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Written by: Darren Zygadlo | Twitter: @darrenzygadlo | Instagram: @onecutreviews
LG is calling their new G5 a “game changer in the Canadian market” and with so many options out there, can this one weigh in against the big guns? We’d like to think so.
Metal seems to be the new design motif this year and its about time LG moved away from their plastic construction. The G5 is beautiful with its metal back and single volume clicker and SIM-tray present on either side and clever lock switch situated below the camera sensors. New this year, is the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner which has been added to the back changing the rear button layout LG is iconic for.
Where LG shines is with its modular design, simply pop out the bottom chin of the phone and replace it with different modules – such as an extended battery, DAC and more. This is something very new in the smartphone world and does work incredibly well despite being a little “gimmicky” in our eyes. The jury is out on this one.
LG has never been a slob when it comes to screens and the 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 554ppi) with always-on screen readability is yet again an eye catcher. The size is also spot on and sits right in the comfort zone of screen size in our eyes. It is super sharp, has great black levels and is crazy bright; perfect for outdoor viewing.
The phone is rocking the latest Android software – Marshmallow 6.1 but sadly is still weighed down by LG’s UX which is better but still feels clunky and nowhere near the stock android experience we desire.
Now hardware is where LG comes to bat with its Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Processor paired with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 32GB UFS ROM / microSD (up to 2TB). The commitment to keeping the SD card is much appreciated and in everyday use such as web browsing, scrolling through menus and opening up apps, the phone is mostly smooth and lag-free. The single down facing speaker is also suitably loud but unfortunately still “tinny” sounding and lacks bass.
The camera on the LG G5 is fantastic with its Dual lens rear that lets you choose between a standard or a 135-degree wide angle lens to capture more. The rear shooter clocks in at an impressive 16 megapixels while the front facing camera is a clever wide 8megapixel selfie machine. The f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilisation combine to produce pictures that are bright, with strong colours, and mostly blur-free. 4K/UHD video also looks amazing and with its modular add-ons, put the G5 in a class of its own.
Sadly, in the battery department, LG has opted for the smaller 2800mah battery as compared to last years 3000mah battery on the G4. It can still last the day but we do wish LG had upped their game here. However, the phone does include Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 and a modular extended battery add-on for piece of mind.
To conclude, the LG G5 is a solid performer and one that can punch above the belt quality wise but in 2016 is a modular phone enough to win over the masses? Only time will tell.