An Alternative to Foldable ScreensSeptember 6, 2019
Foldable phones might not be ready to withstand every day use, yet, but dual screens are viable.
At IFA 2019, LG announced the LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen. It’s essentially a phone case with a screen for a flap. The phone that pairs with the Dual Screen case is the LG G8X ThinQ. This solution is not nearly as elegant as the foldable screens we’ve seen in the past, but it gets the job done, it’s more robust, and probably easier to repair.
LG had previously released the LG V50 Dual Screen, which introduced the concept. It has a smaller screen, but a better resolution (QHD+) than its Dual Screen cousin.
The G8X ThinQ features a 6.4″ FHD+ OLED display with a 2340×1080 pixels resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The secondary screen now has the same dimensions as the primary phone. It even duplicates the notch. Yes, it makes no sense. The Verge speculated that it might be for aesthetic reasons or because it saved costs.
Let’s have a look at the functionality of the two displays:
You can move open apps between screens with a three-finger swipe. You can also switch to landscape orientation and a special two-window app drawer across both screens. We thought that the gap created by the 360° Freestop hinge is a bit jarring. Both of these features work with any app.
Presently, only the Chromium-based Whale browser supports split-screen, multi-window (or tab) multitasking with both screens. In Whale, you can click a menu button to open a second browser window on the second screen. You can then swap screens with a separate menu button. While no other apps currently support this feature, LG said that Chrome will soon catch up.
Other than for multi-tasking, you can also use the second screen as a touch-based controller. It’s possible to detach the G8X ThinQ from the case, but we almost broke the USB-C connector when we tried that.
On the flip side of the Dual Screen, LG placed a third display. However, the cover display only serves as a status screen without any support for user input or interaction. The front of the cover looks like a mirror and it was covered in fingerprints after we were done playing with the phone.
LG wouldn’t comment on when or where the phone will be available or how much it will cost, except that the price will be in the high-end range.