It’s flagship season! In just a few weeks, the most influential Android phone makers will bring out their weapons in the fight over sales, mind-share, and profits. Chief among them, LG has to prove that it can stay competitive against Samsung, Huawei, and a flurry of smaller competitors.
In this post, we’re taking a close look at the LG G5’s release date, price, specifications, and features. Come back regularly for the latest rumors on LG’s new powerhouse.
Unless otherwise specified, all the information in this overview should be taken as a rumor, that may, or may not, turn out to be real. We do our best to weed out all the questionable stuff, but we’re dealing with unconfirmed reports here.
[alert variation=”alert-success”]Update (1/13): We’ve added information about the LG G5’s launch timeframe, as well as some more details about its design.[/alert]
Last year was rather forgettable for LG’s smartphone business. The company returned to financial losses, and its flagship devices were eclipsed by Samsung’s Galaxy line, in a market that is increasingly polarized between super-premium and super-cheap.
The LG G4 was a great device, but its design was behind the curve, despite the adoption of leather in some versions of the phone. With the V10, which came out late in 2015, LG made up some of the lost ground, and we can expect the G5 to pick up some of its features and design touches.
In 2015, LG was one of the few remaining manufacturers to offer removable batteries, which presumably won it some defectors from Samsung’s camp. In 2016, that advantage will likely disappear, as LG finally joins the metallic unibody club. The heat is on for LG to defend its market share, against strong opposition from both traditional rivals and newfangled players like Huawei.
LG G5 release date
The LG G4 launched earlier in the year than the G3 before it, and G3 launched earlier than the G2. So naturally we expected this trend to continue with the LG G5. On January 13th, LG finally confirmed this would in fact be the case, revealing that its February 21st MWC event would see the announcement of the LG G5. This is a change in pace from MWC 2014 and 2015, where all LG had to show was a number of low and mid-tier devices, but it certainly makes sense. The LG V10 has seen a reasonably positive response, and so LG wants to keep this momentum up.
LG G5 price and availability
Like the G4 and G3, the LG G5 will probably be offered in the $600-$650 price range. There are no solid rumors about the LG G5’s price yet, but LG has been fairly stable in this department. The switch to a full metal body construction may increase manufacturing cost, but we don’t see LG passing the buck to customers.
Judging from previous releases, the LG G5 will launch worldwide within a month from its official announcement.
LG G5 Specs
According to a Venture Beat report penned by Evan Blass (a.k.a. @evleaks), the LG G5 will feature a 5.3-inch LCD display, slightly smaller than the 5.5-inch screen of the G4. If that’s the case, LG will buck the trend of displays getting progressively larger, but what the G5 may lack in size, it may make up in functionality.
Like the V10, the LG G5 will feature a secondary “ticker” display placed above the regular screen. This ticker will have a resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels and be used for displaying notifications or shortcuts to favorite apps. In addition to the G5, other LG devices from 2016 are said to sport this ticker.
The LG G5 will keep the Quad HD resolution of its predecessor. There’s no real benefit in switching to 4K for now, and LG is apparently happy with Quad HD.
Processor, RAM, and storage
The LG G5 will be powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 processor, the same chip that will power the Galaxy S7 (some variants), the Xiaomi Mi 5, and the just introduced Letv Le Max Pro. Based on a smaller, more efficient process and featuring Qualcomm’s customized Kryo CPU cores and a high octane GPU, we expect it to be blazing fast.
While there have been some rumors about LG developing its own SoC (Nuclun 2), it looks like that will have to wait for the next version of the V10, later this year.
On the G5, Snapdragon 820 will be paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, the same configuration that we’ve seen on the G4. A microSD card slot will be available.
LG will allegedly use a dual camera on the back of the LG G5, taking inspiration from the dual front cameras the V10 has. With dual cameras you can compose very wide shots and presumably do other cool software tricks. The idea is nothing new in the phone industry, but it hasn’t really caught on until now.
We can get an idea of how this dual-camera setup will look from this image that surfaced on Redditalong with a full set of alleged LG G5 specifications.
The image matches Evan Blass’ Venture Beat report, which describes a symmetrical setup, with a square central module framed by the two camera lenses. The central module is said to house the LED flash, the familiar laser-based autofocus system, and an RGB sensor that will presumably enable more accurate images.
The rear cameras are said to feature 16MP sensors, while the front shooter will be 8MP.
Like the screen, the LG G5 battery will be smaller than the G4’s: 2,800-mAh, compared to 3,000-mAh. It’s possible that LG is gunning for a very compact design on the G5, but the loss of capacity is a little disappointing. That said, it’s possible that the difference in actual battery life has been mitigated by the smaller display and the more efficient processor.
A metallic unibody could make wireless charging impossible, but it’s safe to assume the LG G5 will feature Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 standard, or potentially the newer and more efficient Quick Charge 3.0.
LG G5 features
The LG G5 will come with a circular fingerprint sensor placed on the rear of the phone. The sensor will be similar to the sensors found on the LG V10 and the LG-made Nexus 5X.
Other noteworthy features the rumor mill associated with the G5 are an IR blaster mounted at the top, a USB Type C port, and a speaker mounted on the bottom of the phone. A high-res audio chip is likely to be present.
The most interesting feature that has been rumored for the LG G5 is, however, the “magic slot.” It’s not clear how this port actually works, but the slot is said to allow the quick connection of add-ons like cameras, external keyboards, or even audio amplifiers. The possibilities open by the magic slot are extremely intriguing. We suspect that the G5 will launch with at least a few optional accessories, with more to arrive in the future, provided there is enough interest.
LG G5 design
Persons who have seen the LG G5 told ETNews that the device is a “major step forward” in terms of design. The biggest change is the use of a metallic unibody construction, as opposed to the plastic frame and removable back cover used on previous iterations of the G series. LG is finally going full metal, and we’re very excited to see what its designers can do with aluminum.
While a unibody design would normally mean ditching removable battery, and possibly microSD, a new rumor suggests LG is hoping to bring the best of two worlds together. Reportedly, the LG G5 will offer a modular design with a slide off “cap” that lets you push in a battery and microSD card.
The same rumors suggest LG is moving past its now iconic rear mounted volume rockers, and is placing them on the side. The power button will likely remain integrated into the rear fingerprint scanner, however. Ultimately, these design decisions are reportedly in the name of making the phone as premium as possible, while also keeping it thin.
LG G5 software
LG’s UI has always strived to offer useful additions to core Android, but most reviewers found them lacking in execution and design. It’s possible that the G5 will bring a reboot in the software department to go with the new metal case, but it remains to be seen if that’s anything more than wishful thinking.
Signature LG features, like Knock Code, are probably going to return, but LG definitely has some new features in the work as well. We’ll update this section if we hear any rumors about the LG G5’s software and UI.
There you have it: our best guess of what to expect from LG G5’s release date, price, specs, and features. Nothing is official at this point, but if history is any indication, LG should begin teasing the G5 extensively pretty soon. That should help us solidify our predictions, and hopefully, we won’t be disappointed.
LG is a hugely innovative company, but some of its ideas lacked refinement and optimization in the past. The G5 shapes up to be very interesting, in terms of appearance and new features, and we definitely look forward to seeing if it has the refinement that today’s customers expect.