LG G5 may have a metal unibody design

by: Matthew BensonNovember 16, 2015


Assuming Samsung had not sprung for the metal and glass Galaxy S6 design language, it’s likely that critics of LG’s G4 would have found much less to complain about. In the end, what the company did produce was a refinement of its G3 from last year, and – in part – attention was paid to the fact that this year’s offering still supplied a user replaceable battery and included microSD support. Two things Samsung removed. Still, the build quality was often cited as being a cause for the consideration that the G4 was “not premium”. Things may be in for a major change next year, at least based on a new rumor.

A report on Naver posted earlier today suggests that LG will in fact, be using a metal unibody for 2016’s G5. While this isn’t much to go on, it would logically make sense given that the company has already sought to include metal in its recently released V10 handset. While it would remain to be seen as to what kind of metal the G5 would have – the V10 is amazingly resilient to drops – at the very least it would serve to offer a more direct rivalry with whatever premium product Samsung plans to launch next year, be it early or business as usual.

LG has been suffering from sluggish sales, both with its G4 and – at least according to reports in Korea – the new V10. This kind of drastic design difference could be just what the doctor ordered.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind our readers that until LG itself makes any information public, this kind of news is therefore unconfirmed and speculative.

  • none

    Just put four screws on the corner of the metal back, so it can be opened and the battery be replaced and a micro SD added. Otherwise, it is design-wise a step down from the Galaxy S5.

    Oh. and get rid of the terrible volume button placement while they are at it.

    • Sanka Muzikant

      I love the leather back and uniquely sexy volume button placement on. the g4 and v10

    • GreaterLesser

      The volume rocker placement is one of the G series’ most defining features – As it stands that feature it well received by a lot of people so I doubt they will get rid of it because you don’t like it.

    • Starcube

      Both terrible ideas. The whole point of a removable battery is to swap it out on the go with a fully charged spare when it goes flat.

  • peterudiger

    No, that’s what makes the LG’s special, is the volume in back. I hate holding my Nexus 6 and constantly accidentally hitting the volume or power button.

    • none

      I adjust the phone volume a lot on a phone sitting on a desk. If t were on the back, I’d be constantly flipping it over.

      There’s a reason that bad design fails like this don’t get copied (a similar one was the Macintosh design which replaced a friendly disk or CD eject button with a tiny pinhole).

      I don’t care if they make a metal back, as long as it can be removed. Even with screws, like I said. I don’t care if the back is plastic, either: that’s something that matters the least in a phone.

      • ichuck7

        Well said with the volume controls.

      • Yemil Velez

        You can control the volume from the screen as well, so I don’t have to turn my phone over to adjust the volume. It also has the knock wakeup feature so I also don’t have to turn the phone over to awake it.

  • Ryan

    All phones should come with a microSD slot, it’s the main deciding factor for me as specs are generally similar in flagship phones.

    • none

      All phones should have a horizontal slider keyboard, micro SD slot, and removable battery. However, phone design is driven by odd whims in disconnected ivory towers, and not the needs of users.

  • Rameez

    Improve the LG UI please and a 4000mAh battery would be awesome.

    • J G

      hate the ui. keeps me from getting a g4. looks like a kindergartner made it

      • JMG

        I love the UI..so simple to use.fast.i find it more snappy than touchwiz.

        • J G

          idc for touchwiz either. care more of vanilla android.

          • Antoine Swans

            Then buy a phone with vanilla touchwiz. Why do you feel all phones should be the same? Maybe you should purchase an iPhone then all of your concerns will be met.

          • J G

            wtf is vanilla touchwiz lmao! now your telling me to leave android for iOS because I like android? WTF?!?!?!?

        • Dani T.

          I dont see whats ugly about it…ppl keep bringing this up..it looks just like any other android phone and its pretty snappy..and has some really nice&usable features.

  • SharkGaming

    If you remove that removable battery LG…

  • Daggett Beaver

    Holy crap, stop with the metal backs already, unless you’re going to include the new wireless charging technology that allows it.

    • Even phones with removable backs have wireless charging. No need for unibody at all!

  • RG

    I still don’t understand why LG couldn’t produce a premium metal design but still KEEP the removable battery and SD card. Instead of popping off the back, why not have a spring loaded battery that can easily click in and out of the bottom of the handset?

    Problem solved and best of both worlds.

