LG G4 is simply one of the best Android smartphone “ever” released, featuring the most astonishing camera on any smartphone to-date. Its impressive big screen (2K) display gives it a special appeal; there is really little or nothing to complain about the device.
LG has done a fantastic job with the G4, everything you need on a smartphone has pretty much been addressed by the South Korean tech giant that guarantees a long-lived positive impression for any user.
I am particularly excited about the G4, a high-end flagship smartphone because it truly delvers on a couple of features that are lacking in Samsung and Apple’s flagship smartphones. The first thing it does is retaining a microSD slot and of course, it has a gorgeous removable back which leaves you with the option to swap out batteries and upgrade your storage.
One of the few drawbacks is the cheap ceramic infused plastic shell on the G4, but there is a premium version designed with leather backs which can easily compliment for that. So let’s jump to the LG G4 review, it is an exceptional high-end smartphone that sets a benchmark in the camera department.
Design & Display
LG G4 is slightly curved with thin bezels around the screen. It is built with glossy metal sides and a variety of backs.
The G4 comes in plastic and genuine leather shell. There are six leather colors options available, Black, Light Blue, Yellow and Beige, Maroon and Tan. All of these come with a unique texture. The stunning aspect of the leather casing is that you can have several leather backs and choose a special leather color for an outfit or occasion.
The device would be sold in standard ceramic-infused plastic design with several color options. White, Titanium, Silver and Gold variant are available to users.
I did notice there are no front facing speakers on the G4, this looks like an industry-standard as it is found on every smartphone. But LG decided to opt out of this design concept with a massive single speaker on the back of the G4. It is the loudest I have used on any smartphone, even at high levels; you could still get decent audio quality.
The most noticeable change is the missing physical buttons on the sides. LG took a risk by placing the power button, volume up and volume down buttons at the back, it took some time to get used to it, but after that it feels so great and I am totally in love with the design concept. For being innovative with the G4, LG does score some extra points.
LG G4 is equipped with a 5.5-inch screen, its the new perfect size for a smartphone. It is bigger than the iPhone 6 and smaller than Google’s Nexus 6 display.
The display is a 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD touchscreen. Unlike Samsung Galaxy S6 OLED display, the G4 is equipped with what LG calls a Quantum IPS display, producing deeper contrast, and better RAW colors.
One other great feature on the G4 is the KnockOn, it allows users to double tap on the screen to turn it off without hitting the power button. In the same manner, if you wanted to turn off the device, just double tap on any blank part of the screen. It works like a charm, I definitely love this trick.
LG decided to use a 6-core Snapdragon 808 processor against Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 810 chipset which has been reported to cause overheating where ever it find itself. That was a great decision by LG, the G4 doesn’t produce disruptive thermal heat, and it isn’t less powerful by any means. What’s available on the G4 is more than enough to power any app, graphic intensive games and perform multi-tasking without lag. The chipset is complemented with 3 GB of RAM and 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 functionality.
See: Samsung To Help Qualcomm Build Next-gen Snapdragon 820 Chip
LG G4 Specs
- 5.5-inch 2560 × 1440 Quantum-HD Display (Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection)
- 6-core Snapdragon 808 processor
- 3 GB RAM
- 32 GB Internal storage (MicroSD support)
- 16 Megapixel f1.8 camera with OIS+, laser auto-focus
- 8 megapixel front camera
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE, FM Radio Antenna, and Infrared laser for remote
- 3,000mAh battery
LG says U.S carriers may offer the G4 with wireless charging option.
Software & Performance
LG G4 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system backed by a redesigned and intuitive LG UX 4.0 interface. It’s LG’s answer to Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense. In the past, LG biggest letdown was its software, they have now closed the gap with the redesigned UX and it is simplistic at best.
There are quick settings in the notification bar which I found very helpful. The entire experience is fantastic, easy to use, clean and user friendly. You can have instant access to WiFi, Bluetooth, Hotspot, Flashlight app, screen brightness controls and more.
I am a huge fan of Yahoo’s Aviate Launcher, but I quickly realized I won’t be needing any third-party launcher, LG UX 4.0 is just super cool. It isn’t cluttered like what’s on other Android devices; the flat modern user interface is just what any tech savy user will appreciate.
