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Why the LG G5 is the phone to beat in 2016

Why the LG G5 is the phone to beat in 2016

Samsung is dominating the headlines with the introduction of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge at MWC 2016. I was really impressed with how Samsung improved upon an already excellent formula, but it's clear to me now that the real smartphone to beat in 2016 is the LG G5. Let me tell you why.

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Here's why the LG G5 is the phone to beat in 2016. / © ANDROIDPIT

It’s groundbreaking

Complaints about innovation are as frequent as they are irrational. We grumble that smartphone manufacturers are boring and that new devices lack innovation, and then when manufacturers try something genuinely new – such as the Nextbit Robin – we say it’s pointless. Or stupid. Or won’t work.

I have written about why LG is one of the more interesting phone manufacturers before, and it has proven itself again. The LG G5 has an aluminum body with a removable bottom (what LG calls the magic slot) meaning that the G5 looks retains a removable battery, looks and feels great and supports additional functionality.

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The LG G5 magic slot opens up a world of possibilities. / © ANDROIDPIT

LG has already shown off some of the gadgets that can be attached using this slot, including a bigger battery and a camera grip. These may not be must-have additions just yet, but they do make the LG G5 more versatile than competing smartphones. The LG G5 is not playing it safe, it's breaking new ground.  

It's a true flagship

LG hasn’t cut corners to fit the G5 into a certain price bracket. This isn’t a “premium midrange” phone, nor a demo for a unique new feature. The LG G5 is a true flagship, featuring a 5.3-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4 GB of RAM, MicroSD card support (up to 2 terabytes), a fingerprint scanner, an Always-on display.

It's glass and metal, slim and powerful. It has everything a premium flagship should have, does everything a premium flagship should, and more. 

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The LG G5 (left) and the LG G4. / © ANDROIDPIT

It may have the best camera tech on Android

Unlike most other flagships, the LG G5 doesn’t have just one rear camera but two. Specifically, a 16 MP camera with 78-degree field of view, and an 8 MP camera with 135-degree viewing angle. What this means is that the G5 is capable of providing super-wide photos – perfect for landscape shots – as well as your standard 16:9 shots and selfie portraits using LG's great camera software.

LG has really been on form with its cameras since the G Flex 2, one of the first phones to come out in 2015, which still stands as an example of quality smartphone camera tech today. What's more, both the LG G4 and LG V10 sit on our list of the best Android smartphone cameras in the world.

From what we've seen so far, the LG G5 camera will be even better.

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Early signs indicate that the LG G5 camera is going to be awesome. / © ANDROIDPIT

In the past, I’ve said that LG phones are the "smartphones that do everything”. Of course, they don’t do everything – no phone can. But does any other smartphone achieve as much as the LG G5 does? I don't think so.

Let me put it another way: where does the LG G5 get it wrong? I’ll let you leave your response to that in the comments.

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  • Why do reviewers concentrate on how "beautifull a phone is (or isn't)? Many people hide it in a case, anyway. I want a phone with the best functionality. I don't care about its color or whether it is expensively clad in gold trim.

    • Because a huge segment of the population buys phones based on their physical appearance. If you don't, good on you, you're a smarter consumer than most. But it's journalistic suicide to review a product and ignore what most people care about.

  • I am happy with the LG line regarding the hardware. What I would strongly recommend is for LG to make software more in tune with the customer. For example if you have to do a Google search to correct an annoying feature (and we all have done that) then they should stand up and take more of it. Sluggish keyboards and Chrome behaving like you are in dial up should not be an issue in a new factory fresh phone. Or having to ditch the Messenger app because of "new message received" spamming during a conversation. Bad software designs can kill the enjoyment of a new product. Imagine buying that top of the line desktop with Windows Millenium on it.......blech.....!!!!!!

  • I just don't get the "sorry Samsung" in the title? Why sorry? What do you owe to Sammy? They are being shite anyways with every other flagship: S5 = uninspired crap, S4 = iteration of S3 and also uninspired.. S2 and S6, I'll give them credit for those... But S6 has abysmal battery and that fancy camera and pretty screen don't mean much to you when it is out of juice by noon and all you see is black screen on drained but nice looking phone... (happen to me more times than I am care to admit..)

