The LG G5 was a unique and ambitious offering from LG in 2016. It was one of the first mainstream smartphones to experiment with a modular design. Here’s an in-depth review of the LG G5:
The LG G5 aimed to stand out in the crowded smartphone market with its modular “Friends” approach. This allowed users to swap out the bottom chin of the phone to add different modules or accessories. While it was an innovative concept, it received mixed reactions from both critics and consumers.
- Operating System: Initially shipped with Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) and later received updates.
- Display: 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS LCD with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820.
- Memory: 4 GB RAM with 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD.
- Camera: Dual-camera setup with a 16 MP primary sensor and an 8 MP wide-angle sensor. The front camera is an 8 MP shooter.
- Battery: A 2800 mAh removable battery.
- Other Features: USB Type-C, fingerprint sensor, and modular design.
- Modular Design: The G5’s modularity allowed for unique accessories like a camera grip or a Hi-Fi DAC for improved audio.
- Camera: The dual-camera setup, especially the wide-angle lens, was appreciated for its versatility.
- Removable Battery: At a time when most flagships were moving away from this feature, the G5 still offered a removable battery.
- Performance: Powered by the Snapdragon 820, the device offered solid performance.
- Build Quality: Despite being made of metal, the phone’s coating gave it a plastic-like feel, which wasn’t as premium as competitors.
- Modular Implementation: While innovative, the modular system was seen as not fully fleshed out, with limited modules available.
- Battery Life: The 2800 mAh battery was considered small for a flagship, leading to average battery life.
- Software: LG’s UI was considered bloated by some and wasn’t as refined as some competitors.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its price bracket, the LG G5 faced competition from:
- Samsung Galaxy S7: Offering a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 820/Exynos 8890, and a premium glass/metal design.
- HTC 10: Featuring a 5.2-inch Quad HD Super LCD5 display, Snapdragon 820, and a metal unibody design.
- iPhone 6s: Apple’s offering with a 4.7-inch Retina display, Apple A9 chip, and a premium metal design.
The LG G5 was announced in February 2016 and became available in various markets in April 2016.
- Modular Connection Issues: Some users reported issues with modules not connecting properly or the phone restarting when swapping modules.
- GPS Issues: There were reports of the GPS not locking onto a signal or being inaccurate.
- Screen Burn-In: Some users experienced screen burn-in or image retention issues over time.
The LG G5 was a bold attempt by LG to differentiate itself in the market with a modular design. While the concept was innovative, the execution and market reception were mixed. The phone did offer a good camera experience, especially with its wide-angle lens, and the removable battery was a plus for many users. However, the overall build quality, software experience, and limited modular ecosystem held it back from being a top contender in its year. For those intrigued by the modular concept and the wide-angle camera, the G5 was an interesting choice. However, those looking for a more traditional and polished flagship experience might have leaned towards other options available in the market at the time.