LG just officially announced their flagship phone for 2016. The LG G5 which features the latest cutting edge technology and then some. LG has made the first mainstream modular smartphone. For those of you unaware of this not-so-popular-till-now way of making a smartphone, modular phone is where a consumer can independently upgrade or replace certain parts of a smartphone. The purpose of such a build is to reduce electronic waste, lower repair costs and increase user comfort. I’ll talk about LG’s modules a bit later.
Main specifications of the new LG G5
- 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, 159 g ‘fluid metal’ body
- 5.3″ Quad HD IPS Quantum display (2560 x 1440 resolution, 554 PPI)
- Corning Gorilla Glass 4 (beveled glass display)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB Memory with MicroSD slot
- 2800 mAh Li-Ion removable battery with Quick Charge 3.0
- Dual rear camera module (16MP + 8MP wide angle)
- 8MP front facing camera
- LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and USB Type-C
- Fingerprint scanner (located at the back)
- Runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Unique features and selling points
- Always-on screen technology (consumes 0.8% battery per hour)
- Dual rear camera module (regular + wide angle)
- Modular smartphone
- aptX HD 24-bit wireless Hi-Fi Audio
- Low Power Location Estimation (LPLE) technology
Updates from last generation LG G4
Let’s first talk about what changed and what remained the same from the previous flagship, the LG G4. The new flagship does away with the back mounted power and volume buttons and moves them in the more common side spot to accommodate the fingerprint scanner at the back. The display has lost 0.2″ of real estate. The processor skipped Snapdragon 810 and jumped straight to the next-gen 820 and the RAM has been increased by 1GB. It features the future proof USB Type-C connector. The primary shooter is the same 16MP but with the added secondary 8MP wide angle camera. One notable downgrade is the slight reduction in battery size from 3000 mAh to 2800 mAh.
How is it different from the rest?
The bottom part of the phone is where LG G5 houses the modular component. As shown in the photograph above, the bottom part of the phone comes off, and allows you access to the battery and card slots (requires a reboot) or the entire bottom to have certain upgrades or changes based on the modular component and your preference.
LG has announced 2 modular components for now. The first is the LG Cam Plus, a camera grip that adds 1,200 mAh of battery and hardware controls like a shutter key, zoom dial and a video button. The other modular component is for audiophiles called the LG Hi-Fi Plus. It has the Bang & Olufsen DAC for improved audio quality.
Accessories on offer
LG 360 Camera
It is a spherical and portable camera with dual 13MP camera setup with a 200 degree view. It supports Wi-Fi and bluetooth and is powered by a 1200mAh battery. It supports 2k resolution recording and can directly upload to YouTube 360. The videos are then viewable on this next gadget that LG announced…
LG 360 VR Headset
This is compact and portable VR headset by LG that require the phone to be attached to use the screen like most VR headsets (it still requires the phone to be connected to power the headset). This one features its own set of dual 1.88″ displays with a resolution of 960 x 720 pixels. It is also compatible with YouTube 360 and the Google cardboard app.
LG calls it G5 and its friends. Pricing hasn’t been made available and no specific release dates have been announced but the initial launch period is expected to start from April.
LG has made its move. It has shown some real innovation with its announcement today. The modular tech might not be a game changer or a must have but it shows that LG are trying to innovate and stand out in the market. Same for the dual camera at the back, it offers variety to the photography aficionados with a choice of a regular high resolution or a ultra wide angle for landscapes (a similar setup was used on the front camera of the LG V10). LG has also equipped the phone with all the usual bells and whistles that the usual flagships must have, as well as a premium metal body which is a noticeable upgrade from their flagship builds of old.
Samsung is set to announce its flagship phones (Galaxy S7 and S7 edge) in the next few hours, let us see what they have up their sleeve. Fair to say things are getting spiced up in the smartphone arena.