LG G5 review – not sure what to think about this phone

The LG G5 is a definitely a phone in it’s own class. Throughout the time I’ve had this phone it’s been hard to nail down if I like it or not. There’s plenty of pros and cons about it, which leaves me with an opinion I’ve not experienced before. Normally, I’m left with a feeling of either liking/loving a phone or simply just not liking it. But with the G5 there’s much I like about it along with aspects that just leave me wondering what is going on. Heck! I’m confused as I am writing out this review.

So let’s try to gather thoughts and simply lay out what I like and don’t like. After that, hopefully you can tell if this is a phone worth getting or not.

What I Like


LG for the most part doesn’t disappoint in the camera department. Most of the time it comes down to your personal preference of what looks good to you compared to something like the Galaxy S7. Something I do appreciate is the camera app. It’s loaded with everything you need for a smartphone camera. There’s slow motion, time lapse, manual controls, and great focusing. About the only thing the app doesn’t include is YouTube Live, but that feature is reported to be available soon through YouTube themselves.

Overall, the camera is not a reason to hold back from getting this phone. Other notable features of the camera is the dual camera on the back, which allows you to take wide angle shots. From my experience the camera snapped better photos than it did take video. If you want a video example, watch below. It was all taken from the LG G5.

Uprising Youth Service from Joshua Bane on Vimeo.

There were a few shots I used the LG G5 in a wedding video.

Matthew & Olivia Hayes Wedding from Bane Media Productions on Vimeo.

Fingerprint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor is fast and snappy. I like how you don’t have to press a button to activate. But that’s about the only thing I like about it. To find out more about my thoughts check out the Odd Button Placement section further down this page.

Removable Battery

LG is one of the very few companies who still give customers the option of removing batteries. While I’ve gotten used to not having this feature and is not a big deal to me anymore, it’s still nice to have it if you got it. The battery is actually one of the modular pieces.

SD Card Support

Another much appreciated feature is SD card support. I was very excited to see that Samsung brought back the SD card slot! LG hasn’t dropped it yet and is something I like. I’d much rather buy an SD card to upgrade storage because you can get it for a better price. Normally it’s about another $50-100 to upgrade to the next tier of storage, but with that money you can more than double the amount of storage from an SD card.

Decent Size

Personally, I am a big phone type of guy. 5.5″ is the minimum size for me. However, the LG G5 isn’t that bad of size. It’s smaller than my preference, but I wouldn’t knock it for it’s size. If you like smaller to midsize phones, this is one to consider. Even though I like bigger phones, I was not unhappy with using the G5.


What I Don’t Like


Something’s got to give with LG. The software skin just…blah. There’s nothing about it that is pleasing. At least with Samsung you can throw a theme on and it look the way you want. For example, while using the Galaxy S7 Edge or Note 5 I used an Android 6.0/7.0 theme, installed Nova Launcher, with a nice icon pack, resulting in a full custom look. Something similar to what you can do with CMTE on a rooted device. LG though…all you can do is use a launcher and icon packs. You’re stuck with the oddly colored and weird shaped icons.

Feels Cheap

The LG G5 does not feel or look premium, at all. The texture, paint job, and construction is like a full plastic casing for shell of phone. The particular G5 that I used was sent for review from Verizon and it came dinged up. There’s a few marks where it seems as though it met the pavement at some point. The screen has acquired a couple marks as well. Granted, even though it was dropped, the screen did not crack or the body break.

Front Facing Camera

The front facing camera is OK for photos, but video just doesn’t live up to other devices like the Galaxy S7 Edge, Nexus 6P, or Note 5. Granted I use camera a little difference than most people, but it’s worth mentioning I didn’t get a great experience when recording videos for my channel.


My preference is front facing stereo and is the standard. Yes, it’s an opinion, but I think it’s close to fact that front facing speakers sound the best and makes sense to have the sound come at you, not away. The LG G5 does not come with front facing speakers. The G5’s speakers are placed on the bottom left-handed side of the phone.

Aside from placement of the speakers, they just don’t sound that good at all. There’s a ting, high pitched EQ that comes from the speakers. Don’t expect to enjoy what sound is produced from this phone.



Now this might not apply to many people, but this is something I use frequently for voiceovers for my church’s video announcements. One week used the G5 for the voiceover and I was rather disgusted of how the audio recording quality was like. Once the mp3 was loaded into iMovie, the sound was high pitched, tingy, and made my ears hurt a little. All joking aside, the audio recording was not good at all.

Click to listen to the sample.

Odd Button Placement

LG was one of the first to start to place buttons on the back and was a welcomed change. However, LG should not have moved the volume rocker to the side. It needs to stay on the back. Ergonomically, the volume and power buttons belong next to each other. It just doesn’t feel as natural with the volume rocker on the side. Might be personal preference, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.


The screen in normal light is great, but bring the G5 outdoors, it’s another thing. Simply put the G5 screen is not easy to see in daylight.

Final Thoughts

The LG G5 has too many negative for my taste. There are definitely some strong points, but not enough to win me over. At this point there are too many “better” options. I commend LG for taking the risk of a modular design, but the overall quality and completeness is lacking.

In my opinion, LG needs to drop the G Series and rock out the V series.

What’s your thoughts about the LG G5?

Purchase Links

VerizonT-MobileAT&T Amazon

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