Home Reviews LGG5 Review: Invites friends to the party…do they show up?

LGG5 Review: Invites friends to the party…do they show up?

written by Shane "Geek" Lundberg April 27, 2016
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We had to update the pic and let Cartman in…

The LGG5 has to be one of the most interesting phones ever…definitely for 2016. In a world where phones are starting to run into walls with shape, form, and function, LG has tried to revamp this with the LGG5. The LGG5 is the closest phone you could consider to modular. LG has released a skew of devices that add function and fun that all attach or work with the device and they are called Friends. These Friends range from HD audio, to a security robot that watches over your house. In our review we did not have any of the Friend add-ons but will be looking to review them in the near future as they are released.

Shape and Feel

Every manufacturer out there is in this constant battle to make the thinnest phone for whatever reason. Thin is great but not at the loss of battery life and I think this has been heard around the world. The LGG5 still falls under this super thin phone spectrum. At 7.7mm in thickness and 159g in weight, holding this phone can be a little tricky until you get used to it. The rounded edges help to really make this phone comfortable. The only issue I really had with the feel was the small groove that goes around the phone, it feels a little sharp in the hand.

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The button placement is still holding true to LG style and being on the back. You have a single button on the back that acts as your power button and fingerprint reader. Volume rocker has been moved to the left side of the phone (which I prefer). Camera hump does stick out but not a tremendous amount but is noticeable with the large camera module.

When it comes to the uni-body build there has been quite a bit of arguing online if it is metal or if it is just plastic. We have seen YouTubers cut it down with box cutters and more to try to disprove LG’s claim to all metal uni-body. LG has came out with their official response from their senior director of global communications, Ken Hong stating:

“What you’re seeing there is primer, not a plastic cover. As you know, primer is used to get paint to bond to aluminum, which is what we used for the G5’s body.”

That is a good enough response to me. I will say when holding the phone, other than the sharp edge it does not feel metal compared to others like the HTC M8. It does feel like plastic but that is solely based off the light feel and weight. Hong¬†goes into a bit of detail explaining the process and more but unless you are trying to +10 your metal working it really isn’t helpful in the “should I buy or not” part of the phone.

Screen

LG went with a little smaller screen in the G5 compared to some of their past devices. At 5.3in the Quad HD looks amazing. Bringing 554ppi to the game is plenty on any device currently. One downfall on the although very sharp display up against the S7 is dimness of the screen. Very sharp and clear but the S7 just seems to show those oversaturated AMOLED colors a little brighter than the G5.

Processor and Performance

The G5 is one of the snappiest phones I have used. With its Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor it has plenty of horsepower to get handle your needs. An Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB RAM also helping power the G5. This is a very similar setup for most flagship devices that we have seen so far this year.

Camera…and two of them!

The whole idea of two cameras has never lasted with me. What point does it make? I would have told you it never would have mattered and the devices that had it was a waste of resources. The LGG5 proves all of that totally wrong. One of the cameras is 16MP with normal shooting view while the second is 8MP on a wide-angled 135 degree lens that allows you to add so much to the image. The switch between the two cameras is just the press of one button. As you can see from my photos of the zoo the different cameras do really make a huge difference.

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Modular “LG Friends”

LG broke the mold for 2016 on the LGG5 with the modular are of the phone. Although not like Project Aura (where you can swap out hardware of the device) the LGG5 lets you add certain features and components to the phone. Currently there are only a few “LG Friends” like the LG Cam Plus, 360 Cam, 360 VR Headset, and the Hi-Fi Plus. We unfortunately didn’t get to test any of these out with our review version but have very high hopes to see these and other new “Friends” add a whole new value to a device.

Battery Life and Storage

LG surprised me here with the a smaller 2800mAh battery. I was hoping to see something a little larger in this model. They also left out wireless charging which I have grown really accustomed to. Good news though, the LGG5 supports Quick Charge 3.0 so it is SUPER fast to charge and if all else fails and you need more juice immediately…REMOVABLE BATTERY. I am not a fan of battery benchmarking so instead I lean on real world testing. I was pulling about 10 hours out of my test device as I took pics and handled DHTG socials for the day. In comparison it was just under the S7 and still had a whole spare battery to go.

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The LGG5 is using Type-C USB port for charging. You also have 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, 4G LTE and GPS. You also still get NFC and infrared port which has disappeared from almost every phone on the planet.

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Where am I supposed to put my apps?

There was a huge issue when launched about the lack of the application tray. In a recent update to the device ITS BACK…CHILL! Yes there is an app tray and all of your apps can be put away and not be cluttering up the home screen. This was a wonderful way to hide all the bloatware on the device out of the box. Maybe one day carriers will realize that we really do not care for bloatware. Our review version was a Sprint model and had a whole folder dedicated to Sprint apps…and uninstall! Other than that you get some great apps from LG like QuickRemote and QuickMemo+ out of the box. You still get all of the customization of folders and colors as well.

Wrap Up

The LGG5 is a new vision in a world of bland ideas right now when it comes to phones. I do not know if this is the one to be the intro of modular devices to the world but it is a great start. Specs, feel, and use the LGG5 is totally on par with other flagship devices out there. The Friends feature is wonderful for techies out there that will take advantage of them but I do not see most normal people out there going out of their way to find these add-ons. There are some really great features of the LGG5 like the camera and removable battery, but there are parts that just feel like they need to be in the oven a little more like the feel of the device. If you are in the market for a new device the LGG5 should definitely be in your line-up to look at.

Big thanks to LG for getting us the phone out and to Sprint for handling the service while we were testing.


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