LG G5 rumor review: a powerhouse with a metal body, Snapdragon 820 chip, and iris scanner security

The LG G4 didn't conquer many buyers' wallets this year, but it's certainly among 2015's most memorable Android smartphones. It caught our attention with its interesting choice for a chipset, the genuine leather back panel, competent camera setup, and alluring price tag. A strong seller the LG G4 wasn't, but it got even more people talking about LG handsets! Which means even more people will be talking about its successor, the LG G5, after it's announced on Feb 21 at MWC 2016.

Based on what we've heard, LG's new hero phone is shaping up to be a very competitive device! For all we know, the LG G5 will wave goodbye to plastic and proudly feature a refreshed metal design, in addition to the latest hardware and an updated user experience. There's also a strong possibility of iris scanning security coming to the smartphone. You can read more about that, and other interesting aspects of the LG G5 below.

Oh, and in case you don't feel like plowing through the whole thing — here's just the gist of it!


  • Design: The LG G5 will have a metal body, a first for LG since its "Shine" series of feature phones from the recent past.
  • Hardware: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system chip is the one expected to power the LG G5. Iris scanning security is a legitimate possibility, as well as a moonshot "extension slot" that will be a first for smartphones.
  • Display: A 5.6-inch, 1440 x 2560 resolution IPS LCD panel is expected, along with a secondary "ticker" display. No Force Touch, though. The display will have an "Always-On" mode, showing data at a glance.
  • Camera: Dual rear camera setup (16MP + 8MP); 8MP front cam; Laser auto-focus; Dual-LED flash;
  • Release date and price: Announcement on Feb 21 at MWC 2016 in Barcelona. Price tag around $600. The LG G5 is supposed to be ready and in production as we speak.


1. Design
2. Hardware
3. Display
4. Camera
5. Release date and price


Waving plastic goodbye, LG takes "a major step forward" in design with a full metal body.

Less than a week before its announcement, an online retailer in Dubai has already put the LG G5 up for sale, or at least claims so. The smartphone pictured here is thoroughly consistent with the leaks that have surfaced so far. Rumored features such as the metal body, volume button placement, dual camera setup, and fingerprint scanner built in the power button are present. This might very well be the smartphone we've been waiting for!

Before that, LG introduced the official Quick Cover case for the LG G5. The "Always On" display mode is visible through the front cutout. The feature shows the time, date, and up to four notification icons underneath. LG points out the Quick Cover's "unique" film with glossy metallic finish, which "complements" the smartphone's design. We take that as a hint towards the G5's rumored metallic build. Moreover, the film is made to allow interacting with the screen underneath, so the user can take calls (and possibly do other things) without opening the cover. Nifty!

A few weeks before LG confirmed the G5's existence by revealing the cover, the leaked photos below claimed the LG G5 has a metal design and a dual rear camera setup (rumored to be 16MP and 8MP) present on the smartphone's back. We also got to see a fingerprint scanner, placed under the lenses. The SIM tray and microSD slot are on the lower right, and the previously mentioned USB Type-C port can be found on the bottom, along with speaker holes.

And before those pics set the internet on fire, an eyewitness leaked some information to CNet Korea, resulting in a render that alluded towards a drawer-like mechanism which makes the G5's bottom side removable and lets the juicer be taken out with ease. The design also reduces the risk of water and dust ingress.

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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC and an iris scanner are highlights in the LG G5's spec sheet.

LG's flagship smartphones have a reputation for including the best hardware available at the time, and the LG G5 won't be one to differ. Here's everything we know about the smartphone's performance and features as of now.

Processor & memory

The most solid intel we have on the LG G5's spec sheet is this entry in the Geekbench database. The listing shows that the G5 is going by the model number F700, a natural progression for the G5 following last year's LG G4 F500 and LG V10 F600. The smartphone is listed with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM, and runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This means the LG G5's hardware is on par with that of the Samsung Galaxy S7's American version, and the two should have similar baseline performance. Below, you can read some technical details to get a better impression of the LG G5's spec sheet.

Fabricated by Samsung on its industry-leading 14nm FinFET technology, the Snapdragon 820 chipset boasts four custom 64-bit CPU cores, an in-house made Adreno 530 GPU, and LPDDR4 RAM. Although the number of CPU cores has been reduced to four from the eight stock ARM cores ticking in the previous-gen SD 810 chip, on paper, the 820 scores 30% to 35% improvements in performance and power efficiency.

Likewise, the new Adreno 530 GPU is up to 40% faster than the Adreno 430 before it, and the processing units will be paired with 4GB of the fastest and most power-efficient LPDDR4 RAM there is. The chip also features Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which will inevitably decrease the time it takes to charge the G5's big battery.

Storage-wise, the base model LG G5 will probably ship with 32GB of expandable flash memory. We aren't so sure whether LG will ship other storage size variants, or not, given that the LG G4 was only sold with 32GB of memory.

Iris scanning biometric security

The presence of iris scanning biometric security is among the most persistent, and also plausible rumors surrounding the LG G5. We remember hearing something like this about the Galaxy S5 and the LG G3 months before their introduction last year. Back then, it sounded straight up sci-fi, but in 2015, iris scanning is already a thing in consumer-grade electronics.

