Technology

LG Velvet smartphone road map will emphasise premium design over tech spec

LG is promising a fresh take on smartphone design, rather than competing with rivals on technical specification. The brand has unveiled the LG Velvet ( pictured below), a new flagship mobile that it says will emphasise ‘distinctive design and tactile elegance,’ in an attempt to set itself apart from the competition.

This new style focus seems savvy. Mobile phone users are no longer replacing their handsets as quickly as they once did, with technical advances increasingly incremental rather than revolutionary.

The first device to illustrate the brand’s new philosophy is the upcoming LG Velvet, which promises a unique ‘Raindrop’ camera and a symmetrical, flowing form factor.

The ‘Velvet’ name is intended to evoke images of lustrous smoothness and premium softness…

LG Velvet’s minimalist design ‘a nod to natural world’

The brand’s new design language is said to be ‘a nod to the natural world with a visual form factor that differs from the industry trend.’  

Contrary to the trend of the squarish camera bump seen on many of today’s high-end smartphones, the upper-left corner of the LG Velvet phone’s backside has three rear cameras and an LED flash in descending order by size, said to evoke falling raindrops. The main camera sits slightly above the surface while the other two lenses lie seamlessly under the smooth glass. 

A second new element is 3D Arc Design, where the edges of the display and rear are symmetrically curved, which means fewer sharp edges and angles.

“Our upcoming smartphone will draw on the rich history of classic LG designs which have always been distinctive at first touch,” explains vice president Cha Yong-duk, head of LG’s Mobile Communications Design Lab. “This handset will be a first-look at the competitive edge we will be bringing to every LG smartphone going forward.”

The LG Velvet represents a new branding strategy that moves away from alphanumeric designations in favour of something more expressive. The ‘Velvet’ name is intended to evoke images of lustrous smoothness and premium softness, it says, two key characteristics of the new phone, says the company.

“Our new branding reflects current trends of addressing the unique personal tastes and emotions of the individual with a greater emphasis on design,” said Chang Ma, senior vice president of product strategy at LG Mobile Communications Company. “It’s a more intuitive approach that we are confident will resonate with today’s consumers and help us to establish a clearer brand identity.” 

The smartphone market has contracted over the last two sequential years, reports Futuresource. Manufacturers have been banking on the arrival of 5G to stimulate growth, however with lockdowns in place across the globe, the market is expected to stay in the doldrums. The cancellation of trade show MWC earlier this year, coupled to supply chain difficulties, have just added to the sector’s woes.

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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