Are we all being too hard on the G5?

ragdoll08

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I want everyone to play along for a moment and try the following...

Try to forget about LG's "Friends". Try to forget about "Modular components" (to an extent) with hi-fi adaptors and camera grips and what have you.. and try to imagine that the LG launch event was based on the G5 and nothing more.

Very similar to what Samsung fans were clamoring for, what has everyone been on LG's back for resolving with it's G series? No more plastic phones. Get more premium. Do something, ANYTHING, with this IU. Fix this lag. Give us better battery life, but keep it removable along with additional storage. And then you heard the usual rumblings of improve the display, improve the cameras, but don't make the phone itself too big.

So what is the G5?

The G5 is (finally) an all non plastic/full metal design (Check)
It's still a fully removable battery on top of that new design. (Check)
And it's still got the SD card slot (Check)
All reports are stating that the display is brighter then ever, with a few mentioning better colors than the G4 (Check)
And it's a single hand friendly, not too big 5.3 inches, sitting comfortably between the S7/S7e and the G4/G3 and the G2 of yesteryear (Check)
The UI has been dramatically redesigned. Though this goes with a great deal with personal preference, it's the best it's ever looked. Gone are those dull, toned down colors and sharp squared icons of the past and replaced with what I personally believe to be a super fresh look that surpasses Samsung's Touchwiz and fits right in with Google's design. The whites everywhere aren't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it's what Google is doing. It's what Apple is doing, and this year it's a lot more of what Samsung is doing as well. And it's super lightweight compared to the G4. Regardless of where you stand on the aesthetics, this is LG again reacting to customer concerns. (Check)
It also comes with the usual spec bumps, primarily being the 820 that will also assist with battery management and improved overall performance. I'll give that a (Check)

The two biggest unknowns are battery life and camera quality. LG wants us to believe that Marshmallow, a smaller display and UI enhancements will overcome a slightly smaller battery to give us better battery life, and that the SD820's image processing will improve the quality of the camera on it's own. On paper, they should. However, plenty of on paper specs don't always work out in real world use, so we'll have to wait for the reviews.

LG has then given us a secondary camera for wide angle shots, no attachments required. It'll have it's use cases sometimes, and other times it won't. But it's there and it's something that nobody else is giving us. And they're giving us USB-C, and speaking from personal experience (I also own a 6P), it's simply a better experience that you don't have to think about.

(And for a bonus, and in this case I'll allow us to remember that Mod/Design for a moment... Imagine LG gave us a piece of hardware that you can connect to the bottom of the phone. It'll stick out, but not the entire frame of the device. What it does is it gives you an extra 1200m of battery, besting Samsung's top offering in the S7e. And, since there's some hardware room in there, LG added a shutter button and some other camera options you can take advantage of on the fly, cause why not.) Of course, LG's marketing this as the camera mod. I just prefer to look at it as a battery extension with some camera controls.

So that's the G5. In many ways, it improved it offering almost check for check with what Samsung did with the S7. Samsung has some extras LG doesn't (IP67/Wireless Charge) and LG has some extras that Samsung does't (Removable Battery/WA lens). As a phone, there's really not much the G5 does wrong. And if the story really ended there, focusing on the phone itself, I think LG would have been much better received after it's MWC showing.

Most of the disappointing press the G5 is getting across the board is all about the "Friends", and gimmicky add-ons and so on. And for the most part they're right. If I trade in the G4 for the G5, it's not going to be for any of the extras that LG is banking on. I'm gonna get it because of all those checkmarks listed above, that a lot of us are forgetting we were all asking for in the first place.
 

anon(9072051)

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I'd still be interested in the G5 if LG had not dropped the display size to 5.3" from 5.5," and if they had included front-facing B&O stereo speakers along with their superduper deluxe DAC module.
 

kramer5150

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Well, that's certainly how LG wants us to see it. Part of it is their own marketing though. They are touting it as the flagship model, when the V10 in some ways out-does it. Its almost like they have two flagship models. Its nice to have so many choices though between all the LG models.
 

gendo667

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I like this conversation thread. I was I bit shocked at first, like most of us.

I have decided to reserve judgement. I use launchers anyway, never was gonna use LG's launcher to begin with. Totally stoked about the 820, 4 gigs of modern ram. When I see it in person I'll know weather I want it it not. Pretty sure I do though.
 

Kko 5

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Dear ragdoll08 thats a well balanced and fair preliminary review. Personally I was a Samsung loyal fan for many years, until last year when the G4 was introduced. I dared to leave Samsung and weng for the G4. Since then I never had a single regret as my G4 runs smoothly and perfectly and I am sooo happy with it. Although my concern for the G5 is the battery decrease, my major deal breaker regarding the G5 is the looks. Personally i do not view it as an aesthetically balanced device, especially the back part with that camera bump which I think is not elegant at all. And If you have a look on S7 you will notice the BIG difference...even the todays Xiaomi MI5 looks is stunning.
At the end of the day, always personally speaking, looks matters cause its sth you hold and play with it every day for hours . However this is a matter of personal preference. I think the S7 won the game this year. Finally I do not see the G5 as a real upgrade for G4 users...maybe for G3 users

Posted from my LG G4
 
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caffeinated pants

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A very balanced post, thank you for this. I feel the main difference between Samsung's and LG's offering this year is continuity vs. change. Samsung is clearly iterating on their previous design, making very incremental improvements and, in fact, simply adding back features that were already present in Galaxy phones of years past (removable storage, water-resistant design) but that had been removed last year.

