LG is one of the fastest growing Android OEM’s right now. To say they have momentum in the marketplace would be an understatement. Both of its 2015 flagships, the LG G4 and the V10, were heralded for their quality and performance. How does LG follow that up? Will it follow their trend of redesigning its flagship every year? Here’s everything we know about the LG G5 so far.
LG sent out a teaser today for something “playful” at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 coming up soon in February. Later in the day, LG came right out and confirmed it is going to unveil the company’s next flagship in Barcelona at MWC. LG has been steadily moving up the date of its early year flagship release.
In 2013, LG released the flagship LG G2 in September. For the next iteration, the LG G3, the timeline was moved up to May of 2014, and the LG G4 debuted in April of 2015. Most see this as a play to go up against and beat, Samsung and HTC who release their flagships in the first half of the year, and then follow up with another in the last half of the year.
Physical Design and Internals
The LG G4 was one of the last remaining devices in 2015 to be released with a removable battery and MicroSD card slot. Samsung eschewed those features for what it thought was a higher quality built phone with an embedded battery sandwiched between two pieces of glass. LG continued the trend of having these two fan favorite features in the V10, and it looks like we may see them again in the LG G5. This time with a twist.
A source has “confirmed” to CNET Korea that the LG G5 will have both a removable battery and a metal body. How is it going to pull this off? Well, pull may be the optimal word there. In the renders that were leaked, we’re seeing a body with a removable bottom, instead of a removable back which has been the norm for most phones. Remove the bottom and pull out the battery to replace it. This leaves many questions unanswered, but we love the ambition if true.
According to VentureBeat, the LG G5 will feature a 5.3″ display at the same 1440 x 2560 display as the G4. Some had hoped for a jump to 4K, but that seems unlikely at this time. The ticker display currently found on the wonderful LG V10 will also be integrated into the G5. That may explain why the main display is dropping from 5.5″ to 5.3″.
The camera on the LG G5 may feature a dual lens design much like the front facing camera of the V10. This will give the 16 megapixel camera the ability to shoot regular shots or use a 135 degree wide angle lens to get a wider image. Laser autofocus and dual flash will be featured on the G5 as well as the now standard rear facing buttons. Also on the back you’ll find a fingerprint scanner much like the V10 or newest Nexus devices.
The G5 will be powered by the newest chip from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 820, and come along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage.
The battery will come in a little bit smaller this year at 2800mAh, down from the 3000mAh battery in the LG G4. While dropping battery capacity can make some a bit apprehensive about the battery life, the Snapdragon 820 is said to be much more power efficient than the previous Snapdragon 808 that powered both the G4 and V10. This should amount to seeing the same, or better, battery life as the 2015 flagship lineup.
What we can see on the back of the phone lends the most credence to this being an LG G5. Here we see dual cameras. According to a leaker on Reddit who posted this picture and multiple other outlets like CNET and VentureBeat, the LG G5 will feature dual rear cameras. Theses a 16 MP and 8 MP shooters could be a better version of what HTC tried to do with its dual camera set-up on the HTC One M8.
One thing to point out is that, if these pictures are the real deal, gone are the buttons on the back of the G5 that LG has used since the G2. On the picture of the rear we can see two cameras and the fingerprint sensor but the buttons are gone. On the pictures of the left side we can see a cut out of for the volume rocker. This either means LG is abandoning the rear buttons it has so heavily marketed to return a tradition button layout or this could be a different LG prototype device.
These pictures also seem to confirm the inclusion of a USB Type-C port on the bottom of the phone for charging and data transfer as well as downward firing speakers. Some leaks had suggested that we would see the second ticker screen on the top right of the main display carry over from the LG V10 to the LG G5 and these pictures do show that screen is visibly there.
This one has us putting on our tinfoil hats a little bit. The LG G5 is supposedly going to come with a “magic slot” that will allow expandable hardware modules to be added to the phone. These may show up in the way of Virtual Reality modules, Speaker modules, or something like an action cam mount. There have been no physical leaks of this “magic slot”, so for now we’ll remain dubious. It sounds like a great idea, something maybe taken from Project Ara’s playbook, but without any physical mock-ups or leaks, we won’t be holding our breath.
What do you think about these rumors? Are the removable battery and MicroSD card slot dealbreakers for you? Let us know down in the comments what you expect from the LG G5.