The LG Wing’s Swiveling Screen Proves Phones Can Be Fun Again

I wouldn’t have called the last LG phone I reviewed ” too bland” if I knew months later I’d be using an LG phone with a swiveling screen.

The Wing is the first phone from LG’s Explorer Project, an initiative to make weird-looking phones (my words) that try to change the way we use these rectangular slabs. At first it looks like a normal, albeit tall, phone (even taller than the iPhone 12 Pro Max). But with your thumb and a little pressure, you can easily rotate the display left and up into a landscape orientation, uncovering a smaller secondary screen.

In this new T (cross? wing?) shape, the LG Wing is surprisingly successful in achieving its goal—it’s changed the way I use my phone in a small but meaningful way. There are some flaws, but that’s OK. This is a first-gen, early-adopter phone (that’s also $1,000) that most of us shouldn’t buy. LG knows it’s not going to sell millions—that expectation is reserved for its “Universal Line,” which includes traditional smartphones like that “bland” LG Velvet.

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Photograph: LG

But much like how a second monitor adds a small benefit to your desktop setup, the LG Wing gives us a new experience that makes using a phone, in certain situations, more efficient. It’s an interesting, and more importantly a fun, take on the smartphone.

The Fulcrum

I typically have the Wing swiveled about a third of the time—almost exclusively when I’m watching a movie or TV show, or playing a game. It’s handy having the mini 3.9-inch screen on the bottom to monitor or use another app simultaneously. Alternatively, you can lock the bottom screen and use it as a glorified grip to prevent accidental taps, or turn it into a trackpad to use on websites not designed for touch.

I like using it to watch The Office for the zillionth time on the swiveled screen while browsing Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit on the bottom. I also like playing games on the top screen and leaving messaging apps open below so it’s easy to dive in and out of conversations. One time I even went into swivel mode during a customer support call and used the bottom screen to find an order number in Gmail. No app switching needed!

Its true utility came into view when I realized I could plop the swiveled phone into my bike mount. I put Google Maps on the extra wide top screen and YouTube Music on the bottom. It was chef’s kiss—amazing. There I was, biking around the streets of Brooklyn (with a face mask), glancing at the top screen to see when I needed to make a turn, while also easily controlling my music. Stopped at a traffic light, I also used the bottom screen to call my parents—all without worrying about closing the Maps app up top.