MWC 2019: LG DualScreen - first look at LG's alternative to foldable phones

MWC 2019: LG DualScreen - first look at LG
Highlights

At MWC 2019 we saw LG DualScreen, designed as a companion to the LG V50 unusually not the LG G8 this is essentially a fat ol case that the phone clips into Well, this is something really new

At MWC 2019 we saw LG DualScreen, designed as a companion to the LG V50 unusually not the LG G8 this is essentially a fat ol' case that the phone clips into. Well, this is something really new.

You'll get access to another display that can communicate with the phone, giving you alike of a secondary monitor for your handset that's tethered onto the side.

We're not sure when the LG DualScreen will be launched in the market or the cost, but it can't be that far – we expect it to launch before the summer this year, and we are somehow sure it will be costly.

Design

The LG DualScreen draws power and data from the pogo pins at the rear of the device, though the information is sent wirelessly. It clips fairly nicely alongside the LG V50, but it adds rather a large amount of weight to your unit.

It's not Wi-Fi, relatively a specific short-throw signal that allows for low latency connection - important if you're (spoiler alert) using the DualScreen as a gamepad.

The DualScreen doesn't look very impressive; it's a quite chunky device that's lighter than the phone, which makes the balance. We're not saying it was heavier, but we assume that it's a little bit unbalanced compared to other 'real' foldable phones.

The bezels around the 6.2-inch OLED screen which is only Full HD (rather than the QHD option on the V50) are rather stocky and look a little cheap when compared to the phone, and their presence means that you can't have any apps that spread over the two screens. LG thinks that this is fine, as very few apps are capable of working in these large-screen modes. Similar to the likes of Samsung and Huawei are throwing out with their foldable devices.

there's nothing new at the rear of the phone it is shiny and it's easy to get smudged with fingerprints - holding the device with both screens shut feels like you're holding a solid phone indeed. The hinge of the screen is foldable the whole way around, so you can support the V50 with the DualScreen on and watch a movie, or use the rear screen as a viewfinder for the camera.

Use your phone in a new way

So how do you think the LG DualScreen might perform? Does it make easier or more immersive or is it just a total gimmick?

Well, it's somewhere in the centre. After watching the device demonstration, with the LG reps skillfully navigating through a different camera, gaming modes made everything look quite smooth. You're instantly lost if pick it up with no instruction though.

Initially, there's a small power button that is seen on the side of the screen that you'll need to tap to activate the other display. This menu allows you to switch the screen that's in play, or show what's on one display on the other.

This is a tricky experience as it's too small, and flipping the displays around didn't feel hugely spontaneous. While browsing the web we tried to watch a video, and it worked quite well. On one side it easily streamed a YouTube video or Netflix show and then on the other browse for information, but all that did was increase guilt that we're not focusing enough on what's important in life, adding in another distraction.

The most appealing was the gaming mode with the DualScreen functioning as the place to see the gameplay and the bottom for gamepad controls, with four to choose from. This was the coolest part, but despite LG saying it worked just like a Bluetooth controller, it wasn't easy to set up for a few games.

LG DualScreen camera was at its most impressive, with the phone showing the live image on the screen and then the options available if you used the other sensors and how that would change your photo.

Though the screen quality of the DualScreen was just fine and at no point did we feel it was too low-res. We wished it to be the same 6.4-inch size as the phone though, just to make things more aesthetically pleasing.

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