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LG G5 Review: Extreme Modularity

In an interesting turn of events from LG, with the all-new G5 sporting an ingenious modular design with an aluminium unibody design, it’s easy to see that the Korean giant was out for blood this year. After years of smartphone companies and technology journalists alike advising LG to push the envelope on a more progressive basis, the company went one-up from that and brought a seemingly work-in-progress design method to the masses. Does it fair against the likes of the competing Galaxy S7 and HTC 10? Let’s find out.

The Dawn of the 2016 Flagships

It’s February 21st, the day before Mobile World Congress opens to the masses, and two of the biggest smartphone manufacturers – Samsung and LG – are mere hours away from unveiling their latest and greatest flagship devices for the whole world to see. The two Korean companies have been locked in a sometimes-friendly rivalry ever since their first smartphones were born back in 2009, and with the technology as well as the core components advancing at such a fast rate, each year has seen the competition grow all the more intense. At some point in time, though, the two slipped into separate leagues, and with Samsung’s monumental quarterly sales figures that are seemingly unparalleled by any other Android hardware manufacturer, the need for LG to get one up on its arch-rival had to be less about inspiration, and more about innovation.

S7-edge-1

As the day ended, the world had been introduced to LG’s and Samsung’s latest flagship devices, the G5 and Galaxy S7. The consensus coming out of the events was fairly uneven, with the S7 stealing the limelight while the G5 sat in the corner weeping, wondering what it did wrong.[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The consensus coming out of the events was fairly uneven, with the S7 stealing the limelight while the G5 sat in the corner weeping, wondering what it did wrong[/pullquote]

Samsung’s phone went on to have favourable reviews from numerous websites, with little to no negatives being presented. The G5, from initial impressions alone, had more negatives than it did positives, mainly due to one key element – the very thing LG had built its concept around, indeed – that many still had questions around: its modular design.

I received an LG G5 from the generous people over at Clove to take a look at the device to investigate if this phone is as bad as it seems from the initial reactions. Here is my review of the LG G5.

What Makes the G5 Tick?

Before we start getting into more specific matters of the device, here are the in-depth specifications of the G5 and what makes it tick.

Model LG G5 
 Display5.3 inch IPS LCD
1440 X 2560 pixels Resolution
~554 ppi Pixel Density
 OSAndroid v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4
LG Optimus UX 5.0 Interface
Storage4GB RAM, 32GB Internal
MicroSD support (up to 2 TB)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 820 Kryo
Dual Core 2.15 GHz & Dual Core 1.2 GHz
GPUAdreno 530
Network SupportHSPA, GSM, LTE
Camera16 MP f/1.8 Primary camera (2160p@30fps)
8 MP f/2 Front facing camera (1080p@30fps)
Camera featuresOptical Image Stabilisation, Laser Autofocus, Touch Focus,
LED Flash, Geo-tagging, touch focus, Face detection, HDR, Panorama
USBv3.0, USB Type-C, USB On-the-Go
Battery2800 mAh Removable battery
ColorsPink, Silver, Gold, Titan

Build Quality

The G5 sports an all-new unibody metal design, with the material being LM201 aluminium alloy. At first feel, the device feels quite sturdy, so much so that you would be confident going away with putting a case on to protect the device. While on the subject of the feel, you would almost be lead to believe that the G5 is made of plastic with a brushed aluminium finish, but in fact, it’s the other way round with an all-aluminium construction with a lightweight, substantial feel to it.

In certain holding patterns, the G5 can get quite sharp to hold if you’re one to keep it with a firm grip. From what I can gather, the sharpening tends to be coming from where the contour on the back of the device meets the chamfered edge. It’s by no means perfect regarding construction, but it’s in the rarest of circumstances that the sharpness will cause any major adverse effects while using it on a daily basis.

Another thing to be wary of when looking at the device is the where the module is situated. On my unit, the module doesn’t sit evenly where the rest of the device sits, presenting a slight gap. Upon running your finger over the gap, yet another niggling issue poses itself, wherein the module doesn’t sit entirely flush.

