LG G5 review: A flexible smartphone, but usurped by newer models
LG G5 review: LG 360 VR
Also available for the LG G5 is a series of what LG is calling “Friends” – accessories that pair exclusively with the LG G5 and are managed via the preloaded LG Friends manager app.
There’s a pair of VR glasses, dubbed the LG 360 VR, a 360 camera (the LG 360 Cam), and a remote-controlled, spherical robot. We were sent the glasses and camera to test, but before you splash £200 on either, hold fire, because they aren’t that great.
First, the glasses. These connect to the LG G5’s USB Type-C port and work just like Samsung’s Gear VR headset.
The good things are that it’s self-contained, and because it has its own built-in display – a 1.88in, 960 x 720 screen split in two – it’s far less bulky than the Samsung headset. Where the Samsung headset is like a pair of ski goggles, the LG 360 VR is more akin to a pair of sunglasses, complete with folding arms and adjustable nose bridge. It even comes with its very own hard plastic glasses case.
A quick tour around the rest of the 360 VR reveals a 3.5mm headphone jack below the left eyepiece, two buttons above the right-hand eye and a proximity sensor between the lenses inside the headset so the headset can tell when you’ve put them on.
This is when you get to the problems, though. First, LG hasn’t done a great job on comfort. Worn for more than a handful of minutes the 360 is horribly uncomfortable, digging into the side of your head and the bridge of your nose uncomfortably.
Second, it’s tricky to adjust to get a crisp image. You have to remove the light-blocking skirt to get access to the lenses. Third, even when you do get everything in focus, the image is low-resolution and obviously pixellated.
The final problem is one of content. There simply isn’t any worth bothering with: a few VR tourist experiences via the Jaunt VR app, some VR YouTube videos, and that’s your lot. Not much for your £200 I think you’ll agree.
LG G5 review: LG 360 Cam
The LG 360 Cam is a bit more effective. Just like the Ricoh Theta S we reviewed last year and the forthcoming Samsung Gear 360 camera, it has a pair of wide-angle, 13-megapixel cameras facing in opposite directions, which it uses to capture true 360-degree, 26-megapixel stills and video up to 2K in resolution.
Unlike the 360 VR headset, this palm-sized camera is connected to the phone via Wi-Fi, with images and videos stored on a microSD card installed in a slot in the base.
If that all sounds impressive, the end results are far from great. It’s fun to play around with the 360 Cam initially, and it’s a great way to quickly capture room interiors for example. I can imagine an estate agent putting one of these to effective use.
However, once you’ve downloaded the images and videos to you LG G5, it quickly becomes apparent that the quality isn’t that great. Both stills and video look grainy, blurry and noisy, and after you’ve taken a few pictures and shot a handful of videos with it, the novelty is likely to quickly wear off.
LG G5 specifications
|Processor||Quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|Screen resolution||2,560 x 1,440|
|Screen type||IPS Quantum|
|Front camera||8 megapixels|
|Rear camera||16 + 8 megapixels|
|Storage (free)||32GB (23.5GB)|
|Memory card slot (supplied)||microSD|
|Size||149 x 7.7 x 74mm|
|Operating system||Android 6.0.1|
|Price on contract (inc VAT)||Free on £32-per-month contract|
|Prepay price (inc VAT)||£460|