LG G5 is first modular phone at Mobile World Congress
Once again LG has managed to wow (yes that’s word) the mobile world with their latest G5 announcements at this year’s Mobile Word Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
I have been using the LG G4 since its launch and have been amazed with its exceptional camera offering perfect control over images. So during the reveal of the G5 phone I wanted to see what they would to to my beloved camera. And they did a lot !
Introducing the LG G5 at MWC:
The LG still looks premium. It has an aluminium body design which has kept its slight curved look of the G4 but unlike the G4, the back cover is no longer removable and on the back you will no longer find the signature Volume up/ Volume down buttons – these have been moved to the side like conventional phones. Hmmm…I am not sure how I feel about that as I kind of liked the finger extending bit on the G4 but at least they left the home button back there with a build in finger print sensor.
Even though the back is not removable, there is a MicroSD tray on the side allowing you to expand the 32GB storage capacity up to 2 Terabytes.
— LG USA Mobile (@LGUSAMobile) February 21, 2016
The G5 has a 5.3 inch screen which by all accounts is comfortable to hold. Recognising that we unlock our phones just to check the time or see who the latest message is from, on the G5 the time and notification information are constantly displayed on the screen. I can only assume there is a way to disable this if you choose not to have the time displayed and more importantly having your notification info permanently on your “off” screen. I wonder how much battery power this feature uses too.
Speaking of battery and by far the most unique feature of any mobile phone we have seen to date, is how LG redesigned the bottom of the phone. Yes it still have its USB-C connector for charging and connection to the computer, but the bottom of the LG G5 is now removable and modular.
When you unclip the bottom of the device you can remove the battery and replace it with another. I am a fan of removable batteries as I am often out for long periods of time without access to the power source and don’t want to be tied to a power bank. Removable batteries mean I can have two batteries fully charged and simply swap them when the one is nearing empty.
So what about the camera ?
The LG G5 has two lenses on the back of the device. One of the lenses can be used for your regular snaps with its 16 megapixel sensor and 78 degree field of view, but the other lens is to be used as a wide-angle-lens when you want snap those panoramas or group photos and need a 135 degree field of view. This one has an 8 megapixel sensor.
The LG G5 software allows for great camera control so you can snap photos using both rear lenses at the same time and even all three (including the front facing camera) all in one image so you can be in the selfie too.
But wait there is more…
The LG G5 removable battery bay also allows you to replace it with a camera module. This is hardware unit that adds a camera grip fro better stability, a shutter release button to snap those photos, and a dialler for zoom and exposure controls. Whilst this adds another dimension to the mobile photography I am keen to explore if the added bulk and weight make such a difference to the already great camera which in manual mode, gives you all this added control anyways. Would mobile photographers (and the public) carry another piece of hardware with them? I am not so sure. Nokia tried this with their camera grip too on the Lumia 1020.
So in Summary:
We have been hearing about a future where phones will be modular, where parts can be interchanged to focus on what we need at the time. We would be able to add a GPS, Altimeter and Camera if we are skydiving or add a depth gauge and fish finder if when we hit the ocean. The basic functionality of the phone remains but peripherals are added as and when they are required.
Its exciting to see how LG has taken the first step at a modular phone. I am excited to see how LG will expands its modular offering beyond the camera grip too. The LG G5 is available in four colors: grey, gold, silver, and pink and is due to be released in April (Verizon customers get this phone in Spring)