LG G4 Review: The Best Cameraphone

by Reads (1,212)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Service, Warranty & Support
    • 9
    • Ease of Use
    • 9
    • Design
    • 9
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Value
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 9.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Fantastic rear shooter
    • Great design and build quality
    • Display features sharp imaging, realistic colors, and deep contrast
  • Cons

    • Chipset is not what we would expect of a flagship
    • Imprecise screen brightness settings
    • Insufficient battery autonomy

Quick Take

LG’s flagship phone should be the top pick for those that value smartphone cameras. Meanwhile, its modern design (especially the leather-clad version), ergonomics, and excellent display should appeal to everyone else.

The LG G4 can be summed up as a modernized version of its predecessor, complete with a unique and recognizable look, and the best smartphone camera as of this writing. LG also pumped up the display technology, though not its battery autonomy or its chipset.

LG G4

LG G4

It has to be stressed that the display is especially impressive. The LG G4 has a 5.5-inch Quantum IPS screen with QHD resolution (2560 x 1440) and a slightly rounded vertical axis, and is second only to the G4’s back camera in terms of feature excellence. Said back camera is a 16-megapixel shooter with optical stabilization and f/1.8, complemented by an 8-megapixel front selfie camera.

Internally, the G4 has a hexacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with Adreno 418 GPU, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of memory storage. It’s 3000mAh battery is the same spec as featured in last year’s LG G3.

Build and Design

LG G4 resembles LG G Flex 2 more than it does its predecessors, given that it features a slightly curved display and body. The screen’s concave design isn’t as pronounced as LG G Flex2 and the device is not flexible, but this hardly deters from what is a well-designed and well-built handset.

LG G4 leather back panel

LG G4 leather back panel

The back panel is available in either plastic with metallic finish or a decoratively stitched leather, each in two exclusive colors. The leather looks more impressive, and is more comfortable to hold. However, past experience with leather smartphones (Motorola offered one recently, and BlackBerry used it a long time ago) suggests it’s too quick to wear, especially on the edges. For its part, LG claims its manufacturing technique ensures significantly tougher leather.

Besides, the LG G4 has a removable back, and users are free to swap to a new back panel. This also means that the LG G4 has a replaceable battery.

The phone is slightly larger and heavier than the previous model, measuring 5.8 x  2.9 x .24-.38 inches (hwd) and weighing .34 pounds, though you’d never know it due to the slightly curved design, modern finish, and quality build materials. The LG G4 feels like a premium device.

In true LG style, the front of the handset does not include any keys, but the entire surface is covered in Gorilla Glass 3. The LG logo sits under the display and the speaker, while the selfie-camera and a set of sensors reside above the display. The power button and volume rocker are on the back panel, centered just under the back panel. This has become an LG design trademark, which proves convenient, though takes some getting used to.

LG G4 camera lens and rear buttons

LG G4 camera lens and rear buttons

Apart from being curved along the vertical axis, the back is also curved along the horizontal axis, which contributes to ergonomics and the unique look of the smartphone. The back also includes a speaker perforation, situated at the bottom, while the dual LED flash (two-colored) and the transmitter for the so-caller laser autofocus are located next to the lens. The lenses themselves are slightly prominent compared to the curved back, but those who chose the leather model will not even notice this because the decorative stitching along the middle sticks out enough to prevent any direct contact between the lens glass and a surface.

The left and right edges do not include any keys. The lower side has the primary microphone performation, a microUSB hub, and a 3.5-mm audio jack, while the upper side includes the infrared transmitter and the secondary microphone, intended for reducing ambient noise during talk time.

Display

On paper, LG G4 has the same display as LG G3, but a glance reveals significant improvements.  Its 5.5-inch IPS panel boasts a 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution, which results in an excellent 538 pixel-per-inch count. The G4 has what LG dubs Quantum display technology (not to be confused with Quantum Dot technology), which is similar to Sony’s Trilluminos display tech.

This display emphasizes realistic imaging that is not overly saturated, with a sustainable contrast. Overall, it’s a noticeable improvement over the G3, with more vivacious and accurate colors, and a dense and full-blooded contrast, especially in regards to the blacks.

This a flagship display worthy of a flagship device, though there is still room for improvement in terms of screen brightness. It’s bright enough, but it’s tough to set properly. Maximum brightness is too bright, while just going down to 50% brightness is not bright enough. We had to play for too long with wallpapers and the brightness scale to find a comfortable brightness scale.


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