Let’s Talk Modular

One thing that caught a lot of people’s eye upon the announcement of the device is the modular design. Modular, in layman’s terms, is a hardware feature where you can replace certain aspects of the core components to enable added hardware features. The module is located at the bottom of the device, with a concealed release button on the left-hand side to add that extra bit of security so you don’t run the risk of an unsystematic removal of the module while walking around with the device in your hand, or even in your pocket.
To remove the module, you hold the release button in and apply pressure to the bottom bar where the LG logo is situated and pull in a downwards direction. What this will reveal is the 2800mAh battery. To keep up with the trend of the majority of LG devices out there, the battery is indeed removable from the module so you can replace it on-the-fly if you so wish.

This is where the differences between its predecessor, the G4 end, as upon removing the battery, you can add different variations of features that suit your needs the most; which LG are calling ‘LG Friends’. LG Friends are additional hardware modules to install into the LG G5. Currently, there are only 2 LG Friends that are widely available, these being the LG Cam Plus and the LG Hi-Fi Plus by B&O. Both of these additional modules add extra capabilities to your daily usage of the device. The LG Cam Plus gives you additional camera functionality, such as some digital camera esque buttons which includes zooming, panning and a dedicated camera button for all your focusing needs. The B&O HiFi Plus module adds a surreal type of audio experience to the device, taking advantage of the DAC codec, creating a sudo HiFi experience.

The modular design is an ingenious implementation by LG, bringing the very fresh hardware feature to a more mainstream market – and while it’s not on the same level that Google’s promising Project Ara is, it’s the ever-so-important first step to getting a fully modular smartphone to the masses.

Keeping up trends from its predecessor the G4, the device has a Micro-SD card slot (expandable up to 200GB), which is situated in a removable panel on the right-hand side of the device. You can also find the nano-SIM slot just above the SD-card port.

The G5 weighs around 156grams, which is just a shade heavier than its main competitor the Galaxy S7 which weighs in at 152grams. Although on paper the device sounds quite hefty, in actuality the device feels quite hollow, which is surprising since the device is constructed with LM201 aluminium alloy.

Tour of the Device: Back

Starting with the back of the G5, the first thing you will notice upon feeling the device is just how smooth it is, which in my opinion is where it gets a lot of things right and will be a recurring theme throughout the course of the review: ergonomics. Moving onto specifics, first of all, you will be presented with the moderately raised dual camera sensor which bolsters both a 16MP and a wide-angle 8MP camera with the flash module separating the two.
Just below that, you will see a fingerprint sensor which is also where the power button is integrated — you may have seen this location of fingerprint sensor from the likes of the LG-made Nexus 5X, barring the power button integration. Integrating the power button into the fingerprint module is a move manufacturers rarely think of when it comes to the back-mounted sensors, which is dumbfounding because of how much sense it makes to add that extra shade of simplicity to the overall experience.

Moving nearer the bottom of the device, you will see the trademark ‘G5’ insignia with the standard CE markings situated below it.

Tour of the Device: Front

IMG_0424

Advancing on the front of the device, you are greeted with the 5.3-inch QHD display which has a slight curve to it, continuing with the overall ergonomic theme. Residing above the screen is the prominent 8MP f/1.2 front-facing camera with the speaker grille reposing right next to it; just to the left of the earpiece is the multicoloured notification LED.
In usual LG fashion, continuing with their trademark look from previous flagship iterations, the LG logo surrounded by a smoothly finished slithering of aluminium is located at the bottom of the device, which is where the battery module lives.

 

Tour of the Device: Sides

Moving around to the side of the device – starting with the left-hand side, this is where your volume rockers are located which are very clicky and recess about half a millimetre, making it very easy to find during those times where you’re in need of some urgent volume increase/decrease.
The right-hand side doesn’t have much going on, with only the SIM/SD card slot being occupied in that area.
Turning it round to the bottom reveals a very cleanly laid out set up, taking inspiration from a multitude of Android smartphones on the market, namely the Huawei P9. On the left-hand side, you will see a speaker port with three separate cutouts – a couple of millimetres across is the USB Type-C port with the microphone cutout just next to it.
The top of the device is where the 3.5mm headphone jack resides with a super handy IR blaster in tow. Right next to the IR blaster is a second microphone for extra clarity during phone calls.

