It might have one of the best-in-class cameras and offer a robust show but LG’s reluctance to share replaceable modules makes us wonder if G5 is worth the hype
Kudos to LG for making G5, the first modular phone whose parts can be separated and interchanged. These modules, which include LG CAM Plus (which offers digital camera like grip and features), LG 360 CAM (a 360 degree camera) and LG 360 VR (a VR headset) are sold separately. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive these as part of the review unit. So, we had to give the G5 a workout sans the modules, and to gauge if it matches the Rs 54K tag or not.
Build and design (8/10): We love how the display and the metal body fuse. The LED indicators are practically invisible. The speaker is noticeable, but being black, it blends in. The lone downer is the front camera. There’s a USB type-C port at the bottom placed next to the speakerphone whereas the audio jack finds place at the top. Overall, the G5 breaks away from the traditional mould. But look closer, and you’ll spot flaws. The device has an engraved decorative ring along the length, which began to peel off in our review unit — this reflects poor craftsmanship, and is unacceptable at the price. The G5 gets a lightweight (159g) metal body, which unfortunately feels less metal and more plastic. At the back, there are dual rear cameras and a fingerprint sensor under it. The logo sits at the bottom right above the removable battery module.
Display (9/10): A 5.3-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) display with 554 PPI pixel density and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection makes the G5 absolutely stunning. The brightness is good and works even in daylight. Plus, you always get an ‘on’ display (similar to day dream in most phones), but here, you get to not only check time but also learn of missed calls and other notifications in the form of icons, without having to switch on your phone. It should have included battery life as well.
Battery (9/10): LG offers a 2,800 mAh battery (as a replaceable module) in the G5. On all occasions, the device lasted a full day with Wi-Fi and notifications on at all times, and on a 4G network. The device supports quick charge 3.0, but it takes 45 minutes from zero to reach up to 43 per cent battery life, and a full recharge took us up to 2.5 hours.
Connectivity (9/10): The G5 is a dual-sim phone with a hybrid sim slot. It supports 2G, 3G and 4G with VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS and NFC along with InfraRed, DLNA, Miracast and USB OTG. The device gets a type-C connector with USB 2.0.
Hardware & Performance (9/10): It gets Snapdragon 820 SoC onboard with 4GB RAM. The built-in storage is 32GB, of which around 24GB is available for usage. The Adreno 530GPU does a good job playing most games without any lags. Our benchmark tests revealed good results too. But it doesn’t match up to the OnePlus 3, which gets the same processor but higher RAM. The device heats up real quick during camera use, which isn’t good. The fingerprint sensor works well; that it doubles up as power button makes it smoother to operate. We hope it doesn’t affect its longevity. Audio quality is good, and both speakers are loud enough to meet your needs.
CAMERA (9/10): The G5’s camera is one of the best we’ve seen at this range. It has an 8MP front camera, which is great for selfies and a dual-camera setup at the back (8Mp and 16MP) with a wide-angle coverage (135 degree). The camera app offers three modes for the rear camera — simple, auto and manual with features like optical zoom and optical image stabilisation. The simple mode is designed to help you take pictures without any fuss, whereas manual mode includes features like multiple view, manual focus, AE lock. It supports JPEG and DNG Raw images and can capture UHD (3840x2160), Full HD (1920x1080), HD (1280x720) and 120fps slow-motion HD videos.
Software and OS (7/10): It runs LG 5.0 UI on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow that offers system settings in a categorised manner, and has intuitive features like auto call reject, etc. But LG needs to relook at its app drawer, which is the poorest imitation of iOS. There’s an option to add an app drawer, but it seems dated.
DISPLAY: 5.3-inch IPS QHD 2560x1440, 554 ppi
PROCESSOR: 64-Bit Qualcomm S820 SoC
MEMORY: 32GB, 4GB RAM
CONNECTIVITY: 4G LTE, 3G and 2G, Bluetooth 4.2, dual band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, 3.5mm audio jack, USB 2.0 Type-C, NFC, Miracast, DLNA
Battery: 2,8000mAh (with Quick Charge 3.0)
Price: Rs 54,000
8.5 / 10
The guide VERDICT First With a metallic finish and curved top-end, the G5 stands out from the crowd. The dual-camera setup gives it an edge and the use of fingerprint sensor as a power button is innovative. But for R54k, and that too without the modules (which we didn’t get to test), it seems a little too expensive.