LG G5 Review

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In this article, I give you my LG G5 review with specs included. This is LG’s flagship Android smartphone for 2016 in a mainstream size. It has a 5.3-inch display and a new metal build design which is something shocking for LG that used to do the shiny plastic build.

The one thing I didn’t really like about LG phones was either shiny plastic or a weird texture rubbery back plastic. LG G5 actually has a metal frame available in four colors. However, there are a few drawbacks there and the most interesting thing is the “friends”.

“Friend” is a bottom section that you can actually remove from the phone. You just press a button to release it. The button is on the bottom left side. Be sure that you turn the phone off before you remove the “Friend” because you’re taking the battery out.

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Besides the battery, there are other “friends” as well. There is a camera module that really is just a camera grip and the zoom wheel and it has a little extra battery too. And, there’s also an audio deck (audio amplifier) Bang & Olufsen so you can get high-resolution audio.

That’s it for the friends that actually work with this internal slot. Beyond that, LG G5 has flagship specs inside and a whole lot more.

Now, here is an even more complex thing about “friends”. When you take them off, you actually have to take the battery off of this which is pretty firmly on here. You need to yank it off and then you can stick it in the other “friends”.

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Product Specifications

  • 156 g
  • Octa-core (Quad Core 1.8 GHz + Quad Core 1.2 GHz)
  • 32 GB
  • Single SIM
  • Main Camera 16 MP / Front Camera 8 MP
  • 5.3 inches
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 2800 mAh
  • Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)

The LG G5 introduces several notable advancements and changes, marking a significant departure from its predecessors, particularly in terms of design and functionality. Let’s delve into a detailed analysis of its features, strengths, and areas for improvement:

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Design and Build Quality:

The LG G5 represents a departure from traditional smartphone design conventions by adopting a metal body construction, a first for LG. However, some imperfections are noticeable, such as slight lumpiness and bumpiness on the back panel. This is attributed to the primer paint coating applied atop the metal, which may not provide the most seamless finish. Despite these minor flaws, the overall design is modern and appealing, albeit with room for refinement.

Display Quality:

The G5 features a QHD (Quad High Definition) display measuring 5.3 inches diagonally, slightly smaller than its predecessor, the LG G4. The IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel delivers crisp and vibrant visuals, with excellent front-facing viewing angles. However, off-angle viewing results in a noticeable dimming effect, characteristic of LG’s IPS displays. While this may not pose a significant issue for most users, those accustomed to vibrant colors and optimal viewing angles may find it lacking compared to competing flagship devices.

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Performance and Hardware:

Equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and 4GB of RAM, the LG G5 offers robust performance and multitasking capabilities. The inclusion of a removable battery and a microSD card slot enhances its versatility, allowing users to expand storage and swap out batteries as needed. This flexibility is a notable advantage over many contemporary flagship smartphones, which often prioritize sleek, non-removable designs over user convenience.

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Camera Capabilities:

The LG G5 retains the impressive 16-megapixel primary camera found in its predecessor, the LG G4, featuring a Sony sensor, image stabilization, and 4K video recording capabilities. While this camera setup delivers excellent image quality and performance, the standout feature of the G5’s camera system is the addition of an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera. This secondary camera offers a 130-degree field of view, enabling users to capture expansive landscapes and group shots with remarkable clarity and detail. Despite the absence of significant upgrades to the primary camera, the inclusion of the wide-angle lens adds a compelling new dimension to the G5’s imaging capabilities.

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Modular Design Innovation:

The most distinctive feature of the LG G5 is its modular design, which allows users to attach additional modules, or “Friends,” to enhance functionality. While this concept introduces a new level of customization and expandability, the execution falls short of its potential. The primer paint coating on the metal body creates an uneven surface, making it less aesthetically pleasing and hindering the seamless integration of modules. Additionally, the modular design necessitates a larger casing to accommodate the removable components, resulting in a slightly bulkier form factor compared to non-modular smartphones.

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Color Options and Variants:

The LG G5 is available in multiple color options, including Silver (Titan), Gold, and Pink. The Silver variant, also known as Titan, features a warm, dark gray hue, while the Gold and Pink variants offer alternative aesthetic choices. The availability of different color options allows users to personalize their devices to suit their preferences and style.

