In brief: LG has long been struggling to find a market for its ailing smartphone business, but a new design language focused on minimalism could help in turning things around for the company.
Although the craze for all-screen smartphones has advanced the industry in pretty much every way, phone design has increasingly become stagnant, with almost all modern flagships bearing the same look and feel in the hand.
LG has been one of the more daring manufacturers, often with innovative hardware design and features on its G and V series of phones. The company also had an interesting take on dual-screens with its G8X ThinQ, and has now come up with a new minimalistic design language which it says is a "nod to the natural world."
Since there's no going back from all-screen front displays, LG's design has mostly to do with the device's rear, which unlike the "squarish camera bump seen on many of today's high-end smartphones," features a "Raindrop" design on the upper-left corner, along with front-back symmetrical curves for the body.
The design will be an evolutionary departure from its existing phones, says LG, with a rear layout that represents three cameras and an LED flash that are meant to "evoke images of falling raindrops."
The main lens is meant to protrude from the rear, while the remaining two will sit flush with the device. As quad-camera setups have also become a thing on smartphones these days, one can expect more raindrops to appear when LG decides to add more camera hardware.
The new design language also includes a 3D Arc element to make for a more natural feeling in the hand by keeping edges of the display and rear symmetrically curved, subsequently reducing sharpness.
While these changes might be new for an LG phone, some rivals have sported similar designs for quite a while and are unlikely to see it as much of a threat. LG would also need other tricks up its sleeves to really stand a fighting chance, like providing useful software features and a flagship experience that doesn't go into four figures.