Build Quality: My Overall Thoughts

After handling the G5 over the past two weeks, I can safely say that looks can indeed be deceiving. The device feels premium, and adds a new definition to the meaning — from the ergonomic contoured back panel, all the way the to the front of the device with an appealing curved glass screen, it’s a pure joy to handle on a day-to-day basis. Other than the niggling issue with the sharp feeling you get when holding it in a particular position and the fact that the module doesn’t sit flush with the rest of the device, there aren’t many rooms for a fault to appear with my time with this device.

LG apparently saw that its main competitor, Samsung, had gone down the ultra-premium route back in 2015 with the Galaxy S6 and decided to play them at their own ultra-premium game. Does it beat out the S7 regarding looks and aesthetics? In my opinion no. It comes exponentially close to outclassing the Galaxy, but it falters in the construction area that Samsung seems to have nailed down over their life span.

Fingerprint Sensor

G5_fingerprintscanner

Fingerprint modules are becoming a regular norm in the smartphone world, with the current flock of 2016 flagships, and even mid-range devices sporting the sensor. Some manufacturers choose to put the module on the front of the device – much like HTC did with the 10 – and Samsung with the S7/S6. Or you can go down the unique route like Sony did with the Z5 and placed the module on the side of the device embedded inside the power button.
The most popular choice among technology circles is the rear-facing fingerprint sensor position. The Nexus 6P and LG-made 5X have it on the rear of the device and in some cases known to be one of the fastest responding sensors out there regarding usability and ease of setup.

The LG G5 stuck with the Nexus 5x route and placed the sensor on the back of the device, with a similar module to what the Nexus has. The setup process is, to Google’s standard, immensely comfortable – all you need is a spare 3 minutes and a backup PIN in mind and you’re ready to go. You can set up your fingerprint in 6 strokes or less, with each stroke presenting a little haptic feedback to indicate that it was successful. Upon completion of the setup, lock your device and use your finger to unlock your device by placing it on the sensor and wait for the haptic feedback to acknowledge the successful attempt.

The best thing about the G5’s fingerprint scanner is the same reason why I loved the Nexus 6P’s sensor: You don’t need to power on the screen to use the feature. Take the device out of your pocket, and without pressing the power button, place your finger over the sensor and it unlocks in less than a second. The fingerprint module accompanied by LG’s KnockCode security as a backup is a great combination.

Display

IMG_20160514_222719
In a display market that is seemingly run by Samsung and its AMOLED powerhouse, LCD panels have been pretty sparse in quality over the past year. Depending on your use cases, an AMOLED display can be beneficial for you if you’re looking for deeper blacks and vibrant colours – but there’s a market for LCD panels, as they provide a more natural feel when it comes to colour reproduction and of course the pure whites.
LG are a manufacturer known for producing substandard quality smartphone displays, with the G3, and to some degree the G4 not being the best at representing LCD panels. The colours were washed out, the calibration of the display fell victim to over-sharpening and the brightness was too low, making it almost impossible to use outside.

The G5 has a 5.3-inch Super LCD display with a resolution of 1440×2560, making it a ~554-pixel density. The display itself is utterly gorgeous, with crisp text reproduction and colours that aren’t too vibrant, but far from washed out. From a brightness point of view, the G5 does admirably in any condition you throw at it. With the adaptive brightness feature turned on, the display takes the ambient light from your surroundings and produces the best brightness for those conditions, in turn giving you the best viewing experience from any smartphone screen out there. Regarding external conditions, the G5 manages to go up to 900 nits, which is double what the G4 could handle at 455. Without a tool to measure how many nits the display can indeed go up to, I can only say that the brightness in broad daylight is on-par to what the iPhone 6S Plus can produce, and that is wildly known as one of the better devices to perform in sunny conditions.

