Welcome to my first impressions of the LG G5 which I have now used for 3 days solid. This is a retail unit.
I must admit that I was nervous about receiving the LG G5 due to all the horror stories on the web with regards to build quality issues and other negativity being bantered around.
I have a gold LG G5 which was the colour I least wanted but upon opening the LG G5 box, I was immediately drawn by how beautiful it looks. The front glass has a slick feel. The next aspect that struck me was how much easier the G5 was to hold and operate versus the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I now realise that if I was to go back in time, I would not get the S6 Edge but the standard S7. Now just mentioning the build quality, a really don’t see what the fuss is about. The G5 looks good, feels good in the hand and only longer term testing will reveal how well it fairs over time.
So I first charged the G5, then switch it on and setup the phone with around 150 apps/games. I restored my phone using NFC and the Tap & Go option when you first turn the phone on. Quick Charge 3 is super fast.
My eyes were shocked to see such a garish looking home screen on the G5. A dreadful wallpaper and a 4 x 4 grid that looked so cartoonish. As my apps restored more and more home screens appeared as there is no app drawer. I then spent 10 mins or so creating folders and eventually had all my apps neatly on 1 screen.
Since creating the above home screen, I have changed the wallpaper for one of the included black wallpapers and used a white background for all the folders. This looks so much better. I have also now got 5 menu items on the bottom bar which makes using the G5 a breeze. I have downloaded Nova Launcher initially, but now have uninstalled it as I am happy with the LG setup.
LG really need to think long and hard about the choice of default wallpapers as first impressions do make a difference. The default wallpaper IMO is dreadful.
So what did I notice next. Well simply the lack of bloatware and apps installed by LG. When compared to the S7, the G5 has a fraction of apps installed from day 1.
I was curious to see how easy it was to remove the bottom chin and then remove the battery. After reading the instructions, it was a relatively simple process. The battery removal from the chin part feels super aggressive but still is easy enough.
I was dying to test the camera out and over the course of the weekend managed to snap tons of photos.
I have included a few within this post and if you scroll back at the earlier posts you will see more examples from the LG G5 camera. I tested both the 16mp and wide angle lens. I tested macro, action shots and as many other types of photos as possible. The output from both lenses is excellent in terms of quality and file sizes. It is possible to crop a lot thanks to the 16mp lens. Now with my S7 Edge, I used 16:9 ratio meaning 9.1mp. The G5 wide angle is 8mp. Yet the average photo file sizes from the G5 was larger than those from the S7. The wide angle photos seem to add a lot of drama to a scene but do need to be used wisely and not all the time.
The G5 has an Infra Red Blaster. I can control my TV, DVD and so much more. It’s really useful.
Next tests involved testing the headphone jack, bluetooth audio and loudspeaker. I had read various reviews that the headphone volume output was weak. Well that’s not the case with my G5. It is louder than the S7, more powerful and dynamic too. The loudspeaker is so loud you can feel the air being pushed out the speaker grills. Bluetooth audio is exceptional. And this is the quality without the HiFi DAC module!
The G5 is very fluid in operation. Scrolling. Opening apps. Typing on the default keyboard. Really fluid.
So that leaves my first thoughts on the battery. 4.5 hours SOT is my average so far. This is with every social media app running, 4 email accounts, connected to my Gear S2 via bluetooth (S Health is also installed on the G5 which feels weird not being a Samsung phone). This is about 90 minutes less than my SOT that I achieved for the S7 Edge. The S7 Edge has a much better SOT and on a few days with the S7 Edge reached 10 hours SOT.
However, the biggest disappointment is the G5’s screen brightness. At times its not bright enough. Sunlight visibility is readable but only just at times. LG have clearly reduced the brightness to conserve the battery but I think its too aggressive. The S7 Edge by comparison is readable with ease in any lighting. Now LG claim the G5 can crank the brightness up to 800 nits. I have seen this happen but it eats battery at this level. Thank goodness for Quick Charge 3 and replaceable batteries! Despite the screen brightness, the screen is a joy to look at.
So overall I am thoroughly enjoying the G5, more than the S7 Edge. However, the screen brightness is my biggest gripe and I hope LG can change brightness scale in a future software update.