“Life’s good… especially when you’ve got a flagship smartphone from LG in your pocket.”
With the LG G5’s formal announcement expected to be made at MWC 2016 in Barcelona next month, the rumor-mill is in full force, churning out leaks-a-plenty. Leaks and rumors are one thing, and we could add our voice to an already growing choir of anonymous sources, educated guesses, and outright speculation. Instead, let’s take a look at some of LG’s past offerings and where other players in the industry are today, then come up with five things LG needs to do to make the G5’s launch a success.
As much as I hate to admit it, fingerprint scanners are pretty cool, and with the right setup routine they’re getting people (who would otherwise not have secured their phone with a PIN, pattern, or password) to add a layer of security to their devices. More security and better privacy are always good things.
Though not the first to include fingerprint scanners on their phones, Apple popularized the innocuous little buggers and integrated their functionality into iOS very well. Other OEMs have followed suite, and Google even included “Nexus Imprint” on this year’s Nexus phones.
LG’s very own V10 has a fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone, right where the power button on the LG G4 and G Flex series were placed. Way back then we opined that someday this would be the ideal place to put a fingerprint scanner, and even hoped Motorola would turn their similarly positioned “dimple” into a scanner.
We can all but assume the LG G5’s power button will be a fully functional fingerprint scanner, just like the V10’s.
High-End Specs – just not too high-end
According to an anonymous source, the LG G5 may ship with a Snapdragon 820 SoC, 3GB RAM, and start with 32GB storage. Other sources indicate 4GB RAM and a bigger base storage capacity may be included, but 3GB and 32GB respectively should be just fine – but nothing less, that’s for sure.
Another rumor is a Project Ara-esque modular slot (which some are calling the “Magic Slot”) that would allow for hardware upgrades or purpose-built modules to be swapped in and out. This is certainly interesting, but it’s by no means necessary for LG to include in the G5 to ensure a successful launch. In fact, including such a new and novel feature may be enough to turn people away from the handset altogether.
For everyone except the high-end shutterbug or professional photographer, the days of carrying around a dedicated camera are behind us. There is absolutely no reason today’s smartphones can’t pull double-duty and handle being more than just a point-and-shoot digital camera. To accomplish this LG will need to include a high-megapixel sensor (probably somewhere around 20MP) that performs admirably well in daylight well as low-light scenarios.
Laser-assisted focusing is also popular these days and helps immensely with reducing the likelihood that you’ll shoot a blurry pic ever again. However LG accomplishes these objectives (super-sharp, and fast-focusing), it will have to keep color saturation in mind, too.
That’s asking a lot from a smartphone, but we don’t think it’s asking too much.
Other items that we’d love to see included in the LG G5 are a removable battery, microsd card slot, and Qi wireless charging. Based one what we saw in the G4, the former two aren’t too much of a stretch, but Qi seems to be losing popularity, and even the G4 required an accessory case or third-party module to bring the super-convenience of wireless charging to the phone.
While the omission of any one of these won’t kill the LG G5 release, skimping on them won’t help, either.
Nobody likes it when new, cool devices are announced, but wont’ be available for months – or when sales are geographically restricted. LG’s got to knock timelines and product availability out of the park. Prospective customers have to be told when the device will be available, and then actually be able to buy it when and where LG says they can.
We’ve heard a lot of fantastical rumors about what the LG G5 could be. Hopefully the lack of such radically new and novel features won’t turn people away when we see the actual phone.
As you can see, the list of what LG needs to do to ensure a successful launch isn’t long and shouldn’t be that difficult to achieve. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but in the meantime, I know at least one guy who’s anxious to see what LG has got in store for us in Barcelona next month!
Do you have other suggestions for things you want to see in the new LG G5? Tell us what features you can’t live without – or even features you hope don’t make the cut – in the comments below! Then check out our full reviews of the LG G4, LG G Flex 2, and LG G Flex!