LG G5 review: the most daring smartphone on the market is also very good

A breath of fresh air that you can like more or less, but that we have been happy with a vintage of franchise terminals "continuationists"This is the LG G5 that we have tested in Xataka.

The LG franchise of this year 2016 decided that it would be a revolution on many levels instead of a simple evolution and has complied with it. In the LG G5 we find new features in the design, the camera, the screen and of course its module system that brings us closer to that idea of ​​a terminal to improve certain sections. Touch analysis of the LG G5 in Xataka to tell you if the daring can complement a base that was already quite solid.

LG G5, main features

On a basis that is well known to us this year (screen diagonal, processor, RAM or internal memory), the LG G5 stands out from the more established and conservative competition with its removable battery (literally thanks to its modular design) as well as with the dual camera with 16 and 8 MP sensors. Let's know at a glance the technical specifications of the LG G5.

LG G5, technical characteristics Physical dimensions 149.4x73.9x7.7 mm ,, 159 grams screen IPS Quantum Display 5.3 inch Resolution 2560 x 1440 pixels (554 dpi) Processor Snapdragon 820 RAM 4 GB DDR4 Memory 32 (with microSD slot up to 2TB) Software version Android 6.0 with LG UX Connectivity LTE Cat 9, Wifi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, IR Cameras Dual rear 16 MP (f1.8) / 8 MP (f2.4)
Optical stabilization and laser focus
4K recording
8 MP front with dual tone flash / f1.8 Battery 2800 mAh (Removable) / Fast charge Additional features Fingerprint reader / USB-C 3.1 port Price From 660 euros (on Amazon)

Video review of the LG G5

One of the most personal designs on the market today, with a metallic finish that pays attention to detail, and the module system, they deserved a full video analysis to get to know this LG G5 very closely.

Nothing about this LG G5 is like before

When we anticipate in our first live impressions on Facebook what this LG G5 was like, a very repeated question was that of design. The question was whether we liked it or it seemed horrible.

That question I imagine comes because at the outset nothing seems the same in this LG G5 regarding the design of the previous models of the company except for a good use of the front for the screen.

LG has created its best terminal in finishing and curiously it is the one that causes the most controversy at the design level, risky and personal, both due to its peculiarities of appearance and the module system.

The most direct thing we appreciate when looking at the LG G5 is that it goes from discreet finishes in plastic or imitation leather to a one-piece metal body. This design may or may not like it, here everyone's preferences depend, but what is certain is their level of concern for details.

To make this design quite personal, the union of rear and front without a classic or well-defined frame contributes in the first place, which gives a lot of continuity to the view. That feeling is further accentuated by the asymmetrical front and for me very attractive, and where the screen protection glass reaches the upper frame and joins it in a curved and very subtle way.

The aforementioned continuity is almost complete in the entire metal body except in the lower part, where the great secret of this LG G5 is hidden. It has been baptized as modular design and it advances us in a certain way an idea of ​​understanding the smartphone where improvements come through interchangeable modules. The implementation in this LG G5 is very far from achieving this, but it does leave us with a way, at least different, of providing improvements or functionalities to the phone.

The operation of the modular system has no secrets: by means of a robust tab and nothing easy to activate inadvertently (there is no danger of a module being released by mistake or accident), we can remove the bottom of the LG G5 to replace it with different modules.

To be a first generation, the modular system seems correct to us but with defects such as that the terminal restarts every time we change accessories

The anchoring system is safe but you have to be forceful with the closure. If not, it is easy that it does not fit perfectly. We had hoped for a somewhat more sophisticated system that did not resort to brute force alone for coupling and decoupling.

Something that should be known is that every time we change the module, the system restarts because there is no integrated battery, and although it will not be something we do very often, it is a problem that should have been solved with some type of small internal battery that maintains the system active while we proceed to the module change.

The accessories available for now are quite scarce. Only two use the modular system, although the LG Friends that the Korean manufacturer has called include virtual reality glasses or the 360-degree camera, among others.

