Last year’s LG G4 was fantastic. It kept the best features of Android alive (like having a removable battery and expandable storage), while ushering in a few new things, like a slight curve to the phone’s body, optional leather cases, and a camera that’s actually worth a damn.
Unfortunately, badass specs and cool design didn’t translate to sales. So this year, it appears that LG will be trying something different.
LG is announcing its new flagship smartphone, the LG G5, on February 21 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It’s the same date that LG’s greatest rival, Samsung, is announcing its new flagship smartphone.
The theme of LG’s event is “Play” as shown by this animated invitation with a dancing robot and hopping yellow... um... we’re not actually sure what that thing is. But if the rumors are true, LG will reveal much more than the G5. We’ll get to all of that in minute. For now let’s focus on the smartphone.
What will it be called?
See the teaser GIF above.
LG is expected to make some big design changes to its flagship smartphone this year. Whereas the G4 was plastic and curved, the G5 will be cloaked in metal and straight as an arrow, according to noteworthy leaker Evan Blass.
In addition to the Terminator metal body, the G5's main display will also shrink in size, which is rare for every modern smartphone that unflinchingly follows the familiar mobile tenant of bigger is better. Why?
Well, probably two reasons, actually. Last fall, LG introduced the V10, a monstrous 5.9-inch smartphone with a second ticker display and a weird dual-lens camera system. The smaller size would help differentiate between the two. The other reason is that the G5 may be adopting that very same second screen as seen on the V10, which will add on a couple tenths of an inch, making the G5 about the same size in the end.
Aside from the leak’s solid source, the G series has a tendency to incorporate some of its weirder experiments from other phones. Last year, the G4's curve was brought to you courtesy of the G Flex smartphones, so inheriting some of the V10's more quirky features would have precedent. The big question is do we even really want the feature? On the V10, the biggest problem was that the phone was already big, the second screen made it needlessly so. Hopefully, a smaller G5 can somehow turn a “meh” gimmick into a must-have feature.
This image from Android Authority supposedly shows schematics of the upcoming G5. Although this lacks a lot of detail, these images would suggest that LG is getting rid of the curve and possibly stretching the ticker display across the entire phone. LG’s also moved the volume rocker—which last year flanked the power button the back of the phone—to the left side.
This image from Android Headlines show a render for a G5 case. Two points of interest are the power button/fingerprint sensor, which seems very similar to Google’s Nexus 5X and 6P button layout, and the camera system looks radically redesigned. Here’s a closer look:
The camera does seems to have a dual lens set up, which Phone Arena says will actually take two images and stitch them together for a super great (and probably super wide-angled) photos. There are no test shots out there however so we can’t exactly validate those claims until we get our hands on one. However, last year’s G4 camera was absolutely stellar, so if LG improves on the experience, it would be a welcome upgrade.
Compared to rumors surrounding the Galaxy S7, LG’s biggest Android competitor, the G5 sounds like it will be somewhat reserved on the hardware side of things. It will have Snapdragon’s most powerful processor, the Snapdragon 820, but it will “only” have 3GB of RAM, an LCD display, and a smaller battery, which is bad news when your phone doesn’t have the more battery-friendly OLED display tech. But with a better processor, the difference will most likely a wash. We expect better battery life than last year’s model.