Viewing angles are excellent, with little distortion going on even at viewing the device at a 90-degree angle with low visibility, it’s still easy to make out what’s going on due to limited distortion.

The G5 has an always-on display, following suit from Samsung’s Galaxy S7. Having used both devices rigorously, the G5 has a much better core implementation than the likes of Samsung. While the Samsung device has more customisability options, such as adding a calendar and different clock styles, the G5 got the foundations of the always-on display correct. Out of the box, the G5’s always-on display works with any third-party application and as soon as a notification comes through, a little ‘pulsing’ animation presents itself notifying you of which application sent the information. The Galaxy S7’s implementation only works with Samsung’s proprietary applications right now, with only the stock Email and Messaging clients being supported.
Since the G5 has an LCD screen, minimal battery drain is to be expected with this feature enabled, since the display is on 90-95% of the time depending on if you have it in your pocket or not.

Performance

 

LG are a company infamously known for sluggish performance over time with their smartphone iterations, starting with the LG G2x’s CPU calibration issues at launch, all the way up to the G3, which severely degraded in performance more than your average flagship over time. You could say that these are unfortunate circumstances due to the CPU quality that was provided in smartphones at the time, but that counter-argument is only valid if other devices are in the same boat, which they weren’t at the time.

Beneath the lustrous piece of metal, the G5 has Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chip, the 820, accompanied with the Adreno 530 GPU. I’m not one for taking benchmarks as gospel, but as many sites reported, the G5 is up there with the Galaxy S7 and even the HTC 10, with the S7 just a slither ahead in some 3D Benchmark testing.

From my experience, this is the best Android device LG has made when it comes to performance. As soon as you take it out of the box and set it up, you get an instant feel of snappiness, with switching to your most recent applications taking just under a second to open. In conjunction with the 4GB RAM – it keeps quite a few apps in the memory so it continues as if nothing has happened from the last state it was in.

One issue that crept up in LG in the past was its overly bloated software with unnecessary features and a plethora of alternative stock applications that weren’t removable, which caused quite a lot of slowdowns when operating the launcher or even changing individual settings. The G5 performs, for the most part, on a par with what stock Android does, with little additional features, and a clean design to make it look and feel like somewhat similar of a characteristic to lightning speeds.

Gaming Performance

Smartphone gaming is something I took a slight interest in over my years of using them, and with companies such as Nintendo bringing their library of games over to Android & iOS, it’s hard to deny that smartphone gaming is here to stay and is a staple when it comes to testing any smartphone.

I’ve tried graphic intensive games such as Olympus Rising, Real Racing HD and Hungry Shark World – but I also tested games on the opposite end of the graphic spectrum, with games like Flappy Bird, Faily Brakes and Hill Climb Racing. In some circumstances, which I found an oddity, was the fact that Hungry Shark World performs exceptionally without any framerate drops, unlike the Galaxy S7 Edge did when I tested it. As soon as you were in a position in the game where a lot was going on, the framerate dropped quite significantly and grounded to a halt. No such issues pose themselves on the LG G5, which is especially strange since it has the same CPU/GPU components.
Each and every game listed above performed without any slowdowns and FPS drops even in the most flustered of moments in particular areas. The device rarely heated up to a point where it was getting too uncomfortable to handle, and that’s more of praise to the Adreno 530/Snapdragon 820 combination which is exceedingly high when it comes to gaming performance, exactly like the HTC 10 and the Galaxy S7 are.

Audio Quality – Speakers

I’m not sure what LG did to make this happen, but there’s an aspect of sorcery when it comes to the prominence of the bottom-firing speaker, which is the fact that it’s almost an impossibility to cover them up fully to a point where no audio is produced.
While it appears that there’s only one speaker grille at the bottom of the device, covering all three slits for the audio to escape still provides quite a bit of sound from other parts of the device. From what I can distinguish so far, the audio manages to flee from every crevice of the device, including the USB Type-C port as well as the gap that presents itself when the module is fully inserted.

