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LG's G series will keep toying around with the modular concept

Just because the V20 is a more conventional phone doesn't mean LG has abandoned the idea of different attachments for its other flagship line.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read
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When LG introduces a concept, it will stubbornly stick with it.

The company did so with the rear power button, as well as the curved display. Its latest experiment came in the G5, which featured modular attachments that can be swapped in and out, providing a camera grip and better audio capabilities.

While the G5 fared poorly with consumers, LG is sticking with the modular concept in the subsequent generation, according to LG spokesman Ken Hong.

The news comes as LG introduces the V20, a phone that is more conventional than its more experimental sibling. The V20 is supposed to have a souped-up phone, a removable metal back and sharp display. But nowhere is there an option to plug in different attachments.

The rise of Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge took a toll on LG's results, which posted a 6 percent year-over-year decline in revenue in the second quarter. The bottom line: The G5, despite its gimmick, couldn't stand up to Samsung's latest flagship phone.

It would be reasonable to assume that LG went back to basics with the V20, focusing instead on more normal features like the camera and removable battery.

But that will be just for the V20. Hong said the development cycle of the V20 was already well underway when the G5 hit the market, and LG didn't change the process after the G5 underwhelmed.

Watch this: The LG V20 is full of high-end specs and Android Nougat goodness

So if you bought a G5 and an attachment, there's hope that LG will double down on even more options next year.

LG's chances were also hurt by the Moto Z from Lenovo, a phone that also offered the ability to swap in different backings for extra battery or an audio boost. Unlike the G5, which required you to pull out the battery and bottom chin of the phone, the Moto Z let you connect the attachment through magnets, allowing you to simply snap it on.

Metal-clad LG V20 has clever trick to remove battery

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