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LG might not be one of the best known mobile brands, but they’re not afraid of making something new. Unlike other manufacturers, who simply upgrade specs to create a new model, LG has a history of doing things differently, and the new LG G5 is no exception to that. With innovative new additions, this is going to be one of the top mobiles of the year.
Why should you get one? It’s got a great screen and tons of power. But on top of that, there’s the new magic slot tech that allows you to add accessories onto the phone, plus some cool new camera tech as well. If you want something more than the average smart phone, then the LG G5 is going ot tick all the right boxes.
Unlike other LG models, the G5 is completely flat, there’s no curved back panel here. Lines are elegant and straight, though corners are curved, and this is a full metal build phone, helping keep it light and yet robust. With minimal bezel and a body that fits firmly into the palm, this phone is certainly a looker.
Looks aside though, there are some very interesting specs on the G5. There’s plenty of power and RAM, as you’d expect from a flagship, but then there’s also new camera tech, and, of course, that magic slot capability, which we’ll explain more fully later.
The LG G5 looks good and performs well, but more than that it’s different, different from any other smart phone on shelves right now, and that’s a good thing. If you want a mobile that’s top end, but not the normal black rectangle, then you’re looking for the G5.
Let’s turn first to performance, since that’s the main concern with any smart phone. You’re getting quad core processing power here, with a dual core 2.15 GHz and a dual core 1.2 GHz processor running simultaneously. That doesn’t sound impressive compared to, say the Galaxy S7’s octo core processing, but combine quad core processing with a 64 bit chip set and a Snapdragon 820 core and you’re talking lightening fast speeds. Add in a massive 4 GB of RAM and you’re getting supreme responsiveness and fantastic multi tasking.
Yes, it’s an Android, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from LG. You’re getting the newest Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, combining the familiar intuitive OS interface with some cool new features. Maybe the most important of these is the Doze setting which allows you to save tons of battery power.
Performance here is absolutely excellent. No matter what you’re doing, from high end gaming to streaming video, you’re getting fast, smooth speeds and immediate response times.
Let’s move on now to that display, and you’re getting a 5.3 inch screen. That gives you more than enough room to type comfortably, and yet the device is still small enough to easily use with one hand, which is more than can be said for many top end smart phones these days. This is an always on screen, so even when your phone is sleeping you still have a visible time, date and notification on screen,
In terms of resolution, you’re getting Quad HD, that’s 1440 x 2560 pixels, giving around 554 PPI. This is an LCD screen, and it’s equipped with IPS, so viewing angles are excellent. Images here are sharp and clear, with fantastic colour reproduction and real depth to blacks and clean whites.
The display on the LG G5 is excellent, and whether you’re watching HD video or just browsing the web, it’s a pleasure to look at. That always on tech does use up a little battery power, but the convenience of not needing to wake up your phone for notifications more than makes up for that.
Hold onto your hats, because here is where things start getting cool. The LG G5 has not one, not two, but three cameras on board. Up at the front you’re looking at an 8 MP front facing camera, which is excellent, perfect for video calling. But it’s at the rear where things get interesting.
The LG G5 features two back cameras, one is a 16 MP regular camera, whilst the other is an 8 MP wide angle camera, which allows you to capture, you got it, wide angle pictures. Both these cameras come with LED flash, laser auto focus, panorama mode and HDR.
Having three cameras is far from standard, but the ability to capture wide angle pics lets you add another dimension to your shots. Pictures taken on the LG G5 are bright, clear, sharp and have excellent detail, even in wide angle mode.
It’s with special features that the LG G5 really comes into its own. Yes, there’s a fingerprint sensor (sensibly mounted at the rear of the phone). Yes, there’s USB-Type C charging, with it’s reversible cable. Yes, there’s Quick Charge 3.0, which gives you an 83% battery charge in just thirty minutes. But it’s the LG G5’s magic slot that everyone’s interested in.
Rather than removing the back of the phone to get at the battery, LG have instead made a “drawer” slide out of the bottom of the phone. This is what’s known as the magic slot, and it allows you to do things like remove the battery itself. However, it also allows you to add accessories onto the phone. Now, there aren’t many options yet, though more are sure to come, but the two available are quite cool. One is a camera grip, which adds a huge battery onto the phone as well as manual camera controls for snapping great pics. The second is a HiFi module that adds extra headphone jacks onto the phone that are optimised for HiFi+ sound. As we said, there are sure to be more add ons available in the near future.
|Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|Dimensions||149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm (5.88 x 2.91 x 0.30 in)|
|Weight||159 g (5.61 oz)|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.3 inches (~70.1% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1440 x 2560 pixels (~554 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 4|
|- Always-on display|
|- LG Optimus UX 5.0 UI|
|OS||Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 - H850|
|Qualcomm MSM8976 Snapdragon 652 - H840|
|CPU||Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo - H850|
|Quad-core Cortex-A72 & quad-core Cortex-A53 - H840|
|GPU||Adreno 530 - H850|
|Adreno 510 - H840|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 200 GB (dedicated slot)|
|Internal Storage||32 GB, 4 GB RAM (H850), 3 GB RAM (H840)|
|Primary Camera||16 MP (f/1.8) + 8 MP (f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS (3-axis), LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, panorama, HDR|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, HDR, stereo sound rec.|
|Secondary Camera||8 MP, f/2.0, 1080p@30fps|
|Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v4.2, A2DP, LE, apt-X|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|USB||v3.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go|
|Sensors||Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, color spectrum|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM|
|- Fast battery charging: 83% in 30 min (Quick Charge 3.0)|
|- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- MP4/DviX/XviD/H.264/WMV player|
|- MP3/WAV/FLAC/eAAC+/WMA player|
|- Photo/video editor|
|- Document editor|
|Battery||Removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery|
|Colors||Silver, Titan, Gold, Pink|
LG do create some innovative phones, presenting features that we didn’t even know we needed, and the LG G5 is no exception to that rule. Packed with power and great screen specs, with three amazing cameras on board, and that Magic Slot that allows the addition of extra accessory modules, this is one of the coolest phones we’ve seen in a long time.
Connectivity is more or less what you’d expect, there’s 3G, 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth. Internally you’re looking at 32 GB of storage, but there is a Micro SD card slot that enables you to add up to 200 GB of external memory should you need it.
So, bottom line time, what didn’t we like? USB-Type C charging is pretty cool, but it means buying all new phone chargers, which is kind of a pain. Battery life isn’t great, especially with that always on screen, though we’re hoping for a larger battery add on for that Magic Slot soon. Other than that though, the LG G5 is a fantastic device. It’s got great performance, and very, very cool features, so what’s not to love about it?
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.