How the LG Wing made me completely rethink how I use Android phones
For the past couple of years, a lot of people have said that smartphones have gotten "boring." A lot of them look the same, camera and processor improvements aren't as drastic as they once used to be, and just about all of them do the same general thing.
In 2020, that's just not the case. The rise of folding phones has resulted in handsets like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Motorola RAZR, both of which offer foldable designs and reinvent the shape and feel of smartphones as we know it. Another handset that's done the same thing is the LG Wing.
I've been playing around with the LG Wing for a couple of weeks now, and during my time with it, I've ultimately come to the same conclusion that Alex did in his full review back in early October. The LG Wing is one of the most fascinating gadgets I've used in a long time, and while it brings a lot of interesting ideas to the table, the overall package is a tough sell at $1,000.
While I'm not sure I'll be recommending anyone go out and buy an LG Wing of their own this very second, using the phone has opened up my eyes to a few ways its dual-screen design is legitimately useful. Whether it be for productivity or just killing some time, here are five of my favorite ways to use the LG Wing.
Do anything you want while watching YouTube
Ever since Android 8.0 Oreo, Android phones have supported picture-in-picture. The ability to have a small video player on top of whatever else you're doing is a great multitasking perk, but it's also far from a perfect solution. As much as we love PiP, it always feels a bit clumsy. The video is often rather small, it hides other content on your screen, and you'll likely find yourself constantly moving the video around so you can do what you need to do.
On the LG Wing, this is a non-issue. I've often found myself scrolling through Twitter, checking emails, or responding to Slack messages on the main display while there's a YouTube video playing on the secondary one.
You can't force videos to fill the entire area of the second screen, but being able to have a video play next to other apps I'm using — not on top of them — is so much better. If you'd rather not watch YouTube and want to tune into something like Disney+, Netflix, or HBO Max, it works just the same.
It takes some time to get used to holding the LG Wing in this fashion, but once you get a good feel for it, this setup becomes one of the best ways to use the Wing, despite being so simple.
Using my shopping list while scanning for coupons
This next use case is very specific to me, but it's proven to be so handy while using the LG Wing.
I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Target, and if you shop at Target, too, you know the only way to shop is by scanning barcodes at the store to score coupons. 20% off cheese, 10% off condiments — it all adds up! With a traditional phone, I spend my time looking at my grocery list app in Yummly, switching to the Target app to scan something, and then going back to Yummly to continue my shopping. It's a fine process, though it's not the most glamorous.
With the LG Wing, I can keep my grocery list open on the main screen and have the Target app ready to go on the secondary one whenever I need to scan something. The time savings are probably a fraction of a second, but I find it to be more enjoyable than juggling between apps with Android's multitasking.
Staying on top of my budget after a shopping trip
Once I'm done shopping and get back home, the next thing I do is look at my virtual receipt, add up how much money I spent in each of my budget categories, and then add that to my budgeting app. On any of my other phones, this means hopping back and forth between three different apps — Target, EveryDollar, and the calculator.
I don't have to do any of that on the LG Wing, and it's been so much nicer. Now, I can keep my calculator open on the secondary screen while I switch between EveryDollar and Target. Alternatively, the 6.8-inch size of the LG Wing's main display is big enough that I can have those apps open in multi-window mode — giving me instant access to all three applications at once.
This is another use case that's very specific to the way I use my phone, but that's part of where the Wing shines. It isn't always immediately apparent how you can utilize the two screens to your advantage, but once you find a workflow that makes sense, it's a pretty great experience.
Logging into websites with a password manager
I use 1Password for managing all of my various logins, and if you aren't using a password manager yourself, you should change that right now. Regardless, some sites/apps don't always work with 1Password's autofill feature. When that happens, it means having to leave the app, log into 1Password, copy the password I need, and then go back to the app to paste it.
When this happens on the LG Wing, all I have to do is whip out the secondary screen, open 1Password on it, and find the password I'm looking for — all without ever having to leave the app or site on the main screen.
Again, while we aren't talking about massive time savings, the Wing makes these situations less annoying and more convenient.
Following Google Maps with easy music controls
My last point is one of the key use cases LG calls out in some of its press materials, and it's a genuinely great way to take advantage of the Wing's unique design. Open Google Maps (or any navigation map) on the primary screen, bring up your music app on the secondary one, and you have instant access to your media controls while on the road.
Not only is it easier to do this instead of having to cycle between Spotify and Maps, but it's also a heck of a lot safer. If a song comes up that you don't want to listen to, just tap the second screen and be on your way — that's it.
You'll want to have a car mount to take full advantage of this mode, and if you don't have one already, there are a ton to choose from.
How do you use your LG Wing?
I know most people reading this probably don't own an LG Wing, but if you do, how have you been using the phone? And if you don't have one, how do you think you'd take advantage of the dual screens? Drop a comment below and let us know!
A completely new kind of smartphone
The LG Wing is not a perfect device, but even so, there's no denying just how unique and creative its design is. You can use it as a regular phone whenever you want, but in the blink of an eye, the secondary screen allows for all-new possibilities not found on any other device. If you have $1000 burning a hole in your pocket and are tired of "regular" phones, it's worth checking out.
Get the Android Central Newsletter
Instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.
I thought the article might be clickbait, based on the headline, but those are interesting examples. I definitely can see the value of two screens on a mobile device. I prefer the Duo layout, but without a seam (and with better specs, ideally).
I think these devices are great especially if supported properly from the software side of things... I can definitely see the appeal of this type of device... I quite often run two apps side by side side in a similar way on my Matepad Pro...
Yet another example of how desperate LG has become in the mobile space. Throwing anything at the wall that will stick. This won't. Jesus.
There are often times when I'm watching TV and someone wants to chat on Whatsapp, or when someone distant wants to watch something "with" me and comment on what we're watching, so I can see this design being very useful. I hadn't even thought of the Maps + Music thing when I first saw the design: that's another good one. I'll be very surprised if this format survives beyond the next year though.
I bought the LG Wing on the day it was available from Verizon. From a buyers perspective, you have a choice in phones today but they are all the same with slightly better or worse specs. I like to call it the typical "slab" smartphone because they are all just slabs of glass and glue. Now I was a Samsung guy since the first waterproof Galaxy S5 and upgraded every 2 years until my last phone, the Galaxy S9+. My friend got the S20 Ultra and that was the phone I was going to get until I saw this one. From Verizon, the S20 Ultra costs $1,400 for 128GB internal storage or $1,600 for 512GB. The LG Wing costs $400 less and has 256GB of internal storage AND it has dual screens. Compare the price to other flagship smartphones and you have a reasonable option. The specs are a little lacking but using the phone, I haven't noticed anything being slow even with three apps open at once. Battery life due to the smaller processor gets a good boost, giving me an all day battery typical of any other phone. Best part about all of this is that it acts like a normal android phone when in "Basic mode". It has to be noted that if you are in public and have it "swivel mode", you will get asked questions about it. Every conversation I have about this phone ends with "so are there any cases available?". To which I respond "none whatsoever" because there aren't any cases. I have seen some reviewers get a case in the box with a 3M sticky backing but I wasn't so lucky. Overall, I love this phone so far and hope to see unique phones like this in the future.
I agree with JGrager about the slabs and the spec race. Unless you're buying the latest phone every year, you'll have to be good with outdated specs. And in many cases that's good enough. I don't believe you can compare this phone to an S10 Ultra. I'd say the LG Wing has specs of a $700 phone. The question is then is the swivel mode and 2nd screen worth the extra $300? I'd say yes, but I'm sure others won't. Also, the lack of a notch or hole punch appeals to me as well.