LG shows twinning is winning with Dual Screen attachment for its 5G V50 phone
The optional accessory is LG's MWC strategy for providing more screen, but without making a foldable phone.
Katie CollinsSenior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
What is better than one phone? It's not a trick question -- the answer, according to
, is two
. Or at the very least two phone screens.
For its first-ever
, LG has created a novel accessory in the form of a Dual Screen attachment, doubling the amount of display at your fingertips in a trice. The idea is to compete with the foldable phones being made by
and other phone makers, but in a simpler way and at a more affordable price.
At first glance, the attachment looks like a folio phone case, but when you open it up like a book, the right hand inner cover where you'd usually clip your phone features an in-built display. Instead you click your phone into the left-hand side of the case, making sure that the three pins on the rear of the phone match up with the sensors inside the case.
Two of the pins are used for power, and one for communication, although the phone also communicates with the attachment using a proprietary wireless technology designed for carrying heavy data loads over extremely short distances. The hinge on the attachment allows for a full 360-degree rotation, but is mainly designed to be used in two positions -- on an obtuse angle, or at 180 degrees so it can lie flat on a table.
To activate Dual Screen, you tap the dedicated icon, which pops up on the screen when the attachment is in place. You can also use this icon to flip around what's featured on each display. In our hands-on time with the V50 and Dual Screen, we found it extremely easy to clip the phone in and out of the attachment, and the technology used to wake and connect the second display to work seamlessly with not a single fail.
LG demoed a number of ways you might want to use the accessory, including for photography,
or plain old multi-tasking. For photography, it showed how you can use the second screen for automatically previewing a photo immediately after shooting without having to move away from the camera app, allowing you to keep taking photos. You can also use the second screen as a reflector for selfies, ensuring that you have the perfect lighting and white balance for your Instagram money shot.
For gaming, LG unveiled a Game Pad that pops up on one of the screens while you play for better control. With different designs for different types of games, this makes your phone look like a thin-bezelled
, even though it actually works more like a freestanding Bluetooth joystick.
Being able to multitask with two apps side by side has obvious benefits -- browsing IMDB while watching Netflix on your phone screen, for example. But LG is also working on some Dual Screen-specific feature. It allows you, for example to take a screenshot on one screen and attach it to a message or email on the other with just a single tap of a dedicated icon.
Unfortunately while the V50 is coming to the US, the Dual Screen attachment is not. Full pricing and availability hasn't been announced for the accessory at this stage, but will come on a country-by-country basis at a later date.