At MWC in Barcelona, LG released a family of devices to complement their new modular phone. LG Friends includes a 360 VR camera, a VR headset, and a rolling bot thing. The company came out swinging at Samsung who’s dominated the Android phone market with their Galaxy line of phones. LG has premium phones that appeal to consumers, but they’ve failed to gain the attention or sales. Now they’ve come out swinging with the LG G5, which is a premium Android handset which has the potential to change phones as we know them.
We now see everyone has come to the conscious that ‘always on screens’ are a required feature. While customers haven’t asked for this, but the feature has become a selling point on the S7 and S7 Edge along with the G5. The ‘off’ screen shows the time and important notifications, and takes advantage of the greens ability to only turn on certain pixels. While Samsung and LG both have the feature, LG opted for a more radical and innovative approach on the G5. They understand each user doesn’t have the same needs or wants, and each user has very different uses for their phone. The modular design of the G5 give audiophiles the opportunity to hear amazing audio, or photography aficionados the feel of using a point and shoot.
While the G5 isn’t as modular as Project Ara from Google/Motorola it’s the first step towards the future they’ve imagined. The modules slide out or in through the bottom lip of the phone. The problems raised about switching out modules is having to take the battery out each time, turning your phone off in the process. I believe this isn’t a real problem users will have because users aren’t going to exchange the modules throughout the day. Instead users would replace depleted batteries, keep the camera module on or increase storage. Taking out the battery will be an afterthought after a while, even though most users are accustomed to always leaving their phones on 24/7.
LG releasing a consumers 360 camera and VR headset will help more consumers understand what VR is along with helping them make their seem more useful. The 360 camera will give content creators a way to make VR videos for the LG VR headset, and make home 360 video something more mainstream. While LG didn’t bring Mark Zuckerberg on stage they do have an amazing project that could help bring to the masses as it becomes more popular.
The problem LG is going to face is not having content for the headset, especially since Samsung has worked for years to bring hundreds of movies and videos to their Gear VR. I’m not sure if LG’s VR alternative will ever be as common as the Gear, mainly because Samsung is giving away the devices to everyone who buys the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Maybe they’ll start to give them away?
LG came out swinging with new products they haven’t offered before. While they’re all things big brother Samsung offers, their phone help keep the conversation around how innovative the company is being. I’ve likened LG to the smaller Samsung with their crazy ideas, but they would always wait for Samsung to release something a little more insane than their ideas. Now LG did a crazy thing with the flagship Android phone while Samsung played it safe with their Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and if LG plays it right they could have a great hit on their hands. Everyone is saying all the hype is around the new Galaxy phone, but they’re also talking how LG came out of left field with their newest phone.
Tell us what you think about the LG G5 and if the phone could compete with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in the comments below!