The stage is set for a battle between Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, as the two rivals are slated to unveil their flagship smartphones at the same time during the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
LG Electronics confirmed on Wednesday that it will hold an event to showcase its new smartphone model on the Feb. 21 press day before the official start of the MWC on Feb. 22.
The announcement follows Samsung CEO Shin Jong-kyun’s statement at the Consumer Electronics Show that the tech powerhouse will unveil the Galaxy S7 at the MWC.
LG did not reveal the name of the specific model to be unveiled, but market watchers believe it will be the G5.
LG’s move is a break from the past, when it would avoid setting the same release date as Samsung’s Galaxy series. This is also the first time LG has chosen a global trade show like the MWC to introduce its G series. The company so far has favored separate media events over global tech exhibitions.
The move indicates that LG is betting big on its new model, following the bruising results of the G4. The model’s lower-than-expected sales were the main culprit behind a massive third-quarter operating loss of 76.6 billion won ($63.5 million) in the company’s mobile communication business.
While LG remains mum about the details of the G5, a slew of rumors are swirling. Invitations sent to the media featured an image of a green gift box with the tagline “Play Begins.”
Many predict major design changes, including a departure from the G4’s leather cover in favor of a metal body. As for the chipset, the G5 is rumored to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 820.
Should LG pick the chipset, the decision will represent a major improvement. The processor in the previous G4 and V10 flagship models was considered a main area of weakness.
The V10 and G4 both adopted Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808, a predecessor of the Snapdragon 810, because the Snapdragon 810 had overheating issues. It was an unusual move, as smartphone manufacturers typically choose the latest processor for their flagship premium product.
The key question regarding the G5 is whether the model will come with the much anticipated LG Pay, the embedded payment system developed by the tech company.
Back in November, LG Electronics signed a partnership with Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card to develop its payment system. Multiple local media outlets reported that the payment system would be unveiled in March.
The G5 is also expected to contain some popular features introduced in the V10, including dual camera lenses consisting of a standard 80-degree lens and a 120-degree wide-angle lens.
While lots of changes are expected for the G5, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is expected to see several functional improvements and experimental features.
Some media outlets have reported that the Galaxy S7 will include pressure-sensitive technology to compete with Apple’s 3D Touch feature.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]