  • LG Hi-Fi Plus. By the hand of B&O this module has been created for those who are looking for more sound quality. Includes a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC and amplifier.

  • LG Cam Plus. Basically it is a grip that provides us with an extra 1,200 mAh battery to compensate for the energy expenditure in more intense photo shoots. Also add some physical button for shooting, video recording and a zoom mode that takes advantage of the double sensor to simulate it

LG hopes to offer some more modules, as well as others from third-party manufacturers. It is a complex and risky bet and an investment perhaps too large for the current life cycle of a high-end terminal for certain users, surely those interested in this type of concept. In addition there are modules that could have been greatly improved, for example the camera, since more battery and physical button seems to us unambitious.

Something important about the Magic Slot: even if you do not want to use it, it does not affect the use of the terminal at all and has the advantage that you have a removable battery in a metal body

In any case, this system does not alter the operation of the terminal at all, which is surely its greatest attraction, and we can opt for the LG G5 even if we do not intend to take advantage of the module exchange system. That the possibility exists and LG has dared to offer it commercially is very good news, although the final result by design and execution raises doubts.

For now, the most advantageous feature of the Magic Slot system is precisely that we have a removable battery in a one-piece metal body with the only commitment that it is a non-waterproof terminal.

In hand the LG G5 is very nice, soft and with very rounded edges. And despite this there is no excessive sliding and the grip, without being one of the best, is enough. In dimensions, especially weight, height and width, we find it very balanced.

The format with all the controls on the back varies slightly on this LG G5. Now the volume keys are located on one side while the start button stays on the back. In daily use, we have to restart our way of seeing an LG, which first passed all the physical buttons to the back and when we get used to it, it goes and changes it.

At the back is the other element that draws powerfully attention and will be the hallmark of this terminal is the double camera. In that slight, well-concealed protuberance are the camera's two main sensors, the dual LED flash and the focus laser.

The bottom edge features the USB-C port, another microphone, and the main speaker. The sound it offers is quite powerful, with good sound definition but also some distortion if we press the volume to the maximum. At the top edge are the infrared port, a microphone, and the 3.5mm headphone port. Regarding the audio quality of this terminal, there is support for aptX HD for 24-bit sound via bluetooth, in case you are one of those who use external wireless speakers.

As for the front, the glass covers the top, where LG has placed a speaker, the large 8 MP sensor of the secondary camera and a configurable notification LED.

Something to talk about in detail is the fingerprint sensor. Its size has been reduced considerably, so much so that even a fingertip like mine, in a hand that is not very large, is larger than the available surface.

After a few first hours with enough identification problems the first time, we got used to the natural placement of the finger to identify ourselves and once the situation of the reader is assimilated, it is a very fast system that does not require pressing the button but only posing the finger on it even with the screen locked. But I don't think it's at the same level of utility as front-finger readers, no matter how much that seems like their natural position.

5.3-inch screen with good visibility outdoors

You will hardly notice the change but the LG G5 debuts screen diagonal, which the Koreans have reduced from the 5.5 inches that have characterized the company's franchise in recent years to 5.3 of the new model. The difference is not appreciable and leaves us with more than correct dimensions along the lines of what we have seen in previous LG franchises, without a doubt the company that has best dealt with the proportion of the screen compared to the front of the terminal in its range.

What LG does not give up is the QuadHD resolution that has also been the hallmark of previous LG Gs. We gain pixel density to exceed 550 dpi, which is absolute sharpness for our eyes, and all this while maintaining an IPS technology for the panel, which repeats Quantum technology to offer a higher contrast that compensates for differences in this regard with AMOLED screens. . Logically it does not reach the levels of a SuperAMOLED but especially the blacks we liked a lot.

