LG G4 Review – More Refinement, Less Innovation

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LG G4
  • Display
  • Processor
  • Camera
  • Storage
  • Battery
4.6

This year has already given us a surprising slew of smartphones already. The HTC M9 refined its already fabulous design and specs to make a powerful phone, and the Samsung S6 was a total reinvention of the phone’s look and style. Now introduce the LG G4, which opted to refine itself like the M9 rather than innovate. These refinements make the LG G4 a powerhouse phone, but can it compete with the innovations that the Galaxy S6 brings to the table?

LG G4 – Design and FeaturesLG G4

The most noticeable thing about the LG G4, as with the G3, is its vibrant screen. It still rocks the Super HD display at 1440 x 2560 with a pixel density of 538 ppi. This means that the LG G4 has one of the best displays on the market in 2015. It totally blows the iPhone 6 out of the water, and it overpowers the HTC M9. The only competitor is the Galaxy S6, which is clearly brighter. The S6 also has more saturated colors, which gives the images on-screen a bit more vibrancy and pop. The LG G4 has more realistic colors though, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

The LG G4 also has a very similar design to the G3. In fact, it is almost the same. There are only a few minor differences, like the edges are a bit sharper than before. The G4 also has a slight curve to it. It isn’t entirely noticeable, like the G Flex 2. Rather it is a subtle curve to mildly improve comfort when holding the phone. The device is also slightly longer and heavier than before. Other than that, everything is the same. The display is still 5.5″ and the volume rocker and power key are still placed in the same place on the back of the phone. The phone also comes with the same plastic backing, though it does have a cool diamond pattern this time around. Users can also opt for a leather back, which has a premium look and feel to it. If you are looking for something bold and different, you’ll certainly want to go with the leather back for this phone.

The LG G4 comes with Android 5.1 and rocks the LG UX 4.0. This time around, LG went for a more mild approach with its UI and didn’t mess too much with the stock Android system. It also doesn’t come with a lot of bloatware which is a huge plus for an Android phone. The UI is a glorified skin package, but it looks great and it separates the LG G4 from other Android phones with its colorful and friendly interface.

Specs, Camera, And Battery

The G4 doesn’t have the absolute best specs on the market