Samsung and LG both made major announcements at Mobile World Congress this year. Both showed off their flagship smartphones vying for your attention and, of course, your hard earned cash. But between the two devices, I think the LG G5 is a bigger deal than the Galaxy S7, and here’s why.
LG’s G5 showcases a seriously attractive alternative to current smartphone conventions. It is the most innovative product I’ve seen at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The G5 is, essentially, the pioneer in a new breed of smartphones — one that could very well change the way manufacturers make phones and change the expectations we, the consumers, have for smartphones.
It blew my mind because of one simple reason: It is, in essence, a modular smartphone and it is because of this that I think the G5 has the edge over the Galaxy S7.
I won’t deny that the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are absolutely fantastic smartphones — almost perfect, even — but, in building the Galaxy S7, Samsung went down a familiar path. Samsung took a successful formula — the Galaxy S6 — and improved virtually every aspect of it. As a result, you get a phone that’s immensely capable but one that does very little to change the game.
LG, on the other hand, went all out with their brand new G5. They went with a completely redesigned form from the older G4, while at the same time, rewriting the smartphone playbook with its modular design.
The modular smartphone, a concept introduced by Project Ara in 2013, is still some time away and while the actual vision of a smartphone that you build, customise and upgrade like a Lego set is far from the G5’s modular capabilities, this is a starting point. LG can only improve on this modular idea in future releases.
While the LG G5 isn’t completely modular, thanks to its removable bottom panel, you can change the capabilities of the device. On launch day, LG showed two modules — a dedicated camera control module and a Hi-Fi DAC (Digital-to-Analog Controller) plus amp — which demonstrate some of the features you can add to your smartphone.
These two modules merely skim the surface and with help from third-party developers, LG is opening the doors for more useful and practical add-ons in the future. And if this modular concept catches on, the possibilities are potentially limitless. Kudos to LG for taking the bold step, let’s hope this goes far.