LG Unveils Its G5 Smartphone at Mobile World Congress

The new LG G5 gets an all-metal body, a 5.3-inch quad HD display and accessories for virtual reality, extended battery life and more.  

LG G5 smartphone

LG launched its new LG G5 premium smartphone at Mobile World Congress on Feb. 21, showing off a new all-metal body, a 5.3-inch quad HD IPS display and a modular design and line of attachments and accessories that bring virtual reality capabilities and more for users.

The all-metal design of the LG G5 comes from input from customers who told the company that they wanted to see a device covered with metal, rather than the leather-covered back of the previous LG G4 smartphone, Frank Lee, the director of communications for the company, told eWEEK.

The latest handset features a Qualcomm 820 octa-core processor, 4GB of memory, 32GB of on-board storage, a microSD slot for expanded storage up to 200GB and the Android Marshmallow 6.0 operating system.

The G5 continues the G4's tradition of having a removable and replaceable battery, which also continues to be requested by consumers, said Lee.

The G5 has one SIM card slot, dual rear cameras—a 16-megapixel camera with a 78-degree field of view and an 8MP wide-angle camera with a 135-degree field of view—and an 8MP front-facing camera.

The G5 also now gains the collage photo mode that is available on the LG V10 smartphone, which stitches the images together using multiple lenses. It also can use images from an optional 360-degree camera accessory that is also new for the G5.

Other changes for the G5 from the previous G4 handset include moving the power button to the rear of the phone, the integration of an improved fingerprint scanner and the repositioning of the audio keys back to the side of the phone.

The G5 also gets its gesture shot feature for selfies, which activates the shutter when the user moves their hand in front of the lens before taking a selfie.

Prices and release dates for the LG G5 will be announced by mobile carriers in the coming weeks, according to Lee.

The new attachable modular accessories coming for the LG G5 are aimed at helping users to expand their visual storytelling when using their phones, said Lee.

Included are an LG 360 camera module that features two 180-degree cameras that can create 360-degree images, an audio Hi-Fi Plus attachment for improved sound capabilities for music and video audio and an LG Cam Plus grip, which includes shutter and video camera buttons, a jog dial for video zoom, and an embedded battery with another 1,100mAh of power for extended use.

Also available will be a 360-degree, full HD 1080p VR headset which connects to the smartphone with a USB-C cord and an LG Friends Manager app that will make it easy to connect the accessories to the smartphone by simply turning the accessories on, according to LG.

"Our goal is to enhance the ability of people to capture and enjoy their content now," Lee said of the accessories.

Also coming is an LG Rolling Bot, which is a remote controlled rolling "robot" that has a built-in microphone, a speaker and a laser with a "pet mode" that flickers a laser that pets can chase for entertainment. The Rolling Bot can be navigated remotely to move from room to room.

Patrick Moorhead, the principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, told eWEEK that the G5 appears to continue LG's recent run of producing some of the best Android phones on the market.

"It is using the latest and greatest silicon from Qualcomm with the 820 processor," he said. "This is going to make a big difference."

LG's problem is that the company is not doing a good enough job of letting consumers know how good their phones really are, said Moorhead. "They're not marketing the biggest features that they have. I think that's going to be their biggest challenge on the G5."