Editor's note: Updated at. 12:41 ET to include Cnet's report on LG's smartphone plans.
Folding or not folding – it seems to be the issue for LG and its next smartphone, according to duels reporting on the phone manufacturer's plans for next month's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.
The successor to the LG G7 shown here is expected at MWC next month. (Credit: Tom's Guide) On the folding phone front, a Korean paper reports that the LG G8 ThinQ debuts on the mobile industry's trade show event in February, and that the new flagship phone will be a folded display. The report, published in Dong-A Ilbo, says that LG's G8 will have a smaller display that can be folded out into a 7-inch screen. Samsung has shown a similar capability with its Infinity Flex screen, which will appear on the upcoming Galaxy F. But this screen is a single folding panel; Dong-A Ilbo reports that LG's version will have two screens connected with a hinge.
But wait – another report in Cnet cites a person who is familiar with the situation at LG, saying that it is not what the company is planning at all. Instead, according to this report, Cnet will build a phone that will allow you to attach any other screen. And it just gets one of several phones LG could reveal at MWC in February, none of which will fold. The phone described by Cnet cannot even be called G8.
Who should believe? We have plenty of time to discuss this point since Mobile World Congress does not start before eb 25.
The phone described in the Dong-A Ilbo report sounds much like the same approach ZTE used for its foldable Axon M smartphone back in 2017, and it was not entirely successful then. While the hinge on the Axon M was probably sturdy, it also turned out to be a nuisance when trying to use the phone in full-screen mode. The report of LG's plans suggests a more seamless screen for G8.
MORE: All incoming foldable phones for 2019
This is not the first time we have heard of LG's plans for a foldable phone. Patents describing a hinged phone were discovered late last year, and LG executives told us at CES that a foldable phone was in the works. In fact, some industrialists had even suggested that a collapsible phone would be a surprising appearance in last week's CES show, even though it didn't go out.
In addition to the folding screen, the report from Korea on the LG G8 was saying that the phone will use something called "touchless input" which allows you to preform the guest controls from up to 11 inches away without touching the screen. A sensor on the front of the phone will be able to recognize the movements you make according to the report.
It wouldn't be out of character for LG to try something new with the phone it introduces at Mobile World Congress, whether it's a foldable phone or one that has the attached screen Cnet describes. At the 2016 Mobile Fair edition, the phone manufacturer unveiled the modular LG G5, which was designed to let you switch in various accessories. Next year, LG G6 introduced the wider screen that is becoming increasingly popular among flagship phones.
Of course, that wouldn't be a sign either, because someone could steal LG's thunder around the Mobile World Congress. Not long after LG introduced the extra-wide screen of the LG G6, Samsung took the tapes out of the Galaxy S8 and its corresponding in-depth Infinity Display. Guess who ceases to get all the attention?
LG had better hope, history does not repeat. This year's Mobile World Congress will start on February 25, but a few days before February 20, Samsung will hold its own press event in San Francisco. It is expected that Samsung will introduce the Galaxy S10 to that event, but there is also the possibility that the foldable Galaxy F could also get some stage time – several days before the G8's rumor disclosure.
Maybe the price can be a differentiating factor. While Samsung's foldable phone is expected to cost a lot – we have heard reports that it will be about $ 1,800 without any subsidiaries – Dong-A Ilbo suggests that LG G8's price could be closer to $ 900.