The LG G4 hasn’t been in the market long, but while it represents the pinnacle of LG’s Android smartphone range for 2015, what’s the plan for 2016? Typically, LG waits a while after Samsung releases its flagship phone of the year in late February or early March at the Mobile World Congress. However, this year, things may be different. Rumors now say the LG G5 will arrive at the show in Barcelona, and that it’s going to be unlike any LG phone before it.
Here are all the rumors, leaks, and news we’ve heard about the LG G5.
Updated on 02-16-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added leaked information confirming a secondary screen.
Always-on screen and a fast processor
Noted leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) confirmed a secondary screen for the LG G5, as he claims to have seen the device. He also added that the reason why LG did not show the back of the X Cam, when it announced its X-series of mid-range devices, is because it has the same “wide-angle dual lens” as the G5.
If Blass is right, the LG G5 is borrowing elements of the LG V10, as it also has a secondary “ticker” display notifications such as the weather, time, and date, and can even launch the camera or quick settings without having the main display turned on.
This may explain the rumored size decrease of the G5, as it will allegedly feature a 5.3-inch display, as opposed to the 5.5-inch screen on the G4. The resolution is said to stay the same, though, at 1,440 x 2,560 pixels.
LG isn’t holding anything back this year. One day after revealing that the G5 will have an always-on screen, LG launched a case for the G5 in a press release complete with photos. It’s another Quick Cover case, which is touch sensitive and sports a partially transparent mesh front. You can answer calls and control alarms without ever opening your case or unlocking your phone. The case also has a glossy metallic finish, which could perhaps be a subtle hint that the G5 will use metal in its design.
Here’s a fact for you: The LG G5 will have an always-on screen. LG confirmed the news on Facebook with a GIF, showing a dimmed out G5 and an always-on screen that resembles Motorola’s Active Display, except the G5 will always be on — not just when you pick up or wave at the phone.
You can’t really see much else in the GIF, except for the G5’s rounded corners. The always-on display shows the time, the date, and notifications, and is located higher up on the display, rather than center.
A source that spoke to VentureBeat also claims that the G5 will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, will have 3GB of RAM, and will likely start at 32GB of storage.
A previous leak published on the Weibo social networking site, said the G5 could feature a 5.6-inch display, while still maintaining the same resolution. While the display size doesn’t match, VentureBeat’s source affirms the resolution, as well as the Snapdragon 820 chip, that were mentioned in the Weibo leak.
Related: Read our review of the LG V10
The late December VentureBeat article also mentioned the device may be all metal, which is backed by a previous rumor from ET News that said the G5 will sport a metal unibody. LG did introduce the use of metal on the V10, but only on the frame. This would be the first time for LG to adopt an all-metal approach, and given that the G4 isn’t setting the world on fire, it won’t be a surprise if this information comes true.
Release date and availability
LG briefly confirmed that the LG G5 will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress on February 21 in Barcelona. It posted a tweet saying “#LGG5 February 21. #MWC16,” in early February and also added some photos that may have been taken with the phone. However, shortly afterwards, the tweets had been deleted.
Traditionally, LG allowed Samsung and HTC to release their respective flagships before introducing the latest G series. That plan might have hurt overall sales with fewer buyers around by the time the G series launched. Now, LG has a better chance at stealing market share from its competitors.
Dual camera setup
LG’s cameras are typically one of the best features on its smartphones, and they’re often considered the cream of the crop. Reports hint that LG is working on more improvements to its smartphone camera on the G5.
Newly leaked images from Droid Life and case seller Mobile Fun hint that the LG G5 will have dual cameras on the back. A report from ETNews arrived shortly thereafter, saying the same thing. The dual-camera setup will reportedly improve image quality if the background and subject are captured separately by the cameras at the same time. Editing features would also allow users to focus on the background or the subject separately, and focusing time would be shorter, the report claims. ETNews added that dual-cameras are also key to iris scanning and 3D photography, which shows a sense of perspective. It’s unclear from the report if the G5 will have iris recognition or not, though it’s been rumored before.
The V10 has dual 5-megapixel front cameras that capture wide angle photos, with fields of view between 80 and 120 degrees. VentureBeat’s report hints that this feature may come to the G5 as well, except it may be headed to the rear camera. That’s right, LG may go full-HTC with a dual-rear camera feature, which would give its 16-megapixel camera a 135-degree wide angle.
The rear camera will also reportedly feature two LED flash bulbs, as well as laser-assisted autofocus. There may also be an “RGB sensor” that will help autofocus and other scene-recognition features. The front-facing camera is rumored to have the same eight-megapixel count as the G4.
Again, take this information with a grain of salt, as we can’t vouch for VentureBeat’s anonymous source, who was claims to have been briefed on LG’s plans for the G5.
Fingerprint scanner, battery, and “Magic Slot”
While the G5 might be more attractive with a metal unibody design, the downside is that it means that it probably won’t have a removable battery and a MicroSD slot could also be in jeopardy — neither of which were mentioned by VentureBeat’s source.
The source did say the battery will shrink from the G4’s 3,000mAh to 2,800mAh. It’s unclear how much the efficient processor was a factor for this decision.
Similar to the Nexus 5X, a fingerprint scanner will sit underneath the camera on the back of the G5. A previous report from Korea in May 2015 said the G5’s big new feature could be retina scanning technology, but nothing of the sort was mentioned by the source that spoke to VentureBeat. The earlier report said that LG is working with a company named Irience to develop an iris scanner for the phone to differentiate itself from Samsung and Apple. Like other biometric security systems, the iris scanner may be used to authenticate mobile payments.
It’s still a possibility, though, as Irience took part in a tech event in Korea at the end of May, at which it demonstrated a smartphone retina scanner. The system on show used the smartphone’s front camera to scan the owner’s eye, and then matched the image against biometric data stored in a database maintained by Irience. The demo was successful enough that the Industrial Bank of Korea signed a partnership agreement with the company to develop the tech further. ETNews also hinted at the possibility of an iris scanner in January.
Retina scanning technology was also on display at 2015’s CES tech show in Las Vegas, where ZTE and Fujitsu both demonstrated examples of how they planned to use iris scanning to secure mobile devices. VentureBeat claims that the G5 will also have a “Magic Slot,” and while the details are sparse, it’s said to give access to various hardware modules, such as a physical keyboard, specific cameras, and audio amplifiers. This may have been early reference to the accessory drawer that has become a part of more recent leaks and rumors.
We’ll keep you updated right here on the latest regarding the LG G5.
Updated on 02-11-2016 by Malarie Gokey: Added official confirmation from LG of an always-on screen for the G5.
Updated on 02-10-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added official confirmation from LG of an always-on screen for the G5.
Updated on 02-05-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added images of a third-party case for the LG G5
Updated on 02-03-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added official confirmation from LG of the G5’s unveiling on February 21.
Updated on 01-27-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in further claims the G5 will be unlike previous LG G series phones, and will feature an unusual accessory slot.
Updated on 01-25-2016 by Malarie Gokey: Added in a leaked picture of what may be the LG G5 in a dummy case, which reveals two cameras on the back of the device. Also added cases from MobileFun, which claim to fit the G5.
Updated on 01-13-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in a render said to show the LG G5 and an unusual solution for adding a removable battery to an all-metal phone.
Updated on 12-30-2015 by Julian Chokkattu: Added detailed information about the LG G5’s specs, camera, battery, fingerprint scanner, and “magic slot,” according to a source that spoke to VentureBeat.
Updated on 12-10-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in the first rumors regarding the LG G5’s specification.
Updated on 11-17-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news that the LG G5 might have an all-metal design and could be released earlier than normal.