LG's New G5 Is Its Most Interesting Phone In Years

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, there are a bunch of new phones being launched — but so far it’s LG that stands out the most. With the G5, LG has its most interesting and most appealing high-end smartphone in years. It’s a phone that can transform.

The new phone is built around a 5.3-inch, 2560x1440pixel LCD display similar at least in specification to the one LG has used in previous years on the G3 and G4, but beyond that screen it’s changes all the way down. Inside the phone is a new Snapdragon 820 processor, the first to be released in Australia, and 4GB of RAM. The body sees LG’s most significant shift away from the removable back and easily accessible battery and microSD card slot of the G4 — and the start of an entirely new platform for LG’s smartphones.

LG has switched to a non-removable, fully metal back for the rear of the G5, with a fingerprint sensor that’s largely reminiscent of the circular one on the rear of LG’s own Nexus 5X and the Huawei Nexus 6P. The phone’s 2800mAh battery and up to 2TB of microSD removable storage are now accessible through the base of the phone — the entire base of the G5 slides out to reveal the battery.

That modular battery design means the G5 can also be upgraded with additional modules that plug into the lower portion of the screen; LG showed a Bang & Olufsen speaker system and a dedicated camera grip, both of which take the place of the regular battery module. There’s huge potential for different future modules to change the way the G5 works and the tasks it can be used for.

A slightly raised central dual camera module in the top centre of G5’s rear sits above the fingerprint sensor, alongside a dual-LED flash. One of those cameras — the 16-megapixel main shooter –has a 78-degree field of view on its lens, while the second 8-megapixel camera has a 135-degree field of view — wider than the human eye’s. If you want more control over your photos, there’s a camera grip that’ll let you hold the phone, zoom, and snap burst photos with one hand.

From the front, the G5 keeps LG’s clean lines, with only a small 8-megapixel front-facing camera above the 5.3-inch IPS LCD quantum dot display. Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the platform of choice for the G5, An always-on clock can be switched on in software — and LG says that battery and screen optimisation means it will consume only 0.8 per cent of battery life per hour. Four colours — silver, gold, pink and “titan” — are slated for worldwide release.

Innovations under the hood — Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging four times faster than regular speeds, aptX HD high-fidelity Bluetooth audio support, Low Power Location Estimation to halve the energy consumed by the G5’s internal GPS receiver — all contribute to the G5 being a great all-round phone for everyday use. But it’s the modular design, and the ability for new modules to be added in the future, that really excite us.

New accessories for the G5 are also on the way, including a touch-enabled Quick Cover — that was oddly announced before the phone itself was even introduced. As in previous years, these will be coming to Australia but it’s up to carriers to stock them. We don’t know exactly when the G5 will be launhed in Australia, but we’re on the list of countries that LG has lined up for its initial release. [LG Newsroom]

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