Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Unique Modular Idea; LG's Phone with 'Friends' Offers the Option of Switching or Adding Components

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Unique Modular Idea; LG's Phone with 'Friends' Offers the Option of Switching or Adding Components

Article excerpt

Byline: David Phelan

SMARTPHONE manufacturers walk a tightrope as they evolve their industrial design. They must show new, fancy features such as new colours and materials, but at the same time keep enough of the design features of previous models to reassure fans.

This week, LG released the G5, which turns away from the styling of previous G series handsets. The G5 has a smaller screen than the G4 (5.3 inches instead of 5.5 inches) but is a little heavier.

Even so, it feels light in the hand and easy to handle. The extra weight is down to a new, modular design, which just means you can take bits off it and put others on.

Modular phone

Few other manufacturers have used modular design in their phones. It all works through a clever removable base. Press a discreet, flush side button and the bottom centimetre or so of the phone slides out, complete with a bright green battery. You can then separate the battery from the base - and be warned, this takes some courage because it doesn't feel like it wants to come apart. You can then replace it with a chunky camera shutter unit with an ergonomically useful trigger button and bigger battery or with an audio unit with a Digital Analogue Converter in it.

Clip-on friends

There are other accessories - friends, LG calls them, but try not to be put off by that - and more will follow. The audio unit is designed in conjunction with Bang & Olufsen and creates very high quality audio when you're listening through headphones. It has a Micro-USB connector on it, so you could use it with other phones, too. The Cam Plus module is one of the more useful "friends".

In other words, LG has designed a phone that has the potential to get better as it goes along, just by updating software and adding an extra gadget, or replacing a battery, say. …

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