On the G4, LG added tons of features like the LG Health app, QRemote and Smart Notice. The QRemote can be used to control TV’s or home theaters, the Smart Notice alert users when the battery goes below 20%, it can tell users about weather forecast, and even remind users to call back declined calls if the number received an SMS after the incoming call was declined.
There is also Smart Cleaning and Smart Tips in-house apps. As the name implies, the Smart Cleaning cleans the G4 and removes unused files, just see it like the way Windows performs the action of defragging. Ultimately, the Smart Cleaning app helps to keep the G4 running smoothly and faster.
When you swipe to the left on the homescreen, you will be greeted with the Smart Bulletin. Here, you get load of information from other apps like the Smart Notice, Smart Tips and Smart Cleaning in one area.
One other thing you can do is to adjust the font size, the size of the keyboard, you can also have two apps running simultaneously on the display. There is so much you can do on the new improved LG UX 4.0. It is fast, smooth and fluid; I certainly have nothing to complain about the software after using it for some few days.
One final thing, for emerging markets, LG has a different variant of the G4, this comes with dual Micro-SIM functionality.I believe LG had a critical look at the market before taking this decision. The LG G4 Dual variant is not different from the G4, except for a little tweak on the software to easily swap between SIMs that are both 3G and 4G LTE capable.
LG G4 Camera
LG G4 has a 16 megapixel camera with f1.8 aperture lens, the widest on any smartphone so far. The right of the sensor is a LED flash, and a laser auto-focus located at the left of the sensor for fast and accurate auto focusing. Just under the LED flash, is a new color spectrum sensor for accurate white color balance.
The camera software is extremely intuitive, without any knowledge of camera settings, you can still shoot one of the best images with great composition. The software has a simple mode where there are no settings to play with; it is smart enough to know when you need the flash.
For pro-camera users, there are 15 manual settings and about 150 camera options to select from. The primary and selfie camera are capable of shooting 4k videos.
One cool feature I love on the LG camera is the ability to shoot photos with hand gestures and voice control. With the voice control you can snap a photo by saying “Cheese,” “Smile,” or “LG”. The hand gesture works perfectly when taking selfies; by simply squeezing your fist at the display, a 3-second countdown timer will emerge, giving you sufficient time to have that perfect selfie shot. Also, you can launch the camera in just 0.07 seconds and take a photo. Simply double tap the volume down button to perform the action when the phone is off.
I could say at this point that the LG G4 camera is the definitely one of the best camera phones ever released. From fast moving objects, low light situation, landscape photos, selfies, the LG G4 does everything. I didn’t forget to say you can also take RAW images, then send it to Photoshop and work on it as the heart desires. For users thinking of getting a smartphone that can double as a camera, the G4 should be your first priority.
The image below is a photo I shot without changing any settings on the G4 and no single trace of photo-editing.
Apparently, it is very hard to complain about anything relating to the G4 camera.
The G4 battery rated at 3,000mAh is pretty massive. What I love most is the Quick Charging technology, with this the G4 charging is accelerated up to 50%, then it starts to charge normally, preserving the cells of the battery.
With the Quick Charge 2.0 technology, you can charge the G4 from 15% to 50% in thirty minutes. So, even if you are a heavy user like myself, playing the most graphical and power intensive games, you should be able to get the most out of the G4.
I do not really like the thick bezel on the top and bottom of the G4, the G3 kind of scored better on that design point with a thin bezel. Otherwise, the LG G4 is an awesome phone, the specs, performance, the camera, the battery life. Everything just works perfectly. If I have to borrow the words of Sony PlayStation 3 marketing that really got the console kicking, I would say the LG G4 “Only Does Everything.”
There is no fingerprint scanner like Samsung or Apple flagships, but it does have its in-house lockscreen security. Despite fingerprint scanning feature not available, the G4 does everything a smartphone should do and in a very user-friendly manner.
Where To Buy LG G4
Verdict:Arguably the best smartphone of 2015. LG G4 is a monster smartphone. It does everything - beauty, power, camera, performance and battery. You should snatch-up one of it.