LG G5 First Impressions: The first mainstream modular smartphone

By Sameer Mitha | Updated 4 May 2016
LG G5 First Impressions: The first mainstream modular smartphone
  • The LG G5 is the first modular smartphone to come to the mainstream market and we're excited!

LG has made some great smartphones in the past few years, with the most notable being the Nexus, because of the Nexus branding. Other smartphones from LG’s stables though good, when compared to the competition have never really garnered the attention they deserve. This may be because they don’t create as big a marketing buzz as, let’s say Samsung does, but personally I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The product needs to speak for itself and that’s what the LG G5(₹ 19900 at amazon) is all about. It's an impressive smartphone at first glance.

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Kicking things off with the specifications, the LG G5 has a 5.3-inch IPS LCD display, with 2560x1440 pixel resolution with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. It has an always on display, runs Android 6.0 skinned with the LG Optimus UX 5.0 UI. Under the hood, the smartphone has the Snapdragon 820 SoC coupled with 4GB RAM, 32GB built-in storage expandable via a microSD card, and a 2800mAh battery powers the entire package. Looking at the specs on paper, this phone should be able to do almost anything, including stopping a speeding bullet. We will leave judging the performance of the smartphone for when we get in for review.

Coming to the camera, the device has two of them at the back. One 16MP camera with 78-degree field of view, which sounds fine, but the second 8MP camera has a 135-degree wide angle lens and from what I saw, it looks pretty impressive. You can switch between the two cameras with the click of a button. Put simply, if you have a lot of people and you want to click a group photo, you usually ask them to squeeze together or you move back. In this case, you don’t have to. As far as the quality of images taken by the camera is concerned, we will comment on that in our review.

Moving on, the smartphone has a removable battery, but you don’t remove the battery by simply ripping out the back cover. There is a little button at the bottom that helps you get the bottom housing out, on which you will find the battery attached. Now, once the battery is out the smartphone will shut off (naturally). The reason the battery is removable this way is because you can put the battery on something LG calls the CAM Plus. The LG CAM Plus is a camera module that can be attached through the battery slot. It adds a comfortable grip to the smartphone. It provides physical buttons for power, shutter, record, zoom, and an LED indicator. When attached to the LG G5, it provides an additional battery capacity of 1,200mAh (to the already present 2800mAh battery), giving you more battery life. It seemed quite easy to swap the base with the CAM Plus, but we will talk convenience in our review.

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The point to note here is that everyone is doing always on display, every flagship announced has state of the art hardware, even the Windows-powered HP Elite X3 is showing off Continnum, but no one showed off a modular smartphone that will retail this year. Imagine the number of accessories that you can get that will enhance the smartphone experience. Want an additional 3000mAh battery? I’m hoping someone is working on that module for the G5. The sky's the limit when it comes to modular phones and the LG G5 is just the tip of that iceberg. Project Ara may have started the modular smartphone dream, but LG has taken the bold step to make it a reality. Sure, there are a bunch of other things announced at the LG press event, including a pair of VR goggles, which are quite impressive, but that’s a different story.

The only downside to this LG modular smartphone is that every time you pop the base open, the smartphone shuts off. Would it have been so difficult to give the device up to 5 minutes of juice while you you swap parts? Perhaps yes. Or maybe we will see that with the LG G6. One thing is certain, LG has done more than adding an edge display and is really looking to play the innovation game. We cant wait to get our hands on this smartphone to bring you an in depth review.

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Disclaimer: Digit went to MWC 2016 self sponsored. No other company or individual was associated with Digit's MWC 2016 coverage.

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Sameer Mitha
Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.
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