Reviews

LG G5 first looks and impression : First Modular Smartphone

LG-G5-Modular battery

LG G5

LG G5
8.64285714286

Design

8/10

    Display

    10/10

      Hardware

      9/10

        Software

        9/10

          Camera

          10/10

            Sound

            8/10

              Price

              8/10

                Pros

                • - Performance
                • - Camera
                • - Modular Phone
                • - Removable Battery
                • - RAM
                • - Memory
                • - Quick Charge
                • - CG4
                • - Universal Remote

                Cons

                • - Display
                • - Build Quality
                • - Battery Life
                • - Missing FM

                Officially LG G5 is revealed today in India for Rs 52,900, but this Modular Smartphone has been in news for a long time. Before, We go ahead with any Details, Lets have a look at some of the features which make LG G5 totally different and a flagship of H1 2016.

                Modular Battery

                Dual Rear Camera

                3 Axis OIS

                Expandable memory up to 200TB

                Though, lot of users have been telling us, there are some more features like NFC, QHD Display, Snapdragon 820 all put together make it a Flagship Smartphone. But, In my opinion, all the above mentioned features have become very common. We should be concentrating on those features, which are Unique or rarely observed in Smartphones.

                Lets have a quick look at the main features

                • 5.3″ QHD Quantum Display, 1440 x 2560 pixels (~554 ppi pixel density)
                • Corning Grorilla Glass 4, ~70.1% screen-to-body ratio
                • Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
                • Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
                • Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo
                • 4GB RAM + 32GB Internal Memory expandable up to 200TB
                • Rear Camera : 16 MP (f/1.8) + 8 MP (f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS (3-axis), LED flash
                • 8 MP, f/2.0, 1080p@30fps
                • NFC, Fingerprint Scanner, IR
                • 2800 mAh battery with Fast battery charging: 83% in 30 min (Quick Charge 3.0)
                • 7.7 mm / 159 g

                Retail Box Contents

                Inside the box ,Users will find the USB Type C cable and a metal key, but the manual and charger are lacking ( as it’s a Demo Unit ), Headphones are also missing, not in Demo package , but I believe, not available in Retail Pack also. Most of the users are curious about the Detachable battery, on the side of the Device you will find a small button, When you press the button, it detaches the bottom lid with the battery. In that area we can connect another lid, a module that includes B&O acoustics or a special camera module with camera buttons and an extra battery.

                Design and Display

                LG G5 Design is inspried by LG 5X, More or less, Design is one part which is not that impressive. It gives you plastic looks ?? Is it so !! Well, Always Believe your eyes. You will not find any sharp edges, rather i will call it as Round Edge. Neat and clean curves, except for the back. At the back, you get Dual Camera, Flash and Round Finger print scanner.

                Now, this Design is slightly debatable, as personally I like smooth back, but LG G5 may not be that smooth, slightly protruded Camera and scanner. I personally hate this.

                For Design, I can say ” More of a Plastic look than Metal “.  Though LG has another thoughts, LG insists it’s a unique aluminum alloy coated with a primer — a process which is generally known as “micro-dizing.” Now, I will part on LG to clarify, whether it’s Metal coated with Plastic to cover Antenna, Or I don’t know.

                Design and build quality are disappointing in that the G5 doesn’t quite match the Galaxy S7. Samsung’s 2016 flagship is a marvel of mobile devices. The Galaxy S7 is mixture of metal and glass, which you can see and feel for yourself. The G5 barely makes a meaningful impression because you really don’t get that ‘wow’ impact when it’s in your hands. It reminds you of the plastic phones you loved to hate in the past.

                Coming to Display, The LG G5 sports a 5.3″ IPS LCD display with full HD (1,440 x 2,560) screen resolution and a sharp pixel density of 554ppi. Below 5.5″ Smartphones, my loyalty goes down. I can not use a smartphone of lower screen size.

                Well, there are users who do accept screen size of 5″ ~ 5.3″. But, if you Notice, LG G2 was 5.2″, and we have not seen much of progress in screen size. What can really boost your confidence on Screen is, Corning Gorilla Glass 4, making it scratch Resistant.

                Color Saturation works well, But I believe LG has slightly differentiated itself from Samsung, when we talk of lively or cool colors. Samsung looks more lively than LG, But the key questions remains ? Does this Color difference makes Samsung a better Display !! I think it’s a personal choice. I am frequent user of  Note 5, Note Edge and Gionee E8, All big Size Smartphones, I was not that impressed with LG Display Size and Colors.

