LG has finally picked a time for its next flagship smartphone launch. The company issued a press release today saying the LG G7 will launch May 2 in New York City.
This year the LG flagship isn’t just called the “LG G7.” LG is slapping its “artificial intelligence” sub-brand onto the end and calling it the “LG G7 ThinQ.
LG’s home appliance wing launched the ThinQ brand (pronounced “Thin Q”) in December, saying “LG ThinQ products and services will all have the ability to employ deep learning and communicate with one another, utilizing a variety of AI technologies from other partners as well as LG’s own AI technology, DeepThinQ.” The brand has already appeared on a smartphone, the LG V30S ThinQ, where “ThinQ” meant it had an automatic camera mode.
The G7 leaked all the way back in February, where it was shown off at Mobile World Congress behind closed doors. Back then the phone was sporting a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 3000mAh battery, and a 6-inch, 3120×1440 OLED display with a big, fat notch cut out of the top of the display. Since then, a report from the has claimed LG would switch to an LCD to “cut costs.” LG OLED displays have continually had quality issues, so an LCD here would probably be a good thing.
The back has a vertical dual-camera setup with a rear fingerprint reader. Renders built using the CAD files show a bottom with a headphone jack, USB-C port, and bottom-firing speaker. The latest leak comes from Android Headlines, which has an image it claims is an official render of the device. Android Headlines does not have a history of leaks as far as I know, but if nothing else, it lines up with all the other pictures.
Both the CAD renders and the official image show two volume buttons, a power button, and an extra, fourth button. The current speculation is that the fourth button will launch a voice assistant, à la Samsung’s Bixby button. With the ThinQ branding, will it be an LG-made voice assistant or the Google Assistant?
The LG mobile phone division has had a rough few years. The group is the lowest-performing division inside of LG and has been losing money for 11 straight quarters. LG’s response to its poor performance seems to be to back away from the flagship smartphone release cycle, with the company saying it would “not launch it just because other rivals do.”
Will the G7 revitalize LG’s smartphone division? We’ll have a much better idea on May 2.