Hands On-LGG5Design Is Surprisingly Stunning

LG G5 review

LG G5 has a unique design which have a removable battery and an aluminum unibody enclosure. It’s got the haute 2016 flagship specs.

There has been some controversy online as to whether or not the G5 body is metal. This video shows large plastic-looking chunks being shaved out of the G5 with a razor blade. LG G5 review 02
When a company says “metal body,” we usually take that to mean “the outside of the phone is metal.” That doesn’t seem to be the case here. LG appears to have started with a metal unibody, coated that body in an “insulating primer” that feels a lot like plastic, and then covered that plastic in a metallic flake paint to make it look like metal. You get some of the benefits of metal—the G5 gets a stiff, sturdy body with a minimum material thickness—but it doesn’t really feel like metal.

Anodized aluminum is what we typically think of when we hear “metal body.” This is used for devices like the iPhone, MacBooks, and the Nexus 6P. Anodizing aluminum is a dyeing process—it gets colored, but you’re still touching aluminum. In contrast, the painted surface of the G5 is an additional layer on top of the aluminum. That extra layer feels more like a high-quality plastic than metal. It’s not awful, but anodized aluminum would have been better. It also seems backward to spend the money and do the engineering associated with a metal phone yet still end up with a non-metal exterior.LG G5 review 05The color scheme on the G5 is odd. Like most phones, the bezel around the display is black, and this black color extends up to the top bezel earpiece area. It’s not symmetrical on the bottom though, that comes in the color of the body. On the bottom the phone actually goes from a glass-covered black bezel to an exposed black plastic bezel to the colored bottom piece. It’s a busy design that would have benefited a lot from making everything black and symmetrical.

On the back of the G5 you’ll find the power button, like on most LG phones. Here it also doubles as the fingerprint reader, which seems to be the standard issue tap-and-hold sensor that we’ve seen on the new Nexus devices, the Galaxy S7, and iPhones since the 5S, which is to say it’s fast and accurate. There are no volume keys on the back this time though—they’re back to the standard location on the side. The volume buttons have seemingly been moved to make room for the massive camera assembly, which houses two cameras, an LED flash, a laser autofocus system, and a color spectrum sensor.LG G5 review 04The design of the LG G5 tries something really interesting—it’s a modular smartphone. Press a button on the side and the whole bottom of the phone comes off, pulling the oddly neon yellow battery out with it. Look inside the phone and you’ll mostly just see a hollow metal tube. On the right side is a pair of edge connectors that transfer data and power to the removable bottom piece, which also houses the USB-Type C port, microphone, and speaker.

LG has accessory modules that can completely replace the bottom piece, giving you options like a higher-quality audio chip or a camera grip with a larger battery (sadly, we don’t have any of those in for review). The 2800mAh battery is removable not only from the phone, but also from the bottom piece so it can be connected to these accessories.LG G5 review 03