LG has taken the covers off the G5, its latest flagship Android smartphone. The big reveal took place at a press event in Barcelona, just hours before Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy S7 in the same city.
Both events come on the eve of Mobile World Congress, an annual technology trade show taking place in the same city. The LG G5 replaces the year-old G4 and boasts a 'modular' design, whereby a panel on the bottom edge of the phone comes off, revealing a tray which slides out, giving access to the removable battery.
The phone has an all-metal unibody design and will go on sale with a range of accessories which LG refers to as the phone's 'playground'. Accessories made for the LG G5 include a 360-degree camera and a virtual reality headset.
A gives both LG and third-party accessory makers the opportunity to produce and sell a range of add-ons which connect to the phone though the battery slot. One accessory produced by LG is Cam+, which combines a large capacity battery and improved rear camera controls, including physical buttons for zoom, taking photos and recording video. The module also boost battery capacity by a third.
Another module is the LG Hi-Fi Plus, which gives the phone better sound quality by using technology developed by B&O.
Called the LG360Cam, this camera accessory is a standalone device which uses two lens to take 360-degree images, like those used by Google Street View. Google says it wants to help users share these images through a 'world map' created by 360-degree photos; the search giant announced that all such images, once approved by Google, can be uploaded and stored for free. These images will be integrated with Google Maps and viewable to everyone.
Next up is a VR headset, built specifically to accommodate the LG G5. Compatible with Google Cardboard apps and games downloaded from the Play store, plus 36-degree images shot with LG's camera. This headset is very similar to the Gear VR produced by Samsung, but LG boasts less weight and 20% sharper images. Qualcomm, which makes the LG's processor, claims the phone can produced 'game console' graphics.
The last gadget sold alongside the LG G5 is the Rolling Bot, a spherical robot which includes an 8-megapixel camera and is controlled by the phone. Video is streamed live from the robot to the phone, and LG is pitching this as a simpler alternative to a flying drone.
The robot can be controlled remotely over a Wi-Fi connection to check your house while you are away, or terrorise pets with an integrated laser pointer. An IR blaster means the robot can control your television or other audio/video equipment from another room or another country.
Here's what LG says about the robot, which reminds us of BB-8 from Star Wars: "Not just a toy, the Rolling Bot can be used as a security system for the home, pet care companion as well as a remote controller for compatible home appliances. With an IP camera connectable via Wi-Fi, users can monitor the interior of their homes with the LG G5 from anywhere in the world."
Also new for the LG G5 is a fingerprint reader on the back of the phone, and it runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google's latest mobile operating system. The phone has the same Qual HD screen as the LG G4, with a resolution of 1440 x 2650; but new for the G4 is an always-on feature, which displays the date, time and unread notifications when the phone is asleep. LG says this involves using just a third of the screen and takes less than 1% from the phone's battery life.
The G5, powered by a USB Type-C cable instead of microUSB, and will be available in silver, gold, pink and 'Titan'.
Here are the key specifications of the LG G5:
- Chipset: Qualcomm®Snapdragon™ 820 Processor
- Display: 3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 554ppi)
- Memory: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 32GB UFS ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)
- Camera: Rear: Standard 16MP, Wide 8MP / Front: 8MP
- Battery: 2,800mAh (removable)
- OS: Android 0 Marshmallow
- Size: 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7~8.6mm
- Weight: 159g
- Network: LTE / 3G / 2G
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / USB Type-C0 (3.0 compatible) / NFC / Bluetooth 4.2
- Colors: Silver / Titan / Gold / Pink
IBTimes UK are now heading to the demo area for some hands-on with the G5. Check back soon t see what we think