After a few years of tweaking LG has finally succeeded in perfecting its G series design language. A wild thought must have led to this drastic change in the pace of the company, else LG phones often like to play it safe. Getting away from cheap plastic and mainstream leather of the LG G4 and favouring full metal body in LG G5 and even considering the fan-favourites and keeping the features like removable battery and microSD card, enormously shows that LG is done playing safe.
The LG G5 is a modular phone and was launched at MWC 2016 in Barcelona. The G5 seems like an answer to its Korean rival Samsung who dropped microSD card expansion and a removable battery while switching to metal and glass last year. The former had returned with this year’s Samsung Galaxy S7 family. In order to differentiate G5 from the Galaxy S7, LG has bet everything on the fancy new modular system of accessories that expand the G5’s functionality.
The innovation that LG has done is appreciable, but sadly the device falls short on execution. The new modular design has a detachable bottom and battery that allows you to clip in new modules that give G5 better abilities, like a better camera or higher-quality sound. It’s a very small change, but it is incredibly exciting. There is just one huge drawback; swapping out parts means you will have to turn off your smartphone each time.
Let’s take a look at what LG G5 is offering in terms of design, specs, features and performance.
Design and Build Quality
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The LG G5 is the successor to last year’s G4, but it’s nothing like it. It is entirely a different phone and most of it has to do with the design and build of the device. The LG G4 was one of the few flagships of 2015 which did not feature a metal unibody design. The new LG G5 has completely taken a break from the familiar G series design and decided to switch the G5 design to more premium materials – metal and Gorilla Glass 4.
The glass that spreads across the entire screen of the device is flat throughout except at the top of the device where it curves towards the metal frame. The thin metallic bezel which rounds the edges of the handset on the rear adds an extra layer of a classic look. Another major difference between the design of LG G5 and its predecessor is the curvy design of the device. LG has completely ditched the curved design of the LG G4 and returns to the flat frontage which is a simple standard of the mobile market. The LG G5 stands at 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm, downsized from a 5.5-inch screen in LG G4 to 5.3 inches and feels light at 159g.
Coming to the rear of the device, the back of the device is no longer removable and has also ditched the set of physical buttons that LG G4 consisted. It now only features the dual camera lens, with LED flash, and the newly introduced fingerprint sensor. The device still has a removable battery, even though the back isn’t removable, it slides out the bottom of the device using a removable cap.
The SIM and microSD card slot are found on the right-hand side of the device while the volume rocker sits on the left. Along the bottom edge is a USB Type-C port and speakers. The LG has again done a great job with the design and build quality of the device. The device is comfortable to handle, and all the buttons are easily accessible during one-handed use.
Although the screen of the device is 0.2 inches smaller than its predecessor, at 5.3 inch LG G5 offers QHD resolution of 2560×1440 pixel density which is greater than LG G4. It’s a 5.3 inch Quantum IPS LCD unit of Quad HD resolution, which sums up in 554ppi screen density.
The screen of the LG G5 has an impressively high contrast, the colours on IPS LCD display appear natural, and the display itself is particularly bright. It’s not as vibrant as the Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, but the colours are reasonably strong and viewing angles are on point.
The LG G5 has an always on display, which will show you all your notifications at once on the screen. You don’t need to wake your phone every time to check the notifications. This feature does eat up your battery, but LG says the battery only drains 0.8% an hour, which adds up to 19.2% over 24 hours.
It’s no surprise to discover that the LG G5 runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, with LG’s own UX 5.1 user interface over it. The G series has a tradition of bringing a new version of the LG UX, and with LG G5, we are on v5.0. The new UX brings new features as well as a cleaner look to deliver better user experience.
No doubt, a number of features are being added to improve the user experience, but the fact cannot be ignored that even many features are being dropped out like Dual-Window mode and the App Drawer are being removed. So for the people who like their phones with app drawer, they will need to go into settings and launch the different layout called EasyHome.
As usual, the lock screen supports notifications and shortcuts and the home screen supports shortcut and widgets you can change wallpapers and effects, and you can opt for the Smart Bulletin home screen.
Under the hood, the LG G5 is powered by the most recent Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 octa-core processor, coupled with a 4 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage. The 820 SoC has a quad-core Kryo processor (2x 2.15GHz, 2x 1.6GHz) by a new custom proprietary design.
The Snapdragon 820 was announced as a highly optimized processor from which we can expect very good performance and a strong handling of everything from multitasking to high graphic games. This LG G5 is super speedy in performance with its powerful processor and high RAM.
The LG G5 is a flagship-grade phone with the high level of performance, capable of handling any task at any time and it does not even heat the shell much even when the phone is used for massive gaming or multitasking.
The LG G4 offers one of the best cameras on Android and the G5 camera is leaving its predecessor behind. The new LG G5 features a 16 MP and a wide-angle 8 MP rear camera with dual LED flash and autofocus laser.
The 16 MP camera is a standard 78-degree wide lens and the 8 MP camera with the wide angle is a 135-degree lens. The wider lens lets you capture more of the space in one single frame. At the dramatic 135-degree, the camera actually sees more than a human eye, so this wide angle camera does not only capture everything you see but more than that.
On the software side, the phone is not only smart enough to quickly let you choose between the cameras depending on how wide a view you want to fit inside the frame, but it can also use the two cameras to produce various shot effects.
The LG G5 also sports an 8MP selfie camera which seems to do its job perfectly. The front camera resolves enough details and the contrast to make the image look sharp and presentable.
Another important thing about LG G5 cameras is, it’s quick to open. A double tap on the volume down button from the lock screen will take you straight into camera application. Though it’s not as efficient as double-tapping on the home button, but it’s still useful.
The LG G5 is one of the rare top-notch smartphones, which offer a removable battery option. The device is powered by a 2800mAh battery. It’s 200mAh less than its predecessor, but Marshmallow’s Doze feature should mean that the battery of the phone is more keenly optimized.
If you have opted for the Camera Plus accessory, your smartphone’s total battery capacity will be 4,000mAh. The LG G5 is quick to charge thanks to the latest Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology. With the right charger, the phone’s battery will fill up about 80% in just 30 minutes. The LG G5 provides two energy-saving modes within its settings menu, allowing you to conserve battery life effectively.
The LG has always offered something much different with its flagship devices. This time, LG has offered the most unusual modular smartphone with all most all the top notch features in it. The LG G5 is undoubtedly a great smartphone with its premium looks and useful features.
But if you are looking into LG G5 smartphone solely for its modularity, consider it just as a choice.
However, if your top priority is the removable battery, the LG G5 is a great choice with its excellent built and handling.
What do you think about the LG newest flagship device, the LG G5? Are you attracted to its next generation features? Share your views in the comments section below.
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