LG G5 review: A flexible smartphone, but usurped by newer models

£500
Price when reviewed

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.lg_360_vr_3_of_4

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.lg_360_vr_2_of_4

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_360_vr_4_of_4

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.lg_360_vr_1_of_2

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_360_vr_2_of_2

LG G5 specifications

ProcessorQuad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
RAM4GB
Screen size5.3in
Screen resolution2,560 x 1,440
Screen typeIPS Quantum
Front camera8 megapixels
Rear camera16 + 8 megapixels
FlashLED
GPSYes
CompassYes
Storage (free)32GB (23.5GB)
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
Wi-Fi802.11ac
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2
NFCYes
Wireless data4G
Size149 x 7.7 x 74mm
Weight159g
Operating systemAndroid 6.0.1
Battery size2,800mAh
Price on contract (inc VAT)Free on £32-per-month contract
Prepay price (inc VAT)£460
SIM-free supplierwww.carphonewarehouse.com
Contract/prepay supplierwww.o2.co.uk
Detailswww.lg.com/uk
Part codeLG-H850

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