Although it is difficult to perceive electronics behemoth LG as an underdog it continues to struggle as it tries to claw it’s way to the top of the smartphone heap. LG has tried to make it’s flagship phones stand out by taking design chances and the LG G4 is typical of that approach.
As the smartphone matures coming up with a bold new design has become more difficult. There aren’t too many ways to make a 5.5” slab of gorilla glass stand out.LG has tried to distinguish the G4 with its leather back..I doesn’t really do it for me. The back is hard and doesn’t feel or smell like leather. The test unit sent to me by TELUS was black. The back is however removable making the LG G4 the only current flagship phone to offer a removable battery and a Mini SD card slot to add external memory. This in the eyes of most smartphone users is a big plus.
G4 sports a 5.5-inch LCD display. The quad-HD touchscreen is razor-sharp, with everything from text to movies appearing incredibly crisp. It has a 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution and 534 pixels per inch (ppi), which is way more than the Apple flagship phones and just a shade lower than the Samsung Galaxy S6. The problem the pixel counts on all the flagships are so hight you san’t tell with the naked eye which is sharpest. The G4 screen is also slightly curved which to my eye doean’t add anything to the visual experience.
All those pixels suck a lot of juice and despite a fairly powerful 3000MaH battery I had trouble getting through a busy day on a charge.
Under the hood the LG G4 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. While not state of the art it has no trouble powering the G$. Apps loaded quickly and scrolling was as smooth as silk. Overall performance on the TELUS network was excellent.
LG G4 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with the brand new LG UX 4.0 on top. LG claims the new UI is ‘simpler’ but is still a long way from the stock Android experience. The LG G4 interface is not all that different from its predecessors, other than a few tweaks here and there.
The left-most screen of the launcher features LG’s stab at creating a Google Now-like interface called Smart Bulletin. I did like the Smart Settings, which will do things based on location. For example, you can program your phone to automatically turn off Wi-Fi as soon as you are away from home then turn back on when you reach the office. I suspect the power you save by turning off WiFi is probably eaten up by GPS activity.
The camera specs are pretty impressive there’s a fast 16MP f1.8 camera on the rear. The camera app offers a wide range of settings so afficianados can set it to deal with most picture taking situations plus it save images in RAW mode for those same aficionados. Most of us will probably stick with Auto and even there it takes impressive pictures and videos and excels in low light situations.
Videos are equally good. In the daytime video I was especially impressed with how the camera handled transitions from bright to shadow with no flaring.
The rear camera is arguably the best you will find on a current smartphone. It is equal to any under normal lighting conditions and delivers under low light where the others fall down. The front camera is no slouch either at 8MP and f2.0 for impressive selfies and video calls.
The LG G4 is a big expensive but average smartphone that features the best camera of all the current flagships. So, if camera quality is important this is the smartphone for you.
The G4 is available from TELUS (The provider I use) Rogers, Bell,Videotron, Wind, MTS and SaskTel for $200 with a two year plan.