“These days we don’t see much excitement in mobile phones any more”, said LG Mobile Communications, Juno Cho at the opening the MWC 2016 LG G5 Day conference, but after his keynote, it seems that LG wants to shake things up in the world of smartphones.

Moments after saying this Cho pulled out the modular battery pack that is housed within the G5. That’s right, though the G5 is a unibody design, a removable cradle located at the bottom of the phone can be used to replace the battery or add other cool gadgets which we’ll get to in a moment.

The G5 will also dedicate a portion of the display to be always-on. According to LG, we check our phones 150 times a day for notifications and this always-on display will give users the convenience of being able to check the time and whether are any other pressing notifications without having to switch the entire display on.

LG also announced the 360 VR headset. Frank Lee from LG Mobile said that the 360 VR headset has been designed to be comfortable and still give users that feeling of immersion VR should give you. The Snapdragon 820 processor will help this along handily given how the chip has proven itself in other high-powered flagships such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5.

LG wasted no time in showing off its VR headset, though the name could use more thought.
LG wasted no time in showing off its VR headset, though the name could use more thought.

The 360 VR is just one of many new accessories called LG Friends. These have been designed to pair with the G5 and give it a few quick and handy upgrades.

The LG Cam Plus for example extends the controls of the camera giving you a manual shutter, zoom features and improved stability.

The LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play is a high end high fidelity 32bit DAC and amplifier that will give you better audio on the go, though we do wonder how much this will impact the battery life.

The snappers are where the real magic is though. Featuring a 16MP main camera which downgrades a bit to 8MP when you use the G5’s 135 degree wide angle lens. There’s also a new Friend for the camera, the LG 360 Cam which is a light weight wireless camera that will allow you to take pictures in 360 degrees.

Now anybody can take photos in 360 degrees. Whether they want to remains to be seen.
Now anybody can take photos in 360 degrees. Whether they want to remains to be seen.

As for what’s inside the G5, take a look for yourself.

  • Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
  • Display 5.3inch Quad HD Ips Quantum Display
  • Memory 4GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB (microSD up to 2TB)
  • Camera Rear Standard 16MP / Wide 8MP
  • Camera Front 8MP
  • Battery 2800mAh (removable)

Yes, LG has a “drone”. The Rolling Bot is pegged as a mobile home monitoring thing in the internet of things. Pairing the bot with an app will allow you to take snapshots, stream live video and wander the halls of your empty home. While this does sound cool, we’re curious as to how much this will set us back.

There was also talk of a drone controller the firm calls the Smart Controller but we didn’t get to see it controlling anything.

The phone itself seems to be the centre of a much bigger picture. The question we have is how many people want and will actively use things like the Roller Bot or even the 360 Camera. That said LG has shown us some pretty cool things and we’re a bit more excited about smartphones now.


Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.