LG G5 test review: impressive camera, but disappointing design

by Jerry

The LG G5 is about to be released, and our colleagues in the world's press are already offering their experiences. So here's a review of LG G5 tests, allowing you to see at a glance what the world thinks of the latest smartphone from the Korean manufacturer before our official test.

When we first took control of the LG G5 at Mobile World Congress 2016, the phone was able to seduce us thanks to its well thought out ergonomics and impressive technical record. Not to mention of course the dual rear photo sensor, allowing a lot of follies.

However, this was not a final version of the phone, and some aspects, including the LG UX overlay and optimization of the latter, remained to work for the Korean manufacturer. The big question, however, remained whether the implementation of modular design would not prove impractical on a daily basis.

While our high-tech expert whom everyone envy us, with the international fame and silky hairs we call Gaby, prepares behind the scenes our test of the LG G5, we offer you a summary of the first impressions collected from our colleagues of the international press.

A design too mundane

Its design, which merges the unibody now expected of a high-end smartphone in 2016 with the possibility of changing battery easily thanks to the modular, receives a mixed reception. For many, this one is reminiscent of the Nexus 5X with a metal coating.

The GSM Arena website for example notes that "the LG G5 could well be the smartphone with the least interesting design of the season. It is refined, but lacks character. It has many innovations but seems banal."

MobileSyrup, meanwhile, are less mixed, and speak directly of a phone with a "gross de-cluttering" design, underscoring the fact that the dual photo sensor and fingerprint scanner, both raised, tarnish its design.

Fortunately, Digital Trends contrasts these reviews. For them, these are only the first impressions that the phone gives. In fact, the design choices are subtle,but are noticeable on a daily basis: "use it for a few days, and you will be grateful for the design and shape choices that LG has made".

Top performance

On the other hand, on the performance aspect, the Snapdragon 820 coupled with 4GB of RAM and the LG UX overlay put everyone in agreement: the LG G5 is a monster of fluidity and speed, and can take just about anything and everything by switching from one application to another without any slowdown.

Stuff TV magazine notes that "moving quickly from Chrome to WhatsApp or Twitter doesn't even shake the LG G5. […] Even when you push it and test it with a greedy game like Asphalt 8, this phone will not show the slightest drop in performance."

Editor Ben Sin, who tested the phone for Forbes, sees a big improvement: "Opening and closing an app is remarkably faster than on the LG V10, LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6." These 3 phones from last year, however, is not very surprising.

All tests note that the presence of a Micro SD port is more than welcome, although the absence of the Adoptive Storage of Android 6.0 Marshmallow is unfortunate. The screen is also noticed, offering bright and dynamic colors.

Impressive camera

This is the great strength of the LG G5: its dual rear photo sensor, offering to take a photo from a first 16MP sensor or a second 8MP wide-angle 135. The first pictures taken with the LG G5 were already encouraging, and the press seems to confirm this first feeling.

Digital Trends seems to have fallen in love with this dual sensor: "The LG G4 and V10 are 2 of the best photophones ever created, and LG has not sacrificed any of their photographic prowess with the G5. His camera is absolutely fantastic,and you can't stop taking pictures with it."

Although the site appreciates the full photo capabilities of the phone, including front sensor, it is the 8 MP wide angle sensor that impresses the most: "Using the wide angle makes addicted. It changes the way we think about framing, image composition and focal length." They also highlight good low-light performance.

TrustedReviews has the same attraction for wide angle, but don't forget to note the 16 MP sensor: "The colors are natural, the laser focus is accurate and each photo has an excellent level of detail. The intricate details of the walls, paint brushes or fibers of a carpet are all perfectly transcribed."

Pocket-Lint gives us a good conclusion: "As for the cameras on board our phones, LG's dual offering is an explosive player with very good features that easily climb to the top of the best smartphones. It is very impressive,to the point of making us forget our negative view of the modules."

Useful modules… Or not

Because yes, the big difference of the LG G5 from the rest of the competition is its modular design allowing it to accommodate accessories supposed to boost its performance, such as the LG Cam Plus or the DAC Bang and Olufsen.

And Pocket-lint is far from convinced: "Modular design is such a breakthrough in the high-end smartphone market that we'd like to be excited, really, but aren't. Because we can't imagine seeing essential accessories coming out and the LG 360 Cam/VR/DAC really used."

Digital Trends is more reserved: on the one hand, they appreciate this new desire to offer something different and practical, but on the other they declare: "We would like there to be a simpler way to change module,or for each of them to have their own battery so as not to have to remove it every time".

GSM Arena is a little more clear-cut on the issue: "It will take many more modules and probably successive generations of phones and accessories to improve this concept. And, above all, users willing to make that extra effort."

Appropriate autonomy

Announced with an internal battery of 2800mAh, the LG G5 scares on its autonomy. Especially since this one also has the Always On Display, which still pulls on the battery. But this one is removable, a plus for a high-end smartphone of this generation.

According to Forbes, the battery would not necessarily last a full day, but with intensive use: "[…] I must confess that I never managed to have a full day of use no matter the phone. Whether it's the iPhone 5S, the G3, G4, or V10, if I go at 11 o'clock, my phone is at 15% from 5pm.

For Pocket Lint, autonomy is "like that", neither good nor bad. GSM Arena's internal tests give it 60 hours of average battery life, going down to 50 hours with always on activated. However, it would outperform the Galaxy S7's Always On according to their tests, despite the LG G5's IPS display.

Digital Trends notes, however, that battery life needs to be improved: "If you use GPS for 2 hours, take a few pictures, and use your phone normally for texting, email and apps; the battery will give up at the end of the day."

However, everyone noted that the Quick Charge 3.0 was a real bonus for the phone and that Qualcomm's new charging standard was extremely efficient and fast. The LG G5 is one of the few to integrate it this year, the Xperia X and X Performance for example not supporting it despite the Snapdragon 820.

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