Tech Talk

The LG G5 is the first step to a commercial modular phone

LG G5 spearheads modular phone design. Is this a sign of things to come?


At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 in Barcelona, LG took the wraps off its latest flagship – the LG G5. The new device marks a few firsts for LG – first with its all-metal unibody design and innovative modular ability. Is this the start of the modular phone trend?

First let’s take a look at how this baby looks like. I’ll be honest. I really liked the LG G4 for its curvy, ergonomic design. Sure, LG took minimalism to the extreme by removing all physical buttons from the body aside from the back. It took some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it became natural. And hey, it was copied eventually (hint: ASUS ZenFone 2).

Bye plastic

The LG G5 marks a departure in polycarbonate as the principal material, and a removable back design. In comes a metal unibody design, although I wouldn’t personally call it beautiful in any sense of the word.

Modules are in

Its main trick up its talented sleeve is its modular bottom panel, which is removable ala HTC Legend. LG calls it the “Magic Slot.” The modular future teased by Project ARA is closer than we think. It won’t come off magically, but simply pop the chin off and you’ll be able to swap out its 2,800mAh battery, or add some accessories from its LG Friends line. It isn’t the most elegant, but it is the only true modular design available commercially at the moment.

The first of the add-ons is a camera grip, the LG Cam Plus. It’s pretty cool, it adds a 1,100mAh battery and hardware controls – shutter key, video button, and zoom dial. Then there’s a Bang & Olufsen DAC for audiophiles.

Round the back there’s a dual camera setup plus a fingerprint sensor. Strangely, the LG G5 sports a more conventional button placement, with the volume rocker and power button on the left side.

Armed to win

Let’s talk about the horizontal camera setup that first debuted on the LG V10. The dual camera setup is a combination of a 75-degree 16MP main camera and an 8MP 135-degree wide angle secondary camera. Within the camera app, you can switch between the two. For selfie lovers, the 8MP front shooter should be fulfilling.

As mentioned, the LG G5 comes with a 2,800mAh battery that’s removable. Thanks to Quick Charge 3.0 technology, it will charge rapidly from 0-80% in 35 minutes. That’s mighty impressive to say the least.



On the display front, it packs a 5.3-inch QHD display that has an Always-On feature. Thanks to its display technology, the always on display only utilizes 0.8% of battery juice per hour.

Under the hood, LG has opted for Qualcomm’s best SoC to date – Snapdragon 820, mated to 4GB RAM. Storage is a single option of 32GB, but you can expand further via microSD up to 2TB (you’ll need to remove the chin).

This flagship device packs every bit of latest technology it can into its 5.3-inch frame, and that includes USB Type-C. There’s both a single and dual-SIM option depending on market and region.

One big change to the user experience is with LG UX. LG has decided to do away with the Android App Drawer, which may irk some users. On the positive side, it runs the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The LG G5 comes in four colour options: Silver Gold, Titan (Charcoal) and Pink.

It will make an appearance in selected markets in April.

Stay tuned for a hands-on.


By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.