As I’m writing this, I’ve been an LG G5 owner for a little over three months. Since I’m not usually one to own a new gadget as soon as it comes out I wanted to take a stab at reviewing my new phone.
I’ve been an Android fan since the first smartphones came out. Honestly, I get annoyed by the proprietary “club” of a certain other brand of devices… Anyway, to date I have owned 2 LGs, a Samsung, an HTC, and a Motorola. (Before cell phones were “smart”, I used Nokia, LG, Samsung, and Motorola.)
I was happy to hear about the new offering from LG. I loved the functionality of the LG phones I had owned previously, but found their more recent smartphones lacking. After looking into my upgrade options I decided to preorder the G5 over getting the G4. (Yes, I chose LG over Samsung because my Samsung phones didn’t impress me.) Of course I made the decision based mostly on previews and press releases since a demo wasn’t available until just before the April 1st release.
I thought I would have difficulty with the larger size of the LG G5, especially considering how much larger it is than the 1st gen Moto X I was coming from. Even handling the demo in the store made me wonder if I’d made the right decision. I think I’ve adapted to the size pretty well. One of my favorite things about the phone is the return of the removable battery! While most phones in the past have had a “removable” battery this one was quite different. Normally, taking out a battery included taking off the back and simply removing it. However, with the LG G5 it simply required pushing a button at the bottom and pulling in a downwards motion. It was a major deciding factor. It drives me crazy not to be able to pull the battery from a device as a last resort when you’re having an issue or simply when you need to change to a new battery. I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve needed to pull the G5’s battery, but at least it’s an option.
Since I pre-ordered the phone, I was able to get in on the promotion of a spare battery, battery charging cradle (which doubles as a power bank as long as the battery inside is charged), and micro USB to USB Type-C adapter. This was a handy thing to have during PAX East. Andrew and I had small power banks of course, but being able to just swap out my battery for a charged one was great. (It’s also useful when you’ve spent a little more time than intended playing certain mobile games…)
The dual rear-facing camera lens is another great feature of the phone. Without optical zoom, it can be difficult to get nice pictures in tight spaces. With the G5, it’s no problem–just switch to the wide angle lens. I’ve had the most fun playing with this feature. It was another thing that was handy during PAX–especially when trying to get pictures of the T-Rex that dominated one of the booths, or a good view of the exhibit floor from above.
What else can be said about the LG G5? It comes with the latest Android OS, and seems to be able to handle whatever program load I throw at it. There is an option to expand the memory, but I haven’t needed to do that at this point. The phone itself seems sturdy. I purchased a case for it (as I always do for smartphones), but I’ve still dropped it more times than I’d like to admit and everything has held up great.
LG G5 Specs
|Display||5.3-inch QHD display|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|Storage||32GB storage, with microSD for expansion|
|Camera||Main cam: Standard lens 16MP with OIS, wide-angle 8MP|
Front cam: 8MP
USB Type C, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2
|Sensors||Rear mounted fingerprint scanner|
|Battery||2800mAh with quick charging via Type-C USB|
|Software||Android 6.0 Marshmallow with LG UI|
|Dimensions||149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm|
|Colors||Pink, Gold, Titan (Charcoal) and Silver|
|Modules||LG Cam Plus & LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play|
One thing I haven’t tried out is one of the LG Friends accessory components. I haven’t looked into what third-party accessories are available, but the camera additions that LG promoted piqued my interest. They’re still something I’m keeping in the back of my mind for the future when my budget isn’t so tight.
Now for the big disclaimer… In July, I did run across a rather major problem. The wi-fi capability of the phone died. It was like the phone didn’t have that capability at all and wouldn’t respond to my attempts to turn wi-fi on. We tried all the home troubleshooting options possible, and I finally had to send it in to LG for warranty repair. Their action was to replace the flash memory. This meant that I had to “downgrade” to the Moto X I was using previously while I waited for the repair to be completed. I missed the G5 terribly. I missed the screen size, the speed of the phone, the camera options, and the slightly “grippy” case I have on it. Even with this issue and the annoyance of having to wait for a repair, I still highly recommend this phone. One downside to purchasing a device during its first run is getting one that didn’t have every little kink worked out. Honestly, you’re at risk of getting a dud when you purchase any electronic device.