Published on April 13th, 2016 | by gareth0
LG G5 Review and Hacks
Article by Jessica Oaks
The new LG G5 may not be the first phone on your shopping list – in fact, it may not even be on your radar. After all, devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Apple’s iPhone seem to get all the attention. But you may be surprised to find that it’s not only a capable device, but quite an appealing one, too.
For one, the new G5 offers a lot of bang for your buck. Among its many features, it includes the best and fastest mobile processor, Snapdragon. It also counts a removable battery, microSD card slot, and vibrant display among its selling points. Put simply, it’s no slouch when it comes to features or performance. But perhaps most intriguing of all, the LG G5 is modular; it’s designed to accommodate a number of different add-ons, including camera and battery accessories. This makes it somewhat unique in the marketplace.
Let’s dive into the phone a bit more to discover its strengths and how best to take advantage of the phone’s many features.
Modular Construction is Back
Like the Six Million Dollar Man, the LG G5 achieves its true potential when you make use of the various components and accessories that are available for it – build it into something that is greater than itself, and you end up with something special. “We have the technology,” indeed. This modular construction makes for an interesting, versatile, and capable device.
So what are these modules? One is the LG Hi-Fi Plus audio module and the other is the LG Cam Plus camera grip. It’s worth noting that these are the launch modules, but additional accessories are likely to find their way to market in the future. The Bang & Olufsen-branded Hi-Fi Plus audio pack is designed to boost and improve sound quality, for unparalleled headphone performance. Featuring a built-in amp and 32-bit DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter), the module can play back 24bit/192kHz hi-resolution audio (by comparison, Apple’s iPhone 6 only supports 44.1kHz). With smartphones increasingly taking the place of dedicated music players, it makes sense to have audio quality to back it up. The LG G5 offers just this.
In addition to the Hi-Fi module, LG also offers the Cam Plus camera grip. Slotting into the bottom of the camera with all the precision of a gun clip, the Cam Plus, like the Hi-Fi Plus, takes a feature that you use often and improves upon it significantly. What’s particularly noteworthy about LG’s Cam Plus system is that it provides physical camera controls, allowing you to manipulate and customize your settings with much greater accuracy than is possible with the touch screen. These controls include a two-stage shutter button, dedicated video record button, zoom dial, and a switch to jump in and out of the camera. These physical controls are intuitive and tactile, which enhances the overall user experience. For example, the Cam Plus camera grip allows you to press the shutter button down halfway to focus and then all the way to take a photo – just like on a DSLR. In practice, it works really well.
Over the last decade, add-ons have fallen somewhat out of fashion. The trend has been to build ever more capable devices that do everything well enough. With the new G5, LG is making a strong case that modules are back. And it would seem that industry insiders agree.
Getting the Most Out of the G5
As is the case with many smartphones, getting the most out of LG’s new G5 means customizing it around your specific needs and preferences. Under Settings, you can create or customize a wide range of functionalities, including:
- Unlock the phone with your fingerprint (Settings > Fingerprints & Security)
- Unlock the phone with a unique knock code (Settings > Lock Screen > Select Screen Lock)
- Arrange and customize the navigation buttons (Settings > Display > Home Touch Buttons)
- Automatically default to specific settings based on use or location (Settings > Smart Settings)
- Access your favorite apps directly from the lock screen (Settings > Lock Screen > Shortcuts)
- Free up space and memory by disabling unused apps (Settings > Apps > Disable/Uninstall)
All modern smartphones are pretty capable right out of the box, but we use them so often that relying on the standard settings is a bit of a missed opportunity. If the customization settings are there, why not use them? Dive into the Settings yourself and make the LG G5 the phone you want it to be. You may be surprised at how useful and appealing a device it is.