LG Electronics is planning to hold a media event in late April or early May to launch its next-gen flagship smartphones LG G7 and G7 Plus. Sources familiar with the matter told ETNews that the new phones would hit the store shelves in May this year. Initially, there were speculations that the G7 could launch in January. Then the rumor mill claimed it would arrive in March. But later reports indicated that the LG G7 launch had been pushed back as the company had decided to redesign it from scratch.
If the latest report turns out to be true, the G7 will launch roughly 15 months after its predecessor G6, which was launched in February 2017. The Korean company has decided not to stick to a specific release cycle. It would launch new phones when it has something really new to offer. For now, LG Electronics is going to copy the iPhone X’s controversial notch just like a dozen other Android vendors.
The delay in LG G7 launch means the other flagship LG V40 is also going to arrive a few months later than usual. LG refreshes the V-series in September, but the V40 launch would be pushed back to November, claims ETNews. This year’s flagship phones would be one last attempt by LG to revive its ailing smartphone business, which is increasingly becoming irrelevant. LG has lost significant ground to Samsung and Chinese rivals such as Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, and OnePlus. The revival of Nokia brand under HMD Global is further affecting LG’s sales.
Sources told ETNews that LG G7 would feature a display notch similar to the iPhone X. It will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC along with an upgraded 6GB RAM. The additional RAM would help with AI features borrowed from LG V30S ThinQ. It would have two vertically arranged 16-megapixel cameras on the back panel. The device is said to offer at least 64GB of internal storage, a 3,000mAh battery, and a Quad-DAC audio system.
A couple of weeks ago, Israeli publication Ynet reported that LG had secretly previewed the LG G7 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). It was code-named Neo. The phone had a 6-inch OLED screen with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 1440×3120 resolution. The demo unit at MWC had a notification bar at the top that was optimized to hide the notch. It had an 8-megapixel camera on the front. The LG G7 would also have the Boombox feature that lets the speakers play with “high resonance when placed on any surface.”
ETNews added that LG would also bump up the prices of LG G7 and G7 Plus compared to last year’s flagship. The G7 would cost 100,000 won more than its predecessor in South Korea. It translates to a price jump of roughly $90. To recall, the G6 was priced at 819,000 won in Korea while the G6 Plus had a price tag of 957,000 won. The only major difference between the regular LG G7 and larger G7 Plus would be RAM and storage.
Reports surfaced in January that the company had asked its R&D team to redesign the LG G7 from scratch because the prototypes lacked any attractive selling points. As a result, the G7 release was pushed back. Instead, LG launched an upgraded LG V30S ThinQ with AI capabilities at the MWC as a stop-gap solution. LG Electronics’ smartphone business has been incurring losses for the 11 quarters.
LG Electronics mobile business chief Hwang Jeong-hwan told media at the MWC that the company would no longer launch new phones to chase the competition. It would introduce new devices when it has something truly new and useful to offer. Hwang added that LG would focus on audio, battery, camera, and display (ABCD) to regain consumer confidence. He had also indicated that the G7 would debut in the first half of this year.
Hwang Jeong-hwan said during the MWC press conference that LG would not increase prices of its smartphones “because of unnecessary features” that customers don’t use. He revealed that LG had also discussed new naming schemes for its flagship smartphones. There have been reports that the company would change the moniker with G7. We wouldn’t be surprised if the G7 is launched under a new brand name.