To be fair, Microsoft’s Lumia 950/XL and indeed all Windows 10 Mobile phones have mandated removable batteries (as they are for corporate use), but that is not so in the Android kingdom. So what is the big deal when all you need is an inexpensive power bank in your pocket?
I have a fondness for the LG G5 – it is a true flagship smartphone, equal to or better than many in this class, and well ahead due to its removable battery. Read on for an update.
First, let’s narrow the field a little and look at battery anxiety – a real symptom identified by an EBIQUITY study of 2000 US adults in early 2016. The fear of running out of juice can cause some aberrant behaviour like dashing into a café and ordering food you don’t need, just to recharge. Pokémon Go players worldwide bought container loads of power banks. Lithium prices skyrocketed.
If you fall into the 30% of people who suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) due to a flat battery, then the LG G5 is the one for you. Let’s recap on its specifications.
I conducted a full review of the G5 (here) and wrote, “LG is banking on a dual camera and a removable battery 'module' that can be used to dock 'friends' – external add-ons. It’s a 10 out of 10 in the flagship category, and if it suits your needs, then I unreservedly recommend you buy it.”
Since writing that in late June, I have used several smartphones, including the dual camera Huawei P9, Sony Xperia X Performance, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (GS7e) and Note 7 (GN7). To tell you — without fear of contradiction — the LG Galaxy G5 is an amazing flagship phone that has a removable battery.
Below are the major specifications and my comments compared to the GS7 or GN7.
- 5.3”, IPS LCD, 2560 x 1440, 554 ppi, protected by Gorilla Glass 4. (It is the best IPS I have seen but the winner is GS7e larger 5.5” AMOLED).
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, quad core (top of the range and same as specs as the GS7e. Winner – Draw).
- 4GB RAM and 32 GB UFS storage (20GB free) plus microSD up to 2TB (GS7e supports 200GB external storage – Winner LG G5)
- Dual Rear Camera – 16MP, f/1.8, 1.12 μm, 16:9 plus 8MP, f/2.4, 135° wide angle – both laser autofocus, 3-axis OIS, single LED flash (GS7e has bigger 1.4μm pixels and f/1.7 for better low-light but the G5’s 16MP outguns it for detail. The 8MP wide-angle lens is amazing for holiday snaps. Winner – Draw)
- Front Camera - 8MP, f/2.0, selfie (Winner – Draw)
- Wi-Fi AC dual band MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, FM Radio, HDMI Out, IR blaster (it has and IR blaster, FM radio, and aptX HD sound, Winner - LG G5)
- Removable 2800 mAh battery, 65 hour’s endurance rating, with USB-C and fast charge (the GS7e has micro-USB, and the GN7 has USB-C – Samsung has wireless charging, so it edges ahead here).
- Cat 9 LTE – Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 28, 38, 39, 40 (Winner – Draw).
- 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm x 159g (GS7e 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm x 157g – a slight edge here).
- Price: recommended retail A$1099 – street price around $600 (RRP $1149 for GS7 and $1249 GS7e – street price around $1000/1100). If the LG G5 Australian version can be obtained for close to the street price, then it is a natural choice.
As you can see it's more than sibling rivalry – and the LG G5 definitely should be on your flagship shopping list. I also await the new uber flagship V20 due for release on 6 September in the US.