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LG G5 Review: A not-so good start to modular phones

LG decided to change things up this year by making their G5 more modular. They also decided to go with a more metallic design, rather than plastic and that makes the G5 have a more premium look.

After using the G5 for a few weeks, I wouldn’t say the phone is the best one out there but it is a great Android smartphone besides the new modular features.

 

Editor’s note: I used the LG G5 for about 3 weeks using Bell’s network and the only other device(s) that I connected to the G5 was a LG 360 CAM and a LG CAM Plus module.

In this review, I will cover the following areas:

  • Design & Hardware (hardware and specs)
  • Software (all about that Android)
  • Camera (a picture is worth a thousand word right?)

Design & Hardware

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The LG G5 has a metallic design which looks like it’s trying to mimic the design created by HTC. Gone is the plastic of previous LG phones and the metal body is a welcome change. However, it can be slippery in the hands, so I would recommend a case or even a full body decal to help with this.  

 

One of the biggest selling features that LG is touting about their new phone is its modularity. Basically that mean you’ll be able to buy different modules (LG is calling them ‘friends’) to add more functionality to the phone. I tested the LG G5 with LG’s CAM Plus module which will add a 1,200mAh battery to the G5’s main 2,800mAh battery and also adds a manual zoom and a shutter button. The CAM Plus will also help you grip your G5 more easily.

LG-G5-Infographic

The battery life on the LG G5 is great, it lasts all day, even while using LTE. The stand-by time of the battery is also great, thanks to Doze in Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

 

The LG G5 also has support for Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 and will charge the LG G5 to 80% in about 30 mins. The G5 also comes with a USB Type-C port.

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The display on the G5 is a 5.3-inch QHD display which looks great. It looks great from any angle and the colours are bright and detailed but I’ve been so used to the 6-inch display on my Nexus 6 that the LG G5 is small in comparison.

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The LG G5 also has an InfraRed blaster which you can control your TV and set-top boxes using LG’s included QuickRemote app. I found this very useful, especially if you sometime misplace the TV remote.

 

There’s also a fingerprint sensor on the back which also doubles as the power/lock button which I which were separate. I wish the power button and fingerprint sensor were in the same place as the LG Nexus 5X. When I would press the button to lock the device, my finger would still be near the sensor and it would just unlock again.

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Inside the G5, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB of RAM and everything runs smoothly. There’s also 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for up 2TB (but none exist yet), so for now, we’ll have to live with a 200GB microSD card. For this review, I used SanDisk Ultra 200GB Micro SD (which I used for this review and work well and was quick and reliable by offering speeds of 90 MB/s).

 

The LG G5 is available in one storage capacity, 32GB (but it’s a good thing that is has a microSD card slot right?) and comes in Silver, Gold, Titan and Pink. The LG G5 is about $749 CAD off-contract or $199-299 CAD on-contract.

 

 

Software

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The LG G5 is the first LG phone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. And just like past LG phones, it’s running LG’s UI on top.

 

LG’s UI has a little bit of a cleaner design than earlier versions. However, LG’s custom UI is still plaguing Android, sometimes the UI can be a bit finicky.

 

Other than that, you’ll still get access to Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s new features like Google Now on Tap (which has become more and more useful), custom app permissions, granular app & memory management,  improved microSD card support.

 

You’ll also find LG World, which is where you can find a limited number of themes and other items to help make your G5 more personal and unique to fit your style.

 

While testing out the G5, I did experience some touchscreen issues but that was easily fixed but closing the app I was using and opening it back up again.

 

Camera

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The LG G5 comes with two cameras on the back, the first is a standard 16-megapixel camera. The second camera is a 8-megapixel wide-angle lens which is 135 degrees. The front-facing camera is also 8-megapixels which should be good enough for taking selfies.

Photos taken on the G5, turn out great and the secondary wide-angle camera can be especially useful when trying to get a big group photo or to capture more in your photos. The G5 also has laser autofocus and OIS.

The camera app on the G5 is also nice, especially that there’s a manual mode so you can get DSLR quality from your phone. The G5 is also capable of taking 4K video at 30fps and 1080p as well as slow-motion video.

The video quality from the G5 looks good and should be great for the average user.

 

Final Thoughts:

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I applaud LG for trying something a bit different with the G5 by adding some modular features but it seems like it didn’t pan out that well. It’s great that LG included a removable battery and microSD card slot, I just wish it was a bit easier to swap modules and there’s no indication that more modules will be coming, even the LG Hi-Fi Plus module is still up in the air at this point and no release date insight.

The LG G5 might not be the best phone out there (LG’s UI still needs some work and can be frustrating at times), but it’s still a great smartphone for anyone. Just don’t have your mind set on the G5 just for it’s modular features, it won’t be worth it for you then.

 

Pros

Great display

+ Solid performance

+ Awesome camera (especially the wide-angle)

+ Great battery life

+ Nice design

+ Expandable storage and removable battery

Cons

-Some minor touch screen issues

-Switching modules can be cumbersome

-Future module support may be limited or nonexistent

-Fingerprint sensor/power & lock button as the same button

-Device gets warm at times

8point5_CT_Review




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