After months of hype, LG took the stage today in Barcelona to unveil its flagship “G” phone for 2016. The phone, because leaks are such a part of this world these days, is in many ways what you expected. I think it’s safe to say that LG also has some tricks up their sleeves with this device as well, though, which has us pretty excited for the year to come.
With the LG G5, you are getting a metal uni-body design with slideout battery drawer that makes this one of the first modular phones. We say “modular” because that battery drawer will allow LG to add-on accessories or expand the capabilities of the phone. As of today, they plan to do that with a camera module and Hi-Fi audio DAC. More on that here.
As for the phone, along with the all-metal body, we get a 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum display (2560x1440x 554ppi), Snapdragon 820 processor (quad-core, 64-bit), Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage with microSD support up to 2TB, 2800mAh (removable) battery, 8MP front camera, dual rear cameras of 16MP and 8MP, fingerprint reader, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow underneath LG’s latest skin. The phone supports LTE, has a USB Type-C port, Quick Charge 3.0, and is just 7.7mm thick. Yes, LG did move the volume rocker back to the side of the phone, but did keep the power button/fingerprint reader on the back. (Full specs)
With this phone, LG seems to have really listened to customer feedback. For the first time from LG, we got an all-metal body, but the removable battery remains, along with expandable storage. They also shrunk the display slightly, to make for a better in-hand experience, because customers told them that 5.5-inches might have been ever so slightly too big.
LG hasn’t given us a launch date, only that they hope to launch simultaneously across the globe.
You’ll want to watch our hands-on video to be able to fully take in the LG G5 experience.
The massive press release announcing all of LG’s latest and greatest can be found below.
LG DEBUTS THE G5, ITS FIRST EVER MODULAR SMARTPHONE
LG’s Newest Idea Revealed At Mobile World Congress 2016 Complete With Friends
BARCELONA, Feb. 21, 2016 — LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled its highly anticipated LG G5 smartphone, a brand new design with not only a sleek, metal uni-body featuring a Slide-out Battery and a Modular Type design that gives a greater smartphone experience. Complete with LG Friends, a collection of companion devices, the G5 can be transformed into a digital camera, Hi-Fi player and more.
Encased in a sleek metal aluminum body and Slide-out Battery to easily swap out a depleted battery for a fully charged one in seconds, the LG G5 surpasses the visual experience of its predecessor, the LG G4.
First, the G5’s 135-degree wide angle lens lets you choose between standard or wide angle lens to get more in the shot. Second, the Always-on Display makes notifications just a glance away with the time, date and more available anytime without waking the G5. Third, the 3D Arc Glass featured in the smartphone’s 5.3-inch display creates a gentle curve and a smooth colorful metal surface through an advanced microdizing process which takes anodized aluminum to a whole new level.
Furthermore, the insulative antenna is invisibly integrated into the body without disrupting the seamless look of the metal uni-body. LG designers took the metal body concept one step further by adding a Shiny Cut edge for added contrast and better “hand-feel”.
LG’s First Modular Type Smartphone
LG’s innovative Modular Type design gives the LG G5 the ability to transform into a digital camera, Hi-Fi player and more all while keeping its traditional removable battery in a full metal uni-body design for the first time ever.
LG CAM Plus
The LG CAM Plus is a versatile camera module that can be attached through the battery slot to deliver a comfortable grip and convenient control of a standalone camera. The LG CAM Plus provides physical buttons for power, shutter, record, zoom, LED indicator and comfortable grip. It also offers intuitive auto focus and exposure lock, features usually found on standalone digital cameras. When attached to the LG G5, it provides an additional battery capacity of 1,200mAh to allow for longer shooting times for more fun and enjoyment.
LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY
The LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY is an innovative portable Hi-Fi DAC audio player developed in collaboration with B&O PLAY to meet the needs of those who seek to enjoy top-notch sounds that have traditionally only been available through high-end audio devices. LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY stands out for its simple yet elegant Scandinavian design as well as premium sound technology. In addition to the 32-bit Hi- Fi DAC upsampling technology first introduced on the LG V10, LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY also supports 32-bit 384KHz high-definition audio playback. LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY can be used either as a module with the LG G5 or as a separate Hi-Fi DAC by connecting to any smartphone or PC.
Extreme Wide Angle Lens and Advanced UX
Reflecting LG’s longstanding reputation as a leader in smartphone cameras, the LG G5 has two cameras on the rear: one with a standard 78-degree lens and another with a 135- degree wide angle lens, the widest available in any smartphone. The 135-degree lens on the LG G5 offers a viewing angle that is approximately 1.7 times wider than those of existing smartphone cameras and 15 degrees wider than the human eye’s field of view. The wide angle lens makes it easier for users to capture more landscape, taller buildings or larger groups without having to position oneself further from the subject.
The LG G5 features a collection of powerful photo effects including Pop-out Picture, Film Effect and Auto Shot. Pop-out Picture combines images taken by the standard and wide angle lens to create a picture-in-a-frame effect. Film Effect can apply nine different film emulators to an image while Auto Shot is an enhanced camera UX which automatically captures the perfect selfie shot when a face is recognized.
Always-on Display for Enhanced Convenience
The 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum display on the LG G5 offers an Always-on feature, the first on a main smartphone display. The concept of the Always-on Display was first introduced in the LG V10 as the Second Screen and now that feature has evolved on to the main display to show the time, date and battery status continuously even when the G5 is in sleep mode. This means that you can always see the time at a glance, even during important meetings or when your hands are full.
To minimize power consumption, LG redesigned the display driver IC memory and power management function so that the display’s backlight only illuminates one small part of the overall display. Thanks to this technology, the Always-on Display requires only 0.8 percent of the battery’s full capacity per hour to operate. With consumers turning on their smartphones up to 150 times a day mostly to just check the time, the G5’s Always-on Display will make a notable difference in the life of the battery over the course of the day.
