LG's 5G-Ready V50 May Launch Feb. 24 at MWC

LG is apparently hoping that more phones means more excitement. And it could turn to a 5G device at Mobile World Congress to get a jump on its phone-making rivals.

The successor to last year's LG V40 (pictured) could be arriving in March. (Credit: Tom's Guide)

(Image credit: The successor to last year's LG V40 (pictured) could be arriving in March. (Credit: Tom's Guide))

We were already expecting to see the LG G8 ThinQ during the company’s Feb. 24 press event just before Mobile World Congress got underway in Barcelona. But a report this week from Korea’s ETNews (spotted by The Verge) claims LG will have another phone to show off, too — the LG V50 ThinQ.

This rumored 6-inch-screened smartphone will offer a giant 4,000 mAh battery, the all-new Snapdragon 855 processor and — most importantly — 5G wireless capabilities. ETNews says the 5G-capable V50 will ship in March, and if that happens, it could potentially give LG a leg up on its rivals. Samsung is holding an event a few days before LG, but it’s expected to focus on the Galaxy S10 there, with a 5G-ready version of that phone not shipping until later in the first half of 2019.

MORE: The Truth About 5G: What's Coming (and What's Not)

5G networks are coming online this year, offering faster data speeds and lower latency. But phone makers need to release new devices capable of connecting to the new networking standard. Many of those phones aren’t expected until mid-year, so LG could be looking to gain an advantage with early 5G adopters.

If the LG V50 does appear at Mobile World Congress, it would be an unusually quick update to LG’s V series. The LG V40 arrived last October, introducing a triple lens setup to the phone aimed at content creators.

It could also be a crowded stage at LG’s Mobile World Congress event. The company is also expected to show off the LG G8, which may or may not fold depending on which rumor you want to believe. LG has also posted a teaser video touting touchless controls for an upcoming phone — maybe the G8, maybe the V50, maybe both.

Why all the rumored phones from LG? The company’s US smartphone market share has bounced around the last couple of years, sinking as low as nearly half of what fellow Android phone maker Samsung grabs. Trailing both of them is Motorola, who already announced a “mod” add-on is coming to bring 5G compatibility to it moto Z3 phone sometime in early 2019.

Even if LG can beat its Android phone competition to shelves with 5G hardware, smart customers should pick up on the fact that, by the time cell carriers actually turn on support for the gigabit speeds that the standard promises, each of the major players should have some kind of 5G-compatible handset out.

Whatever LG announces at Mobile World Congress, 5G-ready or not, we’ll be there to report on the details. Stay tuned.

Daniel Bean is a freelance writer with years of experience whose articles have appeared in Tom's Guide. He has previously worked for LinkedIn, Yahoo News, and the Observer, as well as TripleByte, Circa, Inverse, CBS, and ABC. Currently, he is full-time content lead for Mixpanel's blog, The Signal, writing about innovators and analytics.