LG confirmed today (Feb. 6) that we're going to get a look at a successor the G7 ThinQ later this month. And the front of the new phone will be packing an impressive sensor alongside the usual selfie cam.
The LG G8 ThinQ will make its debut at a press event on Feb. 24 in Barcelona, the day before the Mobile World Congress trade show officially gets underway in that city, LG said. The front of the phone will include a time-of-flight sensor capable of performing 3D scans.
LG didn't explicitly say what new features that front-facing sensor will support, but the company did note that time-of-flight technology can be used in biometric authentication methods like face recognition. That's going to fuel speculation that the G8 will offer a face unlocking feature similar to the Face ID capabilities found on recent iPhones.
In announcing the time-of-flight sensor, LG also touted a high recognition rate for both indoor and outdoor uses, which would also support augmented reality apps.
We've seen time-of-flight sensors on other smartphones. The recently released Honor View 20, for example, includes a 3D lens alongside its main 48-megapixel rear sensor that can measure distance between the subject and the camera lens as well as the volume of what you're shooting.
The time-of-flight sensor headed to the LG G8 is likely to accompany a main selfie cam on the front of the phone. That would square with the leaked renders we've seen of the upcoming handset which have depicted dual front lenses.
This isn't the first hint LG's offered about what it's planning for Mobile World Congress. Previously, the company sent out a teaser for its Feb. 24 event where it showed off gesture-based controls for an upcoming phone, though that video didn't mention the LG G8 by name.
It could be a crowded stage for LG at Mobile World Congress, as the South Korean phone maker looks to re-establish itself in a market it's been increasingly crowded out of by high-end flagships from Apple and Samsung. Previously, LG has said that it plans to show off a 5G-ready smartphone at this month's mobile trade show, though that's unlikely to be the LG G8. Instead, a recent rumor suggests that LG could also show off a 5G version of its V Series phones, most likely the LG V50.
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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.