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LG G5 available April 1 for U.S. Cellular, presale begins March 28

At a total price of $636 without a two-year contract, the G5 costs more than its predecessor last year.

James Martin/CNET

Regional carrier U.S. Cellular announced that it will sell the G5, LG's latest marquee handset, on April 1, with preorders beginning March 28. If you buy the phone before April 17, the carrier will also throw in an extra battery and battery-charging cradle for free.

The device costs $199.99 with a two-year contract, or you can pay $26.50 a month for 24 months, which brings the total price to $636. This price is higher than that of the handset's predecessor, the G4, when it first launched in June 2015. Back then, the phone started at $590 or $610 for the leather variant.

This may be due to the G5's new design, which forgoes a plastic back cover for an aluminum body. Its bottom bezel pulls out to reveal the removable battery, and you can swap out this chin for other accessories like a camera grip or a portable digital-to-analog converter.

The camera grip, known as the LG Cam Plus, as well as LG's 360-degree camera and VR headset, will also be sold through U.S. Cellular. Though the carrier didn't mention any prices or specific date, it did say the devices will be available "later in April."

As for the G5 itself, I was able to spend significant time with a preproduction model. Its Snapdragon 820 processor and dual rear-cameras were fast and capable, and its 2,800mAh battery lasted 12 hours and 33 minutes in our lab test for continuous video playback. While that is impressive, it did not last as long as the Samsung Galaxy S7, the G5's biggest, more expensive rival, which clocked in 16 hours of battery time.