LG G5 boasts metal body, modular design with swappable battery and other add-ons

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UPDATE: T-Mobile has confirmed that they will launch the LG G5. However, specific availability and pricing details won’t be revealed until later.

 

MWC 2016 may not officially start until February 22, but many companies are announcing there new smartphones before the show gets underway. That includes LG, who just revealed its new G5.

The LG G5 switches things up a bit from last year’s LG G4. Rather than sporting plastic and leather swappable backs, the G5 offers a full metal design. It’s still got the removable battery that LG has touted so heavily in past G models, though, thanks to its modular design. Simply pop off the bottom of the phone and the 2800mAh battery will slide out.

That’s not all that you can do with the LG’s pop-off bottom piece. LG is introducing the LG Cam Plus, a camera module that gives you some added grip as well as physical buttons for shutter, zoom, video recording, and more. The camera module also includes a 1200mAh battery, giving your G5 some extra juice.

The other module announced by LG today is the Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play. This digital audio chip can be plugged into the G5 to add high-quality video. LG says that the Hi-Fi Plus supports 32-bit, 384KHz audio. What’s more, you can actually connect the Hi-Fi Plus to a different smartphone or PC if you want high-quality audio elsewhere.

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Moving up from the bottom of the LG G5, there’s a 5.3-inch 2560×1440 IPS Quantum display with an Always-On feature that can show the time, date, and battery status continuously. LG promises that this feature won’t kill your battery, though. LG says that the Always-On feature only activates one-third of the G5’s display, and that the feature only uses 0.8 percent of your battery per hour.

Continuing our trip up the LG G5’s body, there’s an 8-megapixel front-facing camera up above the G5’s display. And then flipping around to the back, there are two cameras on the back of the phone. The main camera is a 16-megapixel sensor, and then there’s a second 8-megapixel sensor with a 135-degree wide-angle lens. LG has added several photo-centric software features to the G5 as well, including Pop-out Picture for combining images taken with the regular and wide-angle lenses and Auto Shot, which “automatically captures the perfect selfie shot” when the G5’s camera recognizes a face in its view.

Diving inside the G5’s metal body, there’s an octa-core Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 32GB of built-in storage, and a microSD slot for adding up to 2TB of additional storage. Rounding out the G5’s feature set is Android 6.0, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, USB Type-C, and Quick Charge 3.0 support.

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Also announced today alongside the G5 are its “friends,” which are companion devices for LG’s new phone. In this group of friends is the LG 360 Cam, a 360-degree camera with two 13-megapixel cameras, 1200mAh battery, 4GB of storage, and a microSD slot. There’s also the LG 360 VR goggles that connect to the G5 and work with content captured on the LG 360 Cam and Google Cardboard, an LG Rolling Bot that has an 8-megapixel camera and can be controlled with the G5, and LG Tone Platinum Bluetooth headphones.

The LG G5 will be offered in Silver, Titan, Gold, and Pink color options. T-Mobile hasn’t yet announced its plans for carrying the G5, but it seems likely that they will. Not only has T-Mo sold the past few LG G flagships, but both AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular have already confirmed that they’ll be carrying the G5, making it likely that all the major US carriers will have it. If T-Mobile does announce plans to carry the G5, I’ll be sure to update you.

The G5 is quite a change from the G4, offering a full metal body and ditching the rear-mounted volume buttons that several of the past LG flagships have offered. The good news for fans of removable batteries is that LG has managed to keep the user-swappable battery feature that it’s touted in past flagships as well as the microSD slot.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the G5 is its modular design that lets you pop off the bottom piece of the phone and add new modules. The Cam Plus seems like it might have more widespread appeal, giving users improved camera functionality as well as longer battery life. The question is, will these modules actually be a must-have feature for folks that pick up the G5. They look like they add nice functionality, but will consumers be compelled to spend extra cash on them and then like them enough to swap them. Price could play a big role in a G5 owners decision about buying modules, and unfortunately, LG hasn’t yet revealed pricing for the G5’s add-ons.

Source: LG

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  • Frettfreak

    Phone looms great. Here is the problem with all these stupid companies making all these accessories that only work with 1 or a couple of their specific phones: I don’t stay with 1 brand ever and change my phone every 6 months. Love all the extra functionality, but likely they will be too much money to actually make sense buying for 6 months of use

    • jtothada

      Agreed I switch every six months….so no need to invest in accessories I won’t be using in a few months……over all I like the phone and the idea…..especially the screen to body ratio…..but let’s see what Samsung has up there sleeves

    • Guest

      As if phones grow out of trees.

    • Ditto – I switch every 6 months as well and your point is valid. The wildcard is how much those add-ons will cost.

