LG is already starting up the hype train in preparation for Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona with an intriguing new ad spot for the event. The video features a hand waving over top a piece of paper, causing words to appear and moving sheets around. It doesn't offer up too many details beyond pointing out that LG will be holding a press conference in the lead-up to the main event.
The company's "Premiere" will take place on February 24 at the Barcelona International Convention Centre.
LG also hints at something that might be shown at the premiere with a somewhat cryptic farewell to "touch." The obvious implication is that LG plans to do away with touch-based smartphone interaction altogether at the world's biggest mobile event. The concept is something that has been explored as part of various LG design patents over the past year or more so that wouldn't be completely surprising.
Although touchless interactions have repeatedly crept into LG patents for quite some time, for the company to follow through with those concepts would still be very surprising. Given the mobile-first focus of MWC, it would also be unusual for LG to emphasize something other than a smartphone.
Rather than doing away with touch interactions entirely, it seems more likely that the Korean tech giant plans to announce a new flagship with key features that lean in a touch-free direction. For instance, it might reveal gesture controls for core apps that are optional but allow users to engage with specific features without making contact with the display.
Rumors of a second screen for a new flagship
If LG does reintroduce the world to touch-free interactions à la Samsung's Air Gestures or something similar, it will likely do so in the form of a new flagship. The current expectation is that the company will follow tradition and showcase the next iteration of its signature G-series with a 5G-enabled LG G8.
Aside from the possibility that LG's next-generation top-tier handset will be 5G ready, there aren't too many details that have leaked for the device. It will almost certainly make use of Qualcomm's latest chipset, the Snapdragon 855 and similarly named X50 5G modem. That's an octa-core Kryo 485 CPU, coupled with an Adreno 640 GPU. A fourth-generation AI processing engine is included in that SoC as well, offering three times the performance for related applications than prior chips.
There are also a few physical characteristics predicted to make an appearance on the LG G8, including speculation that a second-screen accessory will be launched alongside the smartphone. When attached, that will double the size of the display, rumors suggest. The gadget would also provide a stepping point between current candy bar style phones and folding handsets of the future such as the one Samsung is expected to present approximately a week before MWC 2019.
Sound-on-Display technology could find its way into the LG flagship too, letting the screen act as a speaker membrane rather than traditional speakers. That would free up space for other components and allow a higher screen-to-body ratio as well as possibly eliminating the need to include a notch.
LG is flying undercover
While leaks and rumors have cropped up en masse about the next products expected from Samsung, Huawei, and others, LG has surprisingly managed to keep its work mostly under wraps. That doesn't mean that nothing exciting is on the way and the new ad from the company seems to imply that this could be its most innovative year yet.
With MWC 2019 itself taking place from February 25 through February 28, the veil of speculation will be pulled back soon enough. All that's certain for now is that LG promises the event will reveal something stunning.