LG Electronics, specifically its mobile division, is undergoing a shift. For years it has been bleeding despite putting out commendable if not excellent phones and innovative features. In some cases, like the modular LG G5 and this latest dual screen breed, it may be just way ahead of its time. In other cases, it might be a matter of marketing and appearances. LG definitely seems to think so and is announcing the new LG Velvet phone that could mark the start of a new ear and the end of an old one.
LG’s brief press release is both specific yet ambiguous. It says it is moving from alphanumeric designations, the ones that it uses to mark the LG G and LG V phones. Whether that means the immediate end of one or both lines is still up in the air but it suggests we might not see an LG G9 this year or ever.
LG is instead aiming for more memorable elements to its next phones. That starts with a more expressive name, which is what LG believes an “LG Velvet” will deliver. That name wasn’t chosen on a whim and is intended to convey the “essence” of the phone, referring to the new design language it announced just last week.
That design language doesn’t yet have a formal name but LG described it as smooth, soft, and luxurious to touch, just like Velvet. Its most telling visual design element, however, is that “Raindrop” camera design. The name also suggests that LG could be moving away from the shiny and slippery glass of its current flagships and adopting textured and frosted glass materials.
Whether the LG Velvet will even play in the same court as the LG V and LG G phones is still unknown. It could be the “mass premium” device that the LG G9 was rumored to become. LG has always sold its premium phones at slightly lower prices than the competition and it will hopefully continue that tradition even if it’s breaking from the past.