LG Wing Teardown HOW DOES IT WORK The LG wing is probably one of the unique devices we’ve seen all year, or maybe even of all time. It’s one of those devices that will blaze its trail without really stopping to ask for directions, and I’m all for it. This is a pre-production unit sent to me by LG, so it’s not a retail unit. The durability test comes out like we always do, but the hardware is finalized, so we can take it all apart to see how it works.
Huge thanks to LG for sponsoring this video and sending over the wing rather brave of them since I’ve never opened up a phone like this before. And there’s a pretty good chance it won’t survive.
Let’s get started.
The wing has about the same size, shape, and weight as my note ten plus inside of its case, but the LG wing can do this, which is something I never thought a phone would need to do. Instead of throwing this guy swivels, it’ll be super interesting to see how that works from the inside.
The phone splits in half, probably up into a T shape, so the screen is horizontal. While revealing a secondary square screen down below, the swinging motion feels dependable and easy to initiate, and something catches the screen at the top of the swivel to gently ease it into place. We’re going to find out how the hinge works. Let’s get inside. LG has installed a high lubricin polyacetal, which is a lubricated plastic of sorts that surrounds the front panel and protects the screen. It’s a softer, smoother plastic raised to form a small cavern inside so foreign materials won’t be rubbing up on the screen when it’s closed or opening. This is important because pocket sand is a real danger to glass displays. When the phone is opened up in its wing to state, there is more real estate for activities and multitasking, like with YouTube, it displays the video up top, and the video controls down below, or when we’re in the camera app, the bottom display can act as a gimbal for adding extra electronic stabilization to the camera. There is no physical movement of the camera hardware while you’re controlling that gimbal. It’s all done with software, but still pretty cool. Activating the top camera makes it pop out of the phone like a daisy trying the wincon film forwards and backward at the same time.
It also has the same retract and protection features that we’ve seen in another popup camera. The coolest thing, though, I think, is the ability to watch a full video screen. At the same time, another app like texting is open at the bottom, or even the ability to comment on a video while it’s still full screen, or maybe while you’re on a road trip navigation can be vertical, while the music is over on the side screen. There are a lot of different options. I mean, this probably isn’t going to be the best phone to recommend to grandma. But if you’re looking for the latest, craziest, and most uniquely designed phone on the market. This might very well just be it. Now, the wing has been awake for five minutes. It’s time to take it apart. So keep in mind, this is my first time seeing the LG wing, and it is very different from any other phone we’ve taken apart recently. So, I was hoping you could cross your fingers for our new friend survival dog wing has passed nine different mil standard 810 g test, the shark test, which dropped the wing at 26 different angles from 1.2 meters. It still survived, but that’s quite a bit different than being wholly dismantled or removed the back glass panel, since that’s where I assume screen and internal connectors, along with whatever magic makes up that swivel hinge.
With the back glass gone, we get our first look at the wireless charging pad, and the no dogs allowed sticker, which is good. Since I’m not a canine, I’ll continue. At the same time, nine standard Phillips head screws are holding down the top plastics. And once that panel is removed, we get our first teaser LG has assembled the wing. We know ribbon cables can flex, you know from those popup cameras, and this ribbon cable controlling the screen goes through the PCB and rotates gently with the display. Instead of its large smooth circular opening LG says they’ve tested this motion over 200,000 times, which, like if you’ve flipped up in the phone 100 times a day, would still last about five and a half years. So far, so good. You can also get a close up look at the popup front-facing camera. It’s got the same stepper motor setup that we’ve seen other pops up cameras use to dedicate an entire video to a popup camera. Still, now we’ve got whole phones split in half, technology’s pretty incredible. I’ll disconnect the battery: the bottom screen, the USB C charging port.
