LG’s V50 ThinQ is a different take on the folding phone, and it supports 5G

The LG V50 ThinQ will be available from Verizon starting on June 20

LG apparently couldn’t help itself and decided to move up launch plans for its latest V-series flagship smartphone. Though V-series phones are typically released in the fall, the company has just announced the V50 ThinQ just five months after the LG V40 ThinQ released. It shares many of the same qualities with its very recent predecessor, but there’s an unconventional addition that can turn it into a foldable phone, and the highlight is its ability to connect to 5G networks.

Didn’t LG just launch another flagship smartphone? Yes, at MWC 2019, the company took the wraps off the LG G8 ThinQ, a follow-up to last year’s LG G7 ThinQ. The new V50 carries a few of the same features as the new phone as well, and you can read more about the G-series phone in our hands-on review. But here’s what the V50 ThinQ is all about.


The V50 ThinQ’s marquee feature is the Qualcomm X50 modem inside the Snapdragon 855 processor, which means it can connect to 5G networks. That attribute is highlighted by the gaudy 5G logo on the back of the phone, which lights up in yellow (presumably because this phone will be launching on Sprint first).

LG V50 ThinQ

The LG G8 ThinQ and several other Android phones use the Snapdragon 855 processor as well, but the X50 modem — which enables 5G connectivity — is an opt-in feature, so most manufacturers are offering a second phone with it instead to promote their 5G readiness. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S10e, S10, and S10 Plus can’t connect to 5G networks, for example, but the Galaxy S10 5G can. The problem? 5G networks are still in their infancy, so don’t expect any kind of nationwide coverage for the next few years. If you buy a 5G phone this year, there’s a good chance you’re going to be using 4G LTE during most of its lifetime.

There’s also the question of how much 5G service will cost from carriers. No pricing details have been announced to date, making it difficult to speculate whether 5G service will cost a good deal more than the unlimited 4G LTE plan you pay for now.

Similar to the V40

LG’s proud to say the V50 ThinQ brings 5G capabilities in a body that’s nearly identical to the V40 ThinQ. Why is this a big deal? Early speculation suggested 5G phones would be bulky and thick devices (just look at Motorola’s 5G mod for the Moto Z3), but like the Galaxy S10 5G, LG’s option looks quite ordinary.

We weren’t allowed to take photos of the V50 ThinQ (you may see some floating around) but it looks and feels exactly like the V40 ThinQ. It’s comfortable to hold thanks to the rounded edges, and the 6.4-inch OLED screen is expansive with its 19.5:9 aspect ratio. There’s also a QHD+ screen resolution, so everything looks sharp.

The triple camera setup on the back makes a return. It’s a standard 12-megapixel lens with an f/1.5 aperture and optical image stabilization paired with a wide-angle 16-megapixel lens with an f/1.9 aperture, as well as a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture, which offers 2x optical zoom. It’s a versatile system, and it’s one several other smartphones mimic including the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Samsung’s new Galaxy S10. In our V40 review, we liked the five-camera system on the phone, but found it still lagged behind the competition. That’s likely unchanged here.

Over on the front in the notch cutout are two selfie cameras — an 8-megapixel lens with an f/1.9 aperture and a wide-angle 5-megapixel lens with an f/2.2 aperture. The second lens is better-suited to capturing group selfies.

There’s 6GB of RAM, just like before, but storage space has been bumped from 64GB to 128GB. A MicroSD card slot is available if you need more space. Like the Galaxy S10 Plus, there’s a Vapor Chamber cooling system to help dissipate heat during intensive tasks like gaming.

The phone is a little thicker, but it’s not a difference that’s quickly noticeable. It’s because the battery capacity has been expanded greatly — the V40 had a 3,300mAh but the V50 has a massive 4,000mAh capacity. This is likely to ensure connecting to 5G networks doesn’t cause any kind of significant battery drain, but it also could be simply to keep the new secondary screen accessory juiced up (more on that below).

It can fold! With another accessory

LG V50 ThinQ with dual screen

Yes, the LG V50 ThinQ also can be a foldable phone — but you need to buy an accessory. This second screen is like a smartphone cover case, but instead of a cover, it’s an additional 6.2-inch OLED screen. The secondary screen can be used independently, so you can watch a Netflix movie on one screen while messaging someone else on the other.

As soon as the second screen is attached, an icon will appear on the V50 ThinQ’s main screen which lets you tap it to power on the secondary display, or you can use it to seamless swap between the two screens. There is a multi-window mode that will divide each screen in two, and some games will let you use the secondary screen as a game controller, not unlike a Nintendo 3DS (but with a touchscreen controller).

