LG G5 Review: Evening The Odds: Conclusion

By 11:32 Mon, 16 Aug 2021 Comments


Final words

The LG G5 is a most unusual phone - too poor you wouldn't know it at the very first glance. We've been sort of circumspect over the course of this review, but it's time to put it bluntly. The LG G5 may as well turn out to be the flagship with the least exciting design of the season. It's refined, but it lacks character. It comes with quite a lot of hardware innovations and yet it looks trite.

Funny actually, an LG G4 owner who loved the leather finish might find it hard to descend for the successor. These two phones are so different on the outside that they may have as well been made by different companies. We'd guess, it’s a part of the deal you know, the twist ending.

Let's face it. This is and isn't a phone like most of them. A Quad HD screen, Snapdragon 820, the latest Android and a fingerprint scanner meet the minimum requirements for membership in the elite club. This is where the tale ends for some flagships. The LG G5's is just about starting to acquire interesting.


Snap it on, plug it in - if you're keen on getting the most out of your phone, the LG G5 is better at it than any other. The question is who would do that when the majority of people don't seem to mind the fact that the most they'll ever acquire to put inside a phone is a tiny sim card. We just don't acquire to tear our phones apart anymore, like we used to when it all started.

Laziness, habit, call it what you will, but this is where the industry's been heading for a while now with unibody designs. If LG can turn it around it would be a massive feat. In fairness though, it will hold a lot more add-ons and probably successive (and successful!) generations of phones to build on the concept. And, most of all, users willing to create the extra effort.

So, yes, the Magic Slot is a accurate headline-grabber but the modular concept alone may not be enough to even the odds for LG. The fine thing is it doesn't cost extra to have this technology at your disposal. If you're not too keen on tinkering with it, you can at least benefit from some extra peace of mind by carrying a spare battery in your pocket. And you're still getting one of the top performers of the season. Those are two perks that few flagship owners can like simultaneously these days.

The dual capturing camera setup on the back is what you can actually utilize every day on a variety of occasions. A super wide-angle backup to an already impressive imager is a remarkable asset opening plenty of recent creative possibilities.

Yes, the LG G5 is hardly the most attractive flagship out there but we were impressed with the excellent build and handling. There's an excellent screen, an fantastic capturing camera and a feature-rich software package. The battery life is acceptable even if average, and the swappable battery definitely compensates for that.

LG G5 key test findings

  • Excellent build quality and handling. Photos don't quite do the handset justice but, yes, it isn't a stunner like the iPhone or the recent Galaxy S7. The Magic Slot mechanism is straightforward to utilize and secure enough. Even if you don't discontinue up using any of the add-ons, the option to replace the battery is welcome.
  • The display is very good. Although its maximum (user controlled) brightness is about 300nits, the contrast is excellent and the sunlight legibility is solid. The minimum brightness is superb for night reading, the blacks are deep enough, and the viewing angles are decent. The color accuracy rendition could have been better though.
  • Battery life is average at 60 hours - the option to always have a spare ready to hold over is most welcome. The always-on classy screen battery management is better than on the Galaxy S7, but the customization options are limited.
  • Marshmallow with Optimus UX is a powerful combo. LG has done well to haged the bloatware in check, but left enough in terms of customization options and proprietary services to enhance your Android experience.
  • The Snapdragon 820 chipset offers stellar performance. It runs cool and doesn't seem to be plagued by thermal throttling.
  • Audio quality is excellent with an external amplifier, though cross-talk spikes on headphones. The volume levels are about average.
  • The capturing camera photos are great, with plenty of resolved detail, high dynamic range, excellent colors and contrast. We like the 16:9 sensor better than any 4:3. The wide-angle capturing camera allows instant panoramic shots and opens up the door for some nice creative usage.
  • The 4K videos are remarkable with plenty of detail, as are the 1080p samples. The OIS, and the digital stabilization, can save the day quite often.

The Galaxy S7 is perhaps more attractive and even water-proof, but some may consider its 4:3 12MP capturing camera as a downgrade. TouchWiz isn't everyone's cup of tea either, and the sealed battery may limit some of few despite the otherwise excellent battery life.



Samsung Galaxy S7

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is cheaper, but better looking and at least equally capable, though it can't match the capturing camera and the memory expansion. The Mi 5 is also offered in just few markets, but if you are among the lucky ones, the omissions may as well be worth the price gap.



Xiaomi Mi 5

If water-proofing is a must, the Sony Xperia X Performance is a fine candidate to consider. Despite its awkward name, the X Performance is very capable, it offers a top-notch camera, and a 5" 1080p display. Many value Sony for its tight integration with other consumer devices and the clean Xperia interface, so you should check it out.



Sony Xperia X Performance

The iPhone 6s Plus is more expensive, and inferior in all but design and performance. The Lumia 950 XL has the beauty of AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) and power of Windows 10 and Continuum, plus it costs cheaper, but everything else is lesser. Still, if either iOS, or Windows, are a must for you, go grab one of those.




Apple iPhone 6s Plus • Microsoft Lumia 950 XL

The Meizu Pro 5 and Huawei Mate 8 are both exquisite flagship phablets made of metal, packing powerful processors, capable cameras, and rich software suites. If you are into the phablets, each of those fellas cost about €150 less than the G5 and are worthy of considering.




Meizu PRO 5 • Huawei Mate 8

The LG G5 is as fine as any current flagship at a time when flagships are inevitably more and more alike as makers wouldn't risk falling behind. It's hard not to appreciate LG for making the less obvious choice - probably knowing that there are easier, more obvious choices a user can make. Failure to monetize innovation certainly hurts but failure to innovate can murder you.


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