Going into specifics, the sound quality from the speakers is very punchy and produces quite a lot of bass tones that the Galaxy S7 failed to provide. Regarding loudness, it performs exceptionally well, with its loudest setting being more than enough for any average consumer out there.

This issue isn’t unique to the G5, but be advised that the higher you increase the volume, the more the device tends to vibrate if your choice of audio produces a lot of bass; this is due to the hollow aluminium design.

Audio Quality – Headphones

Quality from the included earbuds is pretty excellent, producing rich tones and equally punchy sounds that are faithful to the nature of what you’re listening to. If I had to provide one negative from the included earbuds, it would be the fact that they aren’t quite loud enough for my needs — which I guess is more of a negative for the software/hardware integration.

The G5 takes most of its audio processing from the Snapdragon 820, which has the WCD9335 audio codec, and it performs quite admirably with any pair of earbuds you throw at it. The only caveat which I stated before is the maximum volume it’s allowed to go up to — it could be done with being a tad higher to provide an optimal performance all-around.

Camera

Smartphone cameras in 2016, and even 2015, for the most part, have been excelling to a substantial level. With steady signs of a plateau on the horizon indicating that all modern smartphone cameras will be great out of the box — it’s now down to the software optimisations to crown the real king of the mobile camera.

With both a wide-angle 8MP as well as a standard 16MP sensor, the G5, on paper, sounds like it will produce some excellent shots whatever the condition.
Throwing the paper away and using the device in person, needless to say, the images speak for themselves in this section.

camera
I found myself using the wide-angle 8MP sensor more than I did the 16MP, mainly because of how much fun I’ve been having with it. You can capture some incredible landscapes with this feature. One caveat to this module, of course, is that the post-processed image produces a distorted fish-eye effect around the edges which is less prominent when taking pictures on a larger scale. For example: If you are taking macro pictures of your favourite Pepsi can, you will notice some distortion around the edges, but it’s a tiny 1mm border that is hardly noticeable in most situations.

Onto the pictures themselves, and this is one of the best smartphone cameras I have ever had the pleasure of try. From the amazing camera software to the images it manages to produce after the photo is taken, it’s going to be hard to top this.

In pitch-black lighting conditions, the G5 allows more light in than I could ever fathom from a smartphone camera — which is commendable to the f/1.8 aperture this device has.
For moderate lighting conditions, the results are all positive, with natural colour reproduction and incredible detailing to top it all off. The same can be said for adequate lighting conditions, too.

The front-facing camera, as to be expected from a flagship-calibre smartphone, performs excellently; with excellent clarity and its ‘beauty’ setting to add some extra smoothness to your selfies, it performs fantastically, beating out the Galaxy S7 and then some.

All in all, the pictures that are produced from both the 16MP & 8MP wide-angle lens is a sight to behold. Not too much oversharpening, spot-on colour reproduction and it captures the right amount of light for any situation you manage to throw at it. [pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Taking a bad picture with the G5 is like trying to take a bad picture of Barney Stinson. [/pullquote]

The G5’s camera is the pinnacle of smartphone cameras for me right now. With quick focusing leading you to take a picture in less than 2 seconds with time spare to share it on social media is something that I have desired in a camera for a long time, and it would appear that this is the inaugural King of smartphone cameras in my opinion. It’s impossible to take a bad photo, and the final result of the image always manages to impress you each time you snap a picture.

Software

Another department LG and in the same light Samsung fail to deliver on are their main software components; with overbearing colour palettes as well as the underwhelmingly designed stock applications the two companies provide out of the box, it left little to be desired back in the days where smartphones were just about to gain traction.

Both the Korean companies have upped their game tenfold in recent years with Samsung’s TouchWiz and LG’s nameless skin taking on a more material approach, which is what Google have destined for in the years of Lollipop and Marshmallow releases. The colour palettes are less garish; the stock applications are consistent with Android’s design guidelines and they aren’t out with their agenda – meaning that their services take a step back and let Google’s services do the talking.

