage of the split screen. Unless something like this has major backing by huge hardware developers (Google, Apple, or Samsung), I doubt it will likely never take off. This reminds me of the old-style phones with a slide out keyboard. As soon as the iPhone came out, those phones became obsolete in a jiffy.

Navy vet's picture

This is a good example of a solution in search of a problem.

pctyson's picture

DEFINITELY... I can not think of one advantage that this offers. Why not have a slide out screen that doubles the size of the existing screen....That too might be unnecessary but at least you would double the screen real estate in a goegraphically understandeable arrangement.

jimntempe_12181's picture

The main value of more screen is to get more "stuff" displayed. You wouldn't get a t shaped screen to see "more stuff" if you were working on a spreadsheet, you'd just want a bigger overall rectangle with the elements (think individual cell like b42) individually the same size, i.e. you want to see more elements at the same time. In terms of phone screens, I use mine to hike and show my progress on a map. I don't need for the picture to be "bigger", I want a screen that will let me see a bigger amount of the map at the same time. And it needs to be BRIGHT. A slide out the doubles screen size would be what I would want, a "T", not useful that I can see.