LG G4 review
|Review: June 2015|
In a nutshell: The LG G4 is even better than the G3, with a unique leather finish giving it a distinctive premium look & feel. It's a large phone with a huge 5.5 inch screen, yet it doesn't feel too big, thanks to its light weight and tapered edge design. The screen is a super-bright Quad HD display and is one of the best available. Add in a superb camera, hexa-core processor and a large battery, and you have a superb all-round smartphone.
Today's best buy: LG G4 32GB from Laptops Direct (£269.97)
Almost exactly a year ago, we praised LG's G3 smartphone, glibly throwing around words like "wow" and "premium" and "awesome". Now, with the launch of the G4, it looks like we're set to do the whole thing over again.
Design & style
In one sense the G4 looks very much like the G3. It's the same basic design, with a very large but slim and lightweight body. The front face is filled almost entirely by an enormous screen, and the buttons are pushed to the rear, keeping the edges of the phone wafer thin. The G4 isn't quite as slim or light as phones like the iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6, but it doesn't feel thick or heavy, thanks in part to the tapered edges. The phone has the same sized screen as the G3 - a whopping 5.5 inches - and is just a couple of millimetres longer and wider. But there's a new word that we want to use in this review, and that word is leather.
The G4 brings a truly unique aspect to its design - a leather back. This isn't the kind of nasty fake leather we've seen on Samsung phones in recent years, but real luxury leather, finished in a choice of Brown, Black or Red. It's a beautiful finish for a phone, giving the G4 a genuine edge over the competition. It's practical too, being soft to the touch and lovely to hold. The phone is also available in Gold, Metallic Grey and Ceramic White if you don't like the leather look.
Also on the rear of the phone you'll find the physical buttons that would normally be ranged along the edge. The combined volume/power control is positioned in the perfect place for your fingers to reach, and with a little practice, using it will become second nature. Even though this phone is as big as a phablet, you can still use it single-handedly.
Turning now to the front of the phone, you'll find a huge screen that's very nearly as big as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phablet. The screen has an incredibly high resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (Quad HD) giving it an astonishing pixel density of 538 ppi. This is a bright IPS display, or to use LG's marketing jargon, a Quantum display, which is exceptionally bright compared with normal LED screens. We'd say that the G4 has one of the outstanding screens of 2015. It's very nearly as good as the Samsung S6.
Unusually for a flagship phone, the G4 uses the 64-bit Snapdragon 808 processor. This is a hexa-core processor, rather than the octa-core Snapdragon 810, and runs at a speed of 1.8GHz, which is less than last year's G3. The processor comes with an enormous 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 418 GPU. Benchmark tests by GSM Arena indicate that while the G4 is faster than the G3, it isn't a match for the Galaxy S6 or the HTC M9. It's still a fast phone, however.
Memory is good, with a large 32GB or built-in storage, plus a microSD card slot.
The phone runs Android Lollipop 5.1 with some additional features from LG. To be honest, we don't see much value in these extras, and just occasionally they seem to cause slight lag, but it's not a deal breaker.
16 megapixel camera
The G3's 13 megapixel camera was already a strong performer, and this has now been upgraded to 16 megapixels. With a BSI sensor for low-light performance, optical image stabilisation, and laser autofocus for fast and precise focussing even in low light, this is one of the very best cameras you'll find on a smartphone.
The camera can also now record video in UHD (4K) resolution.
The front camera has been upgraded too - seriously so. It's an 8 megapixel shooter in fact, taking selfies to the next level.
There's nothing missing when it comes to connectivity - the G4 ticks all the boxes. It's a 4G phone, with 3G HSPA and GSM compatibility. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC and a HDMI SlimPort.
Like the G3, the G4 has a large removable 3,000mAh battery. This is a heavy duty battery and should certainly power the phone through a day's heavy use, despite the demands of that Quad HD screen. LG quotes a talktime of 20 hours. The battery is quick to recharge too.
Conclusion - something really special
The G4 really is something a little different, thanks to that beautiful leather finish on the back. It's a stunning design in every way, and one that really does ooze a premium look and feel. The super-bright super-high-resolution screen is incredible, and the phone packs a strong performance punch, although benchmark junkies will notice that it's not the very fastest phone you can buy. The camera is extremely capable, and the phone has strong connectivity and battery life to back up the rest of its capabilities.
