LG G5 marks a radical new direction for its manufacturer's premium smartphone lineup. While its predecessors, dating back to the LG G2 in 2013, adhered to somewhat similar design language and plastic finish, the newcomer breaks the mold by toting a metal body with optional modular components. The G5 will hit the shelves in the coming weeks, though pre-registrations are already live on lg.com.
The above-mentioned modular accessories include a camera grip with larger battery and a premium headphone amp from Bang & Olufsen. LG will expand the ecosystem in the near future with a virtual reality headset, as well as a remote-controlled robot with a built-in camera. An API will also be released, so that third-party manufacturers can also add to the lineup of accessories.
New design language and a sleek metal body are the most obvious novelties that the LG G5 brings. The device's predecessors were constantly taking a beating for being plastic offerings in a premium product category, so it is great that LG took notice and addressed the issue.
Two camera sensors on the back of the smartphone are another first for LG's G series. The setup consists of a regular and a wide-angle lens. Combined, they can seamlessly switch and deliver a smooth zoom experience that's not typical for the camera of a mobile device.
Available attachable accessories are another feature that sets the LG G5 apart from its competitors. The company has plans to create an entire ecosystem of such gadgets, and give buyers the chance to tailor their phone for various usage scenarios.
Always-on display is another novelty that the LG G5 brings. The feature will make it easier for users to check the time or other relevant information with a quick glance.
In addition to being bold with the design and the functionality of the G5, LG has also stuck to some of the features that have garnered praise for its predecessors in the past. They include a swappable battery and an microSD card slot for easy memory expansion.
The Nerdy Stuff
- LG G5 packs a 64- bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, which will be standard on many high-end smartphones this year. The SoC supports LTE network download speeds of up to 600 Mbps.
- Memory-wise, the handset features 4GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in memory, and a microSD card slot for further expansion.
- LG has outfitted the smartphone with a duo of camera sensors on its back — a 16MP snapper with a standard lens and an 8MP unit with a wide-angle. The device is capable of capturing 4K video.
- The front-facing camera of the handset is an 8MP unit.
- The smartphone's display is a 5.3-inch QHD Quantum IPS unit by LG with 554 pixels-per-inch.
- There is a fingerprint sensor on the back of the smartphone. It is integrated into its power/lock button.
- The G5 boots Android Marshmallow out of the box with custom user interface.
- The handset features a 2,800 mAh removable battery. It supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 over the USB Type-C port.
- Other connectivity features of the device include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC.
- The smartphone is 7.7 mm thick and weighs 159 grams.
LG G5 Hands-on
It takes only a glance at the LG G5 to convince you that the device is a premium product. While its predecessors often came across as a bit too plasticky, the latest iteration impresses with a thin metal body, clean lines, and excellent build quality.
With a 5.3-inch display, the G5 cuts a fine balance between screen size and portability. Its screen bezels are slim, so the device is easy to handle even with one hand.
Adding a removable battery to the ultra-slim and metal-clad G5 is quite a feat, which has been accomplished by making the entire bottom of the smartphone removable. The removable bottom is also where the optional accessories can be attached.
LG G5 will launch with a duo of attachable accessories. They include a camera grip with a larger battery and a high-end headphone amp from Bang & Olufsen.
The camera grip is quite handy, as it allows users to fully utilize the extensive camera abilities of the device. Users can zoom in on and snap photos as if they are using a point-and-shoot camera.
The B&O PLAY H3 headphone amp integrates seamlessly into the body of the phone. It promises to deliver superior audio quality, especially with premium headphones.
LG will also release a virtual reality headset in the near future - LG 360 VR. The gadget will plug into the USB Type-C port of the smartphone and utilize its hardware to deliver content.
A consumer-friendly VR camera is also in the cards. The LG 360 CAM packs a duo of 13MP sensors with wide-angle lenses, which allow users to easily capture virtual reality content.
A cool-looking remote-controlled robot with a built-in 8MP camera is another upcoming toy for the LG G5. Dubbed LG Rolling Bot, it has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a dedicated pet mode, which allows users to entertain their furry friends.
LG G5 finally not only performs, but also looks like a top-tier Android smartphone. We suspect that the improved design and finish will make the device appeal to a much wider audience than its predecessors. The removable battery and the expandable memory, on the other hand, will make current LG fans and old-school Android power users happy.
The add-on accessories, even though gimmicky at first glance, appear to be well thought-out and smartly executed. It will be interesting to see how third-party accessory makers will react to the option to build things for the LG G5.
Interested buyers can pre-register to purchase an LG G5 right here. Pricing and exact availability of the device are yet to be revealed, though all major carriers in the U.S. will certainly offer it.
Photos by Stefan Vazharov
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