The LG G5 just launched and has already been hit with despite its fair share of controversy. Is the controversy warranted? I’ll have more on that in the full review. In the meantime, we’ve unboxed the retail version of the G5 on video. The flagship smartphone, which boasts a new modular “friends” feature, is the follow up to LG’s generally well received LG G4.
This time around, LG has hit us with several new features, headlined by a detachable bottom lip that lets you add peripherals like a camera grip, additional batteries, and more. The modular design is unique, and serves as the major differentiator between the G5 and the competition. Have a look at our unboxing for a quick first glance at the retail G5.
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The LG G5’s build materials are made up of a “special aluminum alloy” according to LG. While this material does contain aluminum, it also contains a healthy coat of primer, which was mistaken as plastic in a recent video. LG has since issued a statement in attempt to clear up any misunderstanding about the device’s build quality.
Needless to say, that’s not the type of press you want when launching a flagship smartphone, but in the end, a genuinely good product will be able to triumph over negative press.
One of my favorite LG G4 features was its camera that came with manual controls. The LG G5 features similar manual controls, but ups the ante with dual rear cameras. The two rear-facing cameras, one 16MP and one 8MP, make it possible to snap regular and wide angle shots without using special lens attachments. I’ve always appreciated LG’s super-in-depth camera functionality, and its looking to build on the success of its previous outing.
A fingerprint sensor has now been included beneath the dual cameras on the back of the G5. The fingerprint sensor serves double duty as a power/sleep button, a setup that Nexus 5X users will be familiar with.
The G5’s 5.3″ Quad HD IPS display features increased brightness levels, going from 500 to 850 nits. Both the Galaxy S7 and the G5 feature QHD displays, with the GS7 featuring a higher PPI thanks to a slightly smaller screen.
But let’s not beat around the bush any longer. The LG G5’s flagship feature is its detachable bottom lip allowing for modular peripheral connectivity. Unfortunately, there aren’t many peripherals available at launch, and I wasn’t able to test one personally.
There are obvious downsides with this approach. For starters, you no longer have a unibody phone, and introducing moving parts means there’s more chance for wear and tear. Another downside is that the “friends” (that’s such a goofy name), aren’t hot-swappable. By removing the bottom lip, you’re removing the battery, which obviously causes the phone to immediately shut down.
I definitely think that LG is on to something, although it’s certainly not the first to explore modularity. I’ll have much more to talk about this in an upcoming review.
Software-wise, the LG G5 ships with Android 6.0.1, and although it’s made sure to include some of its own apps and customizations, it’s not inundated with annoying bloatware that can’t be removed. One thing that some users may find puzzling is the fact that LG shipped the G5 without an app drawer. LG’s Home 4.0 launcher, which is downloadable from LG’s SmartWorld content store, brings the familiar app drawer back for users who wish to have it.
We’ll have much more on the LG G5 in our upcoming review. In the meantime, be sure to check out Stephen’s hands-on impressions and Cam’s hands-on video, and let us know what you think about the G5 thus far.