Two new phones were announced today, the G5 from LG and the S7 and S7 Edge from Samsung. It looks like 2016 is off to a very interesting start for Android!
LG G5 – Finally Something New
First, here is the official LG G5 product video – it demonstrates some of the new features quite well, but is a bit on the bizarre side:
Several things of interest:
- That modular design looks extremely interesting, but I wonder how well (and for how long) it will be supported by LG and 3rd parties.
- The camera grip (0:38) looks like it just adds extra battery and hardware controls. I wonder if it’s just a manual shutter button or if there are dials/buttons for more manual control.
- The audio grip (0:55) looks like it adds extra battery and a higher-quality DAC, both of which are nice. I wonder if it adds a larger or better external speaker as well?
- The wider-angle camera lens (1:11) is a nice touch, but how well it works and is incorporated into the software remains to be seen.
- The accessories (or Friends as LG refers to them) look interesting as well. The VR and 360 Camera don’t really appeal to me, but I have to admit the Rolling Bot (2:55) does look like fun. The headset shown at 3:19 looks like a relatively standard Bluetooth headset – I wonder if these accessories will work with any phone, or if there is something LG-specific about them.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge – Blasts from the Past (Sort of)
First, the official product video for the S7 and S7 Edge:
It looks like Samsung, instead of adding features, had taken a step backwards – but in a good way. There was a fair bit of griping over the loss of the micro-SD memory card slot and the thinness of the phone at the expense of battery (and the addition of a noticeable camera hump). With the S7, they have put back the memory card slot, and increased the thickness of the phone to minimize the camera hump and fill that space with additional battery.
Additional upgrades to things like the camera (which was a bright spot of the S6) and the waterproofing are all incremental, but interesting. Although Samsung didn’t announce anything as neat as LG’s Rolling Bot, they do also have VR and a 360 camera.