Review: LG G5

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The LG G5 is a massive change of pace for the South Korean firm. It’s done away with the cheap plastic and confusing leather finishes of the LG G4 in favor of a full metal body, while keeping fan-favorite features like a removable battery and microSD card.

That’s a big deal, because Samsung disappointed a vocal minority when it ditched its swappable battery and expandable storage hallmarks for the Galaxy S6, although it realized the errors of its way as it reinstated microSD support in the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge a year later.

The LG G5 may not be as ornate as Samsung’s glass-and-metal-fused phone, or Apple’s aluminum iPhone 6S, but it’s a step in the right direction after the questionably styled G4.

Not only does it include perks for power users, LG’s changed the way we access the battery with a cartridge-like input so you don’t have to remove the back cover.

This ‘magic slot’ is located in the bottom frame of the phone and doubles as an accessory port. Add-ons so far include a battery grip with physical camera controls and a Hi-Fi audio module.

LG G5 review

You don’t really need either of these accessories to enjoy the camera or audio, though. LG G5 has a dual-camera setup on the back, with one lens that provides extra-wide photos.

The front is highlighted by an always-on, 5.3-inch display. It never goes to sleep, with the time, date and notification icons visible when the phone is off.

When it comes to price, it launched at around $650 (£500, AU$890) SIM-free for the LG G5, which put it slightly below the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S. Thing is, the G5 hasn’t exactly been flying off the shelves.

It’s already seen its SIM-free price slashed to $450 (£420, around AU$600) in some places, and LG has openly admitted it’s been disappointment with the G5’s “somewhat slow” sales.

Add to that the fact the South Korean firm has now teased us with its next flagship device – the LG V20 – complete with Google’s upcoming Android 7 Nougat software which will be arriving in the next couple of months and you’d think that perhaps the G5 has been shifted to the back burner.

It’s far from over for the LG G5 though, and there’s still a lot to love about this smart modular phone.