The LG G5 represents a significant step forward for LG, introducing innovative features such as a metal body construction, a dual-camera system, and a modular design. While the device offers impressive performance and imaging capabilities, it falls short of perfection due to minor design flaws and execution issues with the modular concept. Nevertheless, the LG G5 remains a compelling option for users seeking a versatile and feature-rich smartphone experience, with its blend of cutting-edge technology and user-friendly features.

The LG G5 offers a plethora of features and functionalities, complemented by meticulous attention to detail and a natural-looking manual mode that enhances the user experience. Notably, the wide-angle mode stands out as a unique and practical feature, providing users with the ability to capture expansive surroundings with ease.

While some may perceive this feature as a mere gimmick, its practical utility becomes apparent upon usage, particularly for those seeking to capture panoramic views or create immersive VR content. Moreover, navigating the camera application and toggling between different modes is straightforward, reflecting LG’s commitment to user-friendly design and intuitive interfaces.

The LG G5’s camera setup comprises a primary 16-megapixel sensor, delivering impressive image quality and versatility, along with an additional 8-megapixel wide-angle lens that offers a 130-degree field of view. This dual-camera system expands creative possibilities, allowing users to experiment with different perspectives and compositions. However, it’s worth noting that the wide-angle lens may introduce some distortion, particularly when capturing close-up shots or portraits. Nevertheless, the inclusion of this feature adds value to the device and enhances its imaging capabilities.

In terms of design, the LG G5 represents a departure from conventional smartphone aesthetics, featuring a sleek metal body with a curved glass display that seamlessly merges into the frame. While the device’s thin bezels and minimalistic design elements contribute to its modern appearance, some users have reported minor flaws such as sharp edges and uneven primer coating on the metal body. These imperfections detract from the overall premium feel of the device and highlight areas where LG could refine its manufacturing processes and quality control measures.

Despite these drawbacks, the LG G5 offers several noteworthy features, including a removable battery, expandable storage via microSD card slot, and support for USB-C charging with Quick Charge 3.0 compatibility. Additionally, the presence of an IR blaster enables users to control home entertainment systems, adding a level of convenience and functionality to the device. However, the decision to cover the antenna lines with primer paint raises concerns about durability and long-term aesthetic appeal, as it may lead to scratching and peeling over time.

On the software front, the LG G5 runs on the Android operating system, providing users with access to a wide range of apps and services via the Google Play Store. The device’s user interface is intuitive and responsive, with smooth performance and minimal lag during everyday use. However, some users may prefer alternative Android skins or custom ROMs to further personalize their experience and optimize performance.

The LG G5 offers a compelling blend of innovative features, robust performance, and versatile camera capabilities. While certain design flaws and manufacturing imperfections detract from its overall appeal, the device remains a competitive option in the smartphone market, catering to users seeking a unique and feature-rich mobile experience. With continued refinement and improvement, LG has the potential to further solidify its position as a leading manufacturer of premium smartphones.

The LG G5 has garnered attention for its premium build quality and innovative features, yet it faces scrutiny due to inconsistencies in paint application and gaps between components. In an era where smartphones priced at $300 demand impeccable fit and finish, the LG G5’s flagship status, with prices ranging from $625 to $650, prompts expectations of flawless construction. However, users have encountered issues such as uneven primer coating and noticeable gaps, raising questions about LG’s attention to detail and manufacturing standards.

The device’s internal specifications, on the other hand, reflect LG’s commitment to performance and functionality. Powered by a 1.6 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, the LG G5 delivers impressive speed and responsiveness, rivaling the Samsung Galaxy S7 in benchmark tests. With four gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of internal storage, expandable via microSD card slot, the device offers ample memory and storage capacity for multitasking and media storage. Additionally, the inclusion of a removable battery reinforces LG’s legacy of user-friendly design, allowing for easy battery replacement and extended usage without compromising on convenience.

Despite its commendable performance, the LG G5’s software experience leaves room for improvement. LG’s proprietary user interface (UI) may not appeal to all users, with its icon design and layout drawing mixed reviews. While the option to switch to a simpler home screen interface exists, some users may prefer alternative launcher apps available on the Google Play Store for a more customizable experience. Nevertheless, rumors suggest that Google may adopt a similar approach in future Android iterations, potentially addressing concerns regarding UI aesthetics and functionality.

