LG G5 review: Evening the odds

Evening the odds

GSMArena team, 22 March, 2016.

Display

Update, Apr 04: We recently received a retail G5 review unit and we've updated all tests on this page accordingly. The good news is that there were almost no differences compared to our pre-production unit so all initial review conclusions are still valid. The bad news is the battery life is still as unimpressive as before.

The LG G5 has screen similar to the one used on the V10, but smaller. It's a 5.3" Quantum IPS LCD unit of Quad HD resolution, which sums up in 554ppi screen density.

Bang & Olufsen DAC - LG G5 review

The screen of the LG G5 has an impressively high contrast ratio (1885:1) due to its especially deep blacks (deep for an LCD anyway). However, the maximum brightness is surprisingly low at 306nits. It's a good thing that at least in auto brightness mode, the phone is able to push it up to 378nits in response to bright ambient light.

To help things even further, LG G5 comes with something called Assertive Display algorithm for adjusting pixel color values in real time on GPU level in bright sunlight. The technology helps sunlight legibility not by making the screen brighter, but by processing darker parts of the images on screen to make them easier to read by brightening them up selectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, the LG G5 screen offers a rather low minimum brightness level of only 3.6nits (just like LG G4 and V10), which means it will go quite easy on the eyes when you use the phone in pitch dark settings.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
LG G5 0.17 306 1855
LG G5 max auto 0.20 378 1881
LG V10 0.29 432 1490
LG G4 0.43 532 1238
LG G3 0.72 570 789
Xiaomi Mi 5 0.51 628 1227
Samsung Galaxy S7 0.00 391
Samsung Galaxy S6 0.00 363
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.52 705 1361
Sony Xperia Z5 0.59 583 986

Regarding color accuracy, the screen is similar to the V10's - it has an average deltaE of 5.4, which isn't perfect but is above average regarding accuracy. LG hasn't provided any ways for you to adjust the screen color temperature.

In our outdoor visibility tests, the LG G5 screen offers well above average legibility at max brightness.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • LG G4
    2.317
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221

Connectivity

The LG G5 has all the connectivity goodies. It comes in GSM and CDMA flavors (the latter will happily work on GSM networks if the bands match up). There is a dual-SIM version on sale, too. The fastest mobile data option is 450Mbps LTE Cat.9 and you get 42Mbps on 3G.

LG G5 supports GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and BDS. It also comes with a new Low Power Location Estimation (LPLE) Technology, which helps for very low power consumption for location-based services. In theory, LPLE should be up to 40% more power efficient than its preceding location-based tech.

Regarding close-range connectivity, the situation is pretty solid with Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac bearing most of the load with Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA add-ons. For low-power connectivity there's Bluetooth 4.2 LE with the apt-X audio codec. The G5 has a new 24-bit Hi-Fi Wireless Audio (aptX HD), an enhanced audio codec, which streams 24-bit CD-like sound over Bluetooth.

NFC is on-board so the G5 is compatible with Android Pay. You get the benefit of fingerprint security too.

The wired USB Type-C port handles PC connection, USB OTG (via an adapter, sold separately), and it allows you to use the G5 as power bank and charge another device.

On the software side you get a DLNA server support and Miracast, plus a number of LG-specific features. One is SmartShare Beam (transferring files between LG devices) and LG AirDrive, which does the same but with a computer (you need an LG account).

Battery life

The LG G5 is powered by a 2,800 mAh battery, and the good news is you can easily swap batteries via the Magic Slot. If you have opted for the Camera Plus accessory, your total battery capacity will be 4,000 mAh. We did our test with the regular pre-installed battery, of course.

The LG G5 is quick to charge thanks to the latest Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 tech - with the right charger the phone's battery will fill up about 80% in just 30 minutes.

The LG G5 did relatively well in our test with an endurance rating of 60 hours - that's the amount of time the G5 would last on a single charge if you use it for an hour of 3G calls, an hour of web browsing, and an hour of video playback each day.

The Always On display feature was always going to be a battery drainer, no two ways about it. LG's claim that it would cost you 0.8% per hour seems about right. Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which we carried out with the AOD off and then once again with AOD on. These results are not featured in our test scorecard but are calculated in the total rating.

Turning on the AOD does have a noticeable impact on the overall endurance rating as it drops down to 50 hours.

As it turned out the LG G5 manages better the always-on feature than the Galaxy S7 duo and managed to beat the Galaxy S7. Note that the G5 always-on screen goes dark if you put it in your pocket, which will add additional hours to the final rating. In our tests the always-on screen was, well, always on, so you can compare the results to the Galaxy S7.

Bang & Olufsen DAC - LG G5 review

As for the individual tests, the G5 did well with 3G talks and video playback, outed an average result on standby, and performed uninspiringly when it comes to web browsing.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • JBGoode

Hey guys its July 23, 2019, and i just bought a new battery dock (with battery included), and original fast charger also with the usb c type, cant just simply throw away this amazing phone, i know its not the fastest in the market, and wont be able (...

  • Anonymous

Having heating issues with LG G5

  • Rickyqtqt

The LG G5 is a great phone with a great camera. It has a battery that will not last the day if you don't have battery saver on. There are some quality issues with the manufacturing specifically with GPS. You may get a phone that will not lock into...