Having previously owned an LG G3 until it unceremoniously internally combusted (An overheating issue caused an internal component to disconnect and put the device into a boot loop.), I was rather intent on getting a replacement somewhat similar to my previous phone. I quite liked the G3, and was hoping later iterations were similar. At first I wanted the G4, since it was most similar, but was told it was not available at T-Mobile. (This was proven false, as they had the G4 on display at the store I ended up traveling to.) So, I decided on the G5.
Before even turning it on I noticed the position of the volume buttons had changed. This was slightly disappointing, as I liked the location of the buttons on the G3, not just for easily changing volume levels while the device was in my pocket (I don’t have earbuds that are capable of that for various reasons.), but the button positions on the G3 made for easy screenshots, as the lock and volume down buttons are right next to each other, and can be pressed with one finger. Instead, the volume buttons on the G5 were moved to the side of the device, as is with most phones.
The moved volume buttons also made way for a finger print scanner on the lock button. While it’s in a much more ergonomic position than the iPhone, I found myself not using the scanner to unlock the phone. I use it to (sometimes) log in to PayPal, but I found the phone would unlock too quickly for me to look at notifications on the lock screen if I just used my finger print.
I do appreciate the build quality of the G5. It feels like an iPhone, complete with rounded edges. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the plastic-y G3. I do miss how the battery was removed on the G3 compared to how it is removed on the G5, but I suppose that’s for the G5’s “module” system. More on that later.
The dual camera system is intriguing. You can zoom in, out, and way out, at which point the camera application switches to the “fish eye” camera lens. I have not tested if this works in other applications besides Snapchat, which it does not.
The home screen that came preconfigured with the G5 was much like that on the iPhone. That is to say, I didn’t like it. I like my app drawer, and thankfully I could get it back without too much fuss. I don’t understand the move to get rid of the app drawer, but maybe that’s just my user preference.
On to my biggest gripe with the device: the battery removal. When it was advertised, the feature was described as something incredibly new, or at the very least a selling point. As such, I was under the impression that replacing the battery would be improved, such as being able to replace the battery while the system was on thanks to a small internal battery of some kind. Nope! The battery just slides out in a funky way. You still have to turn off the device to replace the battery, and even then removing it is slightly more painful than the G3.
That’s honestly the only bad thing though, between that and the headphone jack being on the top of the device (which can be fixed with an added module) the G5 is pretty solid. The speaker is an improvement, cameras look good. The biggest rag people have on the G5 is it didn’t improve. Honestly, something that works is more important to me than something that’s innovative, especially if it’s a phone.