The LG G5 isn’t like other smartphones: it boasts a modular design that enables you to swap in modules such as a hi-res audio player or another battery. But there’s much more to the LG than its modules, as impressive as they are. Here are our favorite LG G5 tips and tricks.
LG doesn’t make huge changes to stock Android, but on the G5 you’ll notice that instead of the app drawer apps go directly to the home screens. If you’d rather kick it old-school, go to Settings > Display > Home Screen > Home and select the EasyHome option. That brings the app drawer back, but unfortunately it also makes the text bigger. If that’s a problem, try a third party app launcher instead.
LG G5 tip: customize the navigation buttons
The LG G5 shows back, home and recent apps buttons, but you can change that in Settings > Display > Home Touch Buttons. You can re-order the existing ones or add new buttons (there aren’t many choices though: Notification, Capture+ or QSlide), and you can have up to five Home Touch Buttons on screen.
LG G5 tip: use the Smart Settings
One of our favorite things about the LG G5 is LG’s customization options, especially Smart Settings. If it isn’t already enabled you can turn it on in Settings > General > Smart Settings, and from there you can specify what to do in particular circumstances - so you can tell the LG to launch your music app when you plug in headphones, or to change the sound profile, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you arrive or leave home. It’s clever stuff.
LG G5 tip: knock knock
Another clever customization option is Knock Code, which enables you to set a pattern that will unlock the screen without having to turn the phone on. Simply set the pattern and then use it to unlock - but make sure you have at least 6 taps spread over three quarters of the display, or the phone won’t accept the new code.
LG G5 tip: double-tap for fun and profit
Double-clicking the LG G5’s home button brings up the camera app when the phone is locked, and doing the same with the volume up button launches LG’s Notes app so you can quickly jot something down when inspiration strikes.
LG G5 tip: show off your signature when your phone is locked
Like the most recent Samsungs the LG G5 has an Always On display, which enables you to see key information while the screen is off. That information can include your signature, or at least an approximation of it: go into Settings > Display > Always-on Display, make sure it’s enabled and then tap Set What To Show. If you select the Signature option you can then enter your name (or anything else) and choose from a few different fonts.
LG G5 tip: use the twin cameras to take great shots
Where almost all smartphones have a single rear-facing camera, the LG G5 has two - and that means it’s capable of doing very interesting things. There’s a standard camera with 16 MP and a normal field of view, and there’s an 8 MP one with a wide angle of 135 degrees, which is wider than your eyes’ field of vision. You can switch between lenses by tapping the triangular icons at the bottom of the camera app, and it’s fun to experiment with each lens to get a feel for what they do. Wide angle shooting is particularly useful for taking group photos and landscapes.
LG G5 tip: shoot in RAW
Professional photographers know all about the RAW format: it stores image data without messing with it, enabling you to set things such as exposure and white balance later. Your G5 can shoot in RAW too: just tap the three-dot settings icon in the camera app and select Manual. In manual mode you can also set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO, just like on a “real” camera.
LG G5 tip: take photos with your hand or voice
This is fun: f you’re shooting in Auto or Manual mode, tap the gear icon and then the face. This enables the wonderfully named Cheese Shutter, which automatically takes a picture when you say “cheese”, “kimchi”, “smile”, “whiskey” or “LG”. Stick with cheese.
If the Cheese Shutter is too, er, cheesy, you can also take a picture with a hand gesture. Hole your hand up with an open palm and you’ll see a box appear around it on your LG’s screen. Make your hand into a fist and a three-second countdown begins; do it twice and you get four quick shots for fast moving subjects. Remember to move your hand out of the way before the countdown finishes.
LG G5 tip: declutter it
You can clear up your LG G5 in several ways. You can hide apps you don’t want to see by going into Settings > Home Screen > Hide Apps, and you can use LG’s own Smart Clean feature too. It lives in Settings > General > Smart Cleaning, and it’s just a matter of tapping on the data you want to remove and then tapping Clean. Easy!
LG G5 tip: optimize the battery for games
Games are fun, but they’re often battery killers. The LG G5 offers a compromise: if you go into Settings > General > Battery & Power Saving and look for the Game Optimizer, you’ll see two options: base and full. Both options reduce the video resolution to eke out more battery life, and you probably won’t notice the lowered resolution; Full Optimization also reduces the frame rate for even more battery saving.
Have we missed out one of your favorite LG G5 tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments below.