The LG G5 launched with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out the box, and the experience so far has been quite lovely. The choice of colour palette has shifted to a muted green with the well-accustomed material white as its background choice. One thing the Korean company did at launch provided a stock launcher without an app drawer, which of course set the Android world alight with a stampede of negativity towards the enterprise. Not to worry, though — LG decided to go into damage control mode and provide an option to enable the app drawer in the form of a separate launcher — just download it from LG’s ‘Smartworld’ store, open your home screen settings and change the home launcher to ‘Home & app drawer.’

I have tried both launchers and the clear winner here is the one that has the app drawer removed, mainly because LG made it look and play the part more than it did the one with the app drawer in tow. It meets all the required guidelines; material design animations and the muted colour palette being the sole reasons.
If you see below, the app drawer iteration of the launcher has been pretty much taken from the LG G4 with minimal changes made. Animations are nowhere to be seen and if you do see them, it leaves little to be desired. The folder icons default to a blue colour that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, with the other choices being no better. The app drawer variant is simply something you would see in a pre-2014 LG device.

The agenda here for LG was to make the non-app drawer variant in an entirely different league, showing an extra bit of care and attention which would bring users over to what the company had intended in the first place.

Looking at the non-app drawer version, and you see the myriad of differences that present themselves. You almost feel a sense of comfort when using it, with smooth animations with little-to-no slowdowns upon use. The folder icons are set to a translucent white with a smoothed off border in comparison to the app drawer’s squared-off look. You can change the background colour of the folders much like you can with the alternative variant, too. Adding to the attention to detail shown in the app drawerless version, upon opening a folder you will see a gaussian blur effect taking place around the folder you have just opened, giving it an overall natural feel.

Does it beat out TouchWiz? Yes — for the simple reason being that LG’s stock applications look amazing, beating out even Google’s stock options in some aspects; the Messages application being one of them. Regarding look and feel, it’s lightyears ahead of what Samsung are producing right now, with gorgeous animations and an ease of use initial setup process — [pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]the overall feeling you get from LG’s skin is consistency. It doesn’t try too hard to grab your attention and lets you do whatever you want to do, which is what Google intended from the early days of Android.[/pullquote]

LG went with a more ‘iOS-inspired’ attempt in this version of their skin, with every stock application taking on a white status bar with dark icons to add that extra shade of simplicity while adding to the usability factor of the whole OS experience.

statusbar

The lock screen is one of those features you rarely get to see due to the sheer speed of the inbuilt fingerprint scanner, but it’s more or less the same as what is in the G4 — with the usual application shortcuts as well as the standard ‘Voice’, ‘Phone’ & ‘Camera’ shortcuts if app shortcuts don’t take your fancy.

Services are still there, but in no way forced upon you. LG Health – which is miles ahead of S-Health may I add – has gotten a major design overhaul, fitting in with the rest of the muted green/white theme that you get to know and love over time.

One thing to look out for when using the G5: I have noticed on multiple occasions that when a notification comes through on the device, when you double-tap the screen to wake it up and dismiss it on the lock screen, the notification LED manages to keep pulsing although no more notifications are present. This only seems to happen when you action notifications from the lock screen. The only way to fix it is to wait for another notification to come through, unlock the device and action it while unlocked – this will clear the notification LED bug.

The rest of the experience is mainly to do with design changes, adding to the consistency factor that LG aimed for. The quick settings panel which is situated inside the notification panel hasn’t changed much, with the only addition being that you can now remove the brightness, volume, screen sharing and file sharing overlays, which in turn leaves more room for notifications to appear without the need for scrolling. To edit the notification panel, LG provided a very easy to see ‘Edit’ button right next to the settings button. As soon as you have made your changes, select the ‘Tick’ button and all your changes will apply in less than a second

 

Battery Life

lg-g5-preview-benchmarks
One of the most valuable commodities when it comes to owning a smartphone is its battery life. Companies such as Sony excelled at battery technology and making the battery work in conjunction with the software, but can LG do the same thing with its latest G model?

