LG G5 Review

Price
Euro300

LG G5 Review

LG G5 Review


Introduction

LG G5 is the successor of last year's LG G4 but it's really nothing like it, for the most part the LG G5 is a completely different phone altogether and a lot of that has to do with the design now there's been a lot of controversy or confusion about the design of the LG G5. Lots of people really curious if the phone is even really made of metal or is it made of plastic or a combination of the two but the truth is the phone is made of metal it's a die-cast unibody design but has undergone LG secret treatment process that they call micro dicing which essentially put a layer of primer and paint on the body.

Design

The phone sort of the same way a car or a plane gets painted that is basically what has happened here with the LG G5 so when you hold the phone you're not actually touching bare metal you're not going to get that same cold feel via one picking up in the morning like you would with a lot of other mobile phones made of metal but the coating also makes a phone a lot less slippery in the hand.

The main benefit of democratizing process is that allows LG to make the phone up here a lot more seamless so instead of having large plastic container lines running across the back side LG has been able to hide all that and only places where you actually see plastic is a long the chamfered edges which is a lot more in conspicuous than having large plastic antenna lines running across the back which can typically break up the continuity of a smart phones design LG definitely had some good intentions with this micro dicing process.

But if there was one drawback to it I would say it's the way it makes the phone feel because you aren't directly touching the metal or aluminium it doesn't feel like a metal phones you don't really get to fully enjoy the fact that it is made of metal it's kind of like having a metal phone inside of a protective case and it's just something you have to wrap your head around when holding the LG G5 the overall build quality is still pretty top notch though it's got a nice way to it.

It's comfortable to hold and its smaller than last year's LG G4 due to a smaller display which makes it a little easier to use and one hand the power button is still located on the back side in typical LG Fashion but you'll notice the volume rockers have been moved back to a more traditional location on the left side which I personally like better because you can adjust the volume of the phone without having to pick it up off a desk anymore I just wish they were quite so flush with the body the phone because it makes them a little harder to press and fined by feel the power button also does have the most satisfying click it feels very un-even and mushy and it's honestly one of the least premium feeling parts about this phone it does however double as a fingerprint scanner and the fingerprint scanner feels very Nexus like it only takes five or six tapped to register a fingerprint and unlike other phones that use a power button or a home but no scanner you don't actually have to press the power button in order for to read your fingerprint that will unlock as soon as you rest your finger on it and it does it pretty quickly and accurately.

On the bottom of the phone is a USB Type-C port that's nice to see especially for a mainstream flagship and flanking that is a microphone and a single bottom firing speaker. Speaker quality is actually pretty good it doesn't compare to front-facing speakers are anything but it's loud and produces a clean sound even at maximum volume and is one of the better single speakers I've heard on a smartphone in a long while.

LG Friends

LG G5 isn't going to win any awards for the way that looks, at the LG G5 isn't about being the best looking phone is about what this phone can actually do that makes it unique even though it's a unibody design you still have expandable storage built into the SIM tray for up to an additional 200 gigabytes and the bottom chin pops off with a simple press of a button allows you to remove and swap batteries on the fly this removable bottom can also make the LG G5 one of the first modular smart phones to hit the mainstream and it's really the most compelling part about this phone with the G5 LG is introducing what they like to call friends because not all these components are actually modules some connects directly to the bottom of the phone and some connects via bluetooth and there's only a handful of these friends right now but there should be more coming in the future.

Right now the only model components are the camera grip which gives you physical controls for launching the camera taking a photo and zooming in and out it also gives you an extra 1,200mAh worth the battery life on top of the standard G5 battery the only downside to this camera grip is that it adds bulk and makes a LG G5 uncomfortable to use as a phone.

The other module is a hi-fi audio DAC the LG team that would be known to produce for higher quality audio when using headphones this does not adds bulk to the G5 in terms of width but it does make the G5 a slightly taller phone other friends with the G5 include AVR headset and a 360 degree camera that lets you take 16 megapixel 360 degree photos or 360 degree video in 2k resolution.

Display

The display as I mentioned earlier is a little smaller this year at 5.3 inches but it's large enough that things like YouTube movies and playing games is still a very enjoyable experience it's an IPS LCD with the same resolution of 2560 x 1440 like last year's LG G4 it is slightly sharper due to the higher pixel density from the smaller screen but otherwise it's a pretty typical display you would expect from LG. Display is super bright and easily visible outdoors the viewing angles are really nice and the color production looks pretty spot on their vibrant without being overly saturated and the whites on display are a very pure shade of white which is something I noticed about it almost immediately.

The LG G5 also carries an always on display similar to the LG V10 but instead of a separate tiny display it's been incorporated into the main screen. It doesn't have a ton of functionality but it can show the clock incoming notifications or a signature or random message. The problem with it is it's not very bright so if you're outdoors it's practically invisible, this is probably due to the fact that has an LCD and LG had to keep the brightness low to help conserve battery life.

