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LG G5 review: A great flagship even without the modules

LG G5 review: This modular smartphone looks and feels like a flagship, an important point for people investing money in it.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Updated: June 11, 2016 4:49:02 pm
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LG has not shied away from experimenting when it comes to smartphones. So the Korean company has given us a curved phone, a power button at the back and knock codes. It has also made some pretty good flagships in the G series, and the Google Nexus phones that got them a good fan base. Hence, I am not surprised they are behind the first modular phone you can buy.

LG G5

The LG G5 looks and feels like a flagship, an important point for people investing money in it. The design is stylish and practical. It is also unique to a certain extent with the power button at the rear, just under the camera. This is also the fingerprint scanner, and a light press of the power button unlocks the phone.

Watch: LG G5 Video Review

But that’s not the real story. The big deal about the phone is a small button at the bottom that releases the base panel, including the battery. If you have bought the extra camera module, this is where it will be yoked in. I do find it a bit odd that the battery is swapped along with the camera module. LG seems to think of this as an advantage. So if you are out of battery, swap on the camera module and get a few more hours on its smaller battery pack.

Display

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The 5.3-inch quad HD IPS display is one of the things that will make you look twice at the phone. I have long believed LG makes one of the best television panels and this phone reiterates the company’s expertise in that space.

Performance

The LG G5 is a flagship and rises up to those expectations. There is nothing this phone can’t do. From mundane multi-tasking to high-end gaming, the G5 has no issues. It does heat up a bit though, especially when stressed, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 has learnt how to keep things under control.

Camera

Ask me why I love this phone and my answer will be the camera and not the modules. This is one of the best clickers in a smartphone at the moment thanks to 16MP rear camera that shoots at a wide 78-degree angle. Wide angles do make the images different from competition.

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Also, this has a macro option which most other phone cameras don’t even attempt. If I had a grouse it is the fact that there is no option to go full manual on the camera app.

Software

LG does not seem to believe a lot in jazzing up the UI. But that does not mean it is not practical. There are some neat features in the UI that adds real value, like the Facebook button that pops up immediately after you have shot a picture. My favourite however is the SIM swap option in the bottom band, right next to the home and back buttons.

Battery

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This phone does not have a really large battery. But the 2800mAh battery seems to last most of the day despite the powerful display.

Issues

My main issue with the phone is that its USP is a bit half baked at the moment. The modular mechanism itself does not inspire confidence in me with all the pushing and pulling involved. Also the battery dangling under the module seems weird, making me wonder when it will all fall apart.

Verdict

This is not a full review, considering that I have not really played around with an extra module. But from what I have seen the LG G5 is a great flagship phone even without the modules. I would buy this just for the camera. I wouldn’t buy this for the modules, not yet.

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