A few years ago, the LG G5 was considered the most innovative phone by some due to its features, which made a significant impact on the market. The phone introduced the concept of a proper dual camera, which consisted of two camera modules with different focal lengths, and not a 3D camera or depth sensor like the Optimus 3D.
The main camera had a 16MP resolution and featured Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Laser autofocus, which LG heavily promoted back then. The ultrawide camera on the G5 was also impressive, with a 9mm lens that offered a wider field of view than most smartphones even today. Although it had an 8MP resolution, its 135° field of view was a standout feature in 2016, and some phones still only offer a 105° field of view.
This passage discusses the features of the LG G5 smartphone, which was designed to break away from the mundane routine of smartphone design. Unlike its predecessor, the V10, which had a dual camera and a second-screen design, the LG G5 had a single 8MP front-facing camera located on the upper bezel.
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The phone also departed from LG’s signature design feature of placing the volume rocker on the back. Instead, it introduced a modular design concept that allowed users to swap out the bottom segment, known as the “Magic Slot,” with different modules.
These modules included the LG Cam Plus, which provided a camera grip with an additional 1,200mAh battery and physical camera controls such as a shutter key, camcorder button, a zoom dial, and an on/off toggle. Another module was the LG Hi-Fi Plus, which boasted a Bang & Olufsen DAC and a more powerful speaker, branded as “B&O Play.” The Hi-Fi Plus also had the added benefit of being able to function as a standard USB DAC and AMP for PCs and other Android phones.
The LG G5 modular design made it possible to remove the bottom segment and easily replace the battery. This was in contrast to other smartphones at the time, which had built-in batteries that were difficult or impossible to replace. While the G5’s modular design was not as radical as Google’s Project Ara, it still offered users a practical approach to customizing their smartphones. Overall, the LG5’s innovative features and modular design made it stand out in the world of smartphone design.
The design of the LG G5 featured a Magic Slot which made the phone not water resistant, and the battery had a relatively small capacity of 2,800mAh, although it did support 18W fast charging and allowed users to carry a spare battery. LG had planned to release a battery module with more juice, but it never came to fruition. Despite its modularity, the LG G5 marked a shift for the company, as it moved away from the larger 5.5-inch displays of the G3 and G4 and opted for a smaller 5.3-inch screen.
The phone had an aluminum alloy body, but the finish was unusual and did not feel like metal. Several months after launching the flagship at MWC, LG released a cheaper version called the LG G5 SE in South America and China, which had less powerful hardware, including a Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC 5.1 storage. The camera lenses were also narrower, with the main module having a 29mm lens and the ultrawide having a 12mm lens, which was still considered wide by modern standards.
The LG G5 SE had a Magic Slot design, which was intended to create a modular ecosystem, but LG didn’t put much effort into it, and the V20 and G6 didn’t have the feature. The G5’s legacy is not positive, and LG struggled in the smartphone market in the years following its release.
After the G5 launched, LG had to lower its shipping target, and the phone was blamed for the company’s underperformance. The G4 from the previous year also underperformed, and LG suffered losses. Despite investing heavily in innovation and design, LG’s sales continued to decline, and the company eventually exited the smartphone market in 2021.