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The G5 is gearing up for its retail launch on April 1, and with it comes two accessories from LG that will take advantage of the handset's unique modular design. One of which is the Cam Plus, that you can attach to the phone after removing the G5's bottom bezel. Though exact pricing and release information hasn't been unveiled yet, LG says the components will be available some time after the flagship's launch.
The Cam Plus is essentially a camera grip, which physically gives you a better handle on the phone when you take pictures. It has a toggle switch to launch the camera, a digital-zoom dial, a physical shutter button, and a video recording button. In spirit, it's much like the Incipio Focal camera case or the Snappgrip for the Apple iPhone.
Attaching the component is easy enough. You need to press the button on the left edge, which unlocks the bottom chin. Pull the bezel out and take off the removable battery. Detaching the battery does take a bit of wrangling, and there were a lot of times when I was afraid I'd break the battery off. But once you remove it, hook the battery onto the grip and snap the whole component back into the device. The grip itself includes a 1,200mAh battery that can add to the G5's own 2,800mAh battery.
Editors' note: This piece was originally published on February 21, 2016 and has been updated with deeper analysis.
The Cam Plus does add bulk to the handset, so I couldn't exactly walk around with both of them together in my back pocket. I wouldn't recommend keeping it on the G5 all day, and plus there's no headset jack). But it did make it easier and more comfortable for me to hold while I was out taking photos. The tactile buttons are also reminiscent of your typical point-and-shoot, so the button controls were intuitive to understand. One button I had trouble with was the toggle switch. It was too small to use quickly, so I ended up just launching the camera with the touchscreen more often.
After spending a couple of days with it, I imagine the Cam Plus for someone who is determined to get the most out of their G5's camera, who knows they'll take a ton of pictures, and also kind of want an excuse to use the handset's modular design. Depending on the price, I myself wouldn't spend more than $70 on it (or £50, AU$94).
However, if you're not a photo enthusiast, you certainly won't be missing out on much. You can still use the device's camera just fine without it, and if you plan on just taking shots here and there throughout the day, I'd save myself the purchase.