Another advanced display feature in the LG G5 is Daylight Mode, which gives the G5 exceptional outdoor visibility beyond that of current auto brightness technology. Daylight Mode detects surrounding light conditions and instantaneously increases or decreses the brightness of the display, up to 850 nits. Even before your eyes have adjusted to the different lighting conditions, the G5 will be ready.
Diverse Range of Companion Devices
With the G5, LG is introducing a paradigm-shifting smartphone ecosystem — the LG Playground. With this, LG aims to strengthen the ties with its partners and introduce various devices and supporting programs to fully maximize the LG Playground.
As part of the ecosystem, LG is introducing a wide range of companion devices, aptly called LG Friends, to deliver fun while providing a new mobile experience far beyond traditional smartphone boundaries.
LG 360 VR
The LG 360 VR is a VR goggle that can be connected with the G5 via a dedicated cable and works exclusively with the G5 to simulate a 130-inch TV viewed from two meters away. It has a stylish design that is foldable so that users can easily carry and watch VR content anytime, anywhere. Unlike other VR devices that require a smartphones to be inserted in the device, the LG 360 VR weighs only 118g (4.16 ounces) and is just onethird as heavy as competing VR goggles while delivering a resolutaion of 639 ppi. The device is compatible with 360-degree images and videos captured with LG 360 CAM as well as all Google Cardboard content.
LG 360 CAM
The LG 360 CAM is a compact 360-degree angle camera equipped with two 13MP 200- degree wide angle cameras, 1,200mAh battery and 4GB internal memory, which can be supplemented by a microSD card. The LG 360 CAM can be easily connected to the LG G5 allowing users to create 360-degree content. The LG 360 CAM provides 2K video and 5.1 surround channel recording on three microphones to help users effortlessly create high-quality 360-degree contents. Thanks to the partnership with Google, images taken with the 360 CAM can be uploaded to Google Street View and YouTube360, adding the fun of sharing creative contents with others. The images will also be available to view on the LG 360 VR or other smartphones or devices that are capable of 360-degree content.
LG Rolling Bot
The LG Rolling Bot is a companion device that rolls like a ball while capturing images and videos with its embedded 8MP camera. Not just a toy, the LG Rolling Bot can be used as a monitoring 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 remotely monitor the interior of their homes with the LG G5 via live streaming.
LG Tone Platinum
The LG TONE Platinum (model HBS-1100), the latest in the LG TONE Series, is a Bluetooth headset that has earned the Harman Kardon® Platinum grade for its superior sound quality. With a Balanced Armature design for minimum distortion, LG Tone PlatinumTM delivers exceptionally sharp and clean sound. What’s more, it is the world’s first Bluetooth headset equipped with aptX™ HDcodec, delivering lossless 24-bit audio for sound that is unrivaled in a wireless device.
H3 by B&O PLAY
H3 by B&O PLAY is a set of active noise cancelling high-end earphones that is compatible with the high-quality sound of the LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY. Designed for audiophiles as well as anyone who considers audio performance a top-priority in a smartphone, H3 by B&O PLAY works with all Android smartphones.
LG Smart Controller
The LG Smart Controller allows users to easily control certain drones. With the LG Smart Controller, users can check the video stream from the drone through the LG G5 in real time and control the unmanned aircraft with the LG Smart Controller joystick.
LG Friends Manager
Only available in the LG G5, Friends Manager is the hub application that allows the G5 to connect with LG Friends with minimal fuss and effort. LG Friends Manager automatically detects nearby LG Friends and connects quickly and easily in three simple steps, eliminating much of the hassle of pairing devices.
More Performance, More Efficiency
The LG G5 offers many other innovations designed to revolutionize today’s mobile lifestyle, such as:
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Processor
The LG G5 is equipped with the powerful yet energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor that offers advanced features such as 64-bit performance, Adreno 530 graphics and lower-power Hexagon DSP as well as Qualcomm Spectra™ 14-bit dual image signal processors (ISPs) designed to deliver high resolution DSLR-quality images and additional power savings. The Snapdragon 820 processor also has an integrated X12 LTE modem that supports Category 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps and LTE Category 13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps.
Compared to the previous Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm Technologies’ most advanced CPU architecture offers double the speed and power savings. Adreno 530 graphics demonstrate up to 40 percent faster graphics performance and up to 40 percent more power efficiency. Snapdragon 820 supports 4K capture and playback at four times more than the resolution of 1080p, enabling users to watch and capture their daily moments in stunning detail and clarity. The processor is also optimized for VR, generating quality pixels and life-like colors to deliver the ultimate VR experience to G5 users.
aptX™ HD: 24-bit Hi-Fi Wireless Audio
The LG G5 is equipped with aptX HD, an enhanced codec that supports 24-bit sound over Bluetooth, delivering rich and clear sound over wireless connections without any loss. When paired with the LG TONE Platinum, users can experience superb quality Hi- Fi audio that sounds amazingly close to the original source.
Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0
The LG G5 offers Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for incredibly fast charging. By employing an intelligent algorithm, Quick Charge 3.0 is 27 percent faster and 45 percent more efficient than the previous generation.
Low Power Location Estimation (LPLE) Technology
The LG G5 has excellent battery life, thanks to the Low Power Location Estimation technology. This solution enhances the battery efficiency by as much as 41.9 percent byimproving the power consumption related to location-based apps.
“The new LG G5 will encourage owners to rediscover the true joy of a mobile life,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The G5 and LG Friends are the result of many experts inside LG asking themselves if it was still possible to be innovative and unique in the smartphone space. I think once customers spend a little time with the LG G5, their answer will be a resounding YES.”
Full LG G5 specs.
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