LG G9 leaked renderSource: CashKaro / @OnLeaks

With so many phones that are released during a given year, it only makes sense for some of them to slip between the cracks. Other companies gets fiercer, prices get more competitive, and those that aren't truly amazing often get left to the wayside.

Unfortunately, that seems to have been the case for LG for the last few years. The company makes solid devices, but a handful of quirks or missteps keep them from achieving true greatness.

2020 is here, and this time around, we're expecting to see the LG G9. Is this the year LG will finally be able to turn things around? Here's everything we know so far about the phone.

Underdog

LG G8

One of 2019's most overlooked phones

Not very impressed with what we're seeing so far from the LG G9? The G8 is still plenty powerful and capable, and you can buy it right now. It's got an OLED display, good battery life, and a top-notch headphone jack. It's not our first phone recommendation, but it's also far from the worst out there. If you're an LG fan, it's certainly worth checking out.

The G9's design looks like it's from 2018

The first renders of the G9 were shared on January 3, and while we don't want to be too judgemental this early on, what we're seeing here doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

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To be perfectly blunt, the G9 looks like a phone that was released in 2018 — not a next-gen flagship coming out in 2020. The bezels are small, but if we're nitpicking, the bottom one does look a bit large compared to what other companies have been able to achieve. There's also a waterdrop notch at the top of the screen.

Around back, we get a plain black paint job with four rear cameras and a flash. The G9 appears to have an all-glass body, along with a dedicated Google Assistant button to accompany the power button and volume rocker.

There's nothing offensive or wrong about how the G9 looks, but there's also nothing inspiring or creative about this design. It looks like every other phone released over the last couple of years, and for a company that desperately needs something to set itself apart from Samsung, OnePlus, Apple, and others, this isn't what we were hoping to see.

It is worth noting that the renders above look almost identical to the LG V60 that was announced on February 26, leading us to wonder whether the G9 and V60 will share the same design or if the renders were actually for the V60 in the first place.

Specs remain a mystery (mostly)

LG G9 leaked renderSource: CashKaro / @OnLeaks

Specifications for the LG G9 remain mostly unknown at this point, but there has been one leak that's worth talking about. A report from South Korea suggests that the LG G9 will not use Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 865 processor and instead opt for the slightly low-end Snapdragon 765. This is something that's also been rumored for the Google Pixel 5, indicating that multiple companies are seeing value in Qualcomm's more affordable chipset.

When it comes to the display, we should also see an OLED one as the G8 was the first phone in the G-series to use an OLED panel instead of an LCD one. The G8 is also bound to have 6 or 8GB of RAM, expandable storage, and a 3.5mm headphone jack with a Quad DAC (a staple of LG phones in a world that's quickly moving past the legacy port).

It might not be called the "LG G9" 🤔

LG V10Source: Android Central

LG's been pretty consistent with its device branding over the years, but word on the street is that the LG G9 might actually go by a different name altogether.

Two reports from March 27 indicated that the entire G-series branding is dead for future smartphones and that LG is shifting to a naming scheme that will highlight certain features/aspects of that particular device.

It's said that the shift in branding will start with the phone we've been looking forward to as the LG G9, but there's currently no indication as to what the phone's new name will be.

Introducing a new name/branding tactic isn't a guarnatee that sales will be better for LG, but there's no denying that the G-series and V-series have gotten a little long in the tooth. If the phone itself is solid, an exciting name to go along with it could be just what LG needs.

LG's stepping up to four cameras

LG G9 leaked renderSource: CashKaro / @OnLeaks

Taking a look at the back of the LG G9, we can see that the rear camera bump is housing a total of four sensors. Two are a bit on the larger side, with the other two being noticeably smaller.

We have no idea what sort of camera specs the G9 will be outfitted with, but an early guess is that we'll get a primary wide camera, ultra-wide camera, telephoto camera, and a time-of-flight sensor.

This is great to see, especially considering that the G8 only had two cameras.

Don't worry — the headphone jack is still here

LG G9 leaked renderSource: CashKaro / @OnLeaks

Although LG phones aren't the most popular out there, there is one thing we have to give the company praise for — it continues to offer a headphone jack in a world that's so persistent on getting rid of it.

Renders of the G9 show that the 3.5mm jack is there just like always, and knowing LG, it likely has an impressive DAC for high-end wired audio.

With Samsung even killing off the legacy port with its Note 10 series (and likely on the upcoming S20), this should be a great differentiator for LG.

We aren't sure about Air Motion and Hand ID, though

LG G8 Air Motion gesturesSource: Android Central

The LG G8's standout, and most puzzling, features were Air Motion and Hand ID. The former allowed you to control aspects of the phone by waving your hand over it, where the latter allowed you to unlock the G8 by having it scan the vein patterns in your hand.

While certainly unique, both of these proved to perform rather inconsistently in our testing. For the G9, we aren't so sure they'll be making a return.

The LG G8 had a much larger notch in its display, which was needed for the sensors that powered Air Motion and Hand ID. The notch on the G9 is considerably smaller and looks to just house the selfie camera — indicating LG has given up on the features.

LG's always been known to try new concepts with its phones, so with these going the way of the dodo, we're interested to see what takes their place.

So, what about the release date and price?

LG G9 leaked renderSource: CashKaro / @OnLeaks

For the past few years, LG has announced its new G-series phone at Mobile World Congress in February. It did this for the G5, G6, and G8, with the G7 being unveiled at a special event in NYC during May.

This year, LG decided to shake up its release formula. While the new V-series model normally launches towards the second half of the year, the LG V60 was unveiled in February before this year's G9.

On April 3, it was reported that LG will launch the G9 (or whatever it ends up being called) on May 15.

In regards to price, we're hoping LG is smart about how much it asks for the phone. The LG G8 had a starting price of $850 in the United States, but with the V60, LG is selling it for as little as $800 in the country. Seeing as how the V60 uses the Snapdragon 865 and the G9 could possibly step down to the 765, that leads us to believe the G9 could be marketed as LG's value flagship for 2020.

It's hard to pin down an exact price for the phone, but we could see something in the range of $600 - $700. In a world where it's common for phones to cost $1000 and up, that would be a wonderful breath of fresh air.

Let's not count out the LG G8

LG G8Source: Android Central

With all of this talk about the LG G9, it can be easy to forget that the G8 is still out there and available for purchase.

The G8 was never a perfect phone (and still isn't), but you could also spend your money on a lot worse phones. It's built like a tank, has a really good display, reliable battery life, and excellent call quality.

LG's software is showing its age and the cameras aren't the best money can buy, but if you're an LG fan, this is a solid pickup. It's come down a bit in price since its release, making it an easier purchase on your wallet than what we're expecting from the G9.

Underdog

LG G8

One of 2019's most overlooked phones

Not very impressed with what we're seeing so far from the LG G9? The G8 is still plenty powerful and capable, and you can buy it right now. It's got an OLED display, good battery life, and a top-notch headphone jack. It's not our first phone recommendation, but it's also far from the worst out there. If you're an LG fan, it's certainly worth checking out.

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