Going through life alone is never ideal and you’re most likely to enjoy it better when surrounded by friends. LG knows this and wants to metaphorically do the same for its flagship smartphone. Google tried and are still toying around with modular parts through their Project Ara program and there’s even a smartphone case that lets you do the same.
LG believes that we’re still yet to reach “peak smartphone” and whilst moving forward, modules and add-on peripherals are the paths to take. The idea is exciting and being the first to take it on is a big deal but if others follow suit and do better, trouble might loom.
Leaks showing this modular removable battery threw us off the chairs at first and it was floating in the far-fetched part of the pool but now that the “Magic Slot” system has been realised, our interest levels have peaked.
When LG took to the MWC 2016 stage, they talked a lot about life being good when you play more – the key word being play – when in considerations of entertainment and multimedia being the most upfront element in a smartphone.
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For shutterbugs: LG CAM Plus
Single-handedly (literally) taking photos and videos are tough to do – ask any tech correspondent that has to hold a device in one of their hands while taking a hands-on video. You need to focus, zoom, start and stop recordings all while using one hand.
The CAM Plus lends a hand (excuse the pun) by refining the camera’s controls into a physical form while also adding 1200mAh of battery and a larger surface area to grip. On the other hand, aforementioned physical camera controls are a zoom scroll wheel; individual buttons to take photos and record video. The camera button also works as a two-step button allowing you to focus.
For audiophiles: LG Hi-Fi Plus (with B&O Play)
The sound of music, it keeps us energised, it makes us sad and it allows us to tap into long-forgotten memories. We tend to do so using the included earbuds when we buy our devices but some like to take it a step further and listen to lossless audio – that’s possible with the HiFi Plus module.
On the module, you’ll find a 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), an inbuilt audio amplifier and a dedicated 3.5mm jack for your (hopefully) expensive headphones. Sadly, you won’t have two 3.5mm ports when you use the Hi-Fi Plus as it’ll disable the top headphone port when attached.
To simplify, it’ll help upscale lower bit audio files and support anything that’s 32-bit files and DSD playback. Without the Hi-Fi Plus, the LG G5 supports only 24-bit depths. Unlike the LG CAM Plus module, the audio-focused Hi-Fi Plus doesn’t have its own battery.
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LG 360 CAM
Shown during the announcement the first LG peripheral is their own 360 CAM. Much like other 360-degree cameras, it has two camera sensors on either side and pairs to the LG G5 through Bluetooth. Both cameras are of 13-megapixel shutters and are able to form 16-megapixel regular images, together with 360-degree images as well.
Storage sits at 4GB of on board memory while you can expand it through the microSD slot. A single lens is capable of 200-degree images but when combining the two, it does as the name implies. Looking at its video credentials, this camera can record in 2K resolution and features three mics for audio. When paired with the LG G5 you’ll be able to see real-time previews of your images and video though your content is processed and stored internally. The LG 360 CAM has a 1200mAh battery.
LG 360 VR
LG’s thinks that VR is the future too, and that’s expected as the virtual reality ship has been boarded by other manufactures. The LG 360 VR is a tethered number and relies on your LG G5 to operate – given the fact there are some pros and cons.
Its size and weight are its plus points weighing just 118 grams but because it isn’t hefty we felt that it was slightly flimsy when compared to Samsung’s Gear VR. Another perk is the foldable temples/earpieces (yes, I had to look up the term) and an adjustable lens to allow a better fit for viewing.
Tethering is via USB Type-C while you can expect each VR lens to output a resolution of 960 x 720 resolution – that’s a 639ppi. On the headset, you’ll also find a headphone port which adds to the whole VR experience. It is compatible with YouTube 360 and Google Cardboard.
A headless BB-8 aka LG Rolling Bot
Lazy names aside, this was a surprise to everyone and LG was probably the last company you’d expect to out a droid. The robot is basically a spherical body only version of the BB-8 but it has a camera to boot.
Similarly, to the BB-8 it has an inbuilt speaker to make cutesy sounds that’ll probably annoy your pets – if they don’t destroy it first. You’ll also find that it emits lasers of different colours and would be useful if you’d want to check out your house/office by rolling around… as a ball.
Here’s a sexy video showing off all the LG Friends.