LG G5 review: A flexible smartphone, but usurped by newer models
LG G5 review: Cameras
The LG G5’s other big innovation, and one destined to be a little more useful, is its new-fangled rear camera arrangement. Not satisfied with just one snapper, LG has chosen to mount two cameras on the back of the LG G5: one standard camera, one wide-angle. At the front is another 8-megapixel module.
The former is a 16-megapixel shooter with a 75-degree field of view and it grabs excellent quality snaps. Its bright f/1.8 aperture, “laser autofocus” and three-axis optical image stabilisation should lead to good image quality in low light. In testing, that proved to be the case.
It isn’t as good as the Samsung Galaxy S7’s camera, or the Nexus 6P. Photographs look slightly noisier, and that’s mainly because in similar conditions the camera tends to choose a higher ISO level.
However, in good conditions, there’s little to choose between the LG G5’s camera and most other modern smartphone cameras. It can capture very good quality video at resolutions up to 4K, and there’s a host of different modes and effects to play around with, including a highly effective HDR mode, slow motion, and time-lapse video, plus a selection of frivolous effects that allow you to produce collages and picture-in-picture images that use all three cameras in quick succession.
The secondary camera is the most interesting aspect of the G5’s camera array. It has a 135-degree wide-angle lens with a resolution of eight megapixels, an aperture of f/2.4, and it captures a much broader view of a scene than the main camera. In the picture of the pizza below I held the camera at the same distance in each shot, which should give you a good idea of the difference this makes (the wide angle shot is on the right).
Switching between the two cameras is easy: you can pinch in or out quickly in the camera app, tap the selector icons, and in third party apps such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter tapping the switch that normally cycles you between front-facing and rear-facing cameras also does the trick.
The downside of the wide-angle camera is that the edges of the image suffer from significant barrel distortion. If you’ve ever used a GoPro camera in “ultrawide” mode, or squinted through a front-door spy hole you’ll be familiar with the look.
The upside is that the quality is exceptional, but more than this, having such a broad field of view makes the camera ideal for capturing dramatic scenery, large groups of people and cityscapes. It’s a doddle to point and shoot, and you don’t even have to frame your shot particularly carefully either.
I love shooting with cameras like this and found myself making more use of the wide-angle lens more than I did the standard camera. It’s such fun that it makes me wonder why more smartphone manufacturers haven’t tried it before.
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|