lg g5 first look aa-6

With every year comes a series of new flagships that all claim to offer vast improvements in areas such as battery, performance and, more often than not, the camera. LG is no different, with the LG G5 offering a new dual camera set up coupled with the 16MP sensor found on the LG V10, but how does the new camera stack up to the competition?

Without doubt, the Galaxy Note 5 sports one of the best cameras on the market but six months later, does the LG G5 have enough to pick up the mantle from Samsung’s flagship? Is the wide-angle lens enough to make the LG G5 the best smartphone camera on the market or does the Galaxy Note 5 still reign supreme?

While we intend to test the camera fully as part of the upcoming review, we thought we’d put the LG G5 through a very quick camera test against the undoubted best all-round smartphone camera in the Galaxy Note 5. It’s worth keeping in mind that this isn’t final software or hardware on the LG G5 but it does give us a chance to form some very early impressions. Let’s take a closer look in this quick camera shootout; before we get into the images themselves, let’s look at the key camera specs of each handset:

 LG G5Galaxy Note 5
Main camera16MP16MP
Secondary camera8MP wide-angleNone
FocusPhase Detection AutofocusAutofocus
Sensor size1/2.6"1/2.6"
Pixel sizeTBC1.12µm
Optical Image StabilisationYesYes
Manual mode?YesYes
Video capture4K @30fps
1080p @60fps
4K @30fps
1080p @60fps
Front camera8MP
1440p video
5MP, f/1.9
1440p video

Below you’ll find the Galaxy Note 5 images on the left and the LG G5 images on the right. Where possible, we’ve kept to the same focal width but with the automatic switch between standard and wide-angle views on the LG G5, this isn’t always possible.

With each set of images, we’ve detailed which image was the most lifelike along with any other observations we made.


The Galaxy Note 5 is affected by external light flares, which results in a slight washing out of the photo’s colours, while the LG G5 produces a vibrant, yet slightly darker image.


The Galaxy Note 5 overcompensates for the colours in the scene with over saturation on the stand and the wood background, while the LG G5 does seem a lot closer to the actual scene.


Here, the LG G5 image seems to be a tad dull, whereas the Galaxy Note 5 image is slightly oversaturated but still the closest to the actual scene. It’s also worth noting the detail of the individual lights in the chandelier is more defined in the Galaxy Note 5 image.


Here the differences between the two cameras are very minimal, with good lighting meaning both cameras are almost identical to the actual scene. The LG G5 camera does product a slightly darker image but this also comes with more definition in the background.


Again, the two cameras produce very similar photos but the LG G5 is actually closest to the overall scene. It’s worth noting that neither phone captured the detail near the window to the right of the scene in the background.


Here, the Galaxy Note 5 proves to take the better image, with the bust having more detail and vibrant colours than the image captured by the G5.


Both images are a little noisy when you zoom into them, but the LG G5 does appear to be slightly more defined although the Galaxy Note 5 captures more detail in the background.


The Galaxy Note 5’s oversaturation leads to an image where the colours are too saturatated and not reflective of the actual scene. In comparison, the G5’s image is almost identical to the actual scene, aside from it being slightly darker.


Both cameras fail to capture the scene accurately, with the Galaxy Note 5 presenting more saturated colours and the G5 image appearing to be darker than the actual scene. Given the Galaxy Note 5 image is more saturated, it does appear to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.


With many different colours and a lot information to capture, this is a scene that could prove a challenge for most smartphones. Both smartphones take great images here but the Galaxy Note 5 does seem to be more defined, with the LG G5 just losing out on a lack of detail when you get into the image.


Here, the over-saturation on the Galaxy Note 5 again means it doesn’t accurately reflect the scene, and the LG G5 does a better job at accurately portraying the various colours in the painting on the wall.


While the Galaxy Note 5 image does appear to look more pleasing, it is actually the LG G5 that offers the truest portrayal of the scene as the Galaxy Note 5’s image is warmer and heavily oversaturated. The G5’s picture is more natural but there is slight blooming in the highlights.


Both images are very similar and each smartphone camera seems capable of handling the various colours and details in the scene.


Here the LG G5 seems to handle the light flare from the right of the scene much better than the Galaxy Note 5, which seems to struggle with the light flare and under saturates the colours in the image.

There’s no denying that the LG G5 is definitely a step up from past LG smartphones with accurate and great photos in most conditions. Does it surpass the Galaxy Note 5? That’s a question we’ll answer in a more in-depth comparison once we have a production unit in the coming weeks but for now, let us know your views and which handset you think has the better camera in the comments below!

Nirave Gondhia
Nirave is one of the Managing Editors and a fan of travel. He's worked in technology for over ten years (including stints at two carriers in the UK) and reported on it for nearly nine years. In my spare time, A big football (soccer to those over the pond) fan and avid supporter of Man United for over 20 years, he reads a lot, loves a cocktails and blogs about travel.
  • Seenzoned

    and where are the images?

  • Amogh Padhye

    Lol..!!! No images in the shootout

  • The-Sailor-Man

    How could we know what are the real colors, so to compare? On the first photos Note messed up with the blurry light. But on all others, Note manage better with colors , I think.

    • RoboBonobo

      You would have to have been there to see the scenes with your own eye to know if the pictures are accurate. On several of the shots, the author noted that the Galaxy had over-saturated the coloration. This means it does not accurately portray the scene.

