We talk to LG Product Manager Shaun Musgrave about the spectacular new LG G5, and why that modular mechanism is a game changer for the smartphone industry.
Among the many exciting announcements at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), LG’s latest flagship smartphone caused quite a stir. The LG G5 is no mere upgrade to last year’s excellent G4 – this is a revolution in smartphone design that brings expansion modules to smartphones for the first time. It means that with the G5 you can plug different modules into the bottom of the device to vastly expand its capabilities.
It’s cutting edge stuff, but how exactly does it work, and what does the future hold for LG’s modular marvel? We caught up with LG’s Product Manager Shaun Musgrave to find out more about the modular revolution.
The key to introducing any new technology is making it simple to use and easy to understand, and as Shaun explains, that’s very much a priority when it comes to the LG G5’s modular system. “It’s really, really simple to use,” he explains. “All the modules easily attach into the bottom of the device and there’s a button on the lower left hand side that allows you to remove the bottom half of the handset. That bottom half is attached to a battery, so you just unclip the battery, insert it into whichever module you want to use and then reattach the module to your phone with a nice, firm click. It’s as simple as that.
“It was really important for us that the mechanism was simple and hard-wearing,” he continues. “G5 users will be using the mechanism regularly to insert a new battery or change modules, so it’s been carefully tested by our quality control teams.”
Once you get the LG G5 you will have the option to purchase the ‘Friends’ (modules):The CAM Plus – a dedicated camera grip with shutter button, zoom dial and a built-in battery for longer snapping sessions – and the LG Hi-Fi Plus, which offers a Digital Audio Converter (DAC) built in partnership with Bang & Olufsen for high definition audio playback. But this is just a taster of how LG’s modular system can expand the phone’s capabilities and adapt to your daily life.
“I think we’ve really shown the potential of the system so far,” says Shaun. “We can produce our own modules, as we have done with the CAM Plus, and the collaboration with Bang & Olufsen for the LG Hi-Fi Plus has worked out really well too. I had people approaching me throughout MWC asking about the possibility of creating additional G5 modules with us. The potential is phenomenal.”
The potential of LG’s modular system really shines through when it comes to battery life, since the G5 is the first phone in the world that combines a beautiful metallic body with the ability to remove and replace the battery.
“It was important with the G5 that we pull together everything we’ve learned since making the LG G2,” explains Shaun. “The majority of people want a thin, ergonomic, metal body when they buy a flagship handset, but people have also been clamouring to have access to the phone’s battery. The main premise behind the modular design was that we didn’t want to compromise on either of those things, and the result was the world’s first metal body phone with a modular design, which allows for the removable battery..”
It’s all about that battery
We all expect a premium-feeling device when we grab a brand new flagship smartphone, but what’s so important about having a removable battery? As Shaun explains, the advantages are many…
“For starters, I think it adds convenience for everybody,” he says. “Offering people a choice is a real priority when we design new products – we like to ensure that our customers are given the opportunity to do whatever they want to do. In this case, it’s that they have the opportunity to replace the battery, depending on the situation.
“From our research, it’s pretty conclusive that long, dependable battery life is a key part of people’s requirements when it comes to a phone,” he continues. “The fact that you can replace the battery on the G5 is certainly one way of solving that problem. If you’ve had a really intensive day and you’re running low on battery, the G5’s modular system means you can just replace it with another fully charged one. We’ll be introducing hybrid battery chargers, too – essentially power packs that charge batteries individually, so you’ll be able to carry multiple spare batteries with you if you want, and swap them out whenever you need more power.
“If you’ve had a really intensive day and you’re running low on battery, the G5’s modular system means you can just replace it with another fully charged one.”
“We’ve also added lots of battery enhancement features under the bonnet as well,” adds Shaun. “The G5 uses the new Snapdragon 820 processor, which is the most power-efficient CPU ever made, as well as QuickCharge 3.0 – Snapdragon’s very latest quick charging technology. Plus, we’ve targeted some of the most battery-intensive tasks and made them more efficient. GPS is a huge drain on your battery, for instance, but we’ve adapted our own unique location estimation tech that runs about 40% more efficient than regular GPS.
“And we’ve added Always-On display technology as well, which actually saves you battery in the long run. People tend to switch their handset screen on between 100 and 150 times a day, and often just to look at the time or notifications. Always-On means you don’t have to do that as often, but because it only lights up one third of the LCD display, using only 0.8% of the battery life every hour, which is much less than most average users would spend turning their display on and off.
“Photography is another very power-intensive task for your smartphone,” adds Shaun, “but the LG CAM Plus module actually contains an additional 1200mAh battery, so we’re giving you some extra juice to handle that too. Between modules with built-in power, additional batteries and our new enhancement features, G5 users should never have a problem with battery life.”
A new smartphone for a new generation…
So it’s clear that the LG G5 offers a wealth of possibilities, whether you’re a photographer, music lover or just someone looking to get through the day with heavy use. Whichever way you look at it, the G5 is doing something pretty unique: putting masses of brand new, first-to-market tech straight into your hands.
“We’re trying to deliver that instinct of fun that has been lost in smartphones,” says Shaun in closing. “When smartphones were just coming onto the scene, there was an air of fun and novelty. Our modular technology certainly has that and once people see the potential behind it, I think the G5 will be the start of something big.”
Get yours now! Click here to pre-order your LG G5 now, and remember – the first 2000 people to pre-order on a Red or Red Value Bundle will receive a free pair of Bang & Olufsen H3 In-Ear Headphones worth £149!