The LG G5 SE. It’s a name that still hasn’t grown on us, despite the fact that the name has surfaced with the flagship LG G5 moniker in a recent case photo. At that point in time, we said that the LG G5 SE may become the LG G5 Pro, though we were scratching our heads about just what the device would bring and just what specs would be better than those of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 8MP front camera, 16MP main back camera with a dual camera setup, Quad HD display at 5.3 inches, and so on.
Well, we now have confirmation that the LG G5 SE is not a “pro” version of LG’s 2016 flagship, but rather, a processor variant of the same device — one that will not be sold worldwide but restricted to certain markets. Here’s the official statement from a tech source that spoke with LG in a private interview:
We reached out to LG and have been told the LG G5 SE is indeed the LG G5 destined for these markets [certain], not an unknown model and certainly not one with upgraded specs (after all, how do you upgrade a current flagship that has barely even hit the market yet?). LG’s sales manager for Chile, Christian Correa, had previously confirmed the existence of a modified LG G5 for Latin America and also noted that the LG 360 VR headset would not be available in the region, citing Latin America’s ‘lack of interest’ in VR as the reasoning behind the decision. The LG G5 SE is also heading to China and the CIS region, although exact details are yet to be confirmed.
So, we’ve now got an official statement on the nature of the LG G5 SE. It is a “special edition” because it has a different processor (a less capable one, one more designed for mid-range handsets) and is reserved for certain markets that may not get the 360 VR headset. Additionally, China will get it too, though we don’t know why China is another fortunate recipient in all this. China and Latin America may be the lucky recipients of the modified LG G5 here because of LG’s desire to stay competitive in those regions, rather than LG just singling out these areas randomly.
The LG G5 is a cherished flagship in its own right, though the handset doesn’t come without its share of build quality problems. For one, LG claims the LG G5 is a “full metal unibody,” but then hides the metal build beneath a coat of paint (primer). Next, the LG G5 is suffering from screen bleed around the edges of the display, has antenna lines showing up at the back of some G5 models, and has an unusually dim display that isn’t visually appealing to a number of users. One obvious design flaw surrounding the device at the moment pertains to the gap at the bottom detachable portion of the body that hides the module-swapping capabilities of the handset. The gap is there, it’s noticeable on nearly every G5 unit, and it really does take away from LG’s claim that the G5 is “unibody” (which, no modular handset can be both modular and unibody at the same time).
Now that you know the LG G5 SE is nothing more than a smaller, less-powered handset, are you happy to see the LG G5 with its Snapdragon 820 processor make its way into the US? Do you intend to pick up the handset. or are you waiting to try out the HTC 10? What other devices have your eye at the moment: the Nexus 6P? Nexus 5X? Moto X (2016)? iPhone 7? iPhone 7 Plus? Galaxy S7? Galaxy S7 edge? The upcoming Galaxy Note 6?