LG has lifted the lid on the G5: it's flagship smartphone for 2016. It's a pretty awesome device, with one very special trick to help set it apart from the rest. But what do the experts think?
The LG G5 just had its grand unveiling at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, and it’s already making waves. The 5.3-inch G5 has everything you’d expect from a modern flagship phone: a superfast processor, a camera (or in this case two cameras) with razor-sharp imaging, and a fingerprint sensor for ultimate security. But there’s more.
LG’s built the G5 with a modular design, which means you can take off the bottom of the phone and swap in a raft of alternatives (called Friends) with different abilities. You might want one with a supersized battery, for instance, or that proffers extra camera controls, or one that dials the music playback quality up to 11. The possibilities are near endless.
We think that’s a great bit of mobile innovation, but what do the experts in the tech press have to say about the G5? No need to go crawling the web to find out – we’ve done that for you…
Hands-on with the LG G5
“The LG G5 has a seamless plain look, side-mounted volume buttons, a fingerprint sensor and a 5.3-inch display, making it like the metal version of the Nexus 5X with an extra tenth of an inch. That’s okay, because LG also built the Nexus 5X and it was a great phone for its price, and the two phones only look similar on the outside.
“Inside, the LG G5 specs provide a significant upgrade, with a wide angle second camera on back, always-on display on front and the promise of modular accessories. The microSD card slot and removable battery remain, while the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 touts significant speed boosts.”
“In the recent past, LG has launched its flagship smartphone at a separate event after Samsung has shown its hand for the year. Now, not only is it putting the G5 up against Samsung’s 2016 top model at exactly the same time, it’s bringing a gang of Friends for extra intimidation as well. That’s bold. The great news is the G5 is gorgeous, and the modular feature makes it truly different from any other major phone. An impressive camera is almost expected from LG these days, and we believe it won’t disappoint during a longer test.”
“The LG G5 is innovative. The changeable battery – even if you never make use of any of the Friends – is a smart move and well executed. The specs of this handset stack up in a way that will appeal to many users: LG now has premium materials, but it retains memory expansion and even if that battery doesn’t last long, you can switch it out. We can’t really judge the performance of the new Qualcomm hardware or that of that new camera, but we’re excited by a reinvigorated LG, focusing on fun, being playful, and hitting us with a smartphone that could be very potent.”
“The LG G5 is nothing if not bold. It brings some truly momentous changes to the G series, with its metallic construction and streamlined software.”
“The LG G5 reflects a significant change in strategy for LG. The company continues to commit to excellent performance, but no longer wishes to push the limits of raw computing or camera sensor power just to win the technological race. Instead, it tries to synthesize and emphasize real-world scenarios that maximize user value. The G5 design simplification reflects that, and could extend the appeal of this handset to pragmatic, no-nonsense users who search “ease of use and efficiency” vs. raw power and extreme performance.”
“It’s safe to say I’m impressed with the LG G5. The metal body is a step up and LG has managed a design feat other manufacturers have failed at – retaining a removable battery and microSD slot in a phone that feels high-end. The modules I’ve seen so far are niche but they add something to the LG G5 that no other phone can lay claim to.”
“The LG G5 is nothing if not bold. It brings some truly momentous changes to the G series, with its metallic construction and streamlined software. It also brings true innovation to an industry that has become risk-averse. There are good reasons why LG’s rivals are playing it safe, almost to the point of becoming boring – the stakes are just too high, the competition too fierce. But LG couldn’t play it safe this time, and that’s visible in the G5.”
“Will phone buyers understand or care about what LG tried to accomplish with the G5’s modules? Is the removable battery still a selling point? Is the design of the G5 up to par? These are questions we can’t answer for now, but we will tell you this – LG deserves huge credit for trying something completely new.”
“There’s no doubt that the G5 will be one of the biggest stories of this year’s Mobile World Congress. It’s full of the very latest technology — which includes a redesigned screen that allows LG to only partially turn on the backlight and thus offer an always-on notifications and time display — and it has a range of augmentations ready to plug in. But what continues to resonate with me is just how much better the G5 is relative to what LG has done before.”
Coming soon… The LG G5 will be landing at Vodafone UK soon, so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, click here to check out the winners from this year’s Mobile Photography Awards, which will help to get you excited about what you could do with your next smartphone camera.
By Adam Bunker