    • I don't get it with the s6 battery for some people. My husbands s6 battery will last him all day with medium use.
      A lot of times it is a app that can drain your battery. That happened to me one time, I Uninstalled it and my battery was back to all day on my note 5. It was a weather and clock app.

  • Buy S7 and L5 and you will be happy. S7 is better, underwater and super camera.

  • Camera and external storage are the NUMBER ONE THING for me! Keep you gimmicks like finger print scanners and hear rate monitors (things I turned off on my S5); I want a good camera!

  • It is so ugly in the back.
    The V10 is much nicer then the lg5

  • I loved my original LG "Flex" curve but I had THREE defective phones in four months and had to go through the app reinstall and folder creation. By the time I got through that, I had spent several frustrating hours each time. After the 3rd factory replacement, I had to literally argue with T-Mobil AND LG asking for the newer phone which they both refused. It was not pretty. After I received my 3rd factory replacement, I "Jumped" to my current Samsung Note 5 which I love. I do miss the larger LG screen size (I'm 72) and the curve as that greatly reduced reflection when outside in the sun and it was the best experience late at night in bed viewing a movie, etc. I was treated so badly by LG and T-Mobil that I will never trust either again but I am stuck with T-Mobil for now because I owe them so much money for equipment for two lines and accessories. A year from now I'm out of there and will begin to look around. Who knows, I might even return to Iphone. BOTTOM LINE: LG's customer service was rude and unexpected and it would take something more that a new innovation to lure me back.

  • That heading! Pure click bait. And the content, one man's opinion. Meh.....

  • I have a question. If you buy the L5 and choose to put a case on it; does it require that you pull the case every time you you want to change peripherals? Will case manufactures create a 2 part case for the upper and lower part of the phone? I'm asking because I have not read anything on how that would work. Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this!

    • Yes, you have to remove it. Buy a case that is easy to remove. i have the Obliq and it looks great and is easy to remove. You have always had to remove the case when you changed the battery.

  • Samsung is also thinking about doing away with the app drawer.

  • LG = suspect durability, the phone I am waiting for is the Note 6 to replace my Note 4.

    • My LG G2 survived a lot of abuse and actually wore out the Otterbox cover, a perfectmy flat drop in cement finally shattered the screen so I recently upgraded to the LG G4. I have been happy with the phones.

  • LG G5. >>Samsung S7

  • cons: volume rocker on the sides, no app drawer, no LG quick slide or notes, not durable enough to be without a case. Thoughts on the cons: -I'll miss being able to place my phone on either of its sides without have to work about buttons being pressed. -I have too many apps to not have have an app drawer. This should be a toggle option. This is a terrible idea, enough for me to NOT get this phone. -LG software was very useful and attractive for me becoming an LG user, why take something good away? -Unlike the V10 this phone is aluminum and therefore not durable. This is a mistake because of the phones modular nature. One will have to get a case for this phone, however this should make the use of the changeable modules difficult, if not possible. pros: -Outside the box thinking LG is known for i.e. it's modular. -expandable memory -removable battery -IR blaster -fast charging conclusion: This phone is a fail!

  • I'm impressed with what LG has done but I'm not sure that I'd ever get an attachment for the 'magic' slot. Dual cameras, by the time I'd decided which one to use; I'd have lost the shot.

    Both LG and Samsung hobbling the sd card to just pictures, etc is a retrograde step. Windows phones have been incorporating sd memory as part of the phone's overall memory for a while now and it works fine.

    No to both the LG G5 and Samsung S7.

  • Don't count your chickens before they "fully" hatch. Don't get me wrong either, LG has done something different and interesting here with the G5, maybe even innovative. But it's not waterproof and the screen is small, and it's not as good looking as the S7. The Galaxy S7 looks like last year's model, but it's one hell of a phone too. So chill, until some in-depth reviews come out. We love Android, right?

  • LG is the one to beat. The most innovative phone manufacturer of the year. Also to anyone that doesn't like that the G5 doesn't support multiwindow anymore, that feature is more than likely heading to Android 6.1. Google has had the feature in beta for a while now. They're either going to use LG's or Samsung's multiwindow layout theme more than likely.

