LG's G5 - the big brother to all the 'friends' out there

I'm going to do this review a little differently.  It's not been easy, I'll tell you that.  I've really loved LG in the past years.  REALLY loved them.

Getting the LG G5 felt somewhat like Christmas, or getting to watch the next movie in a series.  I've loved what's come before and anxious to experience the next.

But, I knew the G5 was going to be a departure, and I tried to settle myself on that.  I really try to have an objective viewpoint on all my reviews, but with LG it's been different.

While using it I had several little wriggling issues, that I easily dismissed because "hey, it's new, it's not perfect, but it's the next version of the stuff I like." Kind of like listening to a new album by your favourite band and it's not so good - it's not bad - just not as awesome as the previous album.  It takes a few listens through to appreciate it properly.

Okay, enough of the analogies.  The short of is that the G5 is awesome, it is, but it's just not what I hoped it would be.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to eschew my typical review style and cover some of the things I liked, and some of the little nagging bits that ate away at that perfect score.  Now, mind you, each of those things by itself is almost nil... but they existed.

On with the review

What I really liked

  • fast - like really fast
  • colour scheme - I love the near monocrhomatic look of the settings and how the notification/system tray inverts on different apps
  • the glass 'curve' at the top
  • the fact that the fingerprint scanner is not just a button, but a sensor you can just tap (and not have to press) - I can't say how glad I am about that
  • did i mention fast?
  • size - almost perfect size
  • battery nearly as good as the G4, meaning it still lasts me a full day (roughly 10-12 hours of average use)
  • 360 wallpapers is absolutely stunning
  • always on display

What irked me

  • launcher - no app tray (mega annoying) - it really makes me think of using my iDevice and often had to keep moving things around
  • LG keyboard has some real issues with the suggestion
  • loss of the QuickRemote in the system panel - I can't tell you how upset I am over that
  • sound goes from quiet to LOUD too quickly - up until like 75% volume it's okay, and then it gets super loud on the top 10% or so
  • how the clip doesn't line up properly
  • the coating 'chips'
  • NO BACK BUTTONS!?!?!!? - seriously this is almost a deal breaker
  • no quick actions for email/texts - it's weird how I can get quick actions from their respective Android Wear apps, but if an email or test comes in, there's no other option but to click on it, no reply, no delete...
  • poor GPS - this was a real deal breaker as I still play Ingress.  It would take minutes to connect when outside, and would never connect while inside ... terrible

Now, here's the thing, just about every one of those issues can be rectified by changing the launcher, installing SwiftKey, put a simple bumper case on (because, really, how often am I going to be changing the battery?), etc...

you can install the G4's home app to take the G5's version

The issues I've had with the G5 are just minor annoyances, and only come about because I've used LOTS of other phones out there.  The average user would not know the difference and be fine with everything.

Unexpected - I feel neither upset or happy about

  • wide angle camera
  • the module deal

The Modules

These are so neat, and I have reviewed all the available 'friends':  360 Cam / Cam Plus / 360 VR.  They really are something I think we'll start seeing with other lines down the road, LG just got to be the guinea pig on this one.  

The only thing about them I just think that it a) is only for one phone; b) a little poorly implemented.  But so much potential.  Give the reviews a view (links are above)

the camera

Here's some samples:  https://goo.gl/photos/9PDqM4o2gHiVhELi6

Personally, I've been a little disappointed with the camera when compared to the G4.  It's great and all, but when you really drill into the picture you can see there's some areas that just aren't as sharp as I've seen they can be with the G4 or other flagships.

The big 'issue' I have with the camera is the wide angel feature, I always keep forgetting to look for which mode it's on, so that just adds an element to taking photos I didn't really want in my process.  It's handy ... I get it - but for the few times I ended up using it it was kind of in the way.

It did allow you the neat feature where you could take 2 pictures at once and have that vignette feature.

I just thought there was to be more options to use while shooting video, it felt a little empty on that option (put it into manual mode there's video option).


I want to love this device so much.  My loyalty to LG is fighting hard, but there's just so many minor nagging issues.  Would I make it my daily?  For sure, and I would make minor modifications so that I wouldn't notice.

What I'm really interested in is the G6.  Let the G5 be the 'beta' and then we'll see a real cool version next time.

Below are some more photos from my usage of the device for you to look over.

it looks like there's a gap at the bottom

oh that alignment

always on is actually really nice

the bump on the back for the camera is hardly noticeable

Smart settings can be very handy - I just haven't found a real use

If I weren't such a Google Calendar guy - this adding attachments to calendar items would be very handy 

Plenty of cool camera options (I really wanted to try out the timelapse feature)

really love this feature (used maybe 3% over the course of a full day)

That 'first panel' is actually pretty handy

I dunno, I just like the very sleek looking colour scheme

too bad I had already taken advantage with the G4 last year

personally, I'm not a big fan of these 'doctor' apps, but for the average person I can see these as being a great help

getting Paypal to use your fingerprint is a nice extra added feature