LG G5: What is it, and when can I get one?

ByDuncan Heaney
LG smartphone

On first glance, the LG G5 looks to be a full-blooded flagship smartphone, with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from the top tier of handsets. A closer look, however, reveals something that’s considerably quirkier.

LG isn't afraid to take chances with its flagship phone. The LG G3 was the first smartphone to have a scalpel-sharp QHD screen, for example, and the LG G4 was available with a distinctive, if divisive, leather casing. But the G5 is LG's most experimental flagship yet - this is a big phone with bold ideas.

The Screen

While most smartphones are getting bigger and bigger with each iteration, LG has taken the unusual step of shrinking things down. The G5's 5.3in screen is still huge, but noticeably smaller than that of the G4. It's still super-sharp though, with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and 554 ppi.

It's also always on - when locked, part of the screen will remain lit and display notifications and the time. It sounds like that feature could batter the battery life, but LG says that the feature only drains the battery by 0.8% an hour.


LG's said sayonara to plastic and leather, and opted for a metal unibody, much like the HTC One M9. As has become LG's trademark, the power button is on the back, and now doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. The volume buttons have moved from the back to the side - more conventional than before but, we think, easier to use.



That's one of the few parts of the G5 design that could be called conventional. It deviates from typical smartphones with a unique, modular design that allows you to swap in extra gadgets to expand the phone's functionality.

You can slide off the bottom off the LG G5, which also removes the battery - a bit like emptying a clip from a gun. You can then plug additional tech in its place, such as a 32-bit analogue to digital converter that allows for better audio, or the LG Cam Plus, which adds lots of manual camera controls.

It all sounds very cool. The biggest problem is that LG insists on calling these swappable modules 'Friends' in a mildly irritating case of enforced corporate tweeness. But hey - maybe that's just us being cynical.


LG's flagship handsets are typically powerhouses, and the G5 is no exception. It contains the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 octa-core chipset, and 4GB RAM, so we expect top-notch performance.

Internal storage is a decent 32GB, and can be expanded with a MicroSD card if you need a few more megabytes. The battery is slightly smaller than that of the LG G4, so if you find a super-long battery life is important, this won't be the handset for you. That said, the modular design of the phone means you can replace the battery if necessary.


We were greatly impressed by the LG G4's photographic capabilities, and the G5 looks to offer even more options. On the rear of the device is a 16 megapixel (MP) camera paired with a second 8MP sensor.

The 16MP camera works much like the G4's, with laser autofocusing taking good, sharp shots. The 8MP snapper has a 135 degree lens so it can take wide-angle photos - you won't have to use the sometimes unreliable panorama function anymore. Plus, dual cameras also mean that you can record video and take still photos at the same time.

When is the LG G5 out in the UK?

LG announced the LG G5 on 21 February, but not exactly when it will be out. The only indication of release date is that it will be available in 'key territories' mid-April. That may include the UK - EE is already taking pre-orders, so it clearly expects the phone to hit our shores relatively soon.

How much will the LG G5 cost?

LG's keeping schtum about the price of the G5 and its accessories. With decent specs and that super sharp screen, it's not likely to be cheap. We expect the sim-free price to be around £560 - though that's just speculation.

Of course, you'll be able to get the phone for considerably less if you get it with a pay monthly contract.

How can I get an LG G5?

Vodafone, EE and O2 have all confirmed that they will carry the LG G5 when it launches in the UK. Since there's no release date (or price for that matter), there aren't any specific deals yet, but on release, you'll be able to compare your options with our mobile comparison service.

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