  • Anon

    With every lowly Chinese phone maker putting out a metal body phone, how does one call that alone, “premium” ?
    This really has no flagship look to it at all.The G4 looks like they tried harder. Where is their better then sliced bread Trademark rear button configuration?
    How about…..The bottom center LG logo, becomes the HOME button, and 2 capacitive buttons next to it, take the buttons off the screen real estate. Stop rounding the main screen, so people can put a tempered glass protector on it without halo.
    It looks too Huawei/Alcatel – not Samsung/LG G4 ish

    • AStepUp

      It never ceases to amaze me how people can run their mouths and most likely have not even handled the phone. You must be a Samsung fanboy. I think it’s great LG is stepping up with new ideas.

      I am very interested in everything they are doing. And I’ve had just about every Samsung. I am so done with them and am hoping LG is a big success.

    • NinoBr0wn

      Anything else?

  • I wonder will T-Mobile announce if they are carrying the LG G5 soon. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have (according to Tech bloggers), but still no word from T-Mobile. T-Mobile seems to always be a bit late on their announcements of new flagships, at least a few that I’ve seen.

    • Alex Wagner

      T-Mobile has confirmed to me that they’ll carry the G5, but no pricing or launch info quite yet.

      • Thanks, I tweeted their whole crew AskDes, John Legere, etc.) and they said, “No news on that just yet, stay tuned!”

        • Johnny 5

          Might be working on the extra throw ins for buying one. Samsung comes with the VR headset. I’m sure the G5 will come with something like extra battery or the camera attachment.

        • You’re right, probably so. LG has been so popular with that since the G4 (G4 & V10). And since it’s a media heavy device, they probably will. Hopefully they do something like buy one modular LG friend, and get another one half off or something of that stature. @disqus_CfY10nwF3H:disqus

  • RLB63

    You add any of the add ons and the cases won’t work. It’s not like it is easy enough to get cases for phones other than the iPhone and Samsung to start with. This will make it next to impossible.

    • It’s not easy to get cases? Have you ever looked on Amazon? They have literally thousands to choose from for every phone imaginable.

    • NinoBr0wn

      lol I don’t think you’ve looked very hard if you think it’s anything but easy to find cases for phones. I hope you’re not just looking through those carts in the mall with rhinestones and gummy skins.

  • M2051

    No app drawer. Are you kidding me. And there doing it to help me because supposedly I’m so dumb I can’t figure out a app drawer. I hope nova launcher works on This phone

    • What the hell are you talking about? You shouldn’t use the word “dumb” when you cannot spell, and make such silly observations. And you ask if Nova Launcher will work on this phone. Why wouldn’t it?

      • AS118

        I heard they got rid of the app drawer common to the Android OS and most of its skins.

        So it’s more like ios where all the apps show up in sequential order with a customizable home screen.

        Kind of like on some of Lenovo’s tablets. I don’t like it either myself, and got nova launcher on my Lenovo tablets.

        • I had not heard that, but that’s why Android is so much better than iOS (IMHO). You have the ability to fully change and customize the stock software. Nova launcher (and the dozens of other launcher apps) will clearly allow you to do whatever you want.

        • Mueller2051

          Yea I don’t know how there going to set up apps with out a app drawer. And I’m using nova lunches on all my devices but sometimes I loose some functionality on my devices like widget and so on built into the phone.

    • NinoBr0wn

      Well the Galaxy S7 also has the option to “turn off” the app drawer, and there’s been rumors about the next version of Android itself doing away with the app drawer. I can’t understand why, but all of these can’t be coincidence. All that said, why would Nova Launcher not work with the phone?

      • Mueller2051

        I should have said I hope nova launcher works well on this phone.

        • NinoBr0wn

          Still don’t understand. Have you had a phone where Nova worked differently for some reason?

        • mueller2051

          I have had widget’s on note 4, Samsung built in widgets, like the calendar app and so on not even available. on lg the same thing and on my v 10 my instant camera on feature don’t work. some bugs but in general I wouldn’t be with out it.

  • AS118

    I’m an LG fan, but the back looks ugly to me, and I would have preferred to see them keep the power and volume buttons on the back.

    That said, I bet that configuration turned off a lot of potential customers. I though I wouldn’t like it at first either to be fair, but once I tried it, it felt very natural. Not necessarily better than buttons on the side, but equal to it, but with different advantages and disadvantages imho.

  • james

    I think it looks great. I also love all the options. I’m glad they kept as card removable battery I was hoping for 64 gb space. Overall it is fantastic.

  • gmo8492

    The back looks like a Nexus 6P, which is not its most endearing quality. But I can definetly get onboard with the modular add-ons. Props to LG for taking risks.

  • Ascertion

    They’ll never learn. The G2 I think is what really brought LG’s success into the mobile division. They’ve only decreased battery performance every single release since then. Oh wait, I can make the phone look like a dinosaur for the 4,000MAh battery.

    • AS118

      I agree. 3000mah + a 1080p screen was what made me love th G2, along with the manageable 5.2″ screen with the buttons on the back to make it thinner on the sides.

      If they’d just kept that up and added the removable battery and microSD card slot with the G3 and G4, they would’ve probably had a lot more sales, imho.

      At the very least, they could’ve made 2 sizes, with the smaller one NOT being a piece of crap with junky hardware (as with the G3 and G4 minis)