There has been some recent controversy regarding the body of the LG G5 phone, depending on who you follow. Our own Derrick Miyao said it was not plastic used, but primer (and he’s a chemist, he knows these things). While it is unusual for primer to be used on a phone, it’s not unheard of.

Now LG has released a statement about the LG G5 unibody:

“Contrary to erroneous reports online that the LG G5 body is composed of plastic, LG would like to state unequivocally that the uni-body casing of the G5 is composed of a special aluminum alloy, LM201 (Feb. 2016 patent pending). LM201 was developed by LG in partnership with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology for use in high-end sports cars, aircraft and consumer electronic pducts [sic] where durability, rigidity and lightness are required. As a die-cast metal, LM201 was determined to be most appropriate material to accommodate the curves of the G5. After the die-casting is complete, the insulating antenna slit is applied directly to the aluminum casing followed by a coating of primer which provides additional insulation and enhances the surface profile for the “microdizing” process, where pigment containing tiny metal particles is applied directly to the primer to provide a smooth and durable finish. While both anodized aluminum and microdized aluminum will scratch if enough pressure is applied, in the case of the G5 the gray primer beneath the pigment layer may be mistaken for plastic when the coloring is scratched off. We want to reassure our customers that the uni-body of the LG G5 is advanced aluminum alloy, not plastic.”


While the issue of plastic vs. primer has been debated to no end, the body of the phone is clearly not plastic, despite having a plastic-like appearance.

For readers who are interested, I’ll be explaining the difference between anodizing and microdizing metal in a later article, and why appearances may be deceiving.

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