Welcome to my review of the LG Cam Plus. This is my first review of one of the modules/friends for the LG G5. The LG Cam Plus costs £69.00 and is available from Clove Technology.
The Key Specifications / Features
– Comfortable Shooting Grip
– Traditional camera experience
– Physical keys: intuitive camera on/off, zoom, shutter, and record keys; autofocus with a half-press of the shutter key
– Burst Mode will become available with later firmware update
– USB USB 2.0 Type-C
– Battery Li-ion 1,200 mAh
– Charging time less than 200 minutes
– Voltage 5 V ±10%, 9 V ±10%
– Current Consumption 25 mA (no Charging), 1 mA (Power Off)
– Charging Consumption 500 mA
– Output Consumption 500 mA
– Audio Speaker and digital MIC
– Sound Pressure 1 m sound pressure 60 dB ↑ (100%) *based on a full charge
– Antenna GSM/CDMA, WCDMA, LTE™
– LED Battery indicator
– Operating Temperature -20 °C – 40 °C
– Dimensions/Weight 73.9 mm X 61.4 mm X 15.9 mm / 55.4 g
What is it like to use?
The LG Cam Plus replaces the bottom chin of the LG G5. It is slightly longer as you can see from the photos and it is also only available in silver. It also means the G5 is no longer flat and if you have a case for your phone it won’t fit now. I don’t use a case for my G5. The design seems tough and durable so far and it doesn’t show any fingerprints.
My LG G5 is gold. In all honesty the different colour finishes do not matter but it would have been nicer if it had been available in matching colours. The LG B & O HiFi Plus module is black.
The LG Cam Plus contains a 1,200mAh battery, the antenna for GSM/CDMA,WCDMA and LTE, audio speaker and digital mic. It is recharged using your LG G5 USB Type C cable. LG claim it takes less than 200 mins to recharge the battery. From flat I found it took about 2 hours. There is a LED light than is red while recharging and turns green when fully charged. The LED is also there to notify you when the battery is under 10%. Connecting the USB Type C cable to the Cam Plus first fast charges the G5 and then the module. Whilst the power lead is connected to the Cam Plus you cannot use the keys on it.
So how does it all work. Simply remove the bottom off your G5 by pressing the button. Take the battery off. Removing the bottom chin and the battery are so simple BUT make sure you have read the manual that explains the technique. Connect the battery to the Cam Plus and connect the module to the LG G5. Power on your G5. I wish the G5 didn’t have to power off each time you swap module. However, it does this as each module has its own firmware which will receive updates to improve it. With the Cam Plus connected the weight increases by about 50g. The firmware is controlled via the LG Friends Manager and Cam Plus app.
Here’s the crazy part. The Cam Plus contains the cellular antenna, mic and loudspeaker. These improve upon the G5. The larger enclosure of the module helps the loudspeaker sound. I have done several Skype calls with and without the module. With the module fitted the calls were clearer. Plus you can use the 1,200mAh battery to keep the G5 charging while on a long Skype call. Video recordings using the mic also highlighted the improved audio.
So what is the grip section like to use as a camera. It is not the most natural grip to hold. I have no idea how the LG videos show it being used one handed. It is possible but I do recommend 2 hands. However, with 2 hands in action it is a lot better to use. There is a button that you slide to instantly activate the camera and sliding it again reverts back to the G5 home screen. There is a 2 way shutter button that works very well and a button for video recording. You can take photos while video recording. There is a leaflet in the Cam Plus box stating that burst mode will come soon via a firmware update. So for the time being you have to use the on screen shutter button for burst mode. The other control is a zoom scroll wheel which zooms in and out of the shot effortlessly going between the 16mp and 8mp wide lens. The 1,200mAh battery only works when the camera is being used. It very slowly adds charge back into the G5. It stops charging after about 5 mins of not using the camera grip. However, it is very useful to have power slowly put back in the phone as the camera does like to drain the G5. I took a 20 min time-lapse and noticed the camera grip had turned off, probably after the 5 min mark and probably because it didn’t detect any movement on the grip keys. Hopefully a future firmware update will change this.
The small print. With the Cam Plus connected USB OTG and USB Audio does not function. Again will this might change with a firmware update.
I take a lot of photos. I have found the Cam Plus handy to have for this purpose. It is a breeze swapping off and on again. I also like the fact the battery level of the phone is being maintained despite snapping loads of photos.
Available from Clove Technology.