While mid-range phones can usually muster enough power to entertain most day-to-day users, truly great camera is the part which is exclusively reserved for the best of flagships. Mid-range and budget phones can offer the same pixel count at best, but a stellar, enriching camera experience comes at a price.
The LG G5 gets this crucial part right, but can it convince buyers to shell out that kind of cash? Let’s discuss our initial assessment.
LG G5 Key Specifications and Features
|Display||5.3-inch HD Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 554ppi)|
|Processor||Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset|
|RAM||4GB LPDDR4 RAM|
|Internal Storage||32GB, up to 2TB MicroSD card|
|Software||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Primary Camera||16MP and Wide 8MP with LED Flash|
|Secondary Camera||8MP Front-Facing Camera|
|Dimensions and weight||149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm and 159g|
|Battery||2800 mAh removable|
|Others||4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, USB Type-C and NFC|
The LG G5 Design…
The LG G5 uses has all the ingredients of a flagship design. There is metal on the rear and on all sides, and glass on the front. The parts above the display feels dexterously tapered/curved, the metal encompassing the camera module is raised to avoid camera bumps, a home button on the rear integrated with a fingerprint sensor feels perfectly natural – All executed well; yet the G5 feels chunky and ugly (I don’t mind it’s plastic feel at all).
Come to think of it, the design has never been a strong suit of LG Flagships. The last LG phone I was smitten by was LG G2 (which still feels gorgeous). The LG G3 and the LG G4 that followed can be put in the same league as LG G5. Functional, ergonomic, but not premium.
The LG G5 Display
LG makes some of the finest LCD displays. The one on the LG G5, however, didn’t feel stunning as a LG flagship display should. The white balance seemed a bit off and I couldn’t find any settings option to tweak it. It’s not a bad display per se, but it didn’t feel as gorgeous as the ones we have experienced on phones like HTC 10 and Galaxy S7.
It’s worth mentioning that the G5 display has an ‘Always On’ feature’ which tells you time, and notification count from different apps without having to turn on the display – All without being too harsh on the battery.
Whats the dual camera for?
The Dual camera setup on the rear is meant to help you with wide angle shots. LG had a demo-zone where you could shoot a 135 degree wide photo from just a few feet away! This was indeed surprising. The picture, however, was distorted at the edges (the curved lines on the edges should have been straight). Its easy to toggle between Wide angle and normal mode directly from the viewfinder.
LG G5 Camera Samples
Does the modular phone concept make sense?
Press a tiny button on the left edge, and you can now clip out the bottom part. Yes, the LG G5 is modular, and that’s the whole point of it, but that in itself provides very little assurance.
I don’t expect all modules or “LG Friends” to be available anytime soon, and even if they are, I am not sure if many people will be willing to invest that kind of money for these extra tidbits. After all that’s the difference between your phone and your DSLR. The market is so dynamic that something better is always around the corner and even the best of phones feel lackluster after a couple of years. Besides the whole clipping out and attaching new module thing feels like a lot of work.
At the event, we experienced 360 Cam, Cam Plus, HiFi+ and 360 VR. All of these modules work efficiently and make a lot of sense, but aren’t particularly irresistible. But unless the modules I buy for LG G5 are promised to be compatible with the G6 or G7, I am not sure if I would want to invest in them instead of other alternatives.
The performance shouldn’t be a problem. LG G5 packs enough hardware muscle – the Snapdragon 820 quad core, 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, Fast UFS 2.0 storage – That’s all pretty reassuring. The 2800 mAh battery, however, might fall short. None of the 2016 flagships particularly excel at battery backups. At some point of time we might have put up a fight, but have now acquiesced to rapid charging, which is also an option on the G5.
The Bottom Line
LG G5 is a great concept. And it has got a great camera. The camera alone matters and LG has got that part right. That should be good enough reason to buy it. But If you prioritize design and looks of your next phone, the likes of HTC 10 or Galaxy S7/ S7 Edge are viable options. For now it seems that the Modular concept won’t lend it an edge over the competition.