LG Velvet: Release date, rumours, news, and features

When it comes to Android phones, LG is a well-known brand, but it isn’t a Samsung or Google, both of which make premium handsets. To better stand out and compete with those heavyweights, LG is ditching its G series of phones and starting fresh with a new Velvet series. It’s also embracing a more innovative, minimalist design for its next flagship.

Here’s everything you need to know.

LG Velvet: Name

  • Goodbye G series, hello Velvet
  • New branding strategy

LG’s next smartphone won’t have an alphanumeric name. Instead, the device will be called the LG Velvet.

So after eight generations of G phones, LG wants to do something new. And it thinks a name change is what’s needed. In April, the company described this sort of thinking as a “new branding strategy”:

“LG Electronics is answering the challenge by embarking on a new product roadmap that will emphasize distinctive designs and tactile elegance to set itself apart … LG Velvet will be the first device to implement the company’s new branding strategy for its mobile devices, moving away from alphanumerical designations in favor of familiar and expressive names that will help the consumer capture the essence of the device best suited for his or her personality and ever-changing trends.”

The company said the new Velvet name is meant to “evoke images of lustrous smoothness and premium softness.”

LG Velvet: Release date

  • Originally expected to launch in February at MWC
  • Now might arrive on 15 May 2020

LG typically announces its latest G-series phone at Mobile World Congress. It did this for the LG G5, LG G6, and LG G8 (the LG G7 was unveiled in New York City in May).

It’s been reported that LG will launch the Velvet on 15 May, according to Korean sources.

LG Velvet: Price

  • Could be priced the same as last year’s LG G8

Pricing for the Velvet has yet to leak, but the LG G8 had a starting price of $850 in the US. We suspect the Velvet could be similarly priced.

LG Velvet: Design

  • Minimalist design with thin bezels
  • 3D Arc Design on front and back
  • “Smoothness” and “softness” are key characteristics

In April LG uploaded a teaser video showing off the Velvet. It is 35 seconds long and reaffirms sketches the company previously shared. It shows that the phone will be very minimalist, and it’ll be available in black, white, green, and a red/purple colour-changing option, called Illusion Sunset.

The presence of a headphone jack was also confirmed in LG’s teaser video.

The front of the Velvet appears to have very minimal bezels and a slight curve on the edges. LG said it named the curvature of the phone’s front and back as “3D Arc Design”, and it described it as exuding a “more natural feeling in the hand than previous LG phones”. There’s a small notch for the front camera on the display.

We can’t help but wonder if the back of the phone will have some sort of textured option. The company’s press releases repeatedly hint that the phone will be “pleasing to touch” – emphasising “smoothness” and “softness” will be two key characteristics of the new handset. 

LG Velvet: Cameras

  • Rear cameras in upper-left corner
  • They’re laid out in a raindrop pattern
  • LED flash included on back

When LG teased the Velvet’s design, it shared sketches showing the “raindrop” rear camera setup. It has three sensors and an LED flash in descending order by size. LG said this is “meant to evoke images of falling raindrops”.

LG also said two of the phone’s lenses “lie seamlessly under the smooth glass” and that it has a “tactilely pleasing design layout”.

LG Velvet: Hardware

  • Running Snapdragon 765
  • 5G support is integrated
  • Sub-flagship specs expected

Specifications for the Velvet are mostly unknown. However, LG has confirmed the Velvet will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 5G processor. Notably, the LG V60 uses the Snapdragon 865, so the Velvet will be taking a step down. But that also means it integrates 5G. And, rather than being a true flagship phone, it slips into the sub-flagship category, something that’s growing in popularity.

Other than that, if we had to guess, the phone should pack an OLED, as the LG G8 was the first phone in the G-series to use an OLED instead of an LCD. The Velvet will also likely feature 6GB or 8GB of RAM, as that’s standard for flagships and many sub-flagship smartphones.

LG Velvet: Software

  • No rumours yet
  • Will likely run latest version of Android

The LG G8 had gimmicky software features that let you scan patterns in your hand to unlock it or control certain features simply by waving your hand. These were respectively called Air Motion and Hand ID. It’s unclear if these sort of features will be included with the Velvet. But, either way, expect LG’s next smartphone to be running the latest version of Android. 

LG Velvet: What’s happened so far?

Here’s everything we’ve heard about LG Velvet so far:

LG is planning to release a new smartphone, choosing not to stick to the existing naming structure it has, but moving to something completely new.

LG’s next flagship phone will be called LG Velvet, and may be soft to touch

LG’s next smartphone won’t have an alphanumeric name. Instead, the device will be called the LG Velvet.

9 April 2020: LG teases minimalist design for new smartphone

LG has teased the design for its forthcoming new smartphone – and it is heading down a “minimalist” route.

3 April 2020: New LG phone could be launched on 15 May

Korean sources suggest that the new LG phone could be announced on 15 May.

30 March 2020: LG to drop G series brand, next flagship evokes classic Chocolate phone

LG will reportedly ditch the G series branding for its next smartphone, and is also said to be looking to the past for a refreshed design.

24 March 2020: LG G9 ThinQ could launch as a sub-flagship handset

LG could be planning to move its G series into the mid-range, choosing to use Snapdragon 765G hardware.

4 February 2020: LG delays new smartphone launches thanks to coronavirus

The annual Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona is weeks away and LG has decided to pull out altogether. 

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