LG unveiled the G5, which is a successor to LG’s G4 and V10 smartphones, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. And, the G5 is nothing like what the company has manufactured in the past; it’s based on a completely brand new strategy and idea.
This time around, LG decided to go with an all metal unibody design, instead of a plastic construction like before, and yet managed to keep the battery user replaceable — more on that a bit later.
The company’s designers also managed to integrate the cellular antennas directly into the metal body of the smartphone; so there are no visible antenna lines, which gives the metal design a seamless look. It’s also a relatively thin and light handset: it’s 7.7mm thick and weighs 159g.
In the past, LG had been placing the power and volume buttons on the back of its smartphones, it had actually become one of its design signatures, but it’s not longer like that on the latest flagship.
Well, the power button is still on the back, embedded inside a touch-based fingerprint scanner, but the volume keys have now been shifted to the left side of the device.
It’s packing a 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum display with a pixel density of 554ppi and comes with an Always-on feature and Daylight mode.
The Always-on Display feature is very similar to Android’s Ambient Display, but LG’s offering keeps the display awake at all times, not only when a notification comes in. When the G5 is in sleep mode, the screen constantly displays the date and time for the user to glance at, whenever required. LG says, a consumer turns on its smartphone up to 150 times a day just to check the time, so the Always-on feature will definitely help reduce battery consumption.
The feature itself only consumes 0.8% of the battery per hour.
LG is also introducing a Daylight Mode, which cranks up the display’s brightness to up to 850 nits under direct sunlight, improving outdoor visibility. This is something Samsung has been doing with its displays for quite some time now and it’s not really new in the smartphone space.
The LG G5 sports Qualcomm’s latest quad-core Snapdragon 820 SoC with an Adreno 530 GPU. The new CPU architecture offers double the speed and and power efficiency, compared to the Snapdragon 810 processor. New Adreno 530 graphics chip delivers up to 40% increase in gaming performance and power savings compared to its predecessor. The system-on-chip is bundled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of built-in internal storage, which is expandable to up to 2TB via a MicroSD card.
Just like the company’s newly announced X Cam smartphone, the LG G5 boasts a dual camera system on the back: one with a wide 135-degree lens, which is a 16-Megapixel sensor, and another with a standard 78-degree lens, which is a lower, 8-megapixel sensor. The wide angle lens will allow consumers to capture a lot more in a single picture than ever before with smartphone camera. Back in 2014, HTC did something similar with its One M8, but the additional camera sensor was only used to obtain more depth-of-field. In between the camera sensors, there is a laser autofocus system, colour sensor, and an LED flash. Oh, and it’s capable of shooting 4K videos too. There’s also a front-facing 8-megapixel selfie camera on-board as well.
In terms of connectivity, there’s support for dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, and 4G LTE. Furthermore, the device uses a USB Type-C port for syncing and charging. Out of the box, it runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with LG’s custom UX on top of it.
Now let’s talk about the most unique aspect of the device: its modular design. By pressing a button on the lower left side of the device, you can detach the bottom part of the device, which allows you to replace the 2,800mAh battery and attach different accessories to the device to further enhance functionality. LG calls these accessories: G5’s friends. The company showcased quite a few of these friends, the two most useful ones were probably the camera grip and an external DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter).
The LG CAM Plus comes with a grip, an LED indicator, and physical buttons to control specific camera features — power, shutter, record, zoom. It also comes equipped with an additional 1,200mAh battery, which extends your standard 2,800mAh battery; providing you with some extra juice. The LG Hi-Fi Plus module is a collaboration between LG and Bang & Olufsen, it adds an external DAC to the smartphone and delivers 32-bit 384KHz high-definition audio playback.
The LG G5 will be available in four different colour variations — Silver, Titan, Gold, and Pink. Pricing and availability of both, the G5 and its friends hasn’t been officially announced by LG just yet.