The LG G5 is a super phone on its own, but the real magic comes from the clip-in modules and accessories that LG calls Friends. They provide huge potential to extend the functionality of your G5, without changing the phone itself. Except not all of LG’s Friends will be sold in the U.S., after the Hi-Fi Plus module was removed from the company’s website.
LG’s Hi-Plus module adds a Bang & Olufsen 32-bit audio DAC with an amplifier to the G5, providing it with a second headphone socket ready for hi-res audio listening on the move. While it’s for sale in Europe — where the packaging clearly states it’s for the “EU Only” — and apparently in South Korea, other markets including the U.S. won’t be so lucky. At least for now.
LG’s Senior Director of Global Communications, Ken Hong, told Digital Trends the Hi-Fi Plus module, “has no confirmed date of availability, so it was decided to remove it from the website for now.” That clears up its absence, and leaves the door open for a future release, but doesn’t explain why it has taken the bizarre decision to hobble the G5 in North America, so early into its launch.
G5 owners now have the choice of a single plug-in module, the LG Cam Plus, which adds an additional battery pack and hardware camera app controls. It’s helpful, but not as unusual as the Hi-Fi Plus module. Other LG Friends are still listed as coming soon, including the 360 VR headset and the 360 Cam, but neither of these take advantage of the G5’s accessory slot.
It’s a great shame the Hi-Fi Plus module, for whatever reason, won’t be joining the G5 immediately. Regardless of whether LG’s recruiting designers and developers to produce new modules for the phone, attracting buyers right now is likely to be imperative to the phone’s long term success. If anything should change regarding the Hi-Fi Plus’s availability, we’ll update you here.