The whole setup can be positioned to 104 or 180 degrees, and LG said you won’t need to charge the second screen as it’s powered by the V50 ThinQ.

Video portrait

One of the few features the V50 ThinQ steals from the new LG G8 ThinQ is Video Portraits. Most smartphones today have a Portrait Mode feature that applies a blue or bokeh effect behind a subject, creating a highly desirable DSLR-like portrait effect. Now, LG is adding this to videos.

As soon as you start recording, you’ll see a slider that lets you increase (or turn off) the blur behind humans and objects. It mimics professional lenses that offer shallow depth of fields, though it’s simply using software to recognize the outline of the subject and apply a blur in the background.

Price and availability

The LG V50 ThinQ 5G is now available if you buy it unlocked, and a few carriers are getting it too. Verizon announced that the V50 ThinQ 5G will be available on Verizon starting on June 20. It’ll come at $41.6 per month for 24 months on the Verizon device payment plan. That equates to $1,000. It’s important to note that the Verizon model is slightly different from the Sprint model — so don’t expect to be able to take the Verizon model to Sprint and vice versa, and have it work. Sprint is offering a strangely specific price of $1,152 for the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, but if you order it during the pre-order period you’ll be able to pick it up for just $24/month on an 18-month contract on Sprint Flex. That’s a 50% discount off the full price of the phone. However, it will only be available in Sprint’s 5G markets of Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City to begin with, before coming to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C., in the next few weeks.

We don’t know how much the second screen accessory will cost, but we’ll be updating this story as we learn more.

Updated on June 18, 2019: The LG V50 ThinQ 5G will be available from Verizon starting on June 20.

Social Media

Study suggests using emojis makes you appear more friendly — even at work

Can emojis be a clue into your personality? A recent survey suggests that emojis make a person seem friendlier and more approachable, even when used within a professional work environment.

The futuristic Samsung Galaxy S10 5G just got a price cut on Best Buy

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here, bringing with it some of the best smartphone deals you're likely to see all year. In particular, there are some amazing deals on Samsung Galaxy phones, including the much-loved Samsung Galaxy S10.

Master your LG G8 ThinQ with these handy tips and tricks

The LG G8 ThinQ launched with more than a few cutting-edge features. It has since been discounted, making it a more valuable buy, so we're making sure you get your money's worth with the best LG G8 ThinQ tips and tricks for your new phone.

The best prepaid phones aren't just for the budget conscious anymore

A prepaid phone, coupled with a prepaid plan, frees you from multi-year contracts and lets you organize your budget without worrying about your credit rating. It's great for people who use their phone only occasionally or for emergencies.

Sprint's growing 5G network is now available in Chicago

Sprint has launched its next-gen 5G network in a handful of cities, but more are on the way soon. But the 5G network it's using is a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T.

What's the difference between 4G and LTE ... and does it even matter?

Wireless standards are confusing -- it doesn't matter if you're talking about 4G, LTE, WiMax, or others. Here, we break down the differences between 4G and LTE so you can make sense of how they play out in real-world scenarios.

There is no way to say pickup truck in emoji, and Ford wants to change that

Ford asked the Unicode Consortium to include a pickup truck in the database of emojis. The company is confident its request will be approved, and a blue pickup truck loosely shaped like an F-150 will be available in early 2020.

It's still worth boarding this fleet of old flagship phones if you want to save

Do you really need to blow your savings to get the latest smartphone, or is it worth looking at the top phones from yesteryear? We highlight some old flagships that are still worth buying and discuss new budget phones as an alternative.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here's all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.

Stalking apps: Google deletes 7 Android trackers from the Play Store

Google has removed from the Play Store seven stalking apps that could track someone's phone without them knowing about it. The sneaky software also offers access to a phone's contact list, as well as its SMS and call history.

Uber’s in-car shopping service now sells way more than just snacks

The Cargo Box launched in 2018 to offer Uber drivers an easy way to sell snacks and drinks to riders. The service is now expanding to include lots more items, including tech products and travel accessories.

Unihertz's rugged phone with a keyboard launches July 30 on Kickstarter

Recently, only BlackBerry's phones have offered a physical keyboard. Not any more. Chinese manufacturer Unihertz is preparing to launch the Unihertz Titan -- a rugged phone with a built-in physical keyboard.

The Google Cardboard of scanners, this Kodak takes film from attic to Instagram

The Google Cardboard of film scanners, the Kodak Mobile FIlm Scanner uses a piece of cardboard and the camera that you already have in your pocket to get film in the attic on Instagram without a major investment.

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.