LG’s keen to tout its new G5 flagship as a ‘modular’ phone but what does this mean? It means you can plug in fresh batteries, cameras, speakers and connect to things like VR headsets, action cams and cat-bothering robots.
LG Friends and LG Playground are the admittedly confusing umbrella terms for a growing family of mobile accessories you can use to pimp your LG G5 and other devices. For clarity, the LG Friends range refers to devices that connect to the phone physically while LG Playground devices are wireless peripherals. Got that? Good.
Here’s what we know about all of LG’s Playground Friends now.
LG Cam Plus
The Cam Plus module turbo charges the already impressive-sounding camera skills of the G5 by bringing some dedicated shutter, power, zoom and record buttons to the party. While the Cam Plus does bulk out the backside of the G5 a bit, this has the benefit of affording a more comfortable grip.
Perhaps most importantly, the Cam Plus comes with an additional 1,200mAh battery to complement the LG G5’s own 2,800 mAh cell. What this means in terms of actual real use cases remains to be seen…
LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play
Audiophiles and design snobs will already be well acquainted with Bang & Olufsen, Danish manufacturers of audio equipment par excellence (and considerable expense).
Hopefully the Hi-Fi Plus won’t end up costing a small fortune, but will bring Bang & Olufsen’s considerable expertise to the fore. On paper, everything sounds great; the LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play will let you play back 32-bit 384KHz high-definition audio files – although we’re sure that regular people’s music collections and Spotify will sound great through this too.
Perhaps best of all, the Hi-Fi Plus can also be used as a Hi-Fi DAC by connecting to any smartphone or PC.
LG 360 VR
Turning up to the beach and kicking sand into the Samsung Gear VR’s face is the LG 360 VR.
This headset is an LG G5 exclusive and unlike other headsets which require you to pop your phone in to act as a screen, the 360 VR will instead connect to the G5 via a cable, meaning you can keep your phone in your pocket, instead of having to carry it around on your face.
LG says that the 360 VR weighs a slender 118 grams, which is apparently only one third the weight of ‘competing VR goggles.’ Both the Oculus RIft and the Gear VR weigh in at around the 300 gram mark.
LG says that the 360 VR’s screen has a PPI (pixels per inch) count of 639 and simulates the experience of viewing a 130-inch TV from two metres away. It’ll also work with any Google Cardboard-certified content, meaning by the time this hits shelves there should be plenty more VR content for you to lose yourself in.
LG 360 Cam
Working in tandem with the 360 VR is the LG 360 Cam, which comes with two 13-megapixel sensors affording 200 degree fields of vision each.
This will let you create your own 360 content on the fly for you and your mates to enjoy on your VR headsets. The 360 Cam shoots video in 2K – no word on frame rates yet. Three mics allow for 5.1 surround channel recording, to add an extra level of immersion to your VR videos.
Even if you don’t have or don’t plan on getting a 360 VR headset, LG’s partnership with Google means that any creations shot on the 360 Cam can be uploaded to YouTube360 and Google Street View for the world to enjoy.
4GB of internal memory would be limiting, to say the least, but sensibly LG has included a microSD card slot. Hopefully you’ll be able to whack in cards of up to 2TB in size – the same official ceiling limit of the LG G5’s memory card slot.
LG Rolling Bot
This Samus Aran-ish Rolling Bot from LG could be the ultimate cat toy; ostensibly, it’s a robot that you can remotely pilot around your home from your G5.
Thanks to an 8-megapixel camera and a built-in mic, you’ll be able to see and say hello to your pets while you’re on your lunchbreak. If you’ve got a cat, there’s an added bonus too – the LG Rolling Bot comes equipped with a laser. Say goodbye to your curtains.