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LG, Samsung put differences aside for V50S

Oct 11,2019
LG Electronics bridged an old rivalry with its new V50S ThinQ dual-display phone, equipping the new device with an upgraded image sensor made by local competitor Samsung Electronics.

The V50S, the latest version of LG Electronics’ dual-screen smartphone, launches today.

LG normally uses components from Sony and SK Hynix, but its V50S ThinQ makes a notable departure from that tradition with the new Samsung sensor. The move is likely due to LG’s ongoing efforts to improve its smartphone sales and Samsung’s bid to boost the struggling semiconductor sector.

The sensor is used in the front-facing camera of the new LG phone. LG chose Samsung’s Isocell Bright GD1, which is capable of shooting 32-megapixel images.

Released in October last year, the image sensor boasts a higher specification than the one used for the rear-facing camera on the V50S ThinQ, which can shoot 12-megapixel images.

“We’ve come to use Samsung Electronics’ image sensor instead of the Japanese component we used for the previous model,” said a spokesperson for LG Electronics. “We don’t mind which vendor we get supplies from as long they are high quality.”

LG’s decision to incorporate a Samsung component comes as a surprise considering that the two companies have been locked in intense competition on household appliances like 8K televisions and clothes dryers.

Samsung recently criticized LG’s technique used to remove dust from clothes on the LG Styler, while LG attacked Samsung over the picture quality of its QLED 8K TV.

Sony and SK Hynix supplied the image sensors for LG’s first dual-screen smartphone. It had an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.

The V50S ThinQ’s front-facing camera is one of the features that has been improved. It has one fewer camera than the former model, but a much-improved image sensor. The original V50 had an 8-megapixel primary sensor and 5-megapixel wide-angle lens.

“We aimed to feature a camera that is similar to an actual camera due to the rise in demand for selfie cameras and shooting individual videos for broadcast,” said an LG spokesperson.

Compared to the original V50 ThinQ, the V50S uses an expanded Samsung image sensor to allow the camera to take in more light. LG Electronics says it also improved the quality of the camera by improving the optical image stabilization.

A spokesperson from Samsung Electronics said, “Although we cannot reveal the business relation before our client does, the image sensor [used on the LG V50S ThinQ] was developed by Samsung.”

BY KIM YOUNG-MIN [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]


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