On Sunday, the first (unofficial) day of Mobile World Congress 2016, Samsung and LG both revealed their latest all-singing, all-dancing devices to the world.
LG debuted the G5, the first time it’s attempted a modular smartphone, and featuring a “sleek, metal uni-body featuring a Slide-out Battery and a Modular Type design that gives a greater smartphone experience. Complete with LG Friends, a collection of companion devices, the G5 can be transformed into a digital camera, Hi-Fi player and more”.
LG’s modular concept is a welcome one, making it relatively easy to add features just by plugging in a new module into the end of the phone. They are also touting the phone’s dual rear cameras: there’s a standard 78-degree model on the back in addition to a wider-angle 135-degree lens, which LG says is the widest in any smartphone.
Like most smartphone manufacturers, LG has been struggling to generate profits in 2015, but the G5 is just what the firm needs to reinvigorate interest in its devices. It has taken some pretty bold decisions with the design and features of the G5, and the tech press appears to have reacted warmly to its latest device.
Full specs of the LG G5 are available here [GSM Arena].
Here’s a quick overview of the G5 modular accessories:-
Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge
Samsung debuted its highly-anticipated Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge at MWC on Sunday, as well as a virtual reality partnership with Facebook to create 360-degree streaming video content. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also made a surprise appearance at Samsung’s Unpacked event to talk about the future of virtual reality, in particular the social aspects and Gear VR.
Samsung could perhaps accused of adding only incremental feature upgrades to the Galaxy S7 lineup this year, as the basic design is largely unchanged and both phones look almost identical to last year’s. That’s not necessarily a bad thing however, as both the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge were widely praised and were amongst the best Android smartphones available last year. Premium unibody metals, excellent screens and all-round sturdy construction are pretty much what you can expect from Samsung’s flagships these days.
So what’s new in the S7 devices? Samsung have brought back the removable memory card much to the delight of S-series fans, as well as IP68 waterproofing. The latter is achieved not through fiddly port covers – rather using special coatings on internal electronic components and waterproof seals, meaning you can drop the phone in water for 30 minutes and it should survive.
Samsung has also beefed up the phone’s internals, although in a move reminiscent of Apple, only said the CPU would be around 30 percent faster than before, without giving away any hard specs or benchmarks. It’s thought that Samsung will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 for the devices in some regions, and its own Exynos chips in others. Another point of interest is that Samsung is using a kind of liquid cooling mechanism to keep the phones cool and prevent overheating.
Because both Samsung’s latest flagships use AMOLED screen technology, its inherent power efficiency and ability to light up only a part of the display has enabled an “always-on display”, showing the time, date and other user-configurable information even when the screen is locked. Samsung claims this feature only consumes less than 1 percent of the battery per hour of use.
Both phones also have a slimmer 12 megapixel rear camera – fewer megapixels than last year – but the larger 1.3µm pixels and an f-stop of 1.7 allow light to reach the sensor which ultimately translates to better pictures.
Look out for more from Mobile World Congress this week on Mobile Industry Review.