|Style & Handling|
|+ Innovative||- Plain design|
|+ Great camera||- Probably expensive|
|+ Powerful||- Small battery|
Verdict: The LG G5 is like nothing we've ever seen before. Innovative and powerful this phone has it all, except a stylish design.
It’s very easy to get excited about the LG G5, because unlike most phones which just get a specs upgrade year after year, the LG G5 is a completely different beast to the LG G4. From the design to the features and the camera it’s almost all new.
New isn’t always better of course though, so are these changes for the best or should LG have stuck with what it knows?
LG was one of the last companies to continue shipping its flagships in plastic, but it’s finally moved on to metal with the LG G5. The phone has a slim 7.7mm thick metal unibody, with gently curved edges.
It looks far better than either the plastic or leather versions of the LG G4, though it doesn’t have that phone’s curved back and as such isn’t quite as comfortable to hold. It's also a little bit on the plain side.
Beyond the change in material and shape LG has also moved the buttons around. Its iconic rear keys partially remain, as the power button is still on the back, complete with a new fingerprint scanner, but the volume buttons have been moved to the side. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on how well you got on with LG’s previous button placement, but it’s certainly more conventional.
The LG G5 has a 5.3-inch 1440 x 2560 screen. Surprisingly that’s a slight drop in size from the 5.5-inch LG G4, but it makes some sense, as 5.3 inches is a more manageable size.
It’s the same resolution though, leading to a higher pixel density of 554 pixels per inch. The screen is incredibly sharp then and like the Samsung Galaxy S7 it’s always on, so you can see notifications, the time and the date at all times without ever having to touch a button.
This takes a toll on battery life, but potentially not as much as constantly turning the screen on and off would and you can disable it if you’d prefer.
The LG G5 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor, with two cores clocked at 2.15GHz and two running at 1.6GHz. That might sound like a downgrade on the octa-core processors we were seeing in 2015 but in fact it should be a lot more powerful.
It’s also paired with 4GB of RAM for seriously beastly performance. It’s too early to say exactly how strong it will be and it will be interesting to see how it compares to the Exynos-powered Samsung Galaxy S7, but the LG G5 is set to be one of the most powerful phones we’ve ever seen.
The LG G5 has an interesting camera, as there’s both a 16MP and an 8MP snapper on the back. The 8MP one is an extreme wide angle one, so you can fit a lot more in your shots if you choose to use it, while the 16MP one will pack in more detail but has a fairly standard focal length.
The camera also has optical image stabilisation to minimise the effects of camera shake and it can shoot video in 2160p at 30fps.
Round the front there’s an 8MP snapper, which is more megapixels than the 5MP Galaxy S7 offers. Megapixels aren’t everything of course, but it should be able to take sharp selfies.
Other than the dual-lens camera the main new feature of the LG G5 is its accessory slot. This lets you add extra features to the phone, such as a bigger battery, a camera grip and HD audio. Those are the only options available at launch, but it’s likely that LG will roll out additional ones over time, especially if they prove popular.
The LG G5 has a 2800 mAh battery, which is a little smaller than the 3000 mAh juice packs in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G4, but the G5 is supposedly very power efficient, so it should go a long way. We’ll let you know exactly how it pans out in our full review.
But one thing we can tell you right now is that it supports fast charging and has a removable battery, which will come as good news to some.
There’s 32GB of built in storage in the phone plus a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 200GB, so you should have plenty of room for all your apps and media.
There’s a full house of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC.
The LG G5 is one of the most innovative and exciting phones we’ve seen in years, thanks to its accessory slot and dual-lens camera. But it doesn’t forget about the basics, packing in a whole lot of power and a great screen, plus LG has finally delivered a premium design on its flagship phone.
It doesn’t look quite as stylish as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and it remains to be seen exactly how good the battery life will be, but overall the LG G5 looks very promising indeed.