The LG G5 is coming. Soon. We just hope it latches onto a few of our most-desired features.
LG is going to announce the LG G5 on Feb. 21 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. We know this will happen because LG has said it will happen. And it's already starting to tease the features of the G5. So it's safe to say that LG has a pretty good idea of what the phone is going to be when we finally get to see it in just a few short days.
But we, the editors of Android Central, still have a few things we very much would like to see on LG's newest phone.
And here they are:
1. Phil Nickinson
The LG G4 was one of my favorite phones of 2015. I loved the design. I loved the leather back, even if the corners tended to break down quicker than I'd want a $70 back to break down. (Which is to say, at all.) I loved the camera — one of the first to sport a manual RAW mode on Android. There was a little bit of wonk — specifically in the touchscreen (for some — I never had a problem with it) and with Wi-Fi (something I definitely experienced). But all in all it was a very solid phone – and big without being too big.
The obvious change for the G5 will be the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner. And if the leaks are correct, I believe LG is going the right direction by not including the fingerprint scanner as a part of the power button. While I'll miss having all the buttons on the back of the phone, the execution of the V10's combined power button and fingerprint scanner just didn't work well. And since I'll mostly be waking the phone with the fingerprint scanner, having it stand alone will work fine for me.
The big question, as always, will be software. The G4's update to Marshmallow improved things a bit, but I really want to see LG use a notification system that's more stock — there have just been too many times LG's quick settings take up space, being stuck to the top of the screen all the time. I think that's improved some in Android 6.0, though. But there's still room to make it even better.
2. Alex Dobie
I used the LG G4 more than any phone in 2015. But it wasn't perfect. As other manufacturers were pushing towards premium materials, LG stuck with plastic trims, even as it shipped leather backs with some versions of the phone. So build quality is something LG really needs to focus on in its next flagship. The bar has been raised substantially in the past couple of years, and the company needs to realize that polycarbonate simply doesn't cut it in 2016.
The other major pain point is software. LG has made improvements to its UI year on year, but arguably it's still lagging behind Samsung and others with a visual style that's a little over-the-top, and features like Smart Notice that just aren't really useful in practice. Value-adding features are one thing, but if LG can't expand on Android 6.0 in a meaningful way, it would do better to take after Sony or HTC and remain closer to Google's vision of the OS.
Finally, one thing I hope doesn't change: the camera. The G4 (and by association the V10, which shared its camera hardware) absolutely nailed this, one of the most important areas of a modern smartphone. Who knows what crazy features LG has dreamed up for the G4's successor, but this year's LG flagship certainly has a lot to live up to when it comes to digital imaging.
3. Jerry Hildenbrand
After using the LG V10, I don't want LG to ever make a phone that's not a hulking metal-framed beast that I can use as a hammer or self-protection device. The V10 is not my favorite phone, but it's definitely the best-built handheld electronic device ever made. I want the G5 to use the same construction techniques and materials, even though I know it's not going to happen. This is what happens when you ask what I want.
For some more realistic wants and desires, I just want the software to suck less. There's no gentle way to say it. Give me LG's take on Android, complete with the kitchen sink thrown in, but make everything work well out of the box. There is nothing I hate more than having to disable half the features listed on the box because they don't work well or affect the way that other I find equally or more important work.
And I really want the V10 camera software on the G5. The small refinements and extra features that weren't in the G4 make it one of the best point-and-shoot connected cameras you can buy. We expect the G5 to have amazing camera hardware, so gimme that software.
Finally, I expect to see security patches 30 days after you're given the code. BlackBerry can do it and they're about dead, so I think LG can, too.
4. Russell Holly
Can we get an LG G4 with all of the obvious spec bumps, a fingerprint sensor like the Nexus 5X (sorry, V10, but take that mess elsewhere) and a serious focus on software quality? That's all I really want from the LG G5. I loved the G4, right until I started using phones with lightning-fast fingerprint sensors with software that I didn't have to fight with.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting LG ditch their software for "Nexus-style" Android. I think LG's individual apps add a lot of value to the overall experience. LG needs to tighten the screws a bit, though. Start by pushing your apps to the Play Store for individual updates and service, and then completely redo the Settings and Notification sections of the interface.
The rest LG already has down, I think. I liked the leather options from the G4, the camera could stand to be a little better in Auto, but it still crushes it in Manual. Battery life was reasonable in the G4, the display was above average, and it actually fit in your hand! All the rumors point to a major hardware overhaul, but I hope LG keeps the things that made their last two phones great.
5. Andrew Martonik
Since using the LG G2 and being rather impressed by it for the time, I just wasn't won over by the G3 and G4 in the past two years. For me, it's come down to just two different pain points: the hardware material choices and the software experience.
Though the G4 is powerful and very capable on the inside, its external hardware doesn't convey the same message of quality. If you chose to get a plastic-backed one you were met with lots of thin, flimsy and cheap-feeling coatings that hardly made it feel worth $600 or more. And even if you went with a leather-clad back it wasn't of the highest quality and still met up with plastic on the sides. LG needs to step up its game in this respect, and looking at what it did with the V10 makes me realize that it's definitely capable of it.
But even more important than the hardware story is the software. While LG continues to improve on the looks of its interface, it's still been pretty considerably left behind by the likes of Motorola, HTC and even Samsung, and in my opinion is well behind what Google's doing in the stock Marshmallow interface. Beyond just the looks, LG still has heavy-handed and non-standard tweaks in its interface, which mess with the notification shade, nav bar and settings. It's all just a bit too much for me, and I'd love to see LG take a softer approach to its software that didn't hit you so hard.
If LG can handle those two big changes, I honestly don't even care about the rear-mounted volume and power keys. For as much as I want those things to move (back on the sides where they belong), LG really needs to improve the quality of its external hardware and step up its software game first.
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