LG G5 actually a plastic phone? Yes and no – better check out this video


UPDATE: LG has responded with a detailed explanation of exactly what materials have gone into the LG G5's body. In short, what's on top of the metal isn't plastic, but a layer of primer and paint. Read more details here.

Right from the start, LG has been marketing the G5 as a smartphone with a 'sleek, metal uni-body' design. Back at its announcement event, however, when we first got hold of the G5, we thought it does feel somewhat... plastic to the touch. We asked, just to be sure, and LG reps confirmed for us that, yes, the body of the G5 is indeed metal. OK, we thought, maybe it's just some kind of new finish LG's using, you know, to get a better signal and all.

Well, guess what – it appears the truth has been lying somewhere in the middle, between metal and plastic, as a new scratch test by JerryRigEverything (see above) has revealed the true nature of the LG G5's body. In the video, Jerry uses his handy paper knife to cut into the G5's back plate, and surprise, surprise – what comes off first is actually a relatively thick layer of plastic. Cutting even deeper, a shiny aluminum layer finally appears, immediately beneath the plastic layer.
So, there you have it – the LG G5 is both metal and plastic! What you're touching is actually plastic with some metallic coating, which is why the phone doesn't feel as... well, metal as other metal phones, but looks like one. Meanwhile, you're still experiencing the structural benefits of the aluminum shell that's hiding underneath the plastic. To some, the fact their hands aren't directly touching the cold, hard metal will probably come off as a disappointment, although we aren't sure if this really is such a big deal. Still, maybe LG should have communicated the body properties of the G5 a bit more clearly and accurately, because when someone says "metal uni-body" these days, you really expect a metal body, not metal body covered in plastic.

What do you think?

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1. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

Bad advertising, but it doesn't matter at least to me.

3. alexp999

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Clearly the plastic layer over the metal unibody is for housing the antennas, fine by me, hopefully it gives a better signal than a thin seam of plastic.

22. SenorThrottles

Posts: 284; Member since: Dec 23, 2015

It was very misleading of LG though. They should've made it clear that there was a layer of plastic over the casing. No wonder many people thought the G5 felt somewhat cheap.

25. alexp999

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

I agree they could have made what they are probably calling microdizing clearer, however I'd be interested to know if the depth of the plastic is the same all the way across the device, or just thicker in places to give room for the antennas...

32. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Its clearly a cheating from Lg... They should not call it metal uni body when the layer is plastic... This is the reason, I hate marketing... Markting is all about over hyping and misguiding the customers...

43. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Metal powder coating then plastic then aluminium. Maybe its a great idea as plastic take hit better than aluminium. also eliminate the need of plastic stripe. They should had say it in advertising as its in fact a good point!

2. alexp999

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Nice to have a correctly reported article by PA, and no clickbait :)

4. tyrionTheWise unregistered

LG's metal unibody is neither metal nor unibody. Terrible marketing and spreading false information by LG.

10. alexp999

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

What is aluminium classed as then? :S

18. tyrionTheWise unregistered

That way every phone is a metal phone. Heck, I call every phone to be made by gold since every phone has some on the inside.

29. alexp999

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

The G5 still has an aluminium unibody, which has a layer of plastic over it. So saying it is not metal or a unibody is false imo. I agree it is not a solid unibody, and not as much metal as many believed, but it is still built around an aluminium unibody.

37. tyrionTheWise unregistered

It's not a unibody. It splits in two with bottom portion coming off. It would be a unibody if the whole exterior was made of a single piece of aluminum. Instead, the removable piece(or modular if you call it) is made from another piece of plastic, then there is main frame with plastic and paint cast on it. It's anything but aluminum. A unibody will be something like the M8. Whole phone 'machined' from a single block of aluminum. FYI, Samsung plastic phones of old like the note 3 and 4 had metal midframe. But you don't call them unibody, much less metal unibody.

39. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

The 'unibody chasis' was never referred for the bottom portion (the modular portion) as it was pretty much a different part of the chasis. Like say, car doors. It still is unibody. Not sure what 'standard' is applied for the minimum amount of metal to call a phone made out of 'metal', if the chasis has a meaningful layer of metal then subjectively it can be called as 'metal' but regardless of that, it's just bad and misleading, not false.

40. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Even if you consider the top part, I don't think it's made from one single piece of aluminum. There is a gap seam running around the corners.

41. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

I am open to factual claims, so I would like you to elaborate that. The video didn't show me that.

42. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Watch erica griffin's unboxing. It has a seam running on top and has a break there between 2 pieces of aluminum. You can call it aluminum dubody, if that's a thing.

45. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Unibody phone are phone whitout a removable battery cover. not so wise tyrion. based on what you said NO PHONE on the market is unibody as they all split in two when opened up.. the M8 is made of two piece of aluminium thats are glued together... same for M7 and M9. I am probably the expert here for HTC phone i had them all. Beside the note serie and before the S6 all samsung phone where mostly plastic.

60. tyrionTheWise unregistered

"I am probably the expert here" OK, I'm done. Thanks for making my day.

63. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Did you know a car is a unibody....yet I can take it apart doors, fenders, hood, trunk...and more...and it still be called a unibody? In fact the unibody is glued together parts....go figure...

44. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Before S6 mostly 100% of the sturcture and casing of samsung phone where made of plastic. This is a unibody design with a full metal structure with a thin layer of plastic covered by metal powder. Big difference with the 1% gold inside component versus this been more than 50% metal.

54. M.O.A.B

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

don't spread false information Samsung uses a metal frame inside the phone since the S1

21. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Samsung e5 has internal frame made of metal to make it more rigid because of the thinness and it is not a 'metal' phone.

46. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

internal frame is different than the full body. G5 body is all metal with a plastic coating over it so its more than the frame only.

55. M.O.A.B

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

you said the STRUCTURE and casing

58. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

The said internal frame is covering almost all the back surface, the same with S6 and S7. Anyway we knew when we want a metal phone, we mean it to be a true metal phone which we can feel the metal with hand not some plastic layered metal with cheap chrome paint.

59. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

And metal is more of necessity for thin phone for frame strength. Lg just go with easier and cheaper way of manufacturing with plastic layering.

27. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

I agree

5. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

If my phone is metal I want it to feel like metal not plastic.

47. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

First valid reply i see to this news. Its really up to you personally i also prefer it to feel heavy and metal but thats a question of taste ( and is why i am waiting for HTC 10 or maybe the 10 mini )

7. Stoptryingtobanme

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 23, 2016

This phone is garbage anyway. Modular is just a marketing ploy for weak minded.

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