Having learned its lesson the hard way, LG is planning to ditch the modular design with its next-gen LG G6 smartphone. Last year, LG Electronics took an entirely different approach to smartphone design to differentiate its LG G5 from the crowd of similar-looking smartphones. But the G5’s modular design failed to excite consumers. Not too many buyers were interested in spending extra to get modules that require additional care.

LG G6 rear camera
Image Source: Samir Makwana

LG G6 to look like a more conventional smartphone

LG reported in October that quarterly sales at its mobile unit plunged 23%. The company’s mobile division hasn’t reported profits in the last three quarters. The modular design of G5 allowed users to swap out the bottom ‘chin’ for other modules such as a speaker or camera grip. Skott Ahn, LG’s CTO, told the Wall Street Journal that G5 was a “meaningful test for us” and the company “paid a lot.”

Skott Ahn also confirmed the name of the next-gen flagship smartphone LG G6. He told the publication that the handset would be released “in the very near future.” LG Electronics is planning to unveil the device at the Mobile World Congress in late February. However, a company spokesman told the WSJ that LG also had a few other announcement dates in mind.

Will it cost less than LG G5?

LG G6 will initially be launched in North America, Europe and South Korea. It will be sold in China through online mode only. With the G6, the Korean company aims to focus on aesthetics and usability. Ahn reiterated that LG was committed to its smartphone business, and had no plans to spin off the mobile division.

Citing market analyst Kim Dong-won, Korean publication The Investor claimed that LG G6 would cost 20% less than its predecessor. The reduction in price could be due to the device moving away from the modular design. However, the Wall Street Journal said that the G6 price would be similar to G5. Unlike the iPhone 7 and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8, the LG G6 would retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

LG G6 to be powered by Snapdragon 835

LG G6 is rumored to feature a 5.3-inch Quad HD display, 6GB RAM, a removable battery, and Quick Charge 4 technology that gives five hours of talk time in just five minutes of charging. The handset is also said to support wireless charging. On the rear, LG G6 would have a fingerprint scanner and a horizontally-placed dual-camera system.

The smartphone is expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 835 chipset that the US company announced at the CES. The new processor built using 10nm FinFET manufacturing process deliver 20% faster performance compared to Snapdragon 820. It is also 35% smaller in size, and 25% more energy efficient than Snapdragon 820.