LG G5: 10 things you should know before (or after) buying one

1. No app data can be moved to the microSD card

As advertised, the LG G5 can and will accept microSD cards of any available capacity. There’s a catch, however – application data cannot be stored there. Not even partially. The microSD card is to be used as a storage medium for photos, videos, music, and miscellaneous files, but not applications. Apps can only be installed on the phone’s internal storage. And that’s a pity since Android 6.0, running on the LG G5, should be technically capable of supporting Adoptable Storage. That is a feature of the OS allowing a microSD card’s space to be treated as if it were native storage.

No app data can be moved to the microSD card

2. At least microSD cards are cheap

Speaking of storage affairs, you might want to get a microSD card for your LG G5 – for the reason we just mentioned, for the fact that only 23 gigs are available to the user, and because one normally does not come in the box. Keep an eye on Amazon, where cards often go on sale. For example, SanDisk’s 200GB microSD card was only 60 bucks a couple of weeks ago. It goes for $80 as of this writing.

At least microSD cards are cheap

3. The LG G5 has a fast charger, Type-C port

Last year’s LG G4 had Quick Charge capabilities, but the charger it came with did not support the technology. One had to buy a special third-party charger to recharge their G4 rapidly. The LG G5, on the other hand, comes with a 16W Quick Charge 3.0 charger. This allows the phone to go from zero to full in under 80 minutes, which is pretty fast. Speaking of charging, the LG G5 uses the new Type-C USB connector, so it doesn’t matter how you plug in the Type-C end of the cable. It will fit inside your phone either way. However, you will not be able to use those common Micro USB cables with the G5. These simply don’t fit.

The LG G5 has a fast charger, Type-C port

4. The LG G5 needs brighter Always-on Display

One of the G5’s stand-out features is the Always-on Display functionality – the time, date, and your notifications are shown on the screen when the phone is in stand-by. In other words, there’s no need to turn the whole screen on to see the time or whether you have any new texts. But there’s a weak spot in the scheme. The screen is a bit dim. It is nearly impossible to read anything if you’re looking at the Always-on Display at an angle. We do understand that battery power needs to be preserved, but we can also think of a competing smartphone with a similar Always-on Display feature that’s easier to see, even at an angle.

The LG G5 needs brighter Always-on Display

5. The regular camera takes better photos

The dual-camera setup on the G5’s back is a killer feature. It is comprised of a 135-degree, 8MP wide-angle camera alongside a standard, 78-degree 16MP shooter. The former shines when shooting in tight spaces thanks to its wide field of view. Its downsides, however, are the lack of autofocus and the very visible fish-eye distortion. This is why the 16MP regular camera should be your primary shooter. Simply put, it will yield better-quality images. Switch to the wide-angle cam only if you really can’t fit your whole subject in the frame.

The regular camera takes better photos

6. The LG Friends will cost you extra

Another stand-out feature of the LG G5 is its modular design, allowing it to work with various modules that expand its functionality. These, however, aren’t normally included with the phone. Unless your carrier is feeling extra generous, the camera grip module will cost you another $70 and the B&O audio attachment will set you back some $150. These modules are part of the Friends ecosystem of accessories, which LG is promoting along with its latest flagship. A 360-degree camera and a VR headset, priced at $200 each, are also part of the lineup. We must clarify, that some LG Friends are compatible with more than just the G5. The B&O audio module, for instance, can be used with a computer or with another Android device over a USB cable. The 360-degree camera can be used with most recent Android phones and even with the iPhone.

The LG Friends will cost you extra

7. Detaching the G5’s battery is not an elegant procedure

Speaking of the LG Friends and modules, swapping the LG G5’s battery is quite the ritual. You start by ejecting the cell by turning the phone off and pressing a button at the phone’s side. At this time, the battery will pop out, but it will still be attached to the phone’s “chin”. You must separate the two manually after ejecting them, as shown in the video at the 0:26 mark. Now you may swap the battery or attach it to another module.

8. The surface of the LG G5 doesn’t feel quite like metal

Quite the controversy was sparked when an LG G5 teardown video exposed a gray layer of “plastic” between the phone’s aluminum body and its top coat of paint. The material turned out to be primer, not plastic, and its purpose is to allow the paint bond with the phone’s metal chassis, as well as to cover the antenna bands. Long story short, the G5 is truly a metal-made phone and should be as sturdy as one, even though your fingers won’t be sensing the distinct cold feel of the material.

The surface of the LG G5 doesn't feel quite like metal

9. The LG G5 camera bump is the NFC touch point

Keep this one in mind in case you need to use the NFC capabilities of your LG G5. Its NFC antenna is located around the camera modules, so that’s the part of the phone you need to tap against an NFC tag or another NFC-capable smartphone. The NFC spot varies from one phone to another, which is why trying to Beam something can be a frustrating experience if you don’t know how to tap the two phones together.

The LG G5 camera bump is the NFC touch point

10. You get 100GB of free Google Drive cloud storage

Cloud storage is great for back-ups and file sharing, which is why the free cloud space you get with the LG G5 is more than welcome. A whopping 100GB of storage via Google Drive will be at your disposal at no cost for a period of 2 years. Once the offer expires, your files will remain on Google Drive, but you will not be able to sync new files with your cloud.

You get 100GB of free Google Drive cloud storage

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