Hardware

With this being one of LG's biggest flagship of the year you can of course expect to get the latest and greatest specs, so inside escaped the Snapdragon 820 Adreno 530 and 4GB of RAM and performance has been really snappy and fast the animations are buttery smooth, it loads apps quickly multitasking and plays highend games extremely well I haven't noticed phone slowing down whatsoever and is probably one smoothest performing phones LG has ever put out.

When playing games for extended periods of time or other heavy task it does eventually get warm to the touch especially that metal body but it was nothing out of the ordinary or anything to get alarmed about and as far as regular everyday it remains cool just fine.

Battery

As far as battery life goes it's got a 2,800mAh power battery inside which is a decent size although its flagships I typically like to see at least 3,000mAh or larger but it's been enough to get the job done, I'm not getting the greatest screen on time numbers ranging anywhere between three to four hours but with normal usage I can comfortably make it through a full day without hunting for a charger midway through the day.

It does have qualcomm quick charge 3.0 which makes it really easy to fill up top off but even better than that is the fact that the battery can still be swapped out for a fresh one if you really want to take your phone from empty to full as quickly as possible.

Camera

Even with this revamped design and change in build quality it's pretty awesome that LG still managed to figure out a way to keep the core features of their smartphones intact. So last year LG did a dual camera setup with the LG V10 on the front facing cameras but this year LG decided to bring that dual setup the rear of the LG G5.

The main lens is a 16 megapixel sensor with optical image stabilization and an aperture of F/1.8 and the second camera is a wide angle 8 megapixel sensor at F/2.4. The wide-angle camera is easily by far my favorite featuer about the LG G5, it's totally awesome and a lot of fun and even though its lower resolution than the main sensor I actually found myself using it more because I just love how the photos turn out and you can really see how much of a difference it makes over the standard angle of the main camera.

You can easily switch between the two cameras within the software by either tapping the two icons on the top of the camera interface or it will automatically switch cameras for you when zooming in and out, the camera software is still pretty much the same as it was on the LG G4 or the LG V10 you can keep it as simple as you want with a simple or auto modes or if you want for DSLR like controls over these settings such as white balance ISO and shutter speed you can still do that with a manual mode.

Picture quality has pretty much been exactly what I expected from a company like LG, the photos from the LG G5 are some of the sharpest and most well detailed photos you can get from a smartphone. The color reproduction is very pleasing to the eye and with that F/1.8 aperture you can get some really clean looking depth of field especially close ups or macro shots.

There doesn't seem to be a ton of crazy over shopping going on but I do notice that the camera has a tendency to really crushed shadows and a lot of daytime shots but the HDR mode does a solid job of compensating for that. It also doesn't over saturated colors so picture still come out looking pretty natural low-light performance is decent but it's simply not the best that I've seen over expose a lot with the highlights and there's a very noticeable amount of noise reduction going on especially in night time shots, also because the LG G5 doesn't have that laser focus anymore it doesn't focus quite as quickly in low light.

As far as the front-facing camera go it's an 8 megapixel sensor with F/2.4 aperture and it takes pretty good selfies wether it be during the day or at night if you're into that sort of thing.

Software

Now the software is actually pretty interesting it's running on Android 6.0 marshmallow with LG's usual skin but it's changed quite a bit for the LG G5 and is probably the cleanest and least intrusive that LG's UI has ever been. It's got a much nicer looking color scheme with the white and light green colored accents in the nerve occasion shade and settings menu by default.

The settings menu is still a four panel set up that I've always found difficult to navigate but LG gives you the option the surrounding switch to a more traditional list view that falls in line more with what you normally get on stock Android.

Many of LG's features like smart bulletins and QS light after all still baked in but they're not quite as in your face as before and smart bulletin is actually off by default but they are there if you dig deep enough into the settings to look for them. One feature the LG got rid of is the door window feature which was kind of a strange decision says a lot of people really like that feature but considering that Android N we'll be bringing this feature natively it may not be that big of a deal.

The biggest change the LG software is the lack of an AppDrawer with the new launcher which makes it feel more iOS like and if you've never used an Android phone without an AppDrawer before you might find it to be a little bit jarring at first, obviously if you don't like this change you can easily swap it out with a third-party launcher like the Google Now launcher or if you want to stick purely to LG software LG recently released their Home 4.0 launcher that's available for download in the smart rolled application to bring back the AppDrawer.

Conclusion

Pricing for the LG g5 is pretty typical for a flagship smartphone it ranges anywhere between $600 to $700 off contract depending on carrier with options to finance the cost of each respective carrier. The LG G5 is a step in a completely new direction from LG it's offers a brand new metal design a very impressive dual camera setup and it's modular capabilities makes it one of the most unique smartphones we've seen in a long time.

While other manufacturers are focused purely on making a good smartphone LG wanted to create a product that stood out and they've certainly been able to do that without sacrificing features like expandable storage and a removable battery so even though this is a very different phone from what we've seen from LG in the past they've still managed to stay true to themselves but the most intriguing part about the LG G5 isn't what it's capable of doing now but rather what it's capable of doing in the future and that alone makes the LG G5 one very compelling smartphone.