LG’s Wing is a weird, surprisingly practical smartphone

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When it comes to offering more screen real estate on a smartphone, manufacturers have two options: either go with a flexible display à la Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2, or attach a secondary screen like the LG Velvet. While the latter is obviously the easier (and cheaper) option, both implementations have a common problem: multi-tasking only works well when both apps are in portrait orientation, due to the design of most apps. 



a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: LG Wing 5G


LG Wing 5G

This can be a big problem. If I watch YouTube and Netflix videos in landscape, but then load Twitter or Facebook on the bottom half of the phone, these would be stretched wide, making it difficult to read text or view images. This is where the LG Wing 5G’s bizarre swivel-screen design comes in, and having used a pre-production unit for about a week (and having used both the Velvet and the Galaxy Fold), this is by far my favorite multi-screen phone yet. 

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Having a screen that swivels from portrait to landscape on a phone isn’t entirely new. Long before foldable phones and dual-screen phones became a thing, there were feature phones predominantly in Asia that came with this type of screen — albeit a tiny one with a 4:3 aspect ratio — to serve markets that offered mobile digital TV services, such as South Korea’s DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) and Japan’s 1seg. You’d hold onto the main body (remember those keypads?) in portrait, then rotate the screen to landscape and watch live TV on the go.

In the case of the LG Wing, it has a 6.8-inch P-OLED screen that swivels in a clockwise direction to landscape mode (aka Swivel Mode), in which it reveals a smaller 3.9-inch screen below. On paper, that’s great for my use case: I can fully utilize