If you are somewhat cynically inclined, you might argue that Samsung removed these features from the S6 last year precisely so that they would have a selling point for the S7 this year. Also note how they put a much bigger battery into the S7 edge and how they won't even offer 64GB models in prime markets in Europe and the US so as to increase their profit margins. But on the whole, their customer base will probably reward them for what they see as a 'winning formula', even if it is most certainly not a winning formula for everyone.

LG on the other hand seems to have changed as much as they could while still checking all the design goals you listed. I believe I read somewhere that LG has two separate design teams working on their flagship phones in a 'tick-tock' fashion à la Intel - one year team A designs the phones, and the next it's team B, with a potentially very different vision. And when you look at the G4 and the G5, you could certainly believe that that is the case. I also think that this willingness to experiment is what makes LG more interesting than other OEMs in a market filled with similar (and overpriced) offerings.

Like others, I am very hesitant to rush to conclusions and looking forward to in-depth analysis and reviews of both Samsung's and LG's products over the next few weeks and months.
 

Guyinbox

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I think people are hard on the g5 because they were so genuinely excited for it. I know I was. They did a lot of things with this phone, but the core experience wasn't really improved as much as I had hoped.

They made the battery and screen smaller without actually shrinking the phone, and didn't really upgrade the main camera. Those are easily my biggest gripes with the g5. Yes it has a removable battery, but their previous phones already had this as well. They get no points from me for not removing features.

I'm thinking about switching from Verizon to T-Mobile in the next month or two so I'll still consider the g5 as I believe I'll have to trade in my Verizon phones to get them to buy out my contract, but I may just get another v10. There's a far outside chance I would consider the s7 edge, but I hate the idea of a glass phone without a removable battery!

Does anyone on T-Mobile know if I could get the g5 and then jump to the v10 successor as soon as it's released? I'm assuming you have to wait a certain amount of time before being able to jump?
 

gendo667

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Does anyone on T-Mobile know if I could get the g5 and then jump to the v10 successor as soon as it's released? I'm assuming you have to wait a certain amount of time before being able to jump?

I'm sure if I'm wrong someone will tell me. I'm fairly sure it depends on how much of your phone is paid off. At least half of I'm not mistaken. But I could be wrong, I know you can jump 2 or 3 times a year.
 

anon(782252)

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Does anyone on T-Mobile know if I could get the g5 and then jump to the v10 successor as soon as it's released? I'm assuming you have to wait a certain amount of time before being able to jump?

I've only been with T-Mobile about 3 months so I'm not familiar with the older Jump plans but I'm on Jump on demand and I can Jump 3 times a year, doesn't matter how much of the phone is paid. I could go on tomorrow, Jump to a new phone and go in the next day and Jump again.

Jump on demand is a lease but I can pay off the lease anytime I want with no penalty and my total amount of payments are the same as if bought the phone.
 

Morty2264

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I appreciate your post - it did make me feel a little bit better about the G5. However, I am still overly unenthused about it. I mean, I hope it does well, I hope LG rocks it this year and that they move up in the ranks; but I know I won't be buying a G5 when my upgrade comes around (and I get that this is just MY purchasing decision/opinion; so it's purely relevant only for me, but this is just how I feel). I really thought the G4 was awesome; and while the G5 has a lot of improvements over the G4, I feel like it's too much of a leap beyond the originality LG is known for. There's still something about the design of the phone - not just the lack of back buttons, but its overall appearance - that immediately throws me off. If I'm gonna look at this phone for 1.5-2 years, I want to actually like what it looks like. Obviously, if the battery is better and the software is cleaner, that is awesome and I consider those points too; but I'm just not wowed over by it.

The modules are cool and all, but... I dunno, it almost feels *too* futuristic for me. It's almost freaky. Still unsure of this whole fingerprint scanner thing. Again... This is obviously just me. I'm not saying I'd never buy a phone with a fingerprint scanner or whatever it's called; I'm just saying that the G5 didn't really win me over.
 

tx_tuff

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The main problem with the G5 is the G4. The G4 is just a sexy phone! Because they made the G5 a metal body phone with removable battery they had to change so much. The lower chin now has no parts in it, so they had to make the forehead bigger along with the bezels. Because of how tall the battery is they couldn't keep the back volume keys on the back, wasn't room. So you get a lot less sexy phone.

The more videos I see of it the more I like it, pictures just don't do it justice. The only thing I'm really disappointed in is the screen size going down, but that was the only way with that design to keep it from being too big.

