LG Velvet is a dramatic departure for LG in its battle against Samsung and Apple

lg velvet
(Image credit: LG)

The LG V60 ThinQ 5G may have just arrived, but LG is already eyeing its next move in its efforts to stand out from the rest of the smartphone crowd. And it sounds like it's going to be quite a departure from the company's recent lineup of handsets.

LG is teasing the upcoming debut of the LG Velvet, a new phone that the Korean company says marks the start of a new product roadmap that emphasizes "distinctive designs and 'tactile' elegance." There's no listed specs or a launch date given for the LG Velvet.

Instead, LG is emphasizing the minimalistic look of its upcoming phone, specifically focusing on the Velvet's camera array. Unlike the bulky square arrays that currently appear on the back of the Galaxy S20 series, the iPhone 11 Pro and the Pixel 4, the LG Velvet features a series of descending lenses, which the phone maker says will take up less space.

The three lenses start in the upper left corner of the LG Velvet and descend by size — an effect that LG describes as evoking falling raindrops. The largest main lens protrudes from the back of the phone, but the other cameras will be beneath the glass surface.

lg velvet

(Image credit: LG)

The LG Velvet also features what LG describes as a 3D Arc design marked by curved display edges. That should make LG's upcoming phone easier to grip, the company says.

With the Velvet, LG says it's moving away from an industry-wide practice of using alphanumeric names for its phones — think the current V and G series devices that LG sells. Instead, LG says the names of future phones will be more familiar and expressive, ideally telling you what to expect from the handset in a way that slapping a letter or number on it cannot.

While LG may not be tipping its hand on exact specs for the LG Velvet, an earlier report out of Korea describes a phone that sounds an awful lot like this newly designed model. That report, posted earlier this month by Naver, describes a successor to the LG G8 powered by a Snapdragon 7 series processor — most likely the Snapdragon 765 if LG intends to make a 5G phone — and a 6.7- to 6.9-inch display.

That article mentions the phone would have a total of four cameras, but that could be taking the phone's front camera into account. Naver claims this phone would cost around $700.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.