LG G5 review: Evening the odds
Evening the odds
Update, Apr 04: We recently received a retail G5 review unit and we've updated all test results 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 telephony features are combined into a single app that uses tabs to separate features (you can hide the tabs you don't need). The tabs are pretty self-explanatory: Call logs, Contacts, Favorites and Groups.
LG's Ringtone ID is on board. This feature composes a unique ringtone for each of your contacts, turning phone number digits into notes.
The loudspeaker proved to be good - even better, with certain ringtones it was downright loud. Additionally, the speaker sound quality is among the best we've heard to date, with very rich and clear output. Even though the speaker is just one, it seems to be capable of dispersing the sound wider than most of the phones we usually encounter.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
The LG G5 brings a capable Gallery app, which compliments its serious camera department. Its UI has been refined since the last time we saw it, but hasn't changed the logic of operations.
The Memories feature automatically organizes photos by location and time, or you can view the images by Album or as a Timeline (by Day, Moth, Year and with pinch zoom to help you navigate).
DLNA is built into the app, so you can send photos to a compatible TV or pull them from a storage device or computer. Then there's the cloud connectivity - Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive are supported, though not Facebook or Flickr.
Photo editing is done via the Google Photos app and you get an Auto enhance button, basic color correction and cropping.
Like the gallery, the music player features DLNA and cloud integration making it easy to sync your music collection. And the LG G5 will take anything you throw at it - lossless FLAC and ALAC files as well as MP3s. Hi-Fi 24-bit sound is supported, too.
The app comes with a number of equalizer presets, including one dedicated to the Quad Beats headset you receive in the retail box. Hitting the Custom option gives you a manual 7-band equalizer to play with.
The first time you plug in a pair of headphones, the phone will tell you about the 32-bit DAC. Enabling it gives you the precise volume control as well as dials to change the left/right balance.
The LG G5 has built-in FM radio, and as usual, you have to plug in a pair of headphones, which serve as an antenna.
There's no dedicated video player on the LG G5, you have to go through the gallery. The good news is that its DLNA capabilities come in handy if you have your videos stored on a compatible device.
The integrated video player supports all common video and audio codecs, and can display any kind of subtitles. You can also manually load subtitles and customize their look (size and style).
Audio output is decently clean, not very loud
The LG G5 delivered perfectly clean output in the first part of our audio test. When used with an active external amplifier, the flagship easily achieves top marks for clarity, which is about what you’d expect from a decent phone in 2016. The volume levels are slightly lower than average though, which puts the G5 at somewhat of a disadvantage over its direct rivals.
Stereo crosstalk rose quite a bit when we hooked up our standard headphones, but at least none of the other readings were affected so the performance here is once again par for the course. Loudness remained unchanged too.
All in all, the G5 won’t disappoint the audiophiles, but it isn’t quite the best in terms of audio output either.
Update 04 April: Plugging the B&O DAC brings the LG G5 to a higher level in terms of audio output. When used with an external amplifier the output is just as clear as before but the loudness is now just above average. And headphones only cause a minor hike in stereo crosstalk with other readings remaining unaffected - a really solid performance.
And now here go the results so you can do your comparison.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|LG G5||+0.01, -0.04||-92.6||92.6||0.0051||0.0096||-93.3|
|LG G5 (headphones)||+0.05, -0.01||-92.2||92.3||0.0029||0.037||-50.7|
|LG G5 (B&O)||+0.05, -0.01||-93.2||93.3||0.0012||0.0069||-92.9|
|LG G5 (B&O)(headphones)||+0.05, -0.01||-93.6||93.6||0.0014||0.0090||-72.1|
|LG G4||+0.04, -0.07||-93.4||93.3||0.0021||0.050||-92.6|
|LG G4 (headphones)||+0.93, -0.13||- 91.4||91.9||0.013||0.244||-50.4|
|Xiaomi Mi 5||+0.01, -0.03||-95.3||95.1||0.0034||0.0065||-95.1|
|Xiaomi Mi 5 (headphones)||+0.01, -0.03||-95.2||95.1||0.0027||0.013||-71.5|
|Samsung Galaxy S7||+0.01, -0.04||-92.5||92.6||0.0027||0.0078||-92.7|
|Samsung Galaxy S7 (headphones)||+0.05, -0.05||-91.9||92.1||0.0044||0.063||-73.4|
LG G5 frequency response
You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.
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