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LG G5 Initial Review: We’re Already Sold On It

Meet the LG G5
Meet the LG G5

LG G5 in the Flesh!

If it works as advertised, the LG G5 is potentially the best Android smartphone you can get your hands on once it becomes available in the market. The device features best-in-class technical specifications (you can see spec sheet below), an elegant unibody metal chassis (but you still get a removable battery and micro SD card slot), and a unique modular design which sets it apart from its competitors.

We were able to spend some time with LG’s newest flagship offering and we’d like to share with you guys our initial findings. Before anything else though here’s a quick refresher on the specs.

LG G5 spec sheet

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.3-inch QHD IPS Quantum dot display
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 16-megapixel rear camera, 75 degree FOV, 1/2.5? sensor size, laser AF, OIS/8-megapixel rear camera, 85 degree FOV,
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Optional Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, USB Type-C, NFC
  • 2800mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

>>>See Also: 3 Reasons Why LG Crushed It with the G5<<<
With that out of the way let’s jump right into it!

Hardware: Shiny, Shimmery, and Cool Metal

Stunning piece of hardware
Stunning piece of hardware

The biggest problem when it came to chassis design has always been the tension of wanting to create something super thin and the “need” of a huge part of the consumer market who wants to keep their interchangeable battery and micro SD card slot. LG solved that with the G5. Thanks to their modular design, we get a super-thin and stylish all-metal smartphone that still has an interchangeable micro SD card and removable battery.

In our hands it felt solid and light. The metal edges weren’t to sharp and the phone rested comfortably in our palm. LG really made it a point to make the phone ergonomic as it was stylish.

In terms of aesthetics, the LG sports an aluminium finish kind of paint as opposed to the super glossy and reflective metal of the Galaxy series. The glass screen up front is slightly curved which gives it a much better and elegant look. Color saturation and brightness levels were also comparable to the LG G4.

What the back looks like
What the back looks like

We played around with the always on display and it is as advertised! This feature is something that we’re looking forward to having so that we don’t have to keep turning on the phone anymore to see important notifications.

Software and Performance: No Hiccups

Updated LG OS
Updated LG OS

We noticed three things with the LG G5 OS. First is that they removed the app tray. All the applications are on the various home screens similar to iOS. We don’t mind this at all since the over-all user experience is simpler.

Second, LG redesigned the app icons. While it’s easy to switch them out with the various third party themes available on Google Play, the fresh default look is refreshing to the eyes. They actually look a lot like the default icons of Google, hehe.

Lastly the phone was a beast. We spent a good 10 minutes just opening various applications, doing multi-tasking, jumping from memory hogging apps to the next (camera to gaming) and there was no lag whatsoever. Truly the days of people calling Android “laggy” compared to the iPhone is over and there is no better proof than the new wave of flagships in the market like the LG G5.

So Much Potential with LG Friends and Modules

IMG_4132

The modular design is really the star here and we were able to test both the Bang & Olufsen Play and the Camera Plus.

The Bang & Olufsen Play is not a just a gimmick. Other manufacturers package pre-made EQ as their enhancements. The Bang & Olufsen Play is a REAL mobile amplifier and a DAC. The difference of the quality of music is night and day, especially if you have good headphones. We were able to use it in the demo area with the Bang & Olufsen H6 cans and we were really impressed (us being semi-audiophiles ourselves). After testing it we can confidently say that the Bang & Olufsen Play drastically reduces the need to always bring bulky mobile amplifiers and DACs. While a dedicated set-up will still be different, this one is already comparable and acceptable especially if you think of the trade-off of not having to bring anything with you anymore.

The Camera Plus reminded us a lot of the camera grip case of the Nokia Lumia 1020. The main benefit is the grip and the easy controls so it’s a great accessory for mobile photography enthusiasts. The extra power pack also makes it more appealing.

Initial Verdict: This One is a Beast and We Want One

Based on the short time we spent with it, we’re already sold on the LG G5. The innovation done here is something that you just can’t ignore and you can’t say it’s all novelty because LG solved actual user problems and pain points. As consumer tech enthusiasts, we appreciate that.

As soon as it lands in the Philippines we’ll get one and do a full review. Watch out for it!

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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11 Comments

  1. “The extra 4,000mAh power pack also makes it more appealing.”

    Per Android Authority and/or was it PhoneArena , the CamPlus only carries an extra 1200 mAh powerpack bringing the total battery cap to 4000mAh. May we be cleared on this, please? Thanks…

  2. The DAC module on this phone makes me really excited to get this unit, but the 12mp camera of Samsung S7 is totally mind-blowing with it’s revolutionary specifications, might just be the best cameraphone right now. I wonder what Xiaomi MI5 has in store for us.

  3. Imho I don’t think the design looks good. The rear design looks like it was from the days of iPhone 2G and customized with a scanner and a dual camera. The specs sheet and the magic slot are really attention grabbing though. If you find this dumb, sorry.

  4. i don’t know about you but design-wise it looks ugly to me. The UI is also really ugly and I’m not a big fan of the “no app drawer” approach ala iOS.

    Spec-wise, the modular approach is interesting but it still remains to be seen if it’s actually useful and robust.

    But for me the biggest problem with LG’s flagship phones is that they’re ticking time bombs. LG’s G4 has a known issue to randomly brick and get stuck in a boot loop.

  5. Ticking Time Bombs ? wehhh edi sna mtagal ng dedz un 2 yr old LG G3 q rocking with snapdragon 801 with 3gb of ram still can’t find any reason to buy a new phone papamana q cguro toh next year s erpats q new battery lng katapat ne2 and factory reset brandnew ule .

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