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T-Mobile LG G5 smartphones start shipping

The LG G5 hasn’t gone official globally just yet, despite LG’s announcement on February 21st, but that hasn’t stopped one US carrier from shipping its LG G5 smartphones early. T-Mobile has been making a name for itself over the last two years or so, bringing awareness of its competitive pricing and blazing fast LTE. CEO John Legere has been a celebrity figure of his own, taking potshots at carriers such as Verizon and Sprint on social media (particularly Twitter, for example), but the carrier itself has implemented some excellent changes in the wireless industry that even Verizon has had to accept.

One action that has always set T-Mobile apart has been its early shipment of smartphone orders. The carrier made headlines earlier this month when it started shipping Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge to customers early, and T-Mobile is back again to ship another 2016 flagship early. In this case, it’s the LG G5 getting into the hands of customers before the April 1st deadline.

The LG G5 is a different take on smartphones for LG, who’s always played it safe when it comes to smartphones. The G2 moved the volume rocker to the back of the phone, but differed in little else and had a terrible mess with its software. The G3 had a Quad HD display and was the first of its kind to boast the feature, but again, brighter resolutions are nothing new in the smartphone business. With the G4, LG tried to customize its back covers, as Motorola has done with the Moto X, but some of its leather back covers were unappealing (to say the least) and the phone itself seemed to be a slight upgrade from the G3.

Now, LG is back with the LG G5, the first mass-produced modular smartphone that lets you connect various modules (LG’s “Friends”) to the G5. These modules cost around $70 for the Cam Plus, $199.99 for the Hi-Fi Plus, and $199.99 for the 360 VR headset. It is presumed the 360 VR camera will also cost $200, though LG will have to provide official details on it before we can confirm. T-Mobile’s LG G5 will cost $624 outright or $26 a month for 24 months, and the modules, of course, will cost the additional respective retail prices. T-Mobile, like many carriers, is offering a free LG 360 VR headset with its LG G5 orders, so you may want to take advantage of that — and quickly.

LG says that the G5 will allow consumers to “meet new friends on the playground” and experience life as good “when you play more” (used at MWC 2016). The verdict is still out on the G5’s performance, with sources such as CNET giving the edge to the G5’s rival, the Galaxy S7, in real-world performance as well as losing to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in benchmark scoring. As for the modular design, module prices aside, some units are already showing signs of wear and tear — with some not being able to fix the removable, detachable portion of the phone that doesn’t “snap” back in place as it should.

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