Device Overview: LG G4

Device Overview: LG G4

With the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, and LG G4, 2015 looks to be the year of great cameras on smartphones.

Today we will be looking at the LG G4. At first glance, the device looks a lot like the G3 from last year. Add to that the slight curve on the display and you may think it’s the LG G Flex 2’s cousin. Ultimately, this is a device that packs a great set of features. These features are sure to make you a fan right out of the box.

What’s In The Box:

  • Phone
  • Wall Charger
  • USB Sync and Charge cable
  • 3000 mAh Battery


HARDWARE

The phone packs a Hexa-Core processor, the Snapdragon 808 chip clocked at 1.8 GHz with the Adreno 418 GPU. This combination is unique for a device released in mid 2015. LG decided to sport the 808 CPU in its flagship, which was likely done in response to the heat issues that faced the G Flex 2 running the Snapdragon 810. The CPU works great and competes with the best of them. We are kind of at the point where the hardware is truly ahead of the common daily driver needs.

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The display is an IPS Quantum Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution panel protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The camera, however, is the real star of this great device. We get a F1.8 16MP camera on the back, with a F2.0 8MP camera on the front. The G4 comes with a massive 3000 mAh battery and 3 GB of RAM, more than enough for all your multitasking needs.

Device Specifications:

  • Snapdragon 808 1.8GHz 64-bit Hexa-Core Processor
  • Adreno 418 GPU
  • 5.5” 2560 x 1440 (Quad HD) IPS Quantum Display
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB Storage (Expansion up to 2 TB)
  • 3000 mAh Battery with Quick charge
  • 16 MP F1.8 Back Camera with LED Flash, Laser auto focus, OIS, and color spectrum sensor
  • 8 MP F2.0 for the Front
  • Android Lollipop 5.1 with LG UX 4.0 UI
  • Bluetooth 4.1 / Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, GPS/ NFC
  • Connectivity:
    • LTE, HSDPA +, UMTS, EDGE, GSM
    • GSM (850/900/1800/1900); UMTS (850/900/1900/2100); LTE (800/1800/2600)
  • 155 g (5.47 oz)
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS

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Over the course of 8 days of testing, the G4 handled everything I needed and did a great job taking great photos and videos. The battery lasted easily a day with normal use. As the review unit does not work with US LTE bands in my area, I was limited to 3G speeds. Your experience may vary depending on 4G LTE availability and your specific model.

Comparing the G4 to my other phablet devices, like the Nexus 6 and Note Edge, I have to say it feels better in the hand. The device is light with a good grip, and just performs very well in the camera department.

INTERFACE

The device runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box with the LG UX 4.0 UI on top. Where the LG G4 shines is in the hardware. The Software just does not seem to match the experience. It is not that LG’s UI is bad, it just feels less cohesive compared to Samsung’s TouchWiz. I quickly fixed that by installing Nova Launcher and this made me enjoy the user interface much better.

The LG G4 comes with themes and automation built in to the device, to help you make it a truly unique experience. There is a power saving mode to help squeeze more life out of the massive battery.  The camera app is great with the manual mode and RAW format support, but I can’t help but feel like they could have put in some filters and better shooting modes.

CAMERA

The camera on the LG G4 is the going to be one of the main reasons to buy this device. The camera app on the device offers the option to manually control all aspects of the camera, from the focus to the white balance and more. The one thing to mention is that even though you can shoot in RAW format, you don’t have very modes in this app.

Hopefully with the release of the G4, the app store will work correctly and we can update the camera interface. This will make the camera even more attractive. I am pleased to see that cameras on our devices are getting better and better every year.

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DESIGN

The design of the G4 is really a progression of the G3 with some G Flex 2 thrown in there. This is due to the slight curve in the display, and the overall design of the phone. I had a hard time getting used to the device with the buttons on the back. Specifically when the phone was on the table and I wanted to raise the volume, but this is minor and not a challenge for LG G3 users.

The G4 is customizable allowing you to create a unique phone. You can remove the back and change it with some premium options. The battery is also removable, which is definitely welcomed considering that most flagships this year have done away with removable batteries. The G4 also comes with SD card support, which is a big plus to me. I am personally reminded on a daily basis that my Nexus 6 32GB device needs more storage, and I wish I could replace it with the 64GB version. The moral of the story here is we need more storage on phones that can do 4K and take massive photos and videos.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The LG G4 (LG-H815) unit that we received for review did very well for the 8 days it was under review. I am sad to have to send it back, but I am considering picking it up from my carrier soon. The device performed very well and held its own. I enjoyed the time I had with G4 and will most likely get one as my daily driver.

The price of the G4 seems to be a little lower than most of the flagship devices on the market. At $600 on T-mobile off contract, the LG G4 is a very good deal for anybody wanting to upgrade to a new device this year.

The camera is by far the best camera on a mobile device. The display is stunning. You will not be disappointed with this device. I feel the pros outweigh any issues you might find with the user interface.

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