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LG's elegant and unorthodox G5 (pictures)

With its unique modular design and powerful hardware, the LG G5 could be the top contender for your next phone.

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Lynn La
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1 of 19 James Martin/CNET

Set to launch globally in early April, the LG G5 first made waves when it debuted with a pull-out battery and modular design. It also has a fast processor, two rear-cameras and an always-on screen. But does it have what it takes to compete against its Android rivals?

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Sizing down the display

Compared to last year's 5.5-inch G4 (right), the G5's display has gotten smaller at 5.3 inches. It also has a 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution and 554 pixels per inch -- 20 more pixels per inch than the G4.

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It's modular -- kind of!

The device's bottom bezel is modular, so you can detach it and swap it out for additional accessories.

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Press hard to unlock

To unlock the bottom chin, you'll need to press hard on a small button on the left edge.

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Switching out the battery

The bezel is also attached to the phone's 2,800mAh removable battery.

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Tactile camera controls

One accessory is the LG Cam Plus, a camera grip that has a physical shutter button and a zooming wheel.

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Actually coming to consumers

Though the phone is no where near as modular as Google's Project Ara aims to be, it's still unique for a mass-market flagship that will be physically available to consumers soon.

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A battery that won't quit

As for the battery itself, a preview model clocked 12 hours 33 minutes in our lab tests. I'll rerun the test again when I have final unit, but that's an impressive result.

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Scanning your fingerprint

On the back is a fingerprint sensor for added user security. It also doubles as a power and sleep button. We saw something like this before from LG on the V10.

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USB Type-C on the bottom

On the bottom is a USB Type-C port, which is faster and more efficient than the standard Micro-USB connection. It's also "flippable" so you'll plug in your charging cord right side up each time.

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Polished aluminum aesthetic

Foregoing the G4's plastic rear backing (right), LG went with an aluminum body for the G5.

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Always there with info

The device runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and features an always-on display, which continuously shows the time, date and any missed notifications even when the device is sleeping.

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Snapdragon 820 inside

Powering the handset is a 2.15GHz quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor from Qualcomm.

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More space in every frame

The phone has two rear-cameras: a standard 16-megapixel shooter and a wide-angle 8-megapixel camera. You can record slow-mo, 4K and timelapse videos as well.

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For all your selfies

There's another 8-megapixel snapper on the phone's front.

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Quick Cover case for added protection

LG will also sell a Quick Cover case, which lets you interact with the device's screen (like accept and decline phone calls) even when it's covered.

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A colorful lineup

The G5 comes in four colors: black, gold, silver and pink.

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That Samsung rival

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S7 (left), LG's flagship isn't water resistant and its battery didn't last as long as the latter's 16-hour lab result. It is, however, likely to be less expensive, has a removable battery, and two rear cameras.

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Standing out from the crowd

With the G5, LG has taken baby steps towards phone modularity. Though it still has a long way to go, the flagship undoubtedly stands out in this way, and it also delivers a powerful and reliable performance.

For more, click here to find out the five things you should know about the LG G5.

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