The first 12 things you should do with your LG G5

How to make sure your new best friend reaches its full potential

The LG G5 is one of the most exciting smartphones to land on our desks in recent memory.

LG’s thrown the rulebook out of the window, producing an all-metal handset with a detachable bottom, revealing a removable battery and support for different expandable modules.

Throw in a cracking screen and two (yes, two) rear cameras, and you’ve got yourself a tech-head’s dream smartphone.

Whether you’re planning to snap one up for yourself or are already enjoying its company, we’ve rounded up a selection of tips and tricks to help you squeeze the most out of it. Enjoy:

1. Use it to replace your watch (sometimes)

Like the Samsung Galaxy S7, the LG G5 has an always-on screen, letting it permanently display the time when you’re not using it. It’s great when it works, letting you glance at your phone on your desk or bedside table without having to wear a watch or unlock the screen.

Sadly, however, the LG’s always-on clock is too dim, which means you’ll have trouble reading it if you're in even a moderately well-lit room. It’s a shame, because it also shows off notifications too. Perhaps the best tip is to turn it off, until you go to bed.

2. Touch it up

The LG G5’s rear fingerprint-scanning home button is situated in a rather handy place, letting you unlock your phone with your index finger in an instant. You can also use it to secure private photos and videos in the G5’s gallery app, as well as lock away sensitive notes from prying eyes, so it’s definitely worth setting up a few of your fingerprints as soon as you free it from its box.

3. Knock it out

While the LG G5’s rear fingerprint scanner is in a good location for unlocking it while it’s in your hand, it’s in a terrible place if you want to unlock it while it’s resting on a table. Instead of having to pick it up or tapping in a backup PIN, set up your own Knock Code - a pattern of taps which can be in any location or combination that you desire, providing instant access in seconds - all without you having to exert yourself by picking it up.

To set up your own pattern, all you have to do is select Knock Code in the Lock Screen section of the settings menu.

4. Give it a new look

LG’s Android skin isn’t going to make babies cry. It’s pretty inoffensive, and the company has mercifully gone down the Samsung route of cutting back the bloat and crayon-coloured themes. Having said that, LG’s killed off the app drawer, which means all of your apps are now spread across your various home screens, iOS-style.

The solution is to download a third-party launcher. We recommend Nova Launcher - it’s fast, simple to use, and offers tons of customisation options for both your home screen and app drawer, including full support for all of the Play Store's app icons, so you can really nail down your perfect look.

Having said that, LG’s own SmartWorld app also offers a selection of themes too, but you’ll have less control over the final overall look.

Make it yours

Nova also supports custom gestures. Swiping up can, for example, launch the app drawer, while swiping down can launch any app you fancy. It’s worth noting that you by installing Nova, you’ll lose the ability to double-tap the home screen to turn the display off. But, this is Android, which means there’s normally always a solution for everything. Hooray!

In this case, the solution is an app called Screen Off and Lock, which I have used on the G4 without any problems. Install it, then use Nova to launch it with a double-tap shortcut. Boom - double-tap your Nova home screen, and the screen will lock once again. Magic.