Mobile World congress, also known as MWC, is one of the largest exhibitions for the mobile industry held in Barcelona, Spain. The conference features several presentation from prominent executives representing mobile operators, manufacturers, vendors and technology providers from all around the world. This conference is also known to be the place where the two Korean tech giants (LG and Samsung) unveil their latest flagships smartphones.
Samsung’s Evolution VS LG’s Revolution:
Samsung drastically redefined its image last year with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and all of its variants. The company recognized that there are some features that the company was neglecting with previous iterations of Galaxy S lineup (most noticeably: build quality and user experience). The Galaxy S6 marked a new chapter for the company with its metal and glass unibody construction, a simpler user experience and the removal of unwanted software. However, not all of these changes were positively viewed by Samsung’s customers – some viewed the lack of a removal battery and waterproofing as a step back from the ideal smartphone. Furthermore, many Galaxy S6 owners have complained about the device’s low battery performance.
LG has taken a different approach for the next flagship the LG G5. Unlike other phone manufacturers that have moved away from devices with a removable battery to a non-removable battery, the G5 sports a removable bottom slot that allows the battery to be swapped. This allows the phone to retain the aforementioned feature whilst still providing a sleek metal unibody feel to it. But a removable battery is not LG’s “Revolution”, the removable slot can be replaced with other modules that add more functionality to the phone. There are a couple of modules currently available such as: the “CAM Plus” module which provides unique camera features and the Bang and Olufsen Hi Fi DAC module that has a 32-Bit unit plus a dedicated amp. LG also announced that 3-party manufacturers will be creating more modules for the G5.
This concept of a modular phone is not new in the world of mobile technology. Google’s Project ARA, is device that allows the user to swap basically any part of the phone but unfortunately the Project ARA has not developed a consumer ready product. Thus, the G5 is the newest consumer ready device with modular features and also the only current device “revolutionizing” (to some extent) the smartphone market. Although, there are many consumers are very enthusiastic about the G5 capabilities, others are still skeptical on whether the modules truly add value to the device or it is just a gimmick.
In conclusion, Samsung and LG have taken very different approaches with regards to their new flagship phones. Samsung has decided to take a more conservative approach and just improve key features whilst LG is taking a bigger risk by introducing the concept of a modular phone. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge has already been out for a week while the LG G5 will hit stores on April 8 (in Canada) – only time will tell which company made the right choice.
Writer: Eduardo Wu
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