LG energises smartphone market with flagship G5

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The best days of the smartphone are still ahead, says LG Mobile chief executive

LG has claimed its new flagship G5 smartphone will inject much-needed excitement into a market that has become relatively boring.

The manufacturer unveiled the hotly-anticipated device on the eve of Mobile World Congress on February 21 to a packed auditorium of around 500 spectators.

A key feature of the G5 is a 2,800mAh battery that can be slid in and out at the bottom of the phone, with this slot also allowing for a number of attachable and compatible modules, such as those for photography and audio.

The manufacturer also took the wraps off a new 360-degree portable camera, foldable virtual reality goggles and remote control robot.

Best days ahead
Speaking on stage at the event, LG Mobile president and CEO Juno Cho claimed the G5 captures the excitement of what a smartphone should be following a period of stagnant activity in the handset market.

“When smartphones were first introduced, we were so excited and fascinated,” he said. “These days, however, we don’t see much excitement.

“Even when a new smartphone is released, does people’s appetite for fun disappear? Of course not. Today, consumers are looking elsewhere, such as action cameras or drones.

“Does this mean the era of smartphones is over? At LG, we think smartphones best days are still ahead. These are devices that are way too powerful just to take pictures and post them on social media.

“The LG G5 was created to meet people’s desire to play, capturing the excitement of what a smartphone is meant to be.”

The new flagship is cased in a metal body and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, running the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.

LG G5
LG G5

Always-On
It sports a 5.3-inch “Quad HD IPS Quantum” touchscreen made from “3D Arc Glass” and includes “Always-On-Display”, meaning the time and date are continuously visible, using just 0.8 per cent of the battery per hour.

The 16-megapixel rear camera has a built-in 135-degree wide angle lens, which LG said is approximately 1.7 times wider than those on existing smartphone cameras. There is also an eight-megapixel front-facing camera.

Other features include the ability to capture and playback video in 4K, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory that can be expanded by up to 2TB with a microSD card.

Standalone camera
A number of attachable and compatible modules have also been announced alongside the G5.

LG Cam Plus can be attached through the battery slot to provide a grip and effectively turn the handset into a standalone camera. It provides buttons for power the shutter, record and zoom, and adds 1,200mAh to the battery.

The manufacturer has also teamed up with consumer electronics company Bang & Olufsen for “Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY”, a portable DAC audio player that can be used either as a module with the G5 or separately by connecting to any smartphone or PC.

No release date or pricing has been released for the G5, which will come in white, gold, pink and titan, although Carphone Warehouse, O2 and Vodafone have all confirmed they will range it when it goes on sale.

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