                At the end of the day ” Samsung and Gionee Display is better than LG.”

                Hardware , Software and Performance

                For Hardware, I will give full marks to LG for providing 4GB RAM, coupled with 32GB Internal memory, which is further expandable up to 200TB ( Amazing Memory Capability ). I simply reject Smartphones below 32GB Memory. Though, LG has not made remarkable improvement in memory over LG G2, which was launched 3 years back. Both work on same Internal memory.

                The performance factor is majorly effected by Snapdragon 820 processor and the Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo. The Ultimate Machine with Ultra fast response, starting from launching apps, to switching tasks, to scrolling through lists. It’s a Beast, which will make you fall in love with Performance.

                Another to mention is, A good finger print sensor, which also works as wake up / power button. Very good as compared to other Flagship smartphones, but when it comes to iPhone, I will rate LG below Apple. Apple is amazingly fast ( Am i biased here ).

                Snapdragon 820 is equipped with Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful GPU yet, the Adreno 530. Unfortunately, we don’t know too much about its architecture, other than it runs at up to 624 MHz. It should be faster than the already fast Adreno 430 found in the 810, and LG claims 40 percent improvement in both performance and power efficiency. The 530 also supports the new next-generation Vulkan graphics API. There is also the new lower-power Hexagon 680 DSP and the new Spectra 14-bit dual ISPs. Cellular connectivity is enhanced by the X12 LTE modem that supports Category 12 LTE download speeds of up to 600 Mbps.

                What made me fall in Love with G series was ” Double Tab “, what LG calls as ” KnockOn “. To me, it does not make much of the difference, Whether I use MIUI, Stock Android or LG UX5.0.

                But there are some features which are worth mentioning about LG UX 5.0 :

                Smooth and clean : No cluster of Apps , Very simple and easy to use

                • When you uninstall an app on the G5, it doesn’t completely disappear straight away. It lives in limbo for 24 hours, giving you the opportunity to reinstall it and keep all your app data. Or alternatively the “Uninstalled apps” menu gives you a way to kill it for good.
                • LG’s “QSlide” windowed mode returns, but the split screen mode from the G4 — which was only ever available in a handful of apps anyway — has been removed.
                • LG’s record on Android security updates remains haphazard. The latest firmware update rolling out to European G5s is based o the April patch, as Samsung is starting to push out the May update to its flagships.

                Camera

                LG killed all the camera Phones in 2015, with the amazing Camera features of LG G4 : 16 MP , f/1.8, 3 Axis OIS, Laser Auto focus. LG G5 is no different, Camera specs are same, but with an additional Rear Camera with 8 MP and F/2.4.

                Yes, LG G5 is a Dual Rear Camera Smartphone. Rest of the specs remain same as of LG G4 when it comes to selfie or Video capture. What you will love is Wide Angle Lens. Have not got enough time to test the camera, May be in a weeks time, specially to see how differentiated is Dual Camera Pics.

                When we talk of Dual Cameras, We immediately think of incorporating a depth-sensing camera system, perhaps even an Intel Real Sense camera. But IN G5, The functionality is totally different : Main camera is 16MP camera with a “standard” 78-degree lens , and the other is an 8MP camera with a super-wide 135-degree lens. When shooting with the G5, you can switch between the two cameras on the fly, that so you can use the wider one “to capture more landscape, taller buildings or larger groups.”

                LG-G5-Camera

                Battery

                Impressive specs when it comes to Quickcharge 3.0. But when it comes to operational Time, G5 is slightly disappointing. But, it’s too early to predict the battery life.

                LG-G5-Battery

                Conclusion

                LG has definitely maintained it’s legacy of bringing out Good Smartphones, Though LG G5 may not have been a perfect Smartphone of 2016, but up to an extent We can still call it a Flagship Device of 2016.

                LG G5 uses Qualcomm’s latest and the most powerful SoC, Snapdragon 820, and comes with fast UFS flash storage, 4 GB of RAM, and still retains the removable battery despite its metal like construction. The G5 is the first modular smartphone from a Reputed manufacturer, and this feature certainly caught every one by surprise. Although it’s not nearly as modular as something like Google’s Project Ara, the very existence of this feature impresses us, and we look forward to seeing where LG takes it.

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