To be completely honest, I don’t find that my mobile experience has changed a whole lot in my transition from the Nexus 5 to the LG G5. But a few things did change that were pretty great for me.
The main difference for me is that the cameras (all three of them) are significantly better. But I particularly enjoy the wide angle secondary camera. There’s a certain amount of drama that comes with a wide angle lens that is great for taking sweeping shots of a city or a landscape like the one below:
The main camera is also quite nice. It doesn’t perform particularly well in low light conditions, but it generally performs significantly better than my previous Nexus 5. When there is enough light it delivers sharp, 16 megapixel files that are good enough to use for prints. In the image below you can see the low light issues in the colour noise in the water, but overall the picture came out quite nicely.
One of my favourite things with this phone and its cameras is the fact that you can save the raw files. This, in tandem with Lightroom mobile is very powerful: you can sync raw files from your phone to your desktop for editing, and sync the edits back to the phone for publishing on Instagram, for example. I adore this workflow. If the edits aren’t too complex you can even edit the raw files directly in Lightroom mobile.
As you can tell from this image, the front facing camera is pretty good too. Not as good as the back facing ones, but certainly far better than most front facing cameras I’ve seen. One of the cool things about it is that it adds a large, bright white border around the image while you’re shooting, which acts a bit like a flash, so you can illuminate your face even in dark situations. It’s a bit like a small softbox.
I also enjoy the fact that you can use an SD card in this phone, unlike the Nexus 5. This is particularly useful for photographers who want to use the G5 for its ability to produce raw files, which take up a significant amount of space.
There are actually a couple other things I enjoy about this device that have nothing to do with photography. For example its speaker is quite loud, which I have found useful on a few occasions. It also has pretty powerful hardware which allows for the smooth operation of certain apps which might not run as well otherwise, and it’s nice that the battery is accessible, which means you can carry extra charged batteries around to swap in if necessary. I’ve also grown to be a fan of the fingerprint sensor, even though I feel on the fence about fingerprint sensors in general.
Overall, I’m pretty thrilled with it, and I’m surprised it doesn’t get more press, especially given that much of what I have read about it from others is also quite positive.