The G5 will get you through a whole day with ease. I have stated in the ‘Gaming Performance’ section of the review that I’m an avid smartphone gamer, and having any extra juice at the end of the day is one major bonus that I sometimes need in those emergency situations.

I usually unplug my device around 7 am and when I get home at 5-5:30 pm, the G5 will be sitting at just below 30%. During that massive gap in time, I was browsing Twitter feeds, playing games such as Olympus Rising and viewing/responding to messages on Slack. When I go to bed usually at 11 PM, the device would usually be at 3-4 hours screen-on time with most of that time with WiFi disabled and use 4G.

For the sake of comparison, the G5 stacks up against the Galaxy S7 edge and goes above and beyond when it comes to standby drain, which is a compliment to Android Marshmallow and its ‘Doze’ feature. I usually don’t plug my device in to charge overnight, and in an area where the S7 lost up to 8%, the G5 loses a fraction of that with around 4-5%.

If you would like a more accurate score of the battery testing, the wonderful people over at GSMarena scored the battery pretty favourably in their rigorous battery testing process

gsmarena

 

Verdict

IMG_0419
The G5 delivers on many promises the company made at their launch event at MWC and using the device for just over two weeks now I can vouch for those promises being met and then some.

But in a world run by Samsung and HTC’s ultra-premium model backed up with equally stellar software experiences, does the modular feature add much to the market space? For the most part, yes — in daily use cases having a removable battery at your disposal with the option to have extra hardware features due to its implementation, the modular design does its job and the way it is presented is something only a company like LG could pull off.

I mentioned it at the start of the review, but LG needed less inspiration from others and more innovation — which is how the modular design came to be in the G5. Build quality issues aside; this device stands tall next to the powerhouses that Samsung & HTC produced this year, and is mainly a question of use cases when it comes to the choosing of the device.
If you want a sturdy, comfortable form factor with a gorgeous display and a removable battery, get the G5. If you want ultra-premium looks and a stellar software experience out of the box, go with the HTC 10. If you want a combination of the two with no removable battery accompanied by a slightly slower camera experience, go with the Galaxy S7. [pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The message here is that Android is all about choice, and flagship smartphones in 2016 gives that by the bucket load.[/pullquote]

Everyone pulled for LG to go against the grain this year, and they knocked it out of the park with their fresh, innovative mindset going full force to take down a behemoth like Samsung.

Would you buy it over the Galaxy S7? Probably not, because the build quality isn’t up to scratch with Samsung’s attention to design. If the build quality issues were out of the equation, the G5 would be the phone for me without a doubt. It’s lovely to hold, the modular design – while lacking in some departments – works as it is intended to be, and the camera experience stomps all over what the S7 has to offer just in the software side of things.

The G5 is an excellent device, but persuading people that modular is the future is going to be a hard sell in its current form.

 

Thanks to Clove

 

I would just like to extend my thanks to the wonderful people over at Clove.co.uk for providing me with this LG G5 for the purpose of the review.

If you would like to purchase LG’s latest and greatest from them, you can do so here

LG G5

8

Audio Quality

7.5/10

Battery

8.0/10

Power

9.0/10

UI

8.5/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Gorgeous Display
  • Brilliant Camera
  • Superb Performance
  • Lightning-Fast Charge Speeds

Cons

  • Mediocre Build Quality
  • Software needs work
  • Brightness takes a while to ramp up to optimal settings
  • Audio can get quite tinny
  • Notification LED switches itself on without any notifications appearing on-device

About Kurt Colbeck

Cynical, bitter, and speaks his mind. And those are my good points! I like to ramble and I love technology, so this is why I'm here.

One comment

  1. The overall performance of the mobile set is good and it is obvious that it is showing a good performance of the cell phone. Thanks for the great article.

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