LG has made some rather unconventional phones in the past but the LG Wing this year takes the cake. Trying to solve the screen size problem from a different perspective, the phone uses a second screen that rotates from underneath the main one (actually the main screen rotates on top of the smaller screen). Unfortunately, the idea that already sounds odd on paper actually falls short in practice but LG and Verizon are pushing out an update that makes it slightly more useful even just for a bit.
LG isn’t new to phones with second screens as the previous LG V and G series phones as well as the LG Velvet supported an optional Dual Screen setup with a custom case. With the LG Wing, the second screen is no longer optional, although hidden, so you won’t have to carry another accessory. Unfortunately, we found that, just like LG’s other phones, support for this non-standard feature is pretty limited and inconsistent.
The latest update being pushed by Verizon doesn’t exactly expand the number of apps that can take advantage of the second screen. It does, however, make it easier to use for all those apps, specifically by allowing them to easily swap between the two screens. That said, some non-LG apps might still “freeze” when switched between screens so there’s a new Restart button at the bottom right corner to, well, restart the app.
The update also adds some new features, like built-in QR Code scanning functionality in the camera app. This could be useful in scenarios where such codes are used for contact tracing or other medical uses. Media controls will also be shown on the second screen, presumably for any app that plays media.
It’s definitely reassuring that LG hasn’t quickly forgotten its quirky smartphone but it remains to be seen how long its interest and commitment will last. It doesn’t bode well, however, that this late December update would only have the November 2020 security patches, especially when January 2021’s update is just a few days away.