The LG G5's screen is more than correct in almost everything: good density, outdoor visibility, contrast and the addition of on-screen notifications. But it is not the best on the market

What LG does not fully enhance in its panels with Quantum technology is a strong brightness without resorting to specific impulses. In the usual use we are not facing a particularly striking screen in this section, it remains correct, but despite this and resorting to a enhancer of brightness when direct light hits the panel, the LG G5's screen looks pretty good outdoors. Better to have the automatic mode activated because it is the one that gives us an extra light so that, combined with the contrast, it makes it easier for us to use the LG G5 with ease on the street.

A novelty that is already essential in the high-end and that the great protagonists except the iPhone are incorporating, is the Always On mode. The LG G5 builds it on LCD technology but in our tests we have not appreciated that there is an extra consumption that affects autonomy on a global level or to obviate this function that seems so practical. We like LG's implementation because it is complete (in the sense that it does not limit which applications or services can put warnings on the locked screen) and grouped. We cannot see advance notifications but it does give us visual information about pending notifications and from which application they originated.

Maximum power and excellent fast charge

The internal configuration of the LG G5 does not bring surprises. It combines a Snapdragon 820 with 4 GB of RAM, so both in synthetic tests and on a day-to-day basis, it has been the most powerful on the market, without delays or complications of any kind. The figures that we have obtained in tests with various benchmarks keep this LG G5 among the best of the year in terms of performance without, as we have already verified in various configurations this 2016, there is any problem of overheating.

HTC 10 (Snapdragon 820) LG G5 (Snapdragon 820) Xiaomi Mi5 (Snapdragon 820) Galaxy S7 Edge (Exynos 8) Antutu 129634 125499 110011 112920 Geekbench (Single / Multi) 2354 / 5338 2277 / 4137 2234 / 5412 2117 / 6063

In other tests we have managed to achieve an average of 27,800 points in IceStorm Unlimited or 5811 in PCMark.

To that we have had a feeling of total fluidity helps the customization layer of LG on Android 6.0. It is quite light and respectful with the appearance and design lines of Android but with customization possibilities, and options such as notifications or help services complement Android services very well without duplicating them unnecessarily.

The most curious thing for the user is that LG maintains the idea of ​​not having an application menu and placing them all on successive screens. Other contributions such as the serial file manager in the style of folders in a classic desktop system are sure to be well received by users who prefer this type of management in their smarpthones and that with this LG G5 do not need a third-party application.

The internal memory of the LG G5 is 32 GB but we can expand it with microSD cards (up to 2 TB) in a tray that also includes space for nanoSIM. You have to use a tool to remove it, so if you intend to replace the microSD often, you better get some to always carry with you. The one that includes the standard LG G5 is ideal to place it on a keychain.

With the autonomy of the high range very matched or at least with nobody standing out a lot, the value of the battery in a high range is in the fast charge and that it can be removable. In both points this LG G5 is the best of the year

And the battery capacity? It is 2800 mAh, a priori little for a beast like this, as well as removable as we have seen. It gives us autonomy that in our tests has exceeded the day of use with total solvency. Typically, with intensive use based on mail management, a couple of calls, video, some gaming, photography and a lot of social network, it was not necessary to resort to a charger until night. Good but less than what we expected in this high range.

As in other smartphones this year, the best is not so much what it is capable of holding, but the fast charging system. In this LG G5 it is really fast and allows us to reach 50% charge in just over 20 minutes. For a full charge it only takes about 45 minutes, so the battery life can almost be said to be in the background once it is able to last at least a full day of use with a lot of solvency. And let's not forget that the battery of this LG G5 is removable, so for those who appreciate this feature, it is an extra to add to this quite good section that we have found in our test with the LG G5.

Double camera for double the fun (but not double the quality)

The surprises of the LG G5 do not end in the design or modular system. The camera is not the usual one and we find a dual sensor system in the back, a trend that is increasing in the high-end but that each manufacturer treats differently.

The main sensor of the LG G5, the one that you should really care about for the quality of your images, is 16 megapixels. The second, 8 MP, is not used to improve the quality of the final images. Nor does he need much. The photos that we have managed to take with the LG G5 (we are talking about its main sensor) are in line with the best on the market this year, both in scenes with light and to a certain extent in night scenes. Although they don't stand out.

