There wasn’t much left to the imagination before the launch of LG’s new flagship device the G4, which made sure that we focused on what made this device stand apart from it’s competitors. The G4 is LG’s best phone yet and it’s going to give all other flagship devices a run for their money for a few pretty significant reasons.
Design – Real Leather With a Twist
The LG G4 is a looker, the leather back is stunning and feels as premium as you can get. LG has also stuck to its guns with the power button and volume rocker on the back of the phone, personally I love this feature, it’s good for righties and lefties and it is naturally where your finger falls when you’re holding the handset. This premium finish comes at a cost, it’s not thinner than it’s predecessor it’s 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8mm which makes it a full mm thicker. If you’re wondering what it tips the scales at it’s 155 grams.
In a early look at the production of the LG G4 CNET’s Roger Chen tells that the tanning of the leather is the same process as luxury bags. It takes 3 months to get the leather ready in a process called Vegetable Tanning in which the hide is lathered in plant materials which allows the leather to age over time with exposure to the oil in your skin
Another design feature that is worth mentioning is that the display has a slight curve. LG is already known for making curved phones with the LG G Flex being the latest. The curve on the LG G4 is much subtler, which we hope means that the display issues that plagued the G Flex won’t follow the LG.
Display – Simply Gorgeous
What separates the mid-range devices from the high-end is the display and LG has made it clear that it’s looking for the top spot with the QHD IPS Quantum Display found on the G4. They haven’t increased the size or resolution, we’ve still got a 5.5 inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560. But make no mistake this isn’t the same old display, it’s 25% brighter and has a 20% wider color range than the G3.
Under the Hood
LG put top of the line hardware in the G4, it’s running a Snapdragon 808 64-bit HexaCore processor running a 1.8Ghz with 3GB or RAM and options for 32GB of storage and a MicroSD card capable of up to 2TB. It comes with global LTE Cat 6, and Bluetooth 4.1.
Camera – A Good Thing Just Keeps Getting Better
The camera on the G3 wasn’t bad, but what LG has in store for the G4 has me drooling, 16MP is enough Pixels and any smartphone rocking an aperture of f/1.8 produces less noisy photos in all conditions, especially low light. If we compare it to the G3, the G4 will allow 80% more light and will also be better at taking pictures of fast moving objects. Right now f/1.8 is the “widest aperture camera developed for a smartphone”
The rear camera has a six-layer lens that is twice the size of the one found in the LG G3. An ultra-thin 0.1mm blue IR filter will also be included, to help give photos a natural look with accurate colors by blocking out infrared interference.
Looking at camera features there are a few improved ones, Quick Shot, lets you take a snap by double-tapping the rear key, even if the phone is locked. There’s also a Gesture Interval Shot mode, which takes four photos in a row, allowing you to choose the best to keep. As we saw in the teaser video we also saw that the G4 comes with very powerful manual controls allowing for DSLR like capabilities on a smartphone.
The front facing camera has also gotten a pretty big bump from 2.1MP to 8MP.
Software – Lollipop Right Out of the Box
The LG G4 will be running the UX 4.0 interface, it’s got a lot of smart features that make using an LG more seamless. Features like ‘Ringtone ID’, which automatically composes a custom ringtone for each contact and ‘Quick Memo+’, which lets you collect snippets from the web without the adverts. Smart Alert, which makes activity suggestions based on the weather forecast, Smart Board, which combines information from multiple apps into a single widget. Like I mentioned in the subheading, you’re running Android 5.1 which is the highest number we’ve seen yet.
Where LG May Have Gone Wrong
LG has taken on a difficult design element by including a leather back which is removable. Leather as a material, increases production time since it has to be finished by hand and leathers supple nature makes it harder to work with than other materials.
I also suspect that we’re going to have some issues with this new finish in the early runs. No smartphone manufacturer has tried to scale leather for the masses. Motorola did, but it was custom order, so the consumer expected a delay in getting their device. It’s different when it’s expected on the shelf and in stock.
All in all we’re very excited about the LG G4 and finally think that Samsung has some serious competition on the market. They swooped in at MWC and easily took the spot at the top flagship of the show. It looks like this year we’re going to be blessed with the agony of too many great options!