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Review of LG G5

LG G5: A fusion of fancy modular attachments and wide-angle camera goodness

Vinu Varughese Oommen
Technology Reporter

LG G5

The smartphone market needs a change. We are always offered to choose the same trend of smartphones from different brands that offers the same type of processors, RAM and memory capacities, bigger or curved displays, and more camera megapixels. There is nothing truly evolutionary yet until devices such as Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone hits the market next year.

LG thinks that we don’t need to wait, and so they have launched the LG G5. It has a dual-lens camera which allows the user to switch between a normal view and an impressive wide-angle lens, and an intriguing semi-modular design that allows users to swap the battery compartment in place of fancy attachments for enhancing your audio and camera-shooting experiences. Let’s check out the device.

Design & Features

LG G5LG decided to move on from the large-sized LG G4 smartphone design cue with curved leather back for a completely new, lightweight body design that’s made of metal alloy. While there isn’t any curved rear as its older brother, LG has designed the upper portion of the LG G5’s 5.3-inch display to appear slightly curved for a seamless look that blends in with the body. LG calls it the 3D Arc Glass.

The LG G5 is 7.7mm thick, and holds a weight of 159g (The LG G4 weighs about 155g). That said, I felt holding the LG G5 was more comfortable in my hands than it was with the LG G4. One of my most favorite design changes was the inclusion of the rear fingerprint scanner/home button. It’s so easy and convenient to reach the scanner with my index finger without worrying to stretch or adjust when holding the device. The rear camera portion with dual-lens protrudes outward, so do not be alarmed if the LG G5 doesn’t rest straight on a flat surface or table.

You will find the volume rockers on the upper left side, the 3.5mm audio jack on the top, and the single-speaker grill on the bottom, along with a reversible USB 3.0 Type-C port. The speaker sounds surprisingly loud. On the bottom left side, you get an eject button to unlock the modular battery compartment. LG calls the modular accessories as the LG G5 & Friends (an odd name theme).

As we mentioned above, users will be able to swap the battery in favor of camera grips and powerful audio amplifiers. The camera grip is called the LG Cam Plus that basically brings the goodness of physical camera controls. Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to try any of these accessories with the LG G5.

Display

In reminiscent of the LG G4’s large 5.5-inch display, LG decided to place a smaller 5.3-inch IPS screen on the LG G5, with the same Quad HD resolution, but with a higher 554ppi pixel density brightness count. The colors and image quality appeared well-balanced and great. Viewing angles are good too. The quality of the display helps in capturing good images while using the camera.

Camera

This is where the LG G5 stands out with the rest of the flagship smartphones in the market. It has two camera modules on the rear, one in which holds a 16MP sensor with an F1.8 aperture lens, and the other is a crazy wide-angle 8MP sensor with F2.4 lens. The camera UI seamlessly allowed me to switch back and forth between the two sensors. The wide-angle sensor could cover a huge deal of distance from where I stood. The lens was able to capture the entire subject when the smartphone is held up close.

That being said, despite having a sharp lens and wide-angle coverage, the quality of the cameras wasn’t really up to what I’ve experienced by the likes of Samsung’s latest flagships. Don’t get me wrong here, the LG G5 has great cameras onboard, and it’s not bad at all, but there are many instances that we have noticed the images aren’t sharp enough even when the Optical Image Stabilization is turned on. Nevertheless, the wide-angle cameras are actually fun to use. These cameras also come with laser AF support. As for the front cameras, the LG G5 has one 8MP camera sensor with an F2 aperture lens. The quality of the selfies is just decent.

Chipset Performance and Battery

LG G5The LG G5 smartphone come powered by the powerful 8-core processor, operating with a large 4GB RAM pool for all your multitasking needs, and 32GB internal storage with MicroSD card expansion. The device runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS with the LG Optimus UX 5.0 UI. The LG G5 performed exceptionally well with very less lags and UI stutters. The UI looks colorful and easy to use. There isn’t any separate app drawer option by default here, so your home screens hold all your installed apps. Gaming is great as expected thanks to the Adreno 530 GPU. The LG G5 houses a 2800 mAh battery that’s removable and usable with other modular accessories. In my time of use, the LG G5 could easily last a day. Usage includes browsing several websites, watching some YouTube on both 3G and WiFi, and captured a good amount of images using both the normal and wide-angle camera.

Pricing

Back in April, LG launched the LG G5 flagship Android smartphone for a price of AED 2499. While the smartphone does offer unique features, the device could have been sold at a bit lower price. Get the best LG G5 prices in Dubai, UAE, here.

Verdict

In the presence of tough competing smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Apple iPhone 6s, LG tries to stand out offering dual-camera solutions for users, and a new modular approach that can make mobile usages more fun to use. Personally, I don’t think that the modular attachments are really a necessity here for any normal user, unless he really wants some exceptional DSLR-like camera controls/audio quality. Also, while the wide-angle lens is good, the image quality and sharpness could have been better. That being said, the LG G5 is still a good all-round performer, powered by the latest Qualcomm flagship chipsets, expandable storage options, and a decent battery life.

Technical Specifications for LG G5

Screen Size 5.3 inches
Screen Resolution 1440 x 2560 pixels
Dimensions 149.4x73.9x7.7 mm
Display Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
Weight 159 g
Processor 2.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
RAM 4 GB
Internal Storage 32 GB
OS Android
Primary Camera 16 MP
Primary Camera Features laser autofocus, OIS (3-axis), LED flash
Front Camera 8 MP
Front Camera Features f/2.0, 1080p@30fps
Network 4G/LTE
Connectivity Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, FM, 4G,USB, NFC, WLAN
SIM Dual
Battery 2800 mAh
Removable Yes
Fingerprint Scanner No
Other Features Accelerometer, Barometer, Proximity sensor, Temperature sensor