VR headsets, robot balls and snap-on phone gadgets: Say hello to LG's amazing new G5 accessories
LG just unveiled the G5. But its latest and greatest mobile phone is just the advance guard for a long list of accessories that range from kinda crazy to downright cool.
The G5 is LG's new flagship smartphone for 2016. And it has a unique design angle: The bottom pops off to let you swap in a new battery, and add new snap-on accessories that change the phone's functionality.
The first snap-on modular accessory is the LG Cam Plus, which offers G5 photographers a tactile button for the shutter, stop and play functions, as well as a continuous dial wheel for zooming in and out of subjects.
The Hi-Fi Plus has its own speaker and headphone jack so you can use it to make phone calls or listen to music the way you would with a typical smartphone -- but with (theoretically) better audio quality.
Next on the accessory train is the LG 360 Cam. It lets you capture your surroundings in high-res 2K video or as a still image (resolution TBD) using two 200-degree cameras that stitch together, with some overlap, for a complete 360-degree picture.
If you have an LG G5, you can connect the 360 Cam via the phone's native "Friends" app, which is basically a device manager for the various G5 accessories such as the Cam Plus and Hi-Fi Plus. The 360 cam is compatible with other Android devices as well and uses a Bluetooth connection to pair them up.
The lens shutter can be triggered remotely from the phone and there's a microSD slot on the camera for saving projects. You can also stream video and photos back to the phone via Bluetooth, or use the G5 as a remote viewer.
Unlike Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard -- which use your phone as the headset screen -- the LG unit has two dedicated high-resolution displays for each eye that are independently adjustable for viewers with different prescriptions.
The display offers 639 pixels per inch (PPI), which LG claims will eliminate the "screen-door effect" that plagues other VR headsets. The resulting image is similar to viewing a 130-inch TV from 6.5 feet (2 meters) away.
The Rolling Bot interacts with and controls smart home devices, even non-LG branded gadgets. LG mentioned a variety of use cases for it, including using it as a remote to turn on your TV, air conditioner and house lights, to make it look like someone's home.
The LG Tone Platinum is an updated version of the company's around-the-neck Bluetooth headphones. While they're not technically considered "wireless earbuds" since you still have to drape the aluminum housing around your neck, their lightweight design and retractable eartips are the next best thing until fully wireless earbuds hit the market.
Like all Bluetooth headphones, the Tone Platinum will work with nearly any tablet or phone. It features a balanced armature driver that's said to generate more detail with less distortion than a typical dynamic headphone driver. So -- according to LG -- you get a sound profile that's tuned for optimum performance across a range of frequencies.
The Tone Platinum is also equipped with the aptX HD Audio Codec, which is supposed to improve wireless sound quality when used with source devices that are also so equipped (such as the Samsung Galaxy S6). In our testing of AptX headphones such as the LG Tone Infinim, we generally haven't found AptX to be a game changer, but we'll see.
The LG Tone Platinum has an integrated microphone for making phone calls while active noise cancellation keeps ambient noise out of your conversation. It should be noted, however, that the noise-canceling feature doesn't work with music, just phone calls. Check back with CNET soon for full pricing details.