LG Display, the pseudo-independent display-making arm of LG, today announced a new 5.7-inch LCD with the unusual aspect ratio of 18:9 and a QHD+ resolution, which the company says will be used in LG’s next flagship smartphone. Additionally, sources familiar with the development of LG’s new phone tell The Verge that the emphasis of the new design will be on maximizing the screen-to-body ratio. LG previously did that very successfully with the LG G2, but moved away from it with larger models that prioritized other design features.
The 18:9 aspect ratio is interesting because it adds a couple of notches beyond the traditional 16:9, which is a perfect fit for most widescreen content available to watch on desktop or mobile devices today. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix has a 17:9 screen, which allows an extra sliver beyond 16:9 to accommodate the Android software buttons. LG’s choice to go even taller (or wider, if you’re looking at it in landscape) with its next flagship could be a hint that the company has something else to add into the additional space. That could be another second-screen implementation, as LG has already done with the V10 and V20 smartphones, but nothing has yet been confirmed on that front.
Importantly, with the focus placed on trimming away bezels, much as with Xiaomi’s almost bezel-less phone, the 5.7-inch device from LG will likely feel much smaller than its size would initially suggest. The 6.4-inch Mi Mix is only slightly larger than an iPhone 7 Plus, and an ultra-efficient LG G6 would probably rival smaller devices like the bezel-rich Sony Xperia XZ or LG’s own 5.3-inch G5 from last year. LG Display says the bezels required by its new panel are 10 percent smaller on the sides and 20 percent smaller at the top.
QHD+ simply tacks on an extra few rows of pixels to the familiar Quad HD, with the new LG Display panel stretching out to 2880 x 1440 resolution (yes, 2:1 would also be an accurate way of addressing the screen ratio, but the ":9" is a helpful reference point to more familiar aspect ratios). LG Display also claims to have improved power consumption by an impressive 30 percent, though it doesn’t specify what baseline that’s compared to. The company also notes a 10 percent improvement in transmittance, making for better outdoor visibility. Look out for the full LG G6 announcement at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress in late February.