    • GreaterLesser

      Then you would have to worry about accidentally popping the battery out in your pocket or, for women, their purses. Nice to see different ideas though

      • RG

        Fair point.. I’m sure LG could think of something though.. Like having a small cap at the bottom you have to click off with a finger nail or table knife. You’d click the button under it and the battery would literally pop out a bit. I’m sure LG could do something more elegant than the way I’ve just described it!

        I’ve just never understood why people are in the mentality of, ‘its either cheapo plastic and removable battery or metal unibody and fixed battery’.

        We’ve been to the moon and back, I’m sure someone can solve this ‘problem’!

        • JMG

          They could simply make a metal removable back.like the samsung glaxy s1.

        • 1213 1213

          Even Nokia made all metal phones back in the day with removable backs. Like the Nokia 6300.

      • ChrisPollard77

        Three words to the solution … SIM Eject Tool. BOOM!! Slightly less convenient in that a tool would be needed, but beats having to replace a phone because the battery won’t hold a charge anymore.

        • GreaterLesser

          That’s not a bad idea at all and getting a sim eject tool isn’t that hard (but keeping up with one is tedious haha)

        • ichuck7

          Quick, patent this idea. I like it!

    • retrospooty

      Solved that problem and caused how many new ones? Also that would make it alot taller to accommodate the spring load mechanism. I personally wouldnt mind lack of removablity… Or even 2 or more versions. One with a removable battery and one unibody.

      • I don’t think they would make both. The design direction between the two would be way too different.

    • Anci Puzon

      They already did…it’s called the V10. Well, at least, it has a full metal steel frame. :)

    • I like the idea, but perhaps instead, a removable back that instead of peeling off like a sardine can, removes by inserting some sort of key into a hole in the back of the phone and turn to allow removal. This “key” could be stored on your keychain.

      I say all this because you obviously cannot have a removable back that is metal and it be removed in the way we’re used to removing phone cases. RG, I like where you were going with your idea.

  • Haggie

    I have an LG G4. I don’t understand any knock on its build quality. I’m a fairly discerning consumer of mobile phone technology and I think that the G4 is equal in build quality to just about any other phone I have had (the exception being the water resistant Samsung S5).

    I really can’t imagine that the average smartphone buyer looks at a G4 and goes “Oh, you know, that isn’t a metal uni-body construction. I’ll pass.”

    And, for myself, I would never trade a removable battery and SD card for a uni-body construction. I will never own a phone that doesn’t offer both until battery capabilities and lifespan and onboard storage make those features obsolete.

    • Starcube

      It’s just entitled whiners who expect phones to be made from diamonds and withstand being dropped from Mt. Everest and run over by a Soviet tank. In other words, uneducated, unrealistic expectations. Nothing is indestructible, not even Nokia phones (you just have to try harder with those).

      • instinct

        I don’t think they care about being indestructible as much as looks. The all glass S5 definitely isn’t a step up in durability.

    • ichuck7

      I think they do. People go to stores and hold a phone in the hand and buy a phone based on how it feels. Then they slap it in a case making their purchase reasoning irrelevant.

      • Antoine Swans

        Amen!! Then to replace it next year when they feel something is better.

  • Hannes van Heerden

    I had the G2 (Amazing phone!) And now the G4. I love the leather back and think about it, every 2nd phone is now metal… Even cheap ones!

  • Starcube

    If they kill the removable battery and microSD slot, they’ll lose the remaining sales they have. They’re the only major manufacturer left that still has those.

    • Martin Šárek

      I still don’t get it, why do you need removable battery? It’s seriously nonsense, why carry and charge 2 batteries when you can simply bring a small powebank?

      • Charles Walker

        People like to convince themselves they will be using a phone more than 3 years and like to be able to replace battery when they degrade.

        • Kong Sothea

          that 1 thing, but for me my phone will end at the 5 or 6pm with a full charging in the morning, so i not end yet with my phone. that why i hope i can switch the battery to go on my work on phone.

        • mayhempk1

          Or because people like being able to root and install custom ROMs and not be stuck in a power on state? People like being able to get extended batteries?

          Just because you are fine with non-removable batteries does not mean there are not valid reasons for wanting removable batteries.

        • Starcube

          Just because YOU don’t do or can’t understand something others do doesn’t mean it has no purpose. You are not everyone else, not everyone uses their phones the way you do. Get your head out of your rear end.

      • Browncow8

        I like it for rooting and installing custom ROM’s. Much easier to force shutdown and can actually force shutdown. One without a removable battery could get stuck in a powered on state.

        • Martin Šárek

          Allright, that reason i get. +1

      • Kong Sothea

        because like me i using Note5, the battery will end about 5pm but i still need to continue working on my phone. i hope all phone can live until 1 day and half so i don’t need removable battery.

