Many would have thought that the LG V10 was a preview on what was to come of the LG G5. But scratch that. Today, LG dropped the G5, and it turned out to be more of an overhaul than a progression. Let’s breakdown the differences. I have a V10 myself and I’m honestly conflicted on whether to upgrade or not.
The V10 and G5 are back-to-back releases, but you wouldn’t be able to guess it. The V10’s design was a progression from the G4, adding a rubbery, textured plastic back cover and metal rails on the sides, while the new G5 has a rounded metal uni-body.
We know that LG’s G series has the smaller display, but now they’re further apart. Last year’s G4 had a 5.5″ inch display while the G5 has shrunk down to 5.3″ (still QHD resolution). This move may be to add a better distinction between the G and V series, as the V10’s 5.7″ display wasn’t too far off from the G4.
The G5 gave up on LG’s established back physical button layout, present in every flagship since the G2 in 2013. And the dual cameras that the V10 had on the front (standard and wide angle) are now swapped over to the back as the primary cameras (16MP standard and 8MP wide angle).
You may think that the V10’s removable back cover gives it a functional advantage. Fortunately, LG incorporated an innovative modular design in the G5 (the bottom bezel is a slot that pops out) and still allows for a swappable battery.
It goes even further to allow for accessory add-on’s into the slot, like a physical camera control attachment (called LG CAM Plus) or Bang & Olufsen HiFi DAC/AMP module.
It should be expected that the G5 would best the V10 in the performance department, that’s just how technology works. Qualcomm finally got the Snapdragon 820 SoC released, and it should sweep the floor with the V10’s Snapdragon 808 chipset. On the RAM side, although they both have 4GB, the G5 has LPDDR4 speeds while the V10 uses the older LPDDR3 memory spec.
However, the V10 still holds its own in a couple ways. The G5’s battery is smaller, at 2,800mAh (vs. 3,000mAh). The HiFi DAC in the V10 is standard, while it will be an add-on on the G5 (at probably an extra cost). And the V10 has a nifty secondary 2.1″ display above the main 5.7″ display, that provides some useful conveniences.
Along with the removable battery, LG was also able to keep microSD expansion support. It’s incorporated into the SIM tray and expandable up to 2 TB.
An important mention is the G5’s adoption of the new USB Type-C standard, which is a buzz right now in mobiles.
As of this writing, the V10 has yet to taste the sweet Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The G5, being the new hotness, of course comes with Google’s latest. Both devices have LG‘s custom UX user interface skin on top of Android, albeit, LG has supposedly lightened up the latest iteration (even taking away the app drawer).
If you were a fan of the V10’s Always-On display, you’ll be glad to hear that LG found a way to retain it, even though the G5 doesn’t have a secondary screen. LG cleverly only lights up a third of the display for the Always-On feature, to minimize the impact of battery from the IPS LCD display. LG says that Always-On on the G5 will only cost you 0.8% of battery life per hour.
Do you think that the G5 went in the right direction, or would you have preferred to see an evolved V10? I’m a V10 owner and I’m left somewhat ambivalent. The G5’s display is considerably smaller, the body is most likely less grippy, the battery is smaller, and the HiFi DAC is an add-on.
Let us know your thoughts in comments section below!