  • Kody

    I like the LG G5 shots. Crisp with a nice level of saturation.


    Almost all of the shots the G5 looked better the other shots, they were tied

    • V-Phuc

      Agree. Though the differences may not be so different to be a deal breaker. It’s good that LG has kept the goodies with their cameras.

  • vahdyx

    I would say the G5 is more my tastes, but I will not be buying the G5. Even though I slap phones in cases, I’m just not digging the G5. I’m liking the S7, watercooling (overclocking fun), water proofing, and more VR content.

    • Mohammad Hussain

      Bro these are phones not PC’s and that watercooling is not for overclocking but to prevent any overheating issues like the ones on the SD810

      • vahdyx

        Man you’re so profound. I had no idea these weren’t PCs. *sarcasm*

        I personally would like to test out what this cooling system can do. If it’s not able to be overclocked then so be it. But I will certainly be testing it out for myself and not listening to a rando online.

        That’s part of the fun and discovery.

    • wettitab

      it would be very interesting to know that the S7’s display doesn’t receive touch input when submersed unlike the Xperia. So its kinda useless feature or half-backed

      • WGACA

        Yes it does. Look up T-Mobile underwater unboxing of the new S7

  • balcobomber25

    Some shots the G5 looks better others the Note 5 does. I would have liked to see the pictures taken with a DSLR so we can really compare what the true color tones and depth of each shot should look like.

  • You mention this in the last picture. Look a the curtains at the back. You can see the lines in the Note5 and not the G5. Overall, I’d go for the Note5. Side to side, most people will pic the Note5 shot because its more pleasing the eye. Only the person who took the shot will know if the colours are accurate or not but 9 time out of 10, I can bet you that more people will pick the Note5 pictures.

    • Sam

      true this

    • It’s awesome that you speak for most people.

      • Cao Meo

        a Samsung “student” obviously

      • Chris

        Like you do with the g5

    • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz

      Sure why to look at the actual colors when you can look at them being oversaturated.

    • Mettā

      You and whoever liked your comment obviously have no idea about photography, and what’s considered pleasing to the eye. G5 outperforms Note5 in many regards. One must be blind not to notice the accurate white balance, depth of field and color accuracy that G5’s camera exhibits. It’s basically a point and shoot. More people WHON’T pick Note’s photos, speak for yourself.

  • akshayraj

    no images :/

  • Zenpen

    No doubt the G5 beats the samsung sorry to say it, but that’s that is the reality.

    • WGACA

      Now put it next to the S7. The result will be the extreme opposite.

  • Vhal Jacang Javier

    Most bright parts of G5’s photos (ex. the curtain behind the sofa) are blown out. While the Note 5’s have more detail in the bright areas.

    • But also less contrast. Something’s gotta give. They’re both awesome performers. It should be noted (lol) that both these phones were likely shot in simple mode or without specific spot focus/metering to expose for something off-center. I bet if this was done, the results would be even more similar apart from the Note’s flaring.

  • Splee Yark

    The Note 5 has a phenomenal camera and considering the G5 is running an early software build, this is impressive. It will be interesting to see if/what changes are made by launch.

  • Chris

    Too bad the LG phone looks horrid. I Dobut the average consumer gives a Damn about swapping internals. It just gives the nerds something to do in that basement of theirs and the terrosits a way to blow somethibg up again

  • droidbeat

    G5 blows the Note 5 camera away.

  • Giles Peach

    I am going with the G5. I’ll admit the results did surprise me. I expected the Note 5 to clean up. I prefer how the G5 handles colour and whites in many of the shots, and it seems less prone to blow outs in my opinion.

    • Major Sceptic

      Well to be fair the note 5 was released August last year and the G5 is released today with the latest hardware and software so you would expect the note to get knocked off the perch, that being said, is not like the note 5 was beaten in all areas or by a landslide in the camera department.
      Personally I would still go the note 5, as it’s got the runs on the board and is still a great device, the G5 is a question mark.

      • Jairus

        Well technically, the 16mp F1.8 camera on the G5 is the same exact camera found on the G4 with the addition of a secondary F2.4 8mp for the inceased angle shots. It all comes down to image processing in the software.

    • WGACA

      Yes and no compare to the phone it should be compared to, the S7. G5 marginally improved, if any, over the G4 while the S7 took a quantum leap over the S6 which was already better than the G4. No smartphone this year will come close to the S7 in the camera department this year. Period.

  • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz

    For me it’s the G5 being slightly better with more detail in the background and representing the true colors, not oversaturated like N5.

  • Cakefish

    The fact that the Note 5 is able to keep up with the G5 in many shots is worrying as the S7 blows the Note 5 camera out the water in low light situations.

    • WGACA

      True that. That’s probably why Samsung hating Android Authority has gone with the Note 5, to at least make the G5 look ok. Next the S7 it looks shit. Especially in the dark.

  • Thomas Shaw

    I go for the LG. I tend to manipulate my photos in photoshop and it seems to me that the note5 has more “blowouts” from overexposure. It is easy to fix underexposure but a blow out where there is an actual loss of part of the image is much more difficult to fix.

  • Jimmy

    This person obviously suck at taking pictures.. Stick with the Iphone dude..SMD.. I’ve seen other G5 photos against other phones and this is buy far the worst version of someone taking pictures with any type of camera.. SMD…It’s just not some people’s talent I guess..

  • Meir

    I find the Note 4 camera better than both.