I’ll just like little Legos. Then I’ll pull out this sim and expandable memory SD card tray. You might think that a phone like this wouldn’t have any water protection, and you’re right. The phone isn’t precisely sealed shut. But LG has coated the internal boards with a water repellent coating. There’s still no official IP rating. Please keep it away from water, but it is nice to know it has some protection. I’ll lift the motherboard out from the phone after disconnecting a 32-megapixel front camera. There are three rear-facing cameras, the 12-megapixel swivel camera up top, a 64-megapixel primary camera, optical image stabilization, and a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera down at the bottom. The top camera does the whole gimbal thing that I showed you earlier, with its built-in electronic stabilization. There is a small thermal pad on the back, which helps transfer heat away from the processor into the phone’s frame. We’ll take the battery out next before we try to remove the wing.
There is an incredibly reasonable amount of pieces holding the battery down, no magic pole towel, but it does pop up quickly with my pry tool. Thumbs up for that. It has a 4000 milliamp-hour capacity. We have a few more revelations about that hinge from this vantage point. The little do Hickey cushions the hinge opening is right here next to the displayed ribbon. It’s the smallest hydraulic damper I’ve ever seen. Hydraulic shocks are standard on trucks routing vehicles to help cushion the impact of the vehicle while off-roading. And here we have the baby shocks inside of the LG wing. Wow, if we can get an AA down in the comments, that would be great.
We’ll get a closer look at that guy in just a second. I imagine it has something to do with these six large Phillips head screws to get the front screen off. After those are gone, I can tell the screen wants to come away from the phone, but it’s still connected somehow. I’m trying to be gentle since I never really asked LG if they wanted this rod back alive or not, but they also didn’t tell me how to open it. So here we are. After a lot of unfruitful jiggling and wiggling, I realized that the screen itself had a little hole, and it’s sliding around—kind of like how we would find in a hotel room chain door lock. And once I got those internal screws removed, it gets loose enough that the hole can be lined up and popped off the phone’s body. I used to tell my mom that video games would help me learn problem-solving skills that I could use as an adult, and I don’t think this is precisely what she had in mind, but I’m still counting it. Nine screws are holding the hinge of the super-thin top display. And once those are gone, we finally get our full, complete view of the wing hinge. The rest of the hinge components are riveted together, making sense because what’s left inside are two pretty powerful springs, one that helps the phone open and holds it open. The other holds it closed position, both equally balanced, that the swiveling motion itself is painless. The large hole in the center is for that ribbon cable.
The two curved sections you see on the hinge are for the double locking mechanism that keeps the screen from opening too far in either direction. Having them, both made out of metal, helps keep the screen firmly positioned parallel to the rest of the phone body. It looks like our itty bitty hydraulic damper is held in place with three tiny screws of its own. I’ll pop those out, pull away from our Tic Tac size little friend. It’s amazing how small this thing is. The same technology to screen doorframe slamming shut is now inside of a cell phone. 2020 has been pretty wild. Speaking of wild, it’s going to be crazy if I can get this whole thing put back together functioning again.
Feed the top display through the hinge, and get that screwed down. The top display is 6.8 inches, and the bottom display, which is still attached to the frame, is just about four inches. Curved metal guiding slot in the screen lined up with the metal post on the phone body is probably the trickiest part of the reassembly. But once I feel like I clicked in there, everything else falls into place exactly how it should. And I can attach the spring portion of the swivel hinge back to the frame from the inside. Everything else is relatively standard; try a regular phone; the motherboard goes back end with this popup camera, and all of the little Lego-style ribbon attachments get clipped in. Try to lay the battery in place and get the wings Green Ribbon connected. Then I can attach the wireless charging and protective back plastics with the screws.
And trust me, I’m just as surprised as you are. The whole thing still turns on and functions like normal. Not too shabby. I’m impressed. Oh geez, the leap of innovation, the wing brings some exciting diversity to an otherwise rather dull sea of rectangles. And I think it’s pretty cool. I’m curious to hear your thoughts about the wing down in Kyle will do a durability test when the retail version comes out to keep things consistent. I am glad that LG gave us an early look inside, though. Hit that subscribes button if you haven’t already come out with me on Instagram and Twitter. Drive. Thanks for watching it. I’ll see you around.