The main camera of the LG G5 is very fast shooting and also focusing, where it is supported by a laser focus system. That speed is only reduced in night scenes where after the quick initial focus, when you press the shutter button, there is a refocusing and subsequent recording of the image, something that takes a second and, at this point, it is strange to experiment in a high-end like the LG G5.

The dual sensor does not improve the quality of the photos of the LG G5, which is quite good, but it is addictive and a lot of fun to use. With no other terminal you can take such different photos in such a simple way

The main sensor and its 16 MP manage to capture an enormous level of detail and that is not within the reach of manufacturers who have reduced the resolution of their cameras to 12 MP. This allows us more forceful and successful enlargements, and without the processing irremediably spoiling the scene.

We especially liked the behavior for close-up photos, where the aperture of f1.8 helps to achieve a very simple blur and result. Look at the scene below (what a good characterization to the Game of Thrones) where we can cut 100% a face from the general image with quite a good result in global terms.

The 16 MP allow 100% trimming in great detail, although processing can be improved

In night scenes, that sensor size that must accommodate more pixels begins to suffer, but we can still get correct and very usable scenes if we do not want to cut too much.

Where the LG G5 does stand out from the competition is in the use of a second 8 MP camera. With it, what LG has achieved is that we can capture with a viewing angle of 135 degrees. This shooting mode is activated automatically with a button always available in the interface, or by using the zoom (on the screen by making the gesture of pinching or with a slider). When you zoom in, there comes a time when you automatically switch to wide-angle viewing mode.

See complete gallery »LG G5 gallery (24 photos)

That is the only advantage of the second sensor. As I have told you, it is not used to improve the quality of the image but despite this it has seemed very useful and fun, and we have ended up using it much more than we thought because it offers us an original and unseen shooting mode. But be careful because the quality of the photos taken with the enlarged mode is reduced a lot, especially in the detail that we can get (and in night scenes the aperture f2.4 of the second camera does not help anything), but for images that we do not want to enlarge the results are very striking. In landscape mode we get something similar to a compact panorama while vertically the effect sometimes resembles a fisheye but with hardly any distortion.

Of the functions that also take advantage of the double camera there is one to make a kind of classic photo montage on the 135-degree angle, or combine those two possible scenes with a selfie with the secondary, 8 MP resolution and with detection mode smile to shoot at the exact moment our selfie. The camera interface repeats and we love it. It is very easy to change modes, there are quite a few options and of course we have what for me is the most complete manual mode by options and interface.

LG G5, the opinion and note of Xataka

LG has taken risks with its new G5 and offers enough arguments to consider itself as the most different terminal from those that have arrived this year. It maintains a high level of screen, performance and autonomy, especially with the possibility of swapping it and fast charging, and it gives a leap of quality in the metal finish, although we do not think they get their rounder terminal in this section.

LG has risked and the play has gone well. It is at a good level in general, adds some differentiation, comforting in these days of maximum equality, but the round terminal that beats the others is not

The most groundbreaking thing is the module exchange system, which may or may not convince you, but does not interfere at all with the use or operation of the LG G5 if you do not want to buy any. In any case, it allows you to exchange batteries despite its one-piece metal body. But we expected more ambition in this system.

Finally we have the double camera, which, like the module system, adds to the experience by maintaining a very high quality in the main module but adding the possibility of easily obtaining different photos with little sacrifice.


Design8.75 screen Performance9.5 Camera9.5 Software8.5 Autonomy9

In favor

  • Great finish and balance in dimensions
  • Level camera with the addition of the second wide-angle sensor
  • Very fast loading
  • The module system is a breath of fresh air


  • Balanced but not dazzling display
  • The use of the angular camera leaves us with less quality images
  • Modular system little used for now and executed only correctly
  • Controversial design

The terminal has been loaned for testing by LG. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.

LG G5 - Free Android Smartphone (5.3 "screen, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory, 16 MP camera), titanium color

Today in amazon for € 197.98

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