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LG adds robot, 360 photos and VR to new LG G5 handset

LG Rolling Robot, LG 360 CAM and LG 360 VR make LG G5 much more than a phone launch

LG has set this year’s MWC 2016 off to a flying start, with a handset announcement that has massively exceeded my expectations. The new handset is pretty impressive with a full metal body but a removable bottom section allowing you to switch out the battery or add modular sections, such as improved camera controls. What’s really wowed me though is the wide range of extras, or ‘friends’ as LG calls them – with LG taking on Sphero, Ricoh and Oculus Rift in one fell swoop.

All of our MWC 2016 coverage in one place

A robot is first up, reminiscent of the Sphero line but bigger and with lots more built-in features. LG Rolling Bot has a built-in camera for Home Monitoring and can be controlled via a local or remote network connection. You can use it to keep an eye on your pets and it even has a laser pointer so you can play with your cat.

The LG 360 CAM looks very similar to Ricoh’s Theta line of cameras – so similar that maybe a deal was struck. It’s a small device with a fisheye camera lens on each side, letting you take 360-degree photos in a single button press. we presume it can also be set off from the phone. LG has partnered with Google Street View here, letting you share your 360-degree photos with the world.

In a connected move, LG has also launched the LG 360 VR, so you can enjoy those pics and a whole lot more in VR. It’s completely different from Samsung’s take on VR though, where the Samsung Gear VR uses the phone as a clip-in screen, the LG 360 VR has its own dedicated screens, one for each eye, and connects to the handset via a cable. It resembles a chunky pair of sunglasses rather than the usual big strap-on headset popularised by Oculus. Working in conjunction with Qualcomm, it promises video, photos and gaming experiences.

LG is guaranteeing that all these extras work in just three steps with no settings. So it sounds like anyone can get to grips with them without any hassle, downloading of apps or other faff. They all work through the pre-installed LG Friends Manager.

Of course price is the big question and there’s nothing announced yet. We’ll bring you hands-on impressions with all these in the next few hours.

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