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LG will launch a phone with a second screen case attachment

It's one of multiple phones launching at the Mobile World Congress trade show next month. But none of them will fold.

The LG V40 ThinQ was a decent phone, but it didn't stand out. The company is hoping the more radical G8 makes a deeper impression.
Josh Miller/CNET

LG's next smartphone may have you seeing double. And no, it's not because of a foldable display.

The company will launch a smartphone, whose name hasn't been finalized, that will have an option for a second-screen attachment, according to a person familiar with the situation. The attachment, which the person describes as a sort of case with a screen. The second screen would connect to the device and potentially double the total screen size. 

It's one of multiple phones launching at the Mobile World Congress trade show next month, the person said. While the company is mulling the G8 name, it's unclear whether the multiple-screen phone will carry the name of its flagship line. There's a chance that one of the more conventional-looking devices will carry the G8 ThinQ name instead, but that hasn't been decided on.

Now playing: Watch this: Samsung's foldable phone is coming soon

There was some confusion over LG launching a foldable smartphone thanks to a report by Korean-language outlet Naver. But this phone won't fold.

It's unclear how the gimmick will work, but it's certainly different at a time when the company could use different. LG has struggled to stand apart from an increasingly competitive field of smartphone players. While Apple, Huawei and Samsung dominate high-end phone sales and OnePlus and other Chinese makers hit more budget-conscious consumers, LG is caught in the awkward middle.

Its flagship smartphones, the LG G7 ThinQ and LG V40 ThinQ, are decent devices that often get overlooked for flashier alternatives. 

So the G8 needs to make a splash. Samsung has already teased its foldable smartphone, but other companies are still dealing with issues like wear and tear of a flexible screen and software and user experience issues. Samsung believes it's solved some of those concerns.

With Samsung holding its Galaxy S10 launch a few days before MWC, LG has the opportunity to steal the show. A number of vendors, however, will be at the conference to show off their phones, with 5G likely to be one of the big themes. 

The story originally published on January 16 at 4:24 p.m. PT.

Update, 4:55 p.m. PT: To clarify that LG is launching multiple phones at MWC, and that this phone may not be the G8.

Update, January 17 at 9:07 a.m. PT: To include additional background.

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