LG was one of the first companies to drop out of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak made its way across the globe. After a series of flagship releases that failed to meet sales expectations, its latest premium handset to launch is the V60 ThinkQ 5G. Even with its modern spec sheet, data from search trends show little interest from consumers in contrast to its rivals. Now, the company is prepared for a big change with the Velvet.

One glimpse at the images shared by the South Korean electronics manufacturer shows a striking departure from its previous models. Both the display and rear covers sport curved edges as well as a display with rounded corners. Concept sketches show a triple-camera configuration arranged in a vertical fashion on the top left corner of the back panel. A fourth one appears to be the LED flash module.

According to LG, the new look is what it calls 3D Arc and is not only for aesthetic purposes. The shape supposedly makes it easier to grip the smartphone. Aside from the ergonomics, the form factor is in line with what most high-end models ship with these days. While it does seem like a flagship-grade smartphone, it is reportedly being marketed as a mid-range model. The Velvet name is intended to highlight the "smoothness and premium softness" of its design, notes Tom's Guide.

This might alienate longtime users who are already used to the "V" or "G" series. On the other hand, this rebranding is seen by analysts as welcome change in order to make an impact in the market. Unlike its South Korean competitor Samsung, which is regularly reinventing how people use mobile phones. While it also produces flexible display technology which is used by other manufacturers, it is yet to release a folding smartphone.

LG unveils the V60 ThinQ flagship smartphone
Since most mobile networks are have upgraded their systems to support 5G, the LG V60 ThinQ was designed with full compatibility in mind. Photo: LG

Given that foldable smartphones are not exactly as robust as regular ones, LG's Velvet is using a reliable form factor that should appeal to its fans. The handset is expected to ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 and is therefore 5G-ready. The company's new approach does not position it to compete in performance, but rather with looks.