LG’s OLED tunnel at CES 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Last year when I visited LG headquarters in Seoul, I asked LG mobile’s product team leader Ian Hwang a question that has been on Android geek’s minds: why haven’t LG phones gone with OLED screens yet? After all, tech geeks prefer OLED panels to LCD (iPhone 8 is finally making the jump too, by the way), and LG is the biggest player in the OLED television market (Samsung, in fact, doesn’t even sell OLED televisions, instead using a similar sounding tech named QLED). Heck, LG even provided OLED panels for the Apple Watch.
While the guys at LG Mobile couldn’t say too much on the record, they did imply that the decision came down to LG Display (a different department), which at the time wanted to focus on “large panels,” like for televisions. Well, going by the latest rounds of rumors and leaks and off-the-record talks with insiders, it would appear that LG will finally make the jump this fall with the LG V30 and the Pixel 2. The latter device, of course, is “Google’s phone,” and while no official announcement has been made, it’s an open secret among phone geeks that LG will be making the phone for Google. In fact, if you follow phone news, you have surely already seen Android Police’s render of the Pixel 2 based on leaked intel, showing a device that looks very much like the LG G6.
A render of the Google Pixel 2 by Android Police, a site that accurately leaked the Pixel 1’s look a year ago.
That’s definitely good news, because looking like the G6 means the new Pixel have drastically trimmed the hilariously large bezels of the Pixel 1 (which I’ve called out extensively, because I think putting out a phone with that huge a chin in late 2016 was inexcusable by a major company). The Pixel 2, according to Android Police (which accurately leaked the look of the Pixel 1 last year), will definitely rock an LG-made OLED panel, which even has the same 18:9 aspect ratio that LG and Samsung pioneered earlier this year (Chinese phones will surely go this route with the next generation of phones coming 2018). This means LG Displays is producing small OLED screens now, likely with enough supplies for the V30, G7 and perhaps the 2018 iPhone if rumors are true.
The V30 will almost certainly be unveiled on August 31 at the IFA trade show in Berlin. Now LG hasn’t officially “confirmed” the news on the record, but it sent an image with a V to tech journos asking them to save the date. Looking at the carefully crafted image, one could already deduce that the V30 will have the same 18:9 aspect ratio as the G6 (and Pixel 2), along with rounded corners. If you look carefully at the V, it seems to show the shape of a very, very slim bezel too. Could the V30 be nearly bezel-less like the Xiaomi Mi Mix?
The image that was sent to tech journalists by LG on July 13.
For the longest time, tech blogs would do their “Galaxy Vs. G”/”Note Vs. V” posts and immediately give the edge to Samsung in the “Display” section because of OLED. LG, which is a world leader in OLED screen tech, is saying “enough.”