For those wanting flagships with MicroSD cards, LG became the manufacturer of choice in the first half of 2015, and remains largely so with Samsung eschewing the expansion option in its range this year. A new leak from Evan Blass (now of VentureBeat) suggests that LG will take it further in 2016, with the G5 to feature a ‘Magic Slot’ for adding new hardware modules, as well as a secondary ticker-type display in the style of the LG V10 (which wasn’t released here).
Blass’ report confirms some of the previous leaks about the G5, including the slightly smaller 5.3″ 1440p display, presumably reduced in size slightly to accomodate the ticker display atop the main display. The camera will also borrow from the V10, incorporating two rear-facing cameras which will work in unison for super-wide-angle shots up to 135º. A fingerprint sensor will be included on the back too, as shown in the V10, which is a welcome addition.
In what could be a slight backward step, LG will reduce the G5’s standard battery capacity from 3,000 mAh to 2,800 mAh, presumably to save internal space, but the inclusion of a more power-efficient Snapdragon 820 CPU could offset the power loss, and 3GB of RAM will certainly keep things happy performance-wise. We can only hope that LG’s G5 doesn’t mirror the experience with Sony’s Xperia Z5 range, where a smaller battery capacity was said to be offset by savings elsewhere, but that didn’t quite happen — Sony’s 2015 range have good battery life, but in-the-hand experience suggests the Xperia Z3 did it better; extra capacity still matters.
The one thing there’s not a lot of information about is the Magic Slot. In a throwback to the HandSpring Visor range (remember those?), the slot will apparently allow hardware expansion on the LG G5, including options of a 360º specialist camera, audio amplifier, physical keyboard, and more.
Theoretically, all of these could be powered through a USB-C port, rather than the cumbersome expansion ports of yore, but there’s no word as to what kind of port LG will use, or where it will be located on the phone. It certainly sounds interesting though, and it speaks of the innovation that LG are becoming rather well known for.