In terms of battery life, the LG G5’s 2800 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery offers satisfactory performance under moderate usage conditions, thanks in part to the optimization features of Android 6 Marshmallow. Standby times are particularly impressive, showcasing the device’s efficiency in managing background processes during idle periods. However, intensive tasks such as gaming or GPS usage may drain the battery quickly, highlighting the importance of managing brightness levels and usage patterns to maximize battery longevity.

From a hardware perspective, the LG G5 boasts a sophisticated camera setup, featuring a primary 16-megapixel sensor and an additional 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. This dual-camera system enhances creative possibilities, allowing users to capture expansive landscapes and immersive panoramas with ease. However, some users have reported issues with light leakage and gaps between components, detracting from the device’s overall aesthetics and perceived quality.

In short, the LG G5 offers a compelling blend of performance, versatility, and innovation, yet its execution falls short in certain areas such as build quality and software design. While its flagship status commands a premium price, the device’s imperfections may give pause to discerning consumers seeking flawless craftsmanship and design. Nevertheless, the LG G5 remains a competitive option in the smartphone market, catering to users who prioritize performance and functionality above aesthetic perfection. With continued refinement and iteration, LG has the opportunity to address shortcomings and further solidify its position as a leading manufacturer of premium smartphones.

The LG G5 offers a variable battery performance, with on-screen time ranging from three and three-quarter hours during gaming sessions to approximately four to four and a half hours under less intensive usage scenarios. For users unfamiliar with monitoring screen-on time, the device generally provides enough battery life to last through a full day of regular use, barring extensive gaming or resource-intensive tasks. Additionally, the option to swap out batteries remains a convenient feature, despite the challenges posed by the device’s design, which may require some effort to remove the battery.

Turning attention to the LG Friends ecosystem, it presents an intriguing concept that aims to elevate the modular smartphone experience. While modular phones have been explored previously, notably through Google’s Project Ara and other initiatives, LG’s approach introduces an array of accessories designed to enhance functionality and user experience. However, the implementation appears to be somewhat complex and over-engineered, potentially complicating the user experience. Alternative approaches, such as utilizing the USB-C port for modular attachments, might offer a more streamlined solution.

Among the available LG Friends accessories, the LG Cam Plus stands out as a camera grip equipped with an additional 1200 milliamp-hour battery and a zoom wheel. Despite its practical utility, the bulky design compromises the device’s aesthetics, albeit providing a comfortable grip for photography enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, the LG Hi-Fi Plus Audio Deck integrates a 32-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to deliver high-quality audio output, catering to audiophiles seeking superior sound reproduction. However, the availability of compatible high-resolution music remains limited, although LG offers options for upgrading existing music collections to higher resolutions.

In contrast to the LG Friends accessories, external devices like the LG 360 Cam offer greater promise and versatility. The standalone 360-degree camera presents exciting possibilities for immersive VR experiences, allowing users to capture panoramic scenes effortlessly. Similarly, other external devices, such as the Roli robot controller and drone controller, offer innovative functionalities that extend beyond the smartphone itself. Despite the appeal of these external devices, concerns regarding build quality and compatibility with the LG G5 persist, underscoring the need for further refinement and development.

From a software perspective, the LG G5 maintains several notable features, including Knock On for easy screen activation and an always-on display for quick access to time, date, and notifications. Additionally, the device incorporates a fingerprint scanner on the rear, providing convenient and secure authentication. Multi-window multitasking and screenshot capabilities further enhance productivity and usability, while customizable settings and controls offer flexibility in tailoring the user experience to individual preferences.

While call quality on the LG G5 is generally satisfactory, with loud and clear audio, the device’s connectivity options, including LTE 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS, ensure fast and reliable data access. Available across all major carriers, the LG G5 competes directly with flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in terms of pricing and features.

Despite its merits, including a removable battery—an increasingly rare feature among modern smartphones—the device’s success hinges on the utility and appeal of its modular accessories, which may require further refinement to resonate with consumers effectively.

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