Samsung has confirmed that it would release its flagship Galaxy S9 at the Mobile World Congress next month. But LG Electronics is unlikely to unveil the highly-anticipated successor to LG G6 at the MWC. It’s difficult to say when the LG G7 would arrive because the company has asked its R&D team to redesign the G7 “from scratch.” LG has something else in store for MWC: an upgraded LG V30+ α.
How the LG V30+ α would differ from V30, V30+
Yes, industry sources told the Korea Herald that the upcoming phone would be called “LG V30+ α (alpha).” LG has traditionally refreshed its G series in February or March every year. The last two phones in the flagship G line were outright disasters to say the least. The modular LG G5 was rejected by consumers, and last year’s G6 was criticized for its older processor and not-so-good front camera.
LG’s mobile division has been bleeding money for the last ten straight quarters. It incurred a loss of $331 million in the third quarter of 2017. The back-to-back failures of G5 and G6 have forced LG to rigorously evaluate the G series. During the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, the company’s CEO Jo Seong-jin told media that LG would retain the existing models for longer periods. The MWC unveiling of the upgraded LG V30 seems to be a step in that direction.
Jo Seong-jin had also asked LG’s R&D department to redesign the LG G7 “from scratch” to make it more appealing to consumers. Seong-jin added that LG would now launch new phones when they are “needed,” not just because rivals are following a specific release schedule. If the upgraded LG V30 is unveiled at the MWC, the LG G7 would launch at least a few months later. Korean media claims the LG G7 was sent back to the drawing board because the G7 prototypes lacked attractive selling points.
LG Electronics has already launched the LG V30 and V30+. So, how would the V30+ α differ from the other two? Sources told the Korea Herald that the upgraded V30 would feature added AI capabilities with deeper integration with Google Assistant. It would offer Korean language support for Google Assistant. LG and Google have been strengthening their partnership for the last few years.
A PR executive at LG told the Korea Herald without elaborating that the company had planned a few announcements for the next month’s MWC. LG V30+ α is expected to have technical specifications similar to the V30+. It means the upcoming model would feature the same old Snapdragon 835 chipset rather than running the latest Snapdragon 845, which is faster and more energy efficient. LG hasn’t shied away from using older processors in its flagship phones when newer and more powerful chips are available, though the results haven’t always been great.
What the rumor mill has to say about LG G7
Last week, an unnamed LG official told The Investor that the company would determine a new release time frame for the LG G7 around the Lunar New Year (February 16). The LG G7 was supposed to compete with the iPhone X and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S9. Whenever the company releases it, we can expect the G7 to feature a bezel-less OLED panel with an 18:9 aspect ratio, dual rear cameras, and a premium design.
According to the rumor mill, the LG G7 would be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 along with 6GB RAM. Samsung has called first dibs on the Snapdragon 845, which means the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus would be the first phones to feature the new chipset. Qualcomm will likely make the SD845 available to other Android vendors by the time LG G7 hits the store shelves.
The LG G7 is also rumored to feature an advanced iris scanner for authentication and security. LG has patented an iris scanning technology that could not be fooled with a 3D mask or photo because it tracks your eye movements in real-time. Users have to set it up with a light screen and a dark screen to allow it to account for variations in your pupil size. Whether LG will add this technology to the LG V30+ α is unclear.