This year looks to bring major changes for LG. After years of an underperforming mobile division, LG is taking a hard look at all its lineups and making some major changes to better compete in the smartphone market. This starts with a revision to the G series which might undergo its biggest year-to-year change.
Rumor has it that LG delayed the G7's Mobile World Congress announcement after CEO Jo Seong-jin sent the phone back to the drawing board. While LG did offer a rebuttal to this leak, they didn't outright refute it, and they also somewhat confirmed a name change may be in the works. As we slowly approach its rumored announcement date, there's a lot of buzz about the upcoming flagship.
While rumors from different sources agree upon the size and aspect ratio of the display, the type of panel is still up in the air. According to ETNews, the G7 will be using an OLED display similar to last year's LG V30. The assumption is that LG would use an upgraded POLED display that fixes many of problems which plagued the Pixel 2 XL and V30. However, according to Evan Blass, LG might be going in a completely different direction.
Instead of reusing OLED and having to spend money marketing the improvements of the new panel, LG might switch panel type altogether. According to Evan Blass, the LG "Judy" will use an MLCD+ panel, a fairly new type of panel which is capable of 800 nit brightness while consuming 35% less power than standard IPS LCD panels.
For context, the highly praised display of the Galaxy Note 8 was able to achieve 1,200 nits while the Galaxy S8 (and S8+) hit 1,000 nits. While brightness isn't an indicator of quality, it does address one of the common complaints of the V30, which was a dim screen even at 100% brightness.
The lower power consumption is achieved thanks to the addition of white sub-pixels (along with the red, blue, and green) which removes the need to power up the three pixels for white (RGB). Hopefully, this new panel receives less criticism than its POLED counterpart.
This new display offers 900 PPI display which would one of the highest ever PPI on a smartphone besting the Xperia XZ which has a 4K display. The same source says the resolution would be 3120 x 1440 using a 19:5.9 aspect ratio.
The screen size will also increase from the LG G6's 5.7" up to a full 6". This puts the new model right in line with the S8+ and S9+, but unfortunately, this will also isolate those with smaller hands. To be fair, the G6 was already a pretty big phone, plus we can expect LG UX to provide tools to help those customers.
Unlike last year where LG wasn't able to put the latest Qualcomm flagship chipset in the G6 thanks to Samsung allegedly buying them out of stock, LG "Judy" will include the Snapdragon 845. This was not only confirmed by Evan Blass but leaked on Weibo. A user released the roadmap for all devices running the latest chipset for 2018, and the "G7" was included.
With its push into machine learning under its new brand, ThinQ, LG will likely be including machine learning enhancements on this device. This should be similar to new LG V30 variant (known as the LG V30 Alpha), which utilizes machine learning to improve photography (Vision AI) and provide additional unique voice commands to further enhance Google Assistant (Voice AI). Check out the link below for more information on LG's machine learning integration.
There will be dual cameras in the rear which use 16 MP sensors, and unlike the V30, both will have f/1.6 apertures. Additionally, the setup will be similar to its predecessor, pairing its main camera with a wide-angle lens. The main camera will have optical image stabilization.
Additionally, LG will be borrowing from Apple iPhone X's design and utilizing a notch to house the 8 MP wide-angle front-facing camera. From the images, it looks like LG UX will hide the notch by including a black bar along the top of the display.
Apparently, other outlets agree, as a tip sent to TechRadar to rewatch the leak Ynet video led to a similar conclusion. According to TechRadar, there is an option in the Settings menu that toggles between "Full View" (which showcases the notch) and "Normal View" (which hides it).
With "Full View," the notch is displayed in a similar manner to the iPhone X with each side housing an aspect of the notification bar including the time, battery level, and signal strength. However, with "Normal View" enabled, a black bar will appear along the top that will hide the notch but also reduce the screen real estate.
Thanks to Evan Blass, we also know a few more key specs, but not a lot of details about them. RAM will be at 4 GB, coupled with 64 GB of storage. Similar to the V30, there will be a plus version (G7+) with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.
The battery life will be heavily dependent on the efficiency of the Qualcomm chipset, as the capacity will be a mere 3,000 mAh. For context, the LG V30 with the same size display had a 3,300 mAh battery.
Stereo speakers are making their way to the LG "Judy" with something known as "Boom Box" speakers. According to rumors, this new development will allow the speakers to play music at a stronger resonance when the device is placed on any kind of surface. It will also use DTS:X sound technology.
Finally, LG "Judy" will have the elusive combination of IP68 (with improved military standard durability) and wireless charging.
According to Etnews, the LG G7 will be announced at the end of April or early May. LG will then release the device, first in Korea and then in the US a few weeks into May. This leak falls in line with previous reports of a release around June.
In the same report, the pricing was leaked for the Korean markets. When converted to US dollars, the G7 would be priced at around $850, while the G7+ version would approximately $100 more.
With these specs, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year for customers. Instead of jumping on the Galaxy S9 early in the year, it might be worth waiting for the summer to see what LG has in store. Check back here as we get closer to June for more leaks and news about the LG "Judy," and let us know in the comments below if you are excited about LG's next offering.