Update: May 8, 2020:Â Be sure to check out our video commentary of the LG Velvet! We talk about LGâ€™s new design language and what this means for the company going forward.
Original article, April 28, 2020 (3:43 AM ET): LG just up and launched the LG Velvet after first announcing May 7 as its official launch date. The first phone to take advantage of LGâ€™s rebranding initiative, Velvet was announced inconspicuously through an official Korean blog post.
So whatâ€™s the phone all about? Well, we already knew a bunch about the Velvet thanks to official teasers, but we now have most of the specs and availability information at hand.
Letâ€™s take a quick look at LGâ€™s new high-end 5G phone in the specs table below.
|LG Velvet specs|
|Display||6.8-inch Cinema FullVision display
20.5: 9 aspect ratio
LG Dual Screen functionality
|Processor||Snapdragon 765 5G|
Triple camera setup
|Connectivity||4G and 5G|
So what should you expect in terms of design, features, and price? Weâ€™ve got you covered.
A refreshed design
The first thing youâ€™ll notice about the LG Velvet is that it has a very minimalistic design. Itâ€™s got a 6.8-inch OLED FHD+ display with a 20.5:9 aspect ratio. LG calls this the Cinema FullVision display.
Its new â€œWaterdropâ€� triple camera design refers to the rear camera module, which takes inspiration from a falling droplet of rain. The three rear sensors are vertically stacked in descending order of size, with the flash at the bottom of the pile.
Elsewhere, we see a slim chassis with metallic accents. The notched display curves to the edges, which are rounded off to give the impression of more screen real estate. LG calls this the â€œ3D Arcâ€� design, which in our opinion, looks a lot like the other curved screens weâ€™ve been seeing lately. LG says when the phone is viewed from the bottom, it looks to have a long oval shape or what it refers to as a â€œSymmetrical Ellipse.â€�
The phone also has a water-resistant IP68 design, which is in line with LGâ€™s recent flagships. Additionally, it carries MIL-STD 810G certification to endure extreme environments, shocks, and drops.
A familiar camera setup
The triple rear camera setup on the LG Velvet is not something out of the ordinary, and itâ€™s definitely not a flagship-grade arrangement.
The phone has a pretty standard primary, ultra-wide, and depth sensor combo. In fact, the 8MP ultra-wide lens has a lower resolution than any of LGâ€™s recent flagship ultra-wide cameras, like the 13MP sensor on the LG V60 or the 16MP shooter on the LG G7. A 16MP selfie shooter rests within the front notch.
Weâ€™re not sure if the phone is using a Samsung or Sony 48MP sensor, but LGâ€™s high-end smartphone cameras have mostly been based on Sonyâ€™s image sensors, so thereâ€™s likely a Sony IMX586 offered here. LG applies the familiar quad-binning tech on the main sensor to combine four pixels to form one large pixel.
For video shooting, the LG Velvet includes a â€œVoice Out Focusâ€� feature that can separate background noises and ambient voices from videos.
Dual display and stylus support
The Snapdragon 765 phone also supports LGâ€™s noteworthy Dual Screen accessory, alongside a stylus pen. The accessories will not be bundled with the phone though and will be sold separately.
We previously heard that the phone will feature an app called Nebo, to convert handwritten notes into digital documents. This has now been confirmed by LG.
The LG Velvet comes with a 4,300mAh battery and LG says its low-power software algorithm will minimize any unnecessary power consumption. Weâ€™ve been seeing intelligent battery management algorithms for some time now so this isnâ€™t something new. The phone will probably terminate unnecessary background functions and apps in order to save battery life.
That said the phone also supports wireless charging as well as fast charging, but we donâ€™t have the exact charging specifications as of now.
The phone comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The storage on the phone is expandable up to 2TB using a microSD card.
Price and availability
The LG Velvet has launched in its home market of South Korea for now. Itâ€™ll be available in the country starting May 15 in four colorways: Aurora White, Aurora Gray, Aurora Green, and Illusion Sunset.
LGâ€™s previous claim of the Velvet being a â€œmass market flagshipâ€� doesnâ€™t seem to have translated to the actual pricing of the phone. The LG Velvet costs 899,800 Korean won. Thatâ€™s slightly higher than the Korean launch price of the the LG G8 which was unveiled at 897,600 Korean won.
When converted to US dollars, the price comes out to be ~$733, making it pricier than the basic variant of the OnePlus 8 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.
Weâ€™re not sure if LG will reduce the Velvetâ€™s price if and when it launches the phone outside of its home country, but for now, the pricing is about $200 more than we were expecting.
In comparison, the Realme X50 5G and Redmi K30 5G, both with the Snapdragon 765 chipset, cost under $300 for their most basic variants in China. LGâ€™s phone will also face tough competition from the likes of the iPhone SE 2020 and possibly the upcoming OnePlus Z when it launches in global markets.
LG told Android Authority that itâ€™ll announce local Velvet pricing near the launch time for each market. But it hasnâ€™t disclosed when we can expect to see the device in other regions.