      • Daniel James Carr

        Because an internal battery only lasts so long before it’s a POS. A year in a half later, my HTC M8 is shitting the bucket on power and my only option is taking it apart and risk damaging it to replace the battery, no thanks.

        • Browncow8

          Year AND a half – FTFY

      • instinct

        Huh? A battery is much smaller than a power bank, and you don’t have to tether it. I’ve used both. Trust me, a removable battery is a much nicer option. It’s not a deal breaker.

        • Martin Šárek

          But you need extra charger or charge one by one, doesnt sound that much better.

          • Starcube

            A power bank is still a second device you need to charge. Same thing.

      • Jake Lam

        Allot of people want to have removable batteries so that if anything ever goes wrong with the battery that came with their phone, they can easily purchase a new one and swap it out themselves without having to mail it back to the manufacturer or take it back to the retailer to get the battery replaced in their device.

      • Starcube

        Because batteries deteriorate and devices with non-removable batteries are time-bombed into planned obsolescence. After 500 recharge cycles, a battery is pretty much useless, as it no longer holds any significant charge.

        • Martin Šárek

          I’ve been using my G3 really often for past two years and my battery is still like new, i’m not saying it’s perfect, but i can still go full day without charging. I’m sure that i’ve charged more then 500 times.

          Kinda butthurt aren’t you. I just said that I can’t see the point of it, you don’t have to go offensive on me.

          • Starcube

            Anyone c an write anything on the Internet and claim it to be true. Somehow I’m not so sure about the health of your two-year-old battery with 500+ cycles on it.

          • Martin Šárek

            Yeah because i have so many reasons to lie to you right?
            You don’t have to believe it, i really don’t care.

      • Antoine Swans

        Because some of us would rather switch out a battery and keep it moving rather than having some device and power cord hanging from our phone.
        You’ll understand once you try it and It’s way more convenient! Power users!! I do a lot of traveling, camping and hiking plus i’m a photographer, videographer and makeup artist and you don’t have that kind of time or freedom. There are too many things i would miss while being restricted. Now the power bank would be excellent for when I’m done for recharging.

      • Gerson Mendoza

        Do you really think than having a small powerbank is more convenient than having an already fully charged little battery? The way I use my G4 it hasn’t been plugged in even once because I have two batteries and a battery cradle charger. “Oh, phone is dying, swap batteries, fully charged, while other battery begins to charge.” You have no idea how convenient and freeing that is.
        I’ll do you one better, I could if I chose to, carry around a powerbank and my battery charger cradle and my separate battery around in my backpack or if I go on trips. So the powerbank could charge the extra battery while I use my phone, when the phone is dying, swap, rinse and repeat until powerbank dies out. All without ever having to have the actual phone plugged in. I for one refuse to buy any “premium” or other high end phone if they do away with this just so the internal locked in batteries can die in a year or two and you’ll be forced to change your phone whether you want to or not.

        • Starcube

          Amen, brother. I am 100% with you.

  • Chris Jutting

    One of the reasons I went with the G4 over everything else when I upgraded a few weeks ago was the MicroSD and removable battery. If LG drops these for the G5 I will pass on it. LG was one of the last holdouts from the unibody trend and I am disappointed that they would even consider going that route.

  • Sal

    Please work on the UI. It’s one of the few things that keep me from buying LG phones.

    • Btort

      same, I literally had the g4 for 3 days and decided to sell it. I got a pure and also returned that, nexus 6p ftw

  • BareThingz

    LG flagships got bad battery life so moving to embedded battery would be worse?

    • Antoine Swans

      Not to many phones have great batteries that i would want.

  • #Note5 IsBoss

    LG will always be Samsung’s dirty little slut at the bar on a Friday night at best.

    • pseudo

      Posting the same thing twice does not make it true.

    • squiddy20

      1. Why did you post this twice? You know there’s this magical thing called a delete button, which can get rid of whatever post you make, and would make you look like less of a fool, right?
      2. No, Richard, that’s you. After all, you’ve said some pretty outlandish stuff about Samsung that most people wouldn’t even think of saying. Does it ever get tiring describing yourself in all the insults you spew on an almost daily basis?

    • EQ

      How’s the ghosting on your screen? How’s the ghosting on your screen? HAHAHAHAHA!

  • #Note5 IsBoss

    LG will always be Samsung’s dirty little slut at the bar on a Friday night at best.