I am really liking the new wide angle camera and the Cam plus mode. Back in Nov I was in London and that set up would have been perfect!

As far as the S7 and S7 edge, I find the shiny almost mirror finish just plan ugly and it would kill my eyes just having sitting in the car while I was driving. But the main thing I just don't like is the glass back. I do not want a phone with a glass back!
 

TheMarcus

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The lower chin now has no parts in it, so they had to make the forehead bigger along with the bezels. Because of how tall the battery is they couldn't keep the back volume keys on the back, wasn't room.

I never thought of it that way, but that explains why it has those terrible top and bottom bezels. Still, that doesn't make it okay in my book. I would have opted Fri a thicker phone over larger bezels.
 

meyerweb#CB

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I haven't selected or written off either the Galaxy or the LG (or the Nexus), but what I see as the big difference is that Samsung added features and capabilities, while LG took them away. Yes, we got a metal case, but we lost screen size, wireless charging, battery capacity, rear buttons, and software features. And got a really weird launcher without an app drawer. (Yes, I'll use Nova anyway, but why LG, why?)

Many people seem to feel that, except for the modules, LG took away more than it added. I think that's why the reaction is so, shall we say, muted. And to accommodate the modules, which most buyers won't care about, the phone is bigger than it would be otherwise.
 

SZQnl

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I admire LG for trying something different but I think they should do that on niche phones like the V10 and PRO versions like they used to. Bit of a risk to do this on their flagship phone. If it flops, which I fear it may do, they will lose a lot of money. I want LG to succeed to keep Samsung on its toes.

They performed an engineering miracle with the G2, a top-end 5.2" phone in such a small body. I don't think anyone else has matched it since, not even LG. I was excited to hear the G5 was going to be 5.3" but ended up disappointed that it's even taller than the G4 with 5.5" screen. I think the modules are a bad idea. What happens when the G6 is launched? Either they have restricted themselves to the same design to maintain compatibility or you'll have lost all your investment in those modules when you upgrade unless you sell the G5 to someone who happens to want the same modules.

In my opinion, most people want a high-end phone to do everything out of the box well without having to change modules. Create a phone with a large battery, great audio, great camera etc in one compact package. That's what we are paying big bucks for.

I'll still try it out when it's on display but I doubt I'll like it. It's a shame because I like the more subtly metal unibody design compared to shiny shiny glass.

I'll probably get the Samsung S7, Xiaomi Mi 5, or maybe the Huawei P9 that is rumoured to have 5.2" display and thin top/bottom bezels.
 
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I admire LG for trying something different but I think they should do that on niche phones like the V10 and PRO versions like they used to. Bit of a risk to do this on their flagship phone. If it flops, which I fear it may do, they will lose a lot of money. I want LG to succeed to keep Samsung on its toes.

They performed an engineering miracle with the G2, a top-end 5.2" phone in such a small body. I don't think anyone else has matched it since, not even LG. I was excited to hear the G5 was going to be 5.3" but ended up disappointed that it's even taller than the G4 with 5.5" screen. I think the modules are a bad idea. What happens when the G6 is launched? Either they have restricted themselves to the same design to maintain compatibility or you'll have lost all your investment in those modules when you upgrade unless you sell the G5 to someone who happens to want the same modules.

In my opinion, most people want a high-end phone to do everything out of the box well without having to change modules. Create a phone with a large battery, great audio, great camera etc in one compact package. That's what we are paying big bucks for.

I'll still try it out when it's on display but I doubt I'll like it. It's a shame because I like the more subtly metal unibody design compared to shiny shiny glass.

I'll probably get the Samsung S7, Xiaomi Mi 5, or maybe the Huawei P9 that is rumoured to have 5.2" display and thin top/bottom bezels.

Creating that eutopic compact package is too costly,
Btw hifi plus module can work with other devices too.

Posted via the Android Central App
 

SZQnl

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Creating that eutopic compact package is too costly,
Btw hifi plus module can work with other devices too.

Posted via the Android Central App

Well these high-end phones are costly. They've shown it can be done. Nothing wrong with wanting perfection at this price point. Didn't know that about the Hi-Fi Plus module. Although not sure how it will work with other devices, maybe USB.

Had a play around with the S7 and S7 Edge today. Wasn't really as excited as I thought I would be. Nice all-round phone but I realised how much I dislike glossy phones and how much I prefer LG's on-screen buttons. Gotten used to using the Notifications button to pull-down the nofications panel instead of reaching for the top of the phone.
 

srkmagnus

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Well these high-end phones are costly. They've shown it can be done. Nothing wrong with wanting perfection at this price point. Didn't know that about the Hi-Fi Plus module. Although not sure how it will work with other devices, maybe USB.

Had a play around with the S7 and S7 Edge today. Wasn't really as excited as I thought I would be. Nice all-round phone but I realised how much I dislike glossy phones and how much I prefer LG's on-screen buttons. Gotten used to using the Notifications button to pull-down the nofications panel instead of reaching for the top of the phone.
Yes I believe the hi-fi model will be compatible via USB.
 

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