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LG foldable phone: All the details so far

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Everything we know about the LG foldable phone

The smartphone industry has been crying out for something revolutionary for a while now. The rise of the bezel-less screen and corresponding notch – love it or hate it – has been the latest real change in the fundamental design of a mobile phone.

But since 2017, an LG-filed patent for a “foldable phone” has been floating around and, though details are scarce, we’ve trawled the web with a hefty fishing net to find as much about the new concept as possible.

Here’s absolutely everything we can find on the LG foldable smartphone.

LG foldable phone release date: When will it launch?

The short answer is: no-one really knows. This should come as no surprise, given that LG has kept their concept shrouded in secrecy despite Californian phone manufacturer Royole beating everyone to the punch with the unveiling of their FlexPai mobile/tablet hybrid this week.

But don’t panic: a recent tweet from serial leaker Evan Blass suggests that LG is preparing to unveil some foldable technology at the CES in Las Vegas next year.

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Blass has a strong track record with leaks of this sort, so we think this is likely to be true. It helps that LG has always been at the cutting edge of foldable tech, from the G Flex and G Flex 2 phones to the extraordinary LG bendable OLED TV. In any case, we don’t expect to see the phone itself launch until at least the tail end of 2019.

LG G Flex 2

LG foldable phone price: How much will it cost?

Let’s offer some educated guesses. Smartphones are slowly trending toward the £1,000 mark, which means that the future will no doubt be expensive; that said, LG has always erred on the side of affordable, so perhaps this will be a foldable phone that won’t bend your finances.

The LG G7 would have set you back £599 at launch, so a sort of simplistic logic would suggest that the next generation of foldable phones from LG will cost upwards of £700. With the Samsung Galaxy X likely to top the Galaxy S9’s launch price of £739, foldable phones will inevitably come with hefty price tags.

READ NEXT: Samsung Galaxy X rumours

LG foldable phone specs: What’s under the (bendy) hood?

The only information we have on this front comes from the original patent and the four associated images. So rather than speculate about what sort of processor or how much storage the LG foldable phone will have, let’s explore how this foldable phone will actually work.

The patent images depict a phone with a hinge in the middle that is built with four connected parts. It’s similar to Microsoft’s own hinge design, found on the Microsoft Surface Book, and it hides beneath the body and screen of the phone.

The screen itself is – obviously – foldable, or at the least able to contort to fit the various angles offered by the hinge. By the looks of things, this is a phone that can fold through an angle of 180 degrees, allowing it to be either “open” or “closed”.

Interestingly, the patent includes dual cameras, dual speakers and dual antennae. It’s only possible to guess at how good the hardware in this hi-tech flip phone will actually be, but the LG G7 ThinQ currently houses a 1,440 x 3,120 IPS LCD screen, Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM as standard.

READ NEXT: Our LG G7 review

LG foldable phone design: What will it look like?

The LG phone in the images is bezel-less, with an impressive edge-to-edge display punctuated at each end by a speaker. The rear of the phone is segmented into two parts, with room to accommodate the hinge as it bends. So far, button and port positioning remains a mystery, though it’s fair to suggest that power and volume controls could be on the rear of the phone as with the LG G4.

The most important thing to note here is that the screen itself is seamless. The ZTE Axon M is a foldable phone/tablet that joins two screens together by a hinge; the rumoured LG, by comparison, has one screen that will be able to bend and flatten like rubber. This is identical to the Royole FlexPai, incidentally, though the LG phone is clearly a smartphone only while the FlexPai serves as both a phone and a tablet.

LG foldable phone specs and features: What will it do?

We can say with absolute certainty that the unreleased LG foldable phone will be able to fold. Other than that, you’d assume that the basic features will be similar to other smartphones; it will certainly be running the most recent version of the Android OS, although the hardware is less of a certainty. Face identification, fingerprint scanners and multiple cameras are all things we’d hope to see from the mystery LG foldable phone.

LG foldable phone: Early verdict

All signs point to this bendy vision of the future becoming the next big thing for the smartphone industry. On top of that, LG happens to be industry leader when it comes to folding hardware, so expectations are high for the rumoured phone. We’re all looking expectantly towards the CES technology show next year for a glimpse of what’s in store. It’s not just LG, either: Samsung, Motorola, Huawei and Apple have all made their intentions clear. And with startup Royole’s unexpected announcement, it’s clear that the future is foldable.

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