    • TheBagging Man

      You sound quite educated and intelligent. But that’s none of my business.

  • vangeodee

    I can conclude (from the poll results) that people who go for LG devices are people who go for practicality and utility.

    As for me, I use my phone (G Pro 2) for calls and messaging every day and having a spare battery really helps when you’re empty with no nearby wall outlet. It really makes me wonder why people care so much about looks? You’re going to put it in a case anyway so why would you care about how it looks?

  • I think I plan on buying the LG G5. LG, and HTC are the only Android manufacturer’s that I see purchasing a smartphone from at this point. I wanted the V10, but certain things are still meh about it. The camera is good and all, but I think it could be better, and I’m really looking forward to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with Quick Charge 3.0. So, I guess I may just wait it out till 2016 to see what I will actually upgrade too, as my premium smartphone moving forward.

  • 1213 1213

    I’m indifferent to design, usually have a case on the back anyway. So I prefer functionality like storage and even battery (which I don’t care about).

    • mobilemann

      if you don’t understand the correlation between design and functionality, you’re a bigger idiot than i thought.

  • Antoine Swans

    Isn’t strange that every time we have a article about LG here comes the Samstonk people with their opinions about something they don’t even use or want. If a phone company defies who you are then i feel sorry for you! We make the product’s great by taking them out of the box and using them. So if you don’t care for LG then do waist your time and ours making nasty comments. The way i look at it, if it bothers you then don’t read it. You have the state of the art technology in your hand so use it to do the outstanding things its for like minding your own business.

  • ichuck7

    I realized this year how important a premium build is to me. I dont care if it’s metal, glass, or leather, I have just decided I don’t want to cheaper feeling plastic phones. The nexus 7 does feel good as well.

    • Antoine Swans

      Then buy it!

    • Antoine Swans

      I don’t understand your reasons for the comment. If you feel something is better buy it! Some of us don’t mind so what is the real problem? They have more than 200 different types of phones for you to choose from so pick one and enjoy! Everything is not suppose to be the same are we?

      • ichuck7

        Reason? I just am stating my own personal preference. I love the idea that there is tons of choice in the android world. I support people choosing what ever makes theme happy.

  • Rohan Chowdhury

    Please keep the leather back. Makes it stand out from the glass and metal backs and gives it a premium look

  • Antoine Swans

    Here’s the thing, so many people want LG to make the next generation of smart phones like all of the others. Dropping replaceable battery give it cloud storage sexy build and they will still find reasons for not purchasing it. And those of us will miss out on the things that truly makes us happy to have. I don’t like Samsung’s but i did recommend my good friend to purchase the Note5 a few weeks ago and she loves it! And she had the iphone 6s i just felt that with her being a Doctor it would be best for her because of the s-pen. If i feel something may be for you i don’t mind recommending it! I never said to her i hate Samsung and its bad and touchwiz interface is a trip! So please if you’re not going to buy it, don’t rain on our parade by changing things on something that you’re not going to purchase anyway.

  • Nikolas Manuelides

    One of the reasons I decided to buy de G4 and not another phone, was de leather back and sd card+replacable battery. I love how this phone looks

  • jeremey

    every 4k mobile should have replacable battery/memory card , atleast 6000mah battery that gives juice for 2 days to phone.

    • JohnC

      Fair enough with replaceable, but why would it need it for 2 days when you can just charge it overnight if you need to?

  • Kiss my Asthma

    LG here’s the secret to the perfect phone: a 4000 mAh battery, don’t remove the SD card, top notch display and camera, also improve your UI.
    Thank me later.

  • S Blevins

    They would definitely lose a sale from me. Removable battery is the whole point of why I use their phones.

  • Igy Tech

    I would be on LG place different. Premium plastic look with SD slot and replaceable battery. Have LG G4 and don’t have premium look plastic problems. Only battery life critic.

  • caboose

    i’m allergic to things i dont like

  • HBKnight

    The only thing I dislike about the G4 or the V10 is LG’s UI. If the G4 had stock Android it would be the best Android device of 2015. (Alternatively if the Nexus 6P had microSD card support and a removable battery it would also be the hands-down winner.)

  • tomstwocents

    Lg devices are great. Just too big for me, that’s all.

  • I really don’t understand why LG would move away from the removable battery/SD model. Those are features that differentiate themselves from the competition, and with so many phone manufacturers that are making phones exactly like one another, LG, to me, sticks out above all the rest for continuing to offer this option.

    The V10 has superior build quality and looks sharp as can be and it still has a removable battery.