The LG G8 will not be the first 5G smartphone from the Seoul-based company, according to the latest handset launch roadmap from LG. Recent reports state that LG will unveil its first 5G handset under a different brand. The tech company is currently in talks with carriers in South Korea, Europe and the United States regarding its 5G handset, and the company plans to release it in those three markets after the LG G8 is out. An earlier report claimed that LG originally wanted to launch its 5G handset in both South Korea and the United States in May 2019, although the new roadmap shows that the firm may instead launch the handset a month or two earlier.
Despite LG's decision not to include the latest cellular technologies into the LG G8, the device will still offer several major design and hardware improvements compared to the LG G7. The new report claims that the G8 will be the first LG smartphone to feature a 3D camera, which could improve the speed and the security of the company's existing face unlock system. LG may also use the 3D camera to improve the augmented reality functionalities of the G8. Furthermore, the tech company plans to include a waterdrop-shaped notch above the display of the LG G8. In contrast, the LG G7 features a wider notch that holds the handset's front-facing camera, earpiece, and additional sensors. According to its roadmap, LG will launch the G8 in March. The device maker also plans to release its first foldable smartphone next year, although that particular gadget isn't expected to debut before September and should be announced no later than November, as per the same source. The first device that LG will launch in 2019 is a mid-range smartphone coming in the form of the LG Q9. It will sport the Snapdragon 660 chipset, a 6.1-inch display, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of flash storage, as well as a 3,000mAh battery. The current plan is for the device to debut in January, possibly at CES 2019 which will soon be kicking off in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Background: LG's mobile phone business has been consistently losing money over the past few years, and the firm's new leadership hopes that the launch of 5G services and handsets could help it turn around the fortunes of the smartphone division. There is still little information available about LG's 5G smartphone, although it's likely to feature the Snapdragon 855 chipset with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem from Qualcomm. The LG G8 should also sport the same SoC but won't have 5G connectivity support as it will instead likely use the Snapdragon X24 modem which still allows for unprecedented 4G LTE speeds.
Impact: The decision to launch the 5G handset under a different brand should allow LG Electronics to develop a precisely tailored marketing strategy with the goal of improving sales. While doing so might delay the launch of its foldable Android smartphone, focusing on quality control could allow LG to finally shake off its negative reputation caused by mainboard and bootloop issues that plagued its devices until just a few years ago.