SMARTPHONES, AS A WHOLE, BECAME UNORIGINAL OVER
the last couple of years. Even LG’s biggest Korean rival avoided trying to reinvent its design this year, and LG took the cue to bring in something that has only been largely experimental by phone makers from the West. The LG G5 is a modular smartphone with swappable attachments that can enhance a phone’s capabilities based on your immediate needs.
Right off the bat, LG brought on the LG CAM Plus, a camera module that converts your already-flagship smartphone into a standalone one-handed camera, thanks to the extra grip and controls it provides. They also worked with B&O to bring the LG Hi-Fi Plus, a DAC (digital to analog converter) module for audio enthusiasts that up-samples audio to 32-bit Hi-Fi quality through the attachment. It matters very little that the modular camera and modular DAC will likely cost a pretty penny since it satisfies a unique demand – smartphone users want more perks, but they want to have a choice in the perks they can keep, while shedding the rest.
Samsung’s new flagship may also have Always-on Display, but LG wins in this department because the G5 offers removable batteries for its phones. Both brands claim that the AOD will expend less than one percent of battery charge per hour, but Samsung’s phones force the user to choose between extra 20 percent for the next 24 hours, or the convenience of time/date on your lock screen. G5 users simply have to pop the phone open and replace the expended pack for a fresh magazine, and it’s good to go with AOD toggled on.
While Samsung upgraded the low-light quality of the rear camera performance, LG chose to give their users more shooting angle options instead. An additional 8MP sensor with a 135-degree, wide-angle lens sits next to the standard 16MP rear camera. This adds a human touch to the G5 – the wide-angle lens provides a field of view that’s 15-degrees more than the average human eye. This results in two things – enviable wide shots of scenery and impressive buildings for any Instagram profile, and the ease of taking wefies (group selfies) without worrying about leaving a friend out. Ultimately, great specs like ‘better low-light performance’ is not as meaningful to the everyday user who wants technology to work for them, and not the other way round.