Update: The LG G5 release date is closer than ever, as pre-orders begin tomorrow, at least in the US. Here’s everything we know about this new Android phone.
The LG G5 is the first modular smartphone from the South Korean company, and it has an all-metal design. This means you can upgrade it with accessories, but still appreciate its premium look and feel.
The LG G5 is an entirely different phone this year. Its a 5.3-inch Android phone with a QHD display and metal body. It feels smooth in the hand with seams only for its modular bottom chin.
Watch our special LG G5 preview walkthrough below
There’s no LG G5 price yet, and the release date is still a bit vague, which just goes to tell us that there’s more to discover about this phone.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? LG’s flagship smartphone for 2016
- When’s it out? Announced at MWC 2016, expected in early April
- What will it cost? A lot – it’s a flagship after all
LG G5 release date
You won’t have to wait very long for the LG G5 release date. The company’s flagship Android phone is arriving two months earlier than its typical annual refresh cycle.
LG said that the handset has an “early April” release date in North America and Europe, so you have to get through all of March with your old phone and resist that tempting Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
It’s still sooner than we expected. Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 were announced at MWC and got a two-month head start on April’s LG G4. Not this time.
LG isn’t allowing the Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC One M10 to do the same all over again. The HTC 10 is supposed to take the bucket seat in April.
The LG G5 acts as the company’s main flagship phone for 2016, but it’s just the first of two LG flagship phones this year, the company has confirmed, so it’s going to be a big year for phones.
LG G5 design
We’re finally seeing a truly premium LG flagship, which is a nice change from the plastic the company usually uses, and the less said about that leather-backed LG G4 the better.
It measures 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm, and while this phone won’t be curved like its G series predecessor, it is smaller and easier to hold thanks to its 5.3-inch display. Reaching all corners of the screen is now possible.
LG is keeping the microSD card slot and removable battery, even with the metal unibody look, and it does this with an innovative new design. It hasn’t forgotten its power user roots.
The LG G5 battery tray acts a lot like a SIM card tray does in some flagship phones. It’s just a really large slot in which the phone chin comes off. The MicroSD and SIM card trays are one piece that come out in tandem.
- Here’s how the LG G5 compares to last year’s LG G4
LG G5 display
You’re never going to have to turn on the LG G5 display to check the time because it features an always-on display that shows dimly lit critical information, even when it’s off.
Touting it as the screen that never sleeps, it shows the time, date and up to four notifications icons. It reminds us of the much-loved Moto Display on the Moto X Style.
The 5.3-inch LG G5 is smaller than last year’s phone, so if you’re upgrading, you won’t have to stretch your grip quite as much. Almost every corner of the screen is in reach.
It’s still a beautiful quad HD display that uses an IPS LCD, not an AMOLED. LG says this eliminate the chance of burn-in from the always-on display.
KnockOn is unchanged just like the screen resolution. The functionality in which you can double tap the display to wake the device.
LG G5 camera and battery
There’s more than one LG G5 camera on the back of the phone, and that’s exciting news if you ever had to back up in order to properly snap a wide photo.
It includes both normal angle and wide angle lenses, reaching as far as 135 degrees, wider than the human eye.
Yes, the wider camera is just 8 megapixels (MP), but the 16MP is meant for high quality photos at a camera angle.
The front-facing camera is also 8MP but has a normal angle. The groundbreaking idea behind the LG V10 and its wide selfie camera didn’t make this cut here.
The battery dropped two hundreds mAh. It’s a 2,800mAh capacity, instead of the LG G4’s 3,000mAh size. That makes sense because the screen size and shrunk and the always-on display is supposed to stop you from checking your phone 150 times a day.
LG G5 Quick Cover
As you can see, there are going to several third-party LG5 cases to protect your new phone, but the South Korean company is also touting its own first-party LG G5 Quick Cover case.
This form-fitting metallic case not only gives us a better idea of what the phone will look like, it features a window to see the always-on display notifications and touch controls it answer incoming calls.
Its see-through mesh lets you answer (or dismiss) calls without ever having to flip open the top part of the case. LG made sure the metallic finish matches the more luxurious, metal-based LG G5.
LG G5 OS and power
The LG G5 contains a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, which is the same specs configuration we’re expecting to see in other flagship phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7.
It’ll only come in one internal storage size, 32GB, but don’t worry, you can upgrade that with a microSD card slot, up to a supposed 2TB of storage – whenever such a capacity comes out, of course.
LG G5 runs Android Marshmallow although, as expected, it’s heavily heavily skinned by LG. The operating system tweak has gotten a splash of paint.
LG G5 ‘magic slot’
Although LG doesn’t call it the “Magic Slot”, its phone does indeed contain a way to add accessories such as a camera upgrade, new audio technology and extra battery power. It seems to take inspiration from Google’s Project Ara with a modular design at the bottom of the phone.
To pull off Hi-Fi audio, LG partnered with B&O Play for “an enhanced high-quality audio experience” on the LG G5. Their direct-to-analog audio converter module plugs into the bottom modular slot and allows for 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC upsampling technology for crystal clear tunes.
The LG G5 takes cues from the Nexus 5X design, as it has a fingerprint scanner on the back, along with a new USB-C port on the bottom, moving it away from the standard micro USB data and charging port.
LG G5 rivals
The LG G5’s biggest rival is likely to be the Samsung Galaxy S7. This phone will arrive at the same time as the G5, with an announcement a few hours after the LG’s MWC press conference.
Not only does it have a huge name behind it, but rumors point to a sleek, premium design, a QHD screen, an improved camera and a whole lot of power, so LG could have its work cut out to compete.
The HTC One M10 will also probably be launching soon and while not much is yet known about that it’s sure to have a stylish look and flagship specs.
LG G5 price
There’s no word yet on what the LG G5 will cost, but it’s a flagship phone, so it won’t come cheap. If it’s as packed full of tech and features as rumors suggest it could easily come in at over £500/$600/AU$1000.
However, the great thing about LG’s phones is the cost will plummet quickly over the course of the year, so it could be well worth waiting.
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