Through its relationship with the Verizon IndyCar Series, Verizon Wireless let me have an extended look at LG’s newest flagship phone, the LG G5. The G5 was not the first phone to feature two cameras on the back side, but it was most certainly the first to use them wisely. Taking the first major crack at modularity, the LG G5 is also the first phone to utilize companion attachments to make it a truly dynamic piece of kit – not unlike this year’s IndyCar aero kits.
More and more, mobile device manufacturers are electing to forego removable hardware in order to achieve a thin, clean design. I have many close friends that have been turned-off by many of the new phones coming out because they don’t want to be anchored to a wall before the end of the day to charge their batteries. The masterminds at LG have decided that a clean, minimal design was obtainable while retaining this sought-after feature.
In fact, the removable battery is housed by the bottom portion of the device, of which the whole modular design is centered around. The bottom of the G5 can be taken off to replace the 1800 mAh battery or attach the LG CAM Plus companion device for more intuitive control of the camera. You also get removable storage (supporting up to 2 TB) with the G5, something many power-users will love!
I hint at how important the camera is to the design of the G5 in the title of this post. The back of the phone features dual cameras – a 16 MP 29 mm camera for the in-depth distant shots and an 8 MP 12 mm sensor for capturing wide angle scenes. There’s also optical image stabilization with laser autofocus, the first of it’s kind in the phone market. I was very impressed at the quality of the camera in this device and it’s versatility in being ale to catch shallow, wide shots as well as zooming in without losing too much detail.
These camera features are only made better with the aforementioned modular LG CAM Plus attachment. I’m a hardware person, I like physical buttons and mechanical keyboards. To me, there’s nothing better than physically manipulating a switch to get something done. That’s exactly was the LG CAM plus does. The attachment features a camera switch, zoom wheel, shutter button (for stills), record button (for videos), and an LED indicator light. These buttons all come together to provide an experience that aims to replicate the look and feel of a point and shoot camera. LG does a great job of executing this goal.
I enjoyed using the attachment and found the extra battery life helpful during a full day at the track. My favorite part of the CAM Plus was the automatic switching between the 16MP and 8 MP cameras on the back of the device when zooming. The G5 will switch to the longer lens at a certain point once you zoom in far enough. It makes for getting those clear shots less of a hassle when switching between close ups and far away subjects.
Another fun toy that can be used with the LG G5 is the LG 360 Cam that I’ll review in another post.
With a great camera comes great responsibility to display great photos. The front of the G5 is wrapped in a curved Gorilla Glass 4 3D Arc Glass design covering the 5.3” IPS Quantum Quad HD Display, with a density of 554 ppi. This display adds to the minimal design of the G5, and at 430 nit, it shines bright enough to display those photos in crystal clear fashion. Blacks and warm colors on this display are some of the best in the industry, I’d say even better than the rival Samsung Galaxy 4.
The Snapdragon 820 process will power through any of the leading mobile games on the market and the 4 GB of ram make multitasking a pleasurable experience.
At the end of the day, the LG G5 offers a chance for mobile users to experience something refreshing. It’s a new look at the flagship line with LG taking a chance on something where many in the industry are playing it safe. If you’re a power-user that’s looking for a quick way to swap batteries, add a large amount of storage, and take great photos, the LG should be the first phone you look at. Verizon is offering this phone right now for $624.00 retail, here.