LG's "Friends" concept extends to more than just the swappable Hi-Fi and camera control modules — you can also pair it up with a handheld 360-degree camera and a lightweight VR visor: the LG 360 CAM and the LG 360 VR.
Both a compact consumer-grade takes on concepts that others have taken to professional — and expensive — extremes. The 360 CAM is a little compact bit roughly the size of your fingers curled up into a fist. It features a pair of 13MP sensors under 180-degree lenses, recoding onto a microSD card in the base (it also has a USB-C port and tripod mount).
Combined, those two sensors allow the user to capture images or video in full 360-degrees. Click the shutter button for photos, click and hold for video. It also has three microphones for recording directional audio. LG's clear that this is a casual camera and that you can expect roughly smartphone-quality video out of it, and it's set up with the LG G5's Friends Manager and 360 CAM apps to send those photos up to Google Street View and video to YouTube 360.
Speaking of YouTube 360, there's also the LG 360 VR, the most consumer-friendly take on VR we've seen yet. Think of it as essentially a Google Cardboard module, but with its own built-in screens (a pair of 1.88-inch 960x720 displays). It's easily the most compact VR headset we've seen, measuring roughly 2 inches tall and deep (and of course as wide as a typcal human head), with a pair of lenses inside set over the screens to ensure that the video is properly fed to your eyeballs.
Unlike the VR headsets we've seen from Oculus and HTC, the LG 360 VR is incredibly lightweight (roughly 1/4 their weight at 100g) and connects over USB-C. Currently it only works with the LG G5 (all processing is done on the phone), though they did work with Google's Cardboard team to make it a reality — as such it supports all the things that Cardboard supports, including YouTube 360. It also has a headphone jack for outputting audio to your headphones, though you can also use a Bluetooth pair connected to your phone.
LG's touting the 360 VR as something that you could carry around for when you want to watch movies or play games while on the go, saying they expect people to actually use it on subways, airplanes, and similar forms of transportation.
What's not known about either the 360 VR or the 360 CAM is a release date or pricing, and that will certainly impact our verdict on whether or not they're worthy buys. If they're affordable for the average consumer then they might be things worth considering, maybe even game changers for the 360 degree video space.
LG phones would be so great, if LG finally made software that doesn't suck
LG makes phones that look great and are beautifully designed. It's also not afraid to try something new. If only it could improve the software on them it could give Samsung some competition.
Got a Pixel 5? Here are 10 tips you should know
The Google Pixel 5 is one of the smartest Android phones of the year. Here are 10 tips to get the absolute most out of it!
Here's why Google probably won't release a 'true flagship Pixel' next March
Google is really bad at keeping secrets and one this big is no exception. Sorry, but you're going to be waiting until next October for any new "flagship" Pixel phone.
Snag one of these and rest easy with the best LG Stylo 6 cases you can find
The LG Stylo 6 is an all-around solid device from LG, without trying to do too much. There's an almost bezel-less display, to go along with three rear cameras found above the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. So not that the Stylo 6 is in your hands, grab a case to protect your investment.