LG has been quiet regarding the specific launch date of the G5 flagship, the modular designed smartphone that wowed us at the Mobile World Conference back in February. However, the company has now moved away from an “early April” timeframe and has said the G5 will makes its debut on April 8 in Canada.
Sure, Canada is a strange launch nation, but we expect LG will update with other region launch dates that either match the Canadian roll out or even come before it.
The company did not discuss the cost of the handset, although considering its flagship quality, it will be priced at the very top of the market. All the major Canadian carriers are on board and will sell the LG G5, including Rogers, Bell, Telus, Videotron, Wind Mobile, SaskTel, MTS, Eastlink, Fido, Best Buy, Costco, The Source, Tbooth wireless, and Wireless Wave.
LG seems to have decided that if it is not going to match Samsung and Apple in terms of sales, then it may as well carve a path as an innovator. For better or worse the V10 was hugely innovative, and the G5 is hardly bucking that trend with a bunch of unique features. Chief among them is the design, which is LG's first full foray into metal for its flagship range.
More than that, the G5 is probably the most unique smartphone on the market due to its modular construction, which means it comes in pieces. Why you may ask? Well, in the move to metal build, most manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, HTC, etc.) ditched the removable battery and micro SD support to expand storage. This was not good enough for LG, especially as those are two feature consumers are asking for.
The company's answer was to make the bottom of the G5 a module that slides out, allowing the placement of a removable battery and the inclusion of storage expansion. Viola, it is simple but hugely effective, and makes the G5 stand out like no other flagship. In terms of raw design, the G5 is arguably less striking then the V10 and G4, but its curves and metal/glass build make it a pretty looking smartphone nonetheless.
By the way, that modular bottom allowed the company to get creative with accessories, which can be connected into the device, replacing the bottom bezel.
You may remember way back when, LG was the first on the Quad HD train with the G3 flagship, so the company has not had to do too much to its screens in the preceding two years. So it proves again with the G5, which is fitted with a 5.3-inch screen that boasts Quad HD resolution, meaning it is going to be beautiful and crisp. The real standout of the display is it's always on feature, which LG says helps users who on average check their devices 150 time a day.
The always on feature shows date, time, notifications, weather, and other key lockscreen information you are already used to. This means you don't need to wake the phone to see these slightly dimmed tidbits of information, and the feature only consumes 0.8% of battery per hour, so around 18% over a day. As for the way the feature works, it is the same interface as the love it or hate it ticker second screen found on the slightly bonkers LG V10.
We have always found LG's Android UI to be solid, if unspectacular. It has certainly been improving and based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow in the G5, LG thinks it has perfected the art. We'll need a full review to get to the bottom of that, but for the time being we are interested by the company's decision to follow Apple and place all apps on the home screen, ditching the app draw entirely. It is a novel thing on Android, so we are interested in how it will function over Google's busier OS.
Away from the new features, LG has made sure the G5 is up to spec with the very best flagships on the market, which means hardware such as Qualcomm's new and blazing fast Snapdragon 820 processor. Also rocking under the hood is 4GB of RAM, 32GB of native storage, which is of course expandable thanks to that module.
LG decided against going with a dual front camera setup as found with the V10 and has instead placed an 8 megapixel selfie lens on the front. Ideal for vanity shots, and considering LG is carving a good reputation in mobile imagery, we expect the 16 megapixel primary lens to be excellent too. As always in the flagship market, the G5 comes with more camera features and software enhancements than you can shake a proverbial stick at, and we will be diving into them in our full review.