LG Velvet looks like a great OnePlus Nord alternative — and it's coming to the US

(Image credit: LG)

A much anticipated phone offering both 5G connectivity and a lower price than traditional flagships is coming to the US after first making its debut overseas.

No, not the OnePlus Nord — that phone is set to go on sale in Europe and India first. We're talking about the LG Velvet, the $599 5G phone that introduces a design overhaul and a new naming convention to LG's flagship phone lineup. The LG Velvet hits the US tomorrow (July 22), with AT&T selling the phone first. T-Mobile and Verizon will offer the Velvet later this summer.

The LG Velvet debuted in South Korea in May before rolling out to select European countries in June. The phone carried a 899,800-won price tag in Korea, which translates to more than $750. But LG clearly has adjusted the price to make the Velvet more palatable to US shoppers. In fact, the LG Velvet will be one of the least expensive 5G-compatible phones available in this country, matching the $599 price of the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G.

You'll be able the price of the LG Velvet even further at AT&T, which is offering the phone for $10 a month on a 30-month installment plan when you open a new line of service with one of the carrier's unlimited data plans. That lets you get the LG Velvet for half off, with the savings appearing as bill credits spread out over 30 months.

(Image credit: LG)

A very sleek design

The LG Velvet features a new design for LG phones, with a 3D Arc design supporting a curved 6.8-inch OLED screen with 2460 x 1080 resolution. On the back of the phone, the three rear cameras — a 48-megapixel main sensor joined by an 8MP ultra wide lens and 5MP depth sensor — descend in a raindrop-style arrangement.

Colors for the LG Velvet include Aurora Gray, Aurora Silver, Aurora Red and Pink White, though availability will vary by carrier.

LG Velvet specs

Inside, a Snapdragon 765G powers the LG Velvet that's coming to the US. That's the same processor found inside the much cheaper OnePlus Nord, though that phone currently isn't slated for a US release. While the Snapdragon 765G isn't Qualcomm's fastest processor, it's a solid performer that's optimized for gaming

More importantly, the 765G includes a 5G modem, so that the phone will be able to deliver faster network speeds where 5G signals are available. (The version of the LG Velvet that will come to Verizon later on will be able to connect to that carrier's mmWave-based 5G network for even faster speeds.)

A 5G phone for less

The best 5G phones have been pretty pricey up until this point, with costs regularly approaching $1,000. We're expecting that to change in the second half of the year, as more phone makers take advantage of Qualcomm's lower-cost chipsets like the Snapdragon 765G. Cheaper 5G phones than the LG Velvet are on the way, but few will be able to stack up against this phone's eye-catching new look.

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.