The LG G5 is an Android smartphone developed by LG Electronics as part of the LG G series. It was announced during Mobile World Congress as the successor to the 2015 LG G4. The G5 is distinguished from its predecessors by its aluminum chassis and a focus on modularity; the lower housing which contains the battery can be slid from the bottom of the device, and replaced by alternative add-on modules that provide additional functions, such as a camera grip or a high-fidelity audio module with DAC. A lower-spec variation, dubbed the LG G5 SE, is sold in selected markets.
From left to right, G5's battery access, G5's rear, G5's front
|Slogan||Life's Good When You Play More|
|First released||April 23, 2016|
|Dimensions||149.4 mm (5.88 in) H|
73.9 mm (2.91 in) W
7.7 mm (0.30 in) D
|Mass||159 g (5.61 oz)|
|Operating system||Original: Android 6.0 "Marshmallow"|
Current: Android 8.1 "Oreo"
|System on chip||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996|
|CPU||Quad-core (2x2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo)|
|Memory||4 GB LPDDR4 RAM|
|Removable storage||microSDXC up to 2 TB|
|Battery||Removable 2800‑mAh Li-Po|
|Data inputs||Fingerprint sensor + accelerometer + gyro + proximity sensor + barometer + magnetometer + light sensor|
|Display||5.3 in (130 mm) 2560×1440 1440p IPS LCD, (554 ppi)|
|Front camera||8 MP, Toshiba T4KA3, f/2.0 aperture|
|Sound||Mono speaker, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack|
|Connectivity||USB-C + 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 + NFC + IR blaster|
The G5 received mixed reviews; while the device's design was praised for its shift to a metal construction while maintaining the ability to remove its battery, the modular accessory system was panned for its limited use cases and inability to perform hot swapping. LG's software was also panned for the quality of its customizations.
The G5 is constructed with an aluminum unibody chassis; a "micro-dizing" process utilizing a plastic primer was used to conceal seams required for the antenna. A rounded rectangular protrusion houses the camera components, and the bottom houses a USB-C connector. Unlike previous G models, the G5's volume buttons were re-located from the back of the device to its side bezel, but the circular power button—which now also contains a fingerprint reader—remains on the rear. The lower "chin" can be detached to remove or replace the battery, as well as install add-on modules to add additional functionality. The battery plugs into these modules, which is reinserted to replace the stock "chin".
The G5 utilizes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip accompanied by 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and has 32 GB of internal storage expandable via micro SD card. The G5 includes a 5.3-inch 1440p IPS display. The G5 features two rear-facing cameras; a 16-megapixel primary camera, as well as an 8-megapixel 135 degree wide-angle camera. As with the G4, the rear camera also provides color spectrum sensor and infrared autofocus features.
A downgraded variation, LG G5 SE, is sold in selected markets such as Latin America and China. It utilizes a Snapdragon 652 system-on-chip (instead of Snapdragon 820) and only has 3 GB of LPDDR3 RAM (instead of 4 GB).
The LG G5 is bundled with Android 6.0 "Marshmallow". Citing confusion between removing shortcuts to apps and uninstalling them entirely, the G5's home screen does not feature an "app drawer", and instead places all apps on pages of the main home screen similarly to iOS. However, there is a setting to enable the app drawer on the home screen.
The LG software includes an "always-on display" feature which persistently displays a clock and notifications on-screen when the device is in standby. LG G5 does not support Android Marshmallow's "adoptable storage" feature.
The "Quick Cover" accessory was unveiled prior to the unveiling of the device itself; it is semi-translucent and features a window for the always-on portion of the screen. Touch inputs can be made through the cover and semi-translucent screen for actions such as accepting calls.
A line of accessories for the G5 branded as "Friends" were unveiled alongside the phone itself, including a wired head-mounted display known as the LG 360 VR (which attaches via the device's USB-C port), the LG 360 Cam virtual reality camera, and the LG Rolling Bot. These accessories are all managed via the LG Friends Manager application on the device, which automatically pairs and synchronizes with these devices. The 360 VR is not compatible with the G5 SE model. Two accessories utilizing the expansion slot system were unveiled; the "LG Cam Plus" accessory adds a grip to the rear of the device that incorporates physical camera controls, a jog wheel for zoom, as well as a supplemental battery. The "LG Hi-Fi Plus" accessory is a collaboration with Bang & Olufsen which adds a DAC, an amplifier, Direct Stream Digital audio support and upsampling, and is bundled with B&O Play H3 earbuds.
LG stated that it would allow the co-development of third-party "Friends" to integrate with the G5.
The LG G5's overall design was praised for its shift to a metal construction. The Next Web was critical of its design, arguing that the rear of the phone looked too "boring" because it was simply a rounded rectangle with a camera enclosure and power button that "protrude in an oddly wart-like manner" and a visible seam for the chin, and noting that the lack of curvature and its "hollow" feel made the design of the G5 "less premium" than that of the G4. Techradar was also mixed on LG's decision to re-locate the volume keys back to the bezel but maintain the rear-mounted power button as a fingerprint reader, noting that front and side-mounted fingerprint readers were easier to use—especially if the device is sitting flat. Due to its use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip, the G5's specifications were considered to be more competitive in comparison to other flagships, unlike the G4, which used a model with reduced core count to avoid the overheating issues of the Snapdragon 810. Techradar felt that the G5's performance was on par with the Snapdragon 820-based version of the Samsung Galaxy S7 sold in the United States, and that "in day-to-day use, and when not directly compared to its rivals' performance in a lab, it feels super slick."
The modular accessory system received mixed reviews due to the limited number of modules designed for it, as well as the inability to hot swap modules due to the design of the system, which requires the removal of the battery. The accessories themselves also received mixed reviews; Techradar felt that the Cam Plus and the Hi-Fi Plus were too expensive to justify their price and effects on the device's size, but that it was "satisfying to set autofocus by half shutter key" with the Cam Plus. However, The Next Web praised the design for "solving" the historic exclusion of user-replaceable batteries from metal phones, noting that "at least having the option for customizability is pretty awesome, not to mention replacing your battery after its capacity drops in a year or two. That's something no other metal smartphone can claim." However, the metal case does not permit wireless charging, supported by earlier phones of the "G" series.
The display was praised for its brightness, although The Next Web felt that its color temperature was too cool, producing a "distractingly blue-green hue" that was exacerbated by the prominent use of white in its user interface. The software of the G5 also received mixed reviews, with particular criticism directed to the removal of the app drawer from LG's default home screen. The always-on display on the G5 was praised for being more useful than that of the Galaxy S7 due to its support for displaying all notifications, and not just specific types. The Next Web lamented LG's removal of the Dual Window feature—albeit believing the removal may have been due to the inclusion of native dual window functionality on Android Nougat, and that LG's customizations were "all around less useful than Samsung's".
LG smartphone bootloop issues that mainly plagued the G4 line also carried over to the G5, and the G4 lawsuit against LG was amended to include the G5, among other models, however the Canadian model is not part of this suit, leaving Canadian consumers on the hook for defective units.
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