This year, Fujitsu and ZTE became the first to ship smartphones with optical security (in Japan and China, respectively), but it was really Microsoft to break it out globally with the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. We are fond of how quickly and reliably the iris scanner works in the Windows 10 hero phones, so we're eager to see what LG could potentially make of it!

Anyway, what makes this rumor so believable? Apparently, LG has been working with fellow Korean firm Irience to develop an iris scanning module for a smartphone scheduled for the first half of 2016. In late May this year, we heard that the two had completed the hardware part of the project, and will keep striving for other goals, such as increasing the iris recognition range from 12in (30cm) to at least 20in (50cm).

Curious about the technology itself and how it may work in the LG G5? Check out this article we whipped up on the topic of eye scanning security.


A 1440 x 2560 resolution IPS LCD screen with a purported size up to 5.6 inches is rumored, along with a 'ticker' display and "Always On" screen mode.
With the image below, LG confirmed that the G5's display has an "Always On" mode, which will let users see incoming notifications (like missed calls, messages, or emails) without turning the entire screen on. Also visible is the LG G5's outline, which seems to correspond with leaked renders, photos, and other materials.

Still, one of the questions you might have on the LG G5's display is whether LG will make a leap towards 4K-resolution screens. We don't hold much hope for fans of absurdly pixel-dense displays. According to a report from December 17 2015, both Samsung and LG have decided that next year may be too early to go all-out and ship 4K smartphones. Instead, the two are said to focus on improving the power draw and outdoor visibility characteristics of their existing displays across the board, which sounds reasonable.

Thus, we expect the LG G5 will have a 1440 x 2560 resolution IPS LCD screen sized 5.6 inches by diagonal, which sounds a little odd, but still within the realm of possibility. Perhaps the size has something to do with the smartphone's new metal clothes and maximizing the screen-to-body ratio? Hopefully, that's the case!

There's also that smaller question you may be having. Will the LG G5 feature an auxiliary display playing "partner" with the main screen (as seen in the LG V10)? We're not 100% positive on this one, as we're yet to see it make an appearance.


A 16MP + 8MP dual rear cam setup, and an 8MP front cam, along with whatever crazy new tech LG may come up with.

The LG G4 won a fair bit of praise for its competent 16MP camera that came with features such as manual mode, laser auto-focus, and color spectrum sensor. The subsequent LG V10 literally doubled down on its momentum with a dual front camera setup, designed to take the ultimate group shots. The LG G5 is expected to employ a dual camera setup — a 16MP cam + 8MP cam, according to a credible source who had access to a prototype unit. The dual camera is visible in the leaked photo below. It appears surrounded by a dual-LED flash and laser auto-focus. Meanwhile, the front camera will probably stay at 8MP.

What does a dual camera do, though? For starters, dual-lens cameras come with tangible improvements in low-light image quality, the option to adjust focus after you capture an image, and clever computational photography effects like the ability to easily remove someone or something from a picture without destroying it. There's plenty more in the same bag of tricks, though. Feel free to read up on the various dual camera technologies in development and their abilities.

Release date and price

A Feb 21 launch at MWC 2016 in Barcelona, price tag about $600.

The LG G5 is slated for an announcement on Feb 21 at MWC 2016 in Barcelona. Korean news outlet ETNews claims that LG is pushing to release the phone right after the announcement, and may have already started initial production of the LG G5 to fulfill timely shipments.

Check out this table for a brief timeline of LG G-series handsets' announcements:

ModelAnnouncement date
LG G28/7/2013
LG G35/27/2014
LG G44/29/2015
LG G52/21/2016

With regards to pricing, all the premium design materials and hardware components featured in the smartphone will probably place its price tag in the flagship smartphone segment, which is around $600.

Here's even more LG G5 coverage:

Related phones

  • Display 5.3" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(25h talk time)



1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Can't wait to see what 2016 brings, especially the S820.

22. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

2016 gonna be lit. I'm glad I had tremendous fun with all the phones this year thus far, but many had disappointed me and many others. I'm READY!

44. shinywindow

Posts: 294; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Are you a cigarette Mr. Lit?

2. jdrch

Posts: 107; Member since: Jul 08, 2014

I just hope they don't make the same mistake as Samsung and ruin their best product.

5. donfem

Posts: 708; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Definition of "ruin" is subjective.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Lol please explain because the S6 destroyed everything last year.

7. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

I agree they destroyed everything last year beacause there was removable battery and sd card slot. This year though they had gone behind and upset many of their loyal fans.

13. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

What amazes me is that they did that apparently without getting any feedback from their existing customer base. How hard is it to slip in a few customer survey emails with all the stupid advertising emails?

28. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

sometimes you have to avoid asking what people want to take a step forward, that is why the galaxy 6 edge won LOTS of critics over with it's beauty.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17511; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And, according to estimates, sold more than the S5 and Note 4. I doubt they're super worried about the tiny minority of users upset. Also, I used a friends S5 the other day - what a POS. I never realized just how laggy it was. And the battery is atrocious. He's not able to install the latest update, so he asked me to look into it. I deduced it's the available space (dummy got a 16gb version and only have Just over 2gb left). I had him clear up as much space as he could, then tried the update. His phone went from 51% battery to 31% in the 20 minutes it took to download the 691mb OTA. And even with 4.5gb free, it still wouldn't update. So, if that is "destroying it," I'll take my Note 5 with sealed battery and no microsd over it any day.

24. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

you are explaining the negative instead of any positive. If your friends S5 is not updated and it is laggy, then it is totally samsung's fault. Samsung was selling laggy devices and dont care to update its device sold. So, I'll be careful to buy any device from them. They can rip off the customer in future too.

42. Jason2k13

Posts: 1477; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Samsung has been selling phones for years, and if what you say is true "defective laggy device" but still the best selling android since 2012 then they must be doing something right... correct me if im wrong.

62. jessyi

Posts: 327; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Yes because peopel are blinded by their marketing that samsung is the best..plus samsung was 1st in the mobile game..thats why they gained so much market share.not becuse thier phones are all that great..LG devices are much better in my experience.

37. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That can't be true, my S5 gets 5 hours SoT minimum.

52. NonFanBoy

Posts: 180; Member since: May 28, 2015

@tedkord Ask your friend to clear up the junk memory using Clean master and then try to update again. Might work.

39. catt4u

Posts: 145; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Who ever changes the battery 'cause it's flat? Apple was right to build a slim phone with non-removeable battery. My battery gets me trough the day with ease and heavy i-net/whatsapp use. At the end of the day I've still got >15 ~20% charge left (3,5 hours SOT) And the fast charge works like a charme with the S6. I've bought the 128GB version of the S6 Edge and compared to my old S5 I don't have a storage problem on the internal memory.

59. raky_b

Posts: 440; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

they allready did, when after G2 they make G3 with half of battery life of it's predecessor. also, they are orienteded at Asian markets, where phablets are prefared, so they make "roof tile" and not a smartphone for global markets. and on top of all that is "their" hardware. they are not offering nothing that other manufacturers doesn't on discount (especially on targeted asian markets). ok, someone will say LG has fingerscener and volume rocker back, but is it something that changes whole user expirience!? I wouldn't say so... laser focus on camera is nice touch, but still their pictures are not at level of those bestones in industry. 2K display!? why???? and again, other have better... and on top off all, Snapdragon!!! OK, LG can't offer something different ...but, c'mon Snapdragon!? It will be SD820 now, at least one from top of the shelf (not like one bellow it, as SD808 in G4), but still it is SoC wich will be used in all other flagship, except in those who rocks smartphone bussnis and make all profit for it self (Galaxy S line,and iPhone). LG MUST make SoC on it's own. off course, new metal body will not change anything, and it is nothing new, other has it for a long time Plastic or metal, LG G5 will not be only flagship made of that material with same SoC. but, still...it will be more expencive then others asian competitors with same characteristics and "internal organs". don't get me wrong.i am shore it will be great phone, but tell me one reason why to buy that and not HTC M10, Xperia Z6, or Xiaomi Mi5, Vivo (something),One+(3), some UMi or Blackview or whatever other with sameSoc and similar or lover price!? the reason that i love my LG aircondition,and it there for it is trusted brand is not valid.

64. fonelover

Posts: 255; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Yes, S6 ruined all other flagships last year.

3. InsertUsernameHere

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

They need to increase the battery size because it made no sense for them to make the display brighter on the G4 than on the G3, without increasing the battery capacity.

8. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Your comment makes no sense since the screen in G4 is much more efficient and better than the one in G3.

9. InsertUsernameHere

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 31, 2014

Yeah, but I'm saying is that the battery life has been decreasing since the G2. The G3 and G4's battery life is average.

11. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Because of QHD res! If I'm to consider a QHD phone as my daily driver, it better rock AMOLED display, which lets me save juice by stuffing a black therme and wallpaper and lockscreen.

20. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Nope, because SD808. The G4 screen drains about as much power as the G2. Had SD808 been as power efficient as it was supposed to be, we would have seen a champ in battery time. Sadly every OEM using snapdragons this year got f'ed.

21. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

G3 was LG:s fault with the screen, but G4 was Snapdragon 808, so nothing they could have done, really. SD820 looks promising, so I think we can expect pretty awesome battery life next year.

38. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

The S801 wasn't meant to power a QHD display.

54. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Yeah, but the screen wasn't very efficient either.

4. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Gets popcorn ready to see who is going to be the first to claim the "iris scanner" is a gimmick simply because some other non-Android OEM didn't do it first. Anyways, fairly interesting looking phone. Nice specs. Sorry though, any device hosting a SnapDragon is definitely off the list for me. Though I really don't like LG, what I do like is most of their phones are unique and on't mimic other brands very much. The couple times they imitated Samsung was pretty lame. But this above device does look really cool.

10. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

No chipset has a DSP and image processing tech close to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 series! The 820 chipset is the ultimate choice for camera-centric consumers.

12. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

ISP* (Image Signal Processor)*

60. raky_b

Posts: 440; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

and for rest of the world!? and is there a reason to buy LG with SD and noth something else with same SD!?

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