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LG G5’s best and worst new features: LG UX 5.0 explored

The LG G5 boasts LG’s latest Android overlay, LG UX 5.0, which sits on top of Android Marshmallow and adds loads of extra features to Google’s OS. Here’s a look at some of the best and most interesting new features of LG UX 5.0, as well as some updates we’re not too sure about.

LG’s latest flagship phone, the LG G5, is almost ready for its UK debut (check back soon for our full LG G5 review and plenty more). And to get consumers salivating ahead of time, LG has just revealed a host of new software features that will be packed into LG UX 5.0, the OS overlay that sits on top of Android Marshmallow on the G5.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest software updates found on the G5, and how excited you should be.

Read next: LG wins ‘Best of MWC’ award for the LG G5

Easy connectivity with LG Friends accessories

LG is making a big deal of the LG G5’s expandability, with an impressive range of G5 accessories and modules available from launch. These include a 360-degree camera called the LG 360, handy for shooting VR movies, plus the funky Rolling Bot which can patrol your house and bother your pets.

LG’s new Friends Manager app is a quick and easy way of connecting these devices and getting started with them. When an accessory is connected, the G5 will automatically download any necessary software and set it all up, to make things as hassle-free as possible. Nothing revolutionary, but certainly a nice addition and worthwhile if you buy into the LG ecosystem.

New UX 5.0 camera modes

We recently took shots at the Galaxy S7 for including a bunch of pointless camera modes and it looks like the G5 may well do the same.

Most of the LG UX 5.0 camera modes have been seen in other smartphones, including the obligatory host of random filters (dubbed ‘Film Effect’ here). You also get picture-in-picture shooting, which captures photos and video using both front and rear cameras at the same time. The difference here is that both of the LG G5’s rear cameras are used as well as the selfie camera, so you get one detailed 16-megapixel frame as well as a wide-angle 8-megapixel frame of the same shot. We’re yet to think of an actual use for that, so let us know in the comments below if you come up with something.

One of the more intriguing G5 camera modes is Auto Shot, which can apparently work out when you’re ‘posing’ for the front-facing camera and take a snap without the need to fumble for the shutter button. How well Auto Shot works in real life remains to be seen, but expect plenty of gurning selfies from your G5-owning mates as a result.

iPhone-style desktops

Apple’s insistence that we clutter up our desktops with every single app we own is something we bloody hate here at Recombu Towers, mostly becuase we own dozens and dozens of apps which we only open once every few weeks or so. And sure, you can just tidy away those apps into folders, but then we’re left with a desktop full of folders that are vaguely ordered, rather than a convenient apps tray which can be quickly browsed.

Sadly LG has jumped on that same Apple runaway train of thought, so the G5 does away with Android’s apps tray by default. Thank the baby Jesus, then, that you can undo this mistake in the G5’s settings. Phew.

Oops, I didn’t want to delete that…

One cool new feature in LG UX 5.0 is the ability to recover uninstalled apps. If you’ve ever had second thoughts about hastily deleting apps to free up storage, then you’ll know why that’s a good thing. Of course, we still don’t know the finer details about how these apps are recovered, or if it means deleted apps will still take up space on your phone.

LG Health

We’ve seen health-based apps from the likes of Samsung and Sony, and now LG is pulling on the lycra for a bit of LG Health. It’s nothing original, but at least LG appears to have made some effort, taking into account factors such as walking speed when tracking your daily movements.

As usual, you can set yourself goals and see how good or bad you’ve been recently. And the G5 will even big you up for bothering to venture out in the pissing rain (something us Brits are likely to see all summer, at the given rate).

Always On Display

Samsung massively dropped the ball when it came to its Always On screen, which only showed you notifications for Sammy’s own apps. By comparison, the LG G5 will display any messages waiting from third party services, so you’ll know for sure whether it’s worth hitting that power button.

Health-check your LG G5 with Smart Doctor

LG’s Smart Doctor feature is comparable to Samsung’s own Smart Manager, giving you a one-stop shop for freeing up storage and memory and spotting any problems with your shiny new smartphone.

As well as boosting performance in a matter of seconds, the Smart Doctor should also dispense valuable advice on how best to use the G5, to prevent lag and battery issues and other common problems. Nice.

360-degree wallpaper

Sure, it’s gimmicky as hell, but the G5 will support 360-degree wallpaper shot with the LG 360 camera, and that’s pretty damn cool. Isn’t it?

Check back soon for our full LG G5 review.

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