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LG's G5 Shows Bold Mobile Move, We Go Hands-On

Introduction

LG just announced the G5, its latest Android smartphone, at MWC 2016, and we were able to go hands-on with it and check out its metal design, innovative modular components and dual camera setup. This phone bears the fruits of LG's efforts to changes people’s perceptions of its phones, and it certainly symbolizes LG’s bold intentions to be a leader rather than a follower in the smartphone industry.

LG became a significant player in the Android smartphone space with 2013’s LG G2, but it has always played third fiddle to the two giants of mobile, Samsung and Apple. Last year, though, we started to see signs that it isn’t content to play that role anymore. LG’s Snapdragon 808-powered mainstream flagship, the LG G4, was an example of this new direction. Although it wasn’t particularly adventurous from a design and materials perspective, its camera broke new ground, and it was one of the best smartphone cameras we’ve ever tested. LG’s next high-end device, the LG V10, included some premium materials, namely stainless steel, and it also had full manual controls in its video mode.

Not only is the G5 a culmination of all of LG’s previous endeavors (it still has a removable battery and microSD slot, is made from metal, and has full manual camera controls), it also has a wild, perhaps daring, unique new feature -- it’s modular. Yes, modular. LG has taken a page from Google’s Project Ara and added the ability add modules to the phone to enhance its capabilities. In addition, another shot across its competition’s bow is a collection of companion devices designed to work with the G5, include a virtual reality headset and robotic camera.

We were fortunate enough to get an early look at the G5, its modular components and some of the “LG Friends” companion devices. Read on to see why we think that the G5 is one of the most exciting mobile devices to come out in a long time.