LG G5 with twin rear cameras launched… comes with 'Friends'

LG unveiled its latest flagship G5 at an event in Dubai on Wednesday. The 5.3 inch device has been priced at Dh2499 and will start retailing from the third week of April, company executives said.

The G5 is the only other Android device apart from Huawei P9 to sport a dual camera on the back and comes with the first of its kind modular design when the bottom layer of the device can be replaced with add on accessories the LG calls Friends.

The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with a Quad HD IPS Quantum Display at 2560 x 1440 resolution and 4GB RAM and 32Gb internal memory but expandable up to 2TB.

Modular Type design gives the LG G5 the ability to transform the smartphone into a digital camera thanks to the LG Cam Plus, high end music player with the Hi-Fi Plus, VR device, through a connected LG 360 VR and LG 360 CAM. The last one however is a standalone camera that can connect to any Bluetooth enabled device.

'What's special about the LG G5 is its modular design. We have introduced this innovative feature so that the user of the smartphone is not limited by a set feature. We are introducing freedom, to experiment, to change and to pay with our 'Friends'," says Yong Geun Choi, President of LG Electronics Gulf.

Speaking to Emirates 24/7 Choi says although the industry is facing intense competition both as a result of intense competition from brands as well as prevailing economic conditions within the region he was hopeful that the customers in the region would be willing to choose a device that gives them some spectacular add-ons," he says.

Although LG did not announce the pricing of the accessories, it said that the Cam Plus and Hi Fi Plus could roll out along with the smartphone next week.

LG also said it is working with its retail partners to come out with various package deals or promotions. However unlike the Galaxy S7, HTC 10 or the iPhone 6s, LG may not roll out its devices with any of the UAE telecoms.

An official also told us that no such marketing agreements have been reached with any of the telecom providers in the region.

Meanwhile there has been controversies about its body. The G5 according to LG sports a metallic unibody where the insulative antenna is invisibly integrated into the body. The front panel sports a 3D Arc glass that with a slightly curved element. LG says its metallic back has been created through an advanced microdizing process which takes "anodized aluminum to a whole new level."

However a simple look at the device and it can be easily mistaken to sport a plastic back. LG even responded to criticism releasing a statement that said, "Contrary to erroneous reports online that the LG G5 body is composed of plastic, LG would like to state unequivocally that the uni-body casing of the G5 is composed of a special aluminum alloy, LM201 (Feb. 2016 patent pending). LM201 was developed by LG in partnership with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology for use in high-end sports cars, aircraft and consumer electronic product where durability, rigidity and lightness are required."

LG G5 sports two cameras at the back - one with a standard 78-degree lens and another with a 135-degree wide angle lens which the company claims is the widest available in any smartphone. "The 135-degree lens on the LG G5 offers a viewing angle that is approximately 1.7 times wider than those of existing smartphone cameras and 15 degrees wider than the human eye’s field of view," it said.

Among the other software enhancements to the camera app are Pop-out Picture, Film Effect and Auto Shot. Pop-out Picture combines images taken by the standard and wide angle lens and creates a picture-in-a-frame effect.

The LG G5 the company said is equipped with aptX HD, an enhanced codec that supports 24-bit sound over Bluetooth that can be transmitted over wireless connections without any loss.

The smartphone also comes with a 2,800mAh battery that can last all day. It also offers Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging.

Yet the success of G5 could depend largely on its accessories or the Friends which are part of the smartphone ecosystem and LG Palyground. "With this, we to strengthen the ties with our partners and introduce various devices and supporting programs to fully maximize the potential," says Choi.

LG 360 VR

The LG 360 VR is a VR goggle that can be connected with the G5 via a dedicated cable and works exclusively with the G5 to simulate a 130-inch TV viewed from two meters away. The foldable VR headset does not require a smartphones to be inserted in the device and connects to LG G5 through the USB C cable. The VR goggles delivers a resolution of 639 ppi.

LG 360 CAM

One of the most attractive accessories of the lot the LG 360 CAM is a 360-degree angle camera equipped with two 13MP 200-degree wide angle cameras, 1,200mAh battery and 4GB internal memory, which can be supplemented by a microSD card. The device can be connected to the LG G5 or any other smartphone allowing users to create 360-degree content. The LG 360 CAM provides 2K video and 5.1 surround channel recording on three microphones to create 360-degree contents. The company has also partnered with Google and the images taken with the 360 CAM can be uploaded to Google Street View and YouTube360.

LG Rolling Bot

The LG Rolling Bot is a companion device that rolls like a ball and is similar to Samsung's 360 Cam. It can capturing images and videos with its embedded 8MP camera and also functions as a monitoring system for the home as well as remote controller for compatible home appliances.

Smartphone Key Specs

Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Processor

Display: 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 554ppi)

Memory: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 32GB UFS ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)

Camera: Rear Standard 16MP, Wide 8MP / Front 8MP

Battery: 2,800mAh (removable)

OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Size: 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm

Weight: 159g

Network: LTE / 3G / 2G

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / USB Type-C / NFC / Bluetooth 4.2

Colors: Silver / Titan / Gold / Pink