LG’s curvy premium phone will be called ‘Velvet’

LG isn’t just hoping that a brand new design language will woo you to its next smartphone — it thinks the name will, too. The company has revealed that its curved-edge premium phone will be named Velvet to convey its “smoothness and premium softness.” Whether or not that badge has its intended effect, it’ll represent a significant break for a company that has insisted on numeric naming schemes for the past several years.

The switch in naming strategy reflects LG’s goals for the phone and, ultimately, the company as a whole. Its mobile division has been struggling for a long time, in part because its phones have relied on novelty features like hands-free control or modules to stand out. With Velvet, it’s clearly hoping that memorable designs and the names to match will improve the company’s fortunes.

Whether or not it does isn’t clear. To date, LG has only talked about Velvet’s basic design, which mates the curves with a “Raindrop” camera layout. Rumors have also pointed to an upper-mid-range design that brings a Snapdragon 765 chip and 5G. This won’t directly challenge flagships like the Galaxy S20 or iPhone 11 Pro if those specs prove accurate. However, that might be the point — instead of trying to win the specs race, LG could offer a posh design at a more affordable price.