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LG announces long-awaited G5 smartphone

by on21 February 2016

Qualcomm X12 LTE 600Mbps modem, dual rear cameras and more

Today, LG President and CEO Juno Cho took the stage at Mobile World Congress and shook the audience for a moment with a slide titled “The era of smartphones is not over,” followed shortly by a full hardware announcement of its long-awaited 2016 flagship G5 smartphone and a variety of unexpected accessories.

lg g5 keynote audience

lg g5

Confirming rumors over the past few weeks, the LG G5 features a full metal body design, a curved 5.3-inch 2560x1440p Quad HD IPS Quantum “always-on” display featuring 3D Arc Glass with 554ppi, a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 820 SoC, a Qualcomm X12 LTE Advanced modem (up to 600Mbps downloads and 150Mbps uploads), 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. Other features include a microSD card slot with up to a remarkable 2TB storage capacity, a 13-megapixel rear camera, dual rear cameras (one at 16-megapixels for standard shots, one at 8-megapixels for wide angle shots), 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, Near-Field Communication (NFC) a fingerprint reader on the back, a 10Gbps USB 3.1 Type-C connector, and a slide-out 2,800mAh removable battery module.

In terms of audio, the device features an integrated aptX HD codec that supports 24-bit audio over Bluetooth and can be paired with an optional attachment accessory from Bang & Olufsen (mentioned below) that can provide up to 32-bit, 384KHz high-definition sound for lossless playback.

lg g5 removeable battery

LG claims that its always-on 2560x1440p display only consumes 0.8 percent of battery per hour. At first, we were skeptical about why any company would praise a feature that constantly sucks battery from the device, until LG mentioned that some consumers turn on their smartphones up to 150 times per day, mostly just to check the time. That being said, perhaps an always-on display could be a more power-efficient alternative for a large number of users, and will find out whether or not the trend gains any traction as more "always-on" devices like the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 are sold to consumers. The Snapdragon 820 SoC inside also offers Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which is 45 more efficient than the previous Quick Charge 2.0 generation and up to 27 percent faster at charging.

lg g5 always on display

As far as the dual rear cameras are concerned, one is a 78-degree lens and the other is a 135-degree wide-angle lens. This allows users a much more expansive variety of options when capturing photos that require either more fine-grained attention to detail (the 16-megapixel, 75-degree lens), or a slightly more panoramic shot (the 8-megapixel, 135-degree wide-angle lens).

lg g5 rear cameras

lg g5 normal angle lens

16-megapixel rear 78-degree "normal angle" camera lens

lg g5 wide angle lens

8-megapixel rear 135-degree wide-angle camera lens

The LG G5 measures 149.4mm tall, 73.9mm wide and just 7.7mm thick (5.88 x 2.91 x 0.30 inches) and weighs 159 grams (0.35 pounds). The device runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow layered with LG's custom UI and will be available in Silver, “Titan,” Gold, and Pink. Pricing and availability have not been announced yet, but we expect to hear more details in the coming weeks.

lg g5 colors

Image Credit: Droid Life

New accessories for the LG G5

lg g5 accessories

LG has also announced several accessories for the smartphone. The first is the LG 360 CAM, a compact 360-degree angle camera sporting two 13-megapixel, 200-degree wide-angle lenses. It is capable of capturing 1080p video in 5.1 surround sound via three microphones. The unit also offers 4GB of internal storage capacity, additional microSD storage expansion, and a 1,200mAh battery.
lg 360 cam
LG 360 CAM

The second accessory is the LG 360 VR. This headset works exclusively with the G5 and can be connected with a dedicated cable to simulate a 130-inch TV viewed from two meters away with a resolution of 639ppi. The company claims that their VR product is “very light and comfortable,” unlike some competitors. It weighs in at just 118 grams (4.6 ounces) and is compatible with 360-degree photos and videos captured with the LG 360 CAM and Google’s Cardboard do-it-yourself VR headset.
lg 360 vr
LG 360 VR

Third, the company teamed up with Bang & Olufsen to develop a premium audio module that converts the G5 into a portable Hi-Fi audio player. The B&O Play module attaches to the bottom of the G5 and extends the bottom of the phone by roughly an 1/8 inch with a 32-bit, 384KHz high-definition DAC for uncompromised audio playback.

lg g5 bo sound module

LG G5 B&O Play module (via AndroidCentral)

Finally, LG also partnered with Parrot and announced a drone controller to the G5, called the LG Smart Controller. The unit enables a user to instantly control an unmanned Parrot drone from the phone itself and offers a “three dimensional control dial” for easily maneuverable drone control.

lg g5 smart controller

LG Smart Controller for Parrot drones

Last modified on 21 February 2016
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