The LG G5
The most hated flagship of 2016 and maybe the most hated phone in general, of that year.
I have had this phone for two years now and this has been my experience.
The Obligatory Specs:
Dimensions: 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm
OS: Android Marshmallow (upgradable to Android Nougat)
Screen size: 5.3-inch
Screen Resolution: 1440×2560
CPU: Snapdragon 820
Rear camera: 16MP+8MP
Front camera: 8MPB
The build is metal with a thick coating of plastic, which LG failed to mention in its marketing. It feels like a solid mid-range phone in terms of the materials and heft of the device, but not a flagship phone. Buttons are tactile and responsive. The screen is your standard Gorilla Glass but it has a curve at the top which reduces shatter resistance as I experienced first hand. It does give a great feeling when you are pulling down notifications and speaking on the phone. The camera lens is also extremely prone to shattering. Luckily, that’s a cheap and easy replacement using one of these kits.
There is a headphone jack, as you can see here.
And the “trick up its sleeve”….. the failed modular bottom with a removable battery. Yay! Fast charge alpha is still the best!! Switch out the battery 30 seconds to 100 percent. Not bad!!
So, I tried a few times but I wasn’t able to make a “proper review” of this phone since my phone usage is extremely atypical. Battery life is fairly lackluster. I usually get 3 hours with youtube or music always playing in the background, with heavy multitasking. From that, I would extrapolate that a typical user should get 8-10 hours of battery life which is pretty lackluster, but is mitigated somewhat by the replaceable battery.
The screen is pretty terrible, to be honest. It’s bright, but the issue is that the white balance is way off which causes the screen to appear really blue. Therefore a lot of the colors don’t look nearly as vibrant as they should or even could from this panel.The light bleed is terrible. I have never seen such bad screen bleed on any phone or laptop, in any price range iI would say it’s my unit, but this is a well-known issue.Furthermore, the screen has terrible image retention. Randomly, certain elements will stay ghosted on the screen. This isn’t the same thing as burning in on OLED panel since it will typically go away within the hour. However, it is so annoying and it happens at least once a day.
Let’s take a look at slightly more positive things, like the headphone jack. What I would consider a need, apparently, most companies consider dead. Lg to the rescue…. sorta! The g5 has a headphone jack and I appreciate that. The issue is with the DAC and the amp, which are pretty mediocre. I’m not a huge audiophile but I do appreciate good sound. The amp wasn’t powerful enough to get the most out of my Philips shp9500. which have an impedance of 32 ohms.That is not a very high impedance. For instance, my father’s iPhone 5s powers them perfectly. Another issue is on the other end of the power spectrum. When I listen to my IEM’s at night, to ASMR, or to acoustic guitar music, the hiss is really pronounced and takes away from the experience. Now that a headphone jack, which I consider essential, isn’t a given it’s nice LG included one. It would have been even nicer if they threw in a better one, but that’s a typical move by large corporations in order to get you to purchase the higher-end product (LG V series phone which have superb DAC and amp combos ).
Day to Day Usage and Experience
I dump my phone immediately into a case, as do most people, so the coating covering the metal doesn’t bother me. Being able to listen to music while charging is great, but again, LG had another serious oversight. The headphone jack and charging port are on opposite sides of the phone, meaning its extremely annoying to fit it in your pocket while doing both. Once again this issue can be partially mitigated by the replaceable battery, but not completely. All in all the, battery isn’t a super huge issue due to the headphone jack and replaceable batteries. The phone will get pretty hot during heavy usage although that should be a non-issue for most users if they are using a case. However, there is a noticeable slow down as the phone gets hotter (ie: games will lag, apps will launch more slowly), but if you’re not doing anything intensive this won’t be an issue. (Also note there are very few phones which don’t get hot during heavy
multitasking workloads.The screen is, in my opinion, the fatal flaw of this phone for the reasons stated above (insert anchor link here) The screen is so terrible, that I would not be happy with it even on a budget phone. All the more so, it is inexcusable on a premium device.
Conclusion-Should you buy it?
If you can get this phone new for under $150 and need a smaller phone than the V20 then go for it. If you can handle a larger phone, get the v20 (review coming soon).