LG Electronic finally revealed the release date and recommended price tag of the V50 ThinQ 5G, its first Android smartphone designed to communicate with the fifth generation of mobile networks.
The device is scheduled to hit the store shelves in South Korea on April 19, starting at the equivalent of $1,050. The secondary screen accessory will be bundled with the handset throughout April, after which it will start retailing separately at about $195.
Too early for the hype?
Originally announced in late February at the 2019 edition of Mobile World Congress, the V50 ThinQ 5G is meant to signal the start of LG's efforts aimed at embracing the next generation of wireless connectivity. The Android-powered phablet is meant to take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the still-unannounced 5G-ready handset from OnePlus, among other such devices.
Many industry watchers remain adamant it's still way too early for 5G hype to be as prevalent as it currently is, though the enthusiasm is still mostly coming from the manufacturing side of the mobile industry. Consumers remain largely skeptical about such devices, especially given their increased price tags and many potential problems the first-generation of 5G handsets is susceptible toward.
Those are just some of the reasons that will likely prevent the V50 ThinQ 5G from becoming a commercial hit, and that's assuming LG's mobile unit even manages to deliver an otherwise stellar device. Its ability to do so is dubious, to say the least, seeing how its track record over the last half a decade or so is far from stellar.
A U… V-turn in the mobile segment
The V50 ThinQ 5G also marks a major shift in LG's overall mobile strategy that saw it maintain two similar flagship lineups in recent years; the G series will now remain in the role of its mainstream high-end mobile brand, whereas the V family will be used for pushing the 5G portion of its portfolio for the time being. The streamlining effort should allow LG to at the very least focus its advertising efforts in a manner that would minimize the chances of more consumer confusion, which is something that's been a natural reaction to the last several generations of its premium smartphones.
As for the device itself, it's a fairly run-of-the-mill 2019 flagship: it uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 paired with the X50 modem for 5G connectivity, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of UFS 2.1 flash storage, and five cameras in total – a triple-lens setup with one telephoto and two wide-angle modules on the back, and another two wide-angle cameras on the front.
One unique selling point of the device is its 3.5mm headphone jack as this is possibly one of the only (first-gen) 5G handsets to offer that conventional audio port that's still in the process of being phased out by the majority of the industry. A notched 6.4-inch (QHD+, 19.5:9) display and a 4,000mAh battery complete this high-end package that's also expected to become available outside of LG's home country this spring. Naturally, at a somewhat higher price point.