It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that we’re practically tethered to our phones.
Our phones are such an important part of our everyday lives, even if the typical use-case, is fairly trivial: text messages, Facebook, Snapchat, and so on and so forth. Although, to be sure, for many people, their phones have become their second office, the tool for emails, sharing documents, and time-sensitive communications. I, myself, would have a difficult time doing what I do if it weren’t for my phone. I, myself, as I dismount my high horse, also primarily use my phone to scroll through Twitter and listen to podcasts.
Given my proclivities (and my seemingly insatiable desire to never not have voices pumping into my earholes), I know the feeling of utter panic when that low battery warning pops up on my screen and I don’t have my charger. “How” (I ask myself) “am I going to survive this commute without the dulcet tones of Peter Sagal?” And, if you, reader, have and use a smartphone (or are even reading this very article on your phone), then I’d wager that you are familiar with that feeling too.
LG knows this. The company has conducted an extensive study of smartphone users, which bear out some pretty staggering numbers. At a swanky penthouse in a SoHo hotel in New York City, members of the press gathered to hear their findings over cocktails.
According to their findings, 9 out of 10 people reported feeling “panic” when their phones reach 20%. This leads to people taking preventative measure: no more Facebook, no more texting, throwing that thing on airplane mode to get another hour or two. And, they also found, many people go to pretty extreme measures just to get a charge: asking strangers for a charger; ordering something at a bar just to use the outlet; or just straight up stealing (excuse me, “borrowing”) a friend’s charger when they’re not looking.
I have personally been guilty of some of those sins, being afflicted as I am with what LG calls “Low Battery Anxiety.” But, they have a solution.
Enter the LG G5, the company’s new modular smartphone, which gives you the capability to swap out your battery. That’s a pretty big deal, especially if you’re someone who’s especially active on social media or an avid smartphone photographer. I know there have been times I’ve been out and wished specifically for that very feature when it’s three in the afternoon and my phone’s about to die at a baseball game.
But for me, the promise of an extra battery isn’t the most exciting feature about the phone. It’s modular, as previously mentioned, so that means that, in addition to having a spare battery in your back pocket, you can swap in and out different accessories.
At the event, I got to play around with a camera attachment. It added a very comfortable grip with a shutter release button where you might expect it to be on an actual camera. There was also a scroll wheel for the zoom. Taking pictures on a smartphone is normally (for me, anyway) a very annoying process, as it’s never entirely comfortable. But this ergonomic grip made photography intuitive, making the phone feel as though it were a dedicated photography device.
I can easily envision a world in which attachments come out that make the G5 a major player in the independent film world as more and more films are utilizing consumer devices during principal photography (see Tangerine for an example, which was shot on an iPhone 5S). Even film schools are offering classes in smartphone cinematography. While I don’t see the G5 as replacing your RED Epics of the world (or RED Scarlet, or Dragon, or Boll Weevil, or whatever they’re on now), it could be a relatively cheap and invaluable tool for filmmakers with a few dollars and a dream.