Tuesday, 19 July 2016

LG G5

LG has planned to do something out of the box this time with their G5 flagship phone. The G4 wasn’t a success last year and sales weren’t upto the expectations. With other phone brands already launching their new models aggressively in the market , LG had no choice but to reinvent the phone! Their modular G5 is like the beta version of Google’s Project Ara, let’s have a look at how they plan to change the mobile  phone industry…


Design & Hardware


The LG G5 is not one of the best looking phones to hit the market...there I’ve said it , the cards are out! It promises to be an all metal linked design so as to not make it obvious of it’s modular / removable parts but unfortunately, that’s not how the phone is and the modules are such that making it unidentifiable from the rest of the phone’s body was going to be a challenge. It’s not premium quality and feels a mix of plastic & metal which quite frankly is disappointing considering the hefty price tag on this flagship! 


At the edges you can see the metal being curved and not being in sync with the glass panel/screen in the front.The phone has a 5.3” screen which gently curves at the top edge and feels pretty smooth & just below the edge is the front camera on the top left corner with the speaker and LED notification indicator.The top edge has the IR blaster and 3.5mm audio port. Hybrid SIM / card slot takes it’s place on the right edge while the left edge has the volume rockers & the Module Lock Switch which brings us to the most interesting bit at the bottom of the phone.The base has the USB type C port, mic & the speaker grill which can be unlocked and detached from the phone by pressing the switch and pulling the base out to reveal the shiny yellow replaceable battery!

Obviously the battery is not connected to the base module electronically but just uses it as a holder. As of now, the 2 “Friends” or modules available for the LG G5 are the Cam Plus which is a  camera grip with dedicated buttons with an additional 1200 mAh battery. The 2nd “friend” is the Hi-Fi Plus which is a DAC module made by Bang & Olufsen to act as a fancy additional h/w to improve the sound quality of your speaker & audio jack.

Finally, coming to the back of the phone you have the dual camera setup with 16MP & 8MP cameras along with a dual LED flash , laser auto focus & color sensor. Below this setup you’ll find the power button cum fingerprint sensor which unlocks just by placing your finger on it . The 5.3” display is a 1440 x 2560 , eye popping 554 ppi IPS LCD screen protected by Corning Gorilla glass 4. One of the brightest & sharpest screens ever on any phone & it doesn’t disappoint . Even in bright sunlight it doesn’t cause any issues as Auto Brightness does a good job.

The hardware obviously has to be top notch considering the fact that the G5 is a flagship device and it doesn’t disappoint. The Snapdragon 820 has 2 dual cores running at 2.15Ghz  & 1.6Ghz along with the Adreno 530 GPU. It’s got 4GB RAM & 32GB ROM with an expandable option of 200GB storage space via the Micro SD card but only at the expense of your 2nd SIM ( something that is absolutely baffling considering the price of the device ) .The battery is 2800 mAh which is a tad small for my liking considering the screen is gonna suck half of the battery.The phone does support USB OTG. The phone is available in 4 colors, Titan, Gold , Silver & Pink. 

Software


The G5 runs Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 out of the box over layed by LG’s own Optimus UI 5.0 which is different from the Sense UI they had on older flagships . 

This UI gives you a lot of customisation option and ability to change almost all aspects of the phone’s screen like the toggle switches, soft keys, notification bar , gesture shortcuts etc.The Always On feature is an inspiration from the Moto phones but LG have chosen to do this on an LCD screen instead of an AMOLED one. The feature lets you see all your notifications and clock etc without turning ON the phone screen. There are thankfully not many pre installed apps and other bloatware so you won’t be spending much time on uninstalling any ! Overall, it’s a bug free and smooth interface which is something LG has always taken pride in. 

Camera


Another unique feature of the LG G5 is the dual rear camera option with a 16 MP (f/1.8) & 8 MP (f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS (3-axis) setup . The camera app is like most other with a few extra one touch options instead of a toggle. The wide angle option is a result of having 2 cameras being able to stitch images and giving you 135 deg angle photos. The quality is amazing in bright & low light and is pretty good indoors as well. One of the best phone cameras and perhaps as good as the Samsung S7. Video recording is done at  4K, 2160p@30fps ,and 1080p@30fps. The Front camera is 8mp (f / 2.0) & can take very good selfies . It can also record videos at 1080p @30 fps.

Multimedia


I love to play high end games on the phone and this is one phone that definitely does all that you expect from it. I had FIFA 16, Asphalt 8, Unskilled , Deathmatch , & Mortal Kombat all running in the background while playing Riptide and I could switch between them in seconds without any major lag! The AnTuTu score of 141570 is massive and justifies the optimisation guys at LG have managed to get out of the H/W & S/W. The phone did heat up a little bit it is expected and nothing to worry about. On heavy usage with 4G I could get a battery life of just over 12 hours which is unexpected considering it’s only 2800 mAh! Also, Quick Charge 3.0 means you can charge your dead LG G5 to 100% in an hour! Call quality is good & sound via the speakers and earphone is top quality as well.

 

Conclusion


The major cons here are hybrid SIM slot, average build quality & a hefty price tag in an otherwise flagship phone of the year contender.  If you don;t want to mess around with the cheap Chinese flagships & want the best money can buy go for the LG G5!

LG G5 gets a 4/5.




★★★★☆ 

Pritesh Khilnani




LG G5 at CeX


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