In short, this is a phone that is strong in every area, and is well-priced too. If it has a fault, we couldn't find it!
LG G4 features include:
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
- 16 megapixel camera with LED flash, laser autofocus, and digital zoom / 4K UHD video recording
- 8 megapixel front-facing camera
- Display: IPS Quantum, 2560 x 1440 pixels (5.5 inches)
- A-GPS, A-Glonass with Google Maps
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, Google+ Messenger, Google Talk
- Processor: Hexa-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
- Memory: 32GB, 3GB RAM, microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, HDMI, Infrared
- 4G LTE, GSM/EDGE, multi band 3G (HSPA+42Mbps/HSPA+21Mbps)
- Size: 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8mm
- Weight: 149g
- Battery: 3,000mAh
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LG G4 user reviews
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Average rating from 7 reviews:
Reviewed by Steve
on 18th Apr 2016
I upgraded from the HTC M8s, and don't regret it. I bought the G4 based on the reviews, and it lives up to the hype. The camera and screen are stunning, and it has features my M8s didn't have. Apart from the good looks of the M8s, the G4 is superior in every way. The best phone I've ever had. Interestingly, they cost exactly the same on PAYG.
Reviewed by Nour Ahmed
on 30th Oct 2015
Upgrading from Sony Xperia S I can say this is the best phone I have seen, screen is amazing, camera pictures are looks like they're taken from a professional camera, 2 sim cards and great software with lot's of options and customisations
overall perfect phone.
Reviewed by Tim
on 14th Aug 2015
Had the LGG3 for about 6 months then upgraded to the LGG4. The G4 feels lighter, has a curvier screen and grips better in my big hand than the G3. Internally it all feels and looks the same as the G3 but LG have added the latest version of lollipop 5.1 so it is much more snappier than the G3. The main reason for getting the G4 was the camera. Truly amazing.
Gripes; well the back of the phone gets really hot when pressed into action playing Football manager 2015. It never appeared to worry the G3 at all (should I be concerned about the heat?) and the battery despite claims the G4 is brighter than the G3 (it isn't) is still terrible. The other grip, minor, is the knock code. It never works first time and that is a pain. That said, the 32GB G4 can be expanded and I have a spare LG battery so at this point in time I wouldn't swap it for anything else having owned the latest iPhone.
Reviewed by Dave
on 10th Aug 2015
Had the LG G3 for about 12 months and thought it was a great phone,I do not understand people who say it was always lagging,I never had and issue with it. I was due for an upgrade so I decided to try the Samsung S6, after three months and four different hand sets I had enough and swapped it for the LG G4. The S6 had terrible battery life,poor signal strength in areas where I had always had good reception and I had many problems with the phone freezing and also switching itself off when it felt like it.Keep in mind I tried four of them and had the same trouble with each one.I have been using the G4 for three weeks now with no issues at all,battery life is better than S6 no matter what some reviews claim ,in my opinion the S6 took slightly better outdoor photos while the G4 slightly better indoor photos,most importantly for me with the G4 I have better call quality and signal and have had no freezing or lagging what so ever ,it works perfectly. I will say the S6 felt better to hold and to me looks a much nicer phone but the G4 is much better to use.My only complaint with the G4 is the curved back which makes the phone wobble when using it on a bench or table,I do find that quite annoying but with everything else working so well I can live with it.
Reviewed by albert
on 14th Jun 2015
5 star no way its to like the g3 just as laggy as the lg g3 is.
Reviewed by Bootruss
on 8th Jun 2015
Simply the best phone out there! Camera and screen top notch and battery life better than reviews give credit for. Got the ceramic white version, and looks superb, but may get a leather back when available. upgrade from a G3 which was excellent, but the G4 is snappier to use.
If you are thinking about getting one, jump in there.. you will not regret you did!
Reviewed by michael
on 8th Jun 2015
Had lg g4 for 1 day ..sure it's pretty cool... but couldn't get over the colour calibration of the screen ..it's slightly off.. camera although very sharp.. kinda reminded me of xperia cams.... compared to g3 I prefer g3 screen colours ..and g3 cam gives pics a better focal effect .. pics taken on g4 are super sharp ..but flat looking with no depth .. watching vids .. people's skin tone have a reddish tint...on a plus ..the speaker is pretty awesome... went with s6 edge.. imo phone of the year:)..... still have g3 as a back up.