LG G5 review
The phone that never sleeps
Sunday 21st February was the most important date in the 2016 calendar and on this day at a pre-Mobile World Congress press event, LG announced the LG G5, at the same time as Samsung announced the Galaxy S7 Edge.
|Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review|
The LG G5 offers something not available on other premium smartphones, so read on to find out more.
Display - Always-on
The first attraction to the LG G5 will be created through its ‘Always-on’ display. The Always-on feature will show the time, date and notifications, so there will no longer be a need to wake up the phone to check these.
The Always-on feature appears on the 5.3” QHD display that has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. It is unusual that LG has chosen to use an LCD display, over a OLED display, as LCD screens are more power hungry. However, LG know-how has managed to keep the battery drain of the Always-on display low, at 0.8% battery drain per hour.
Looking for Always-on on a more affordable phone? Read the LG X Screen review
The enhanced IPS Quantum display projects 60% more brightness than previous screens and under sunlight it will run at 800 nit. A nit is a unit of visible-light intensity, with one nit being roughly equal to the light given off by one candle, per square metre. To put this into perspective a typical LCD display has an output of 200-300 nit.
Design - Goodbye rear volume key
The Rear Key on previous LG smartphones was positioned for the index finger and gave operation of several features, of which adjusting the volume was one. LG has had a change of heart for this LG phone and has placed the volume keys back into their traditional position, on the side of the phone.
This move is unlikely to offend anyone and if nothing else it has changed the look of the back face, where the dual camera lens, more on that later, gives a distinctive look with the fingerprint sensor discretely sitting below.
The genuine leather that covered the LG G4 is gone and instead the LG G5 will enjoy other premium smartphones with an all metal and glass body. The design in general sees simplicity mixed with subtle curves that feel great in the palm, along with the slimline 7.3mm thick body.
|LG G4 review|
Phone Set Up
OS - Android Marshmallow
The LG G5 runs on Google’s Android Marshmallow operating system and LG has placed its own user interface over this to allow users to personalise the look further. The LG G5 is available with a 32GB memory and a microSD card slot allows the memory to be extended, if required.
|Buy the LG G5|
The set up process also includes getting familiar with the LG Friends Manager and this is designed to help the user connect, interact and play with friends.
Processor - Gaming grade graphics
Just like the Samsung Galaxy S7, the LG G5 will house an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with 4GB RAM. This will give the LG G5 40% improved graphics performance, compared to Qualcomm’s last chip, making it ideal for gaming.
In addition to this, the processor will use less power, while giving 33% faster peak download speeds and up to 3x faster Wi-Fi speeds, when connected to the latest Wi-Fi routers.
Interchangeable modules - Unlimited possibilities
We mentioned earlier that the LG G5 offers something no other smartphone does at the moment and this takes the form of interchangeable modules. The bottom strip of the phone pulls off, along with the battery, and then new modules can be plugged back in.
Two modules were demonstrated at the MWC event, with more to follow. The first is the LG Cam Plus module and this plugs in to make the phone more grip-able, while giving physical camera buttons, with the popular half press shutter button to focus. The module also houses an additional battery (1,200mAh), which is perfect for handling long sessions of photography.
The second module is the HiFi Plus module created by Danish speaker manufacturers, Bang & Olufsen. The module bypasses the already impressive 24-bit DAC Hi-Res audio, which incidentally supports loss-less music through Bluetooth headphones, to give 32-bit DSD playback for high-quality wired headphones.
Want to do more with your LG G5? Discover LG Friends in my LG G5 hands on.
Camera & Video
Photography - Dual-lens camera
The LG G5 has a dual-lens camera, that incorporates a standard 16MP camera with a 75 degree field of view and an 8MP camera with a wide 135 degree field of view, which is greater than that seen by a pair of human eyes.
The camera uses the dual-lenses in a variety of ways, the first of which enables the photographer to zoom out and zoom in. This gives the shooter the option to 0.5x zoom out or up to 8x zoom in.
With a standard and wide angle photo captured at the same time, other cool features come into play, such as Pop-out Picture, Fisheye and Lens blur. The camera has LG’s laser focus to aid it in getting an accurate focus in record time. The dual-lens camera is backed up by another 8MP camera for taking selfies.
Looking for a cheaper dual camera phone? Read the LG X Cam review
Charging - USB Type C
The LG G5 has an ample 2,800mAh battery and this can be recharged through the new USB Type C port and cable. This cable is completely reversible, so there is no right and wrong way up and if your computer or laptop has a USB 3.0 port, then it can charge the LG G5 at faster speeds. USB 3.0 ports are coloured blue for easy recognition.
Price: The LG G5 deals in the UK could be in the region of £379.99-£399.99 SIM free but some reports suggest that price could be as high as £500. On a two year contract, we expect to see a monthly rental of £35+. All these will end up alot cheaper than the likes of the Galaxy S7 price, yet could be a little more value for money.
Written by: Michael Brown