  • Eric M Feb 23, 2016 Link to comment

    What do we know about the improved sound adapter, will it improve Bluetooth sound and android auto sound, or just headphones/audio jack?

  • Is there any word on how the G5 is treating the micro SD card? Samsung elected to block how Android Marshmallow treats the SD card as part of the phones internal memory, and force it to be "extra" memory. (Because they didn't want their customers to be confused.) So it's great for pictures and music, but I want to be able to load apps etc on it and not be limited, which "pure" Marshmallow let's you do. So I'm curious if LG is doing something similar.

    • Yeah good question and you're right about Samsung. Sadly, it's the same situation for LG. It won't take advantage of the adoptable storage feature from Marshmallow. The SD card will just work for photo, music, app data etc as previously.

    • Eric M Feb 23, 2016 Link to comment

      I did not know that about the S7 that is a big strike, sound more like they want you to may extra for the 64 over the 32 g device the the $35 128 Mico sd

    • The reason why LG and Samsung block the SD card from saving apps, is because the SD card would make the phones go incredibly slow when trying to open apps that are on the SD card.... Really we should be complaining to the SD card manufacturers. We need faster/better SD cards before flagship manufacturers will want to allow that feature. Still you can save all your pics, videos, and documents on the SD card

      • actually the phone is to blame, the sd drivers are not optimised to take advantage of the sd cards speed.

      • No it's the SD card manufacturers fault. SD cards are not capable of reading or writing fast enough. The tech just isn't there yet. Literally has nothing to do with drivers

      • BILLY Allen, durron19 - the father in me wants to say, "Kids! Stop arguing!" However, the technophile in me wants to know which of you is correct. So... proof please or hush.

      • Phones very wildly on read write speeds, but I can list it as well as SD card speeds. I'll use a galaxy s5 which has slower device storage than new flagship phones. The galaxy s5 has U3, which write speed is 250MB/s. The read speed however is limited to Class 10 at 70MB/s.

        Now let's go to SD card specs. You can get a U3 micro SD card, but it costs as much the price difference of just getting the 64gb version of the phone you want lol. At minimum $79.99

        Now let's go a bit further. The Samsung Galaxy s6 and later use an entirely different type of memory than their previous Gen. Ufs 2.0 is 2.7 times faster than the previous emmc5. The read spead is 350mb/s and write is 150mb/s.

        Obviously micro SD cards are to slow for current gen flagships.

        Plus I rather use my SD card as a backup. Can't do that if you integrate it into the system memory

    • It amazes me how Samsung can say that adoptable storage will "confuse" customers. Wth? What's to get confused about? It's not rocket science. Why are they treating everbody as if theyre stupid? And even if they do think everybody is stupid, then how about simply adding some on screen instructions to explain how it works rather than just taking away the function completely for everybody?

    • Separate is MUCH BETTER!

  • Eric M Feb 23, 2016 Link to comment

    Is it waterproof, they showed video from the front of a surfboard and jumping into water? if it is, there is no contest. Otherwise, I have a decision to make I do not won't to have to worry about pulling my phone out in the rain, or having it take a short dunk in the water, but I like having a removable battery

  • The ONLY place LG goes wrong is sticking with their own UI. If they would make a pure android phone it would make me a happy camper, love my G4.

    • Mmm LG's software has some great features though, no? The camera software is better than Google's and LG has invented some cool software features in the past like Knock Code. We wouldn't have these things if every phone was stuck with stock and that would be shame. I understand your reasoning though :)

    • James Feb 24, 2016 Link to comment

      Um, they did. Last year.
      Nexus 5x. Which the G5 is quite clearly based on.

  •   46
    Deactivated Account Feb 23, 2016 Link to comment

    I agree the G5 is defiantly the phone to beat this year. I don't think any one will come close except for LG itself with the V-11. Samsung is just a repeat of last year only Micro SD and Ip68 rating, things which they took away and are just giving back. I would like the ip68 in the LG G5 and V-11 other than that they have nailed it. I doubt I would ever use the camera attachment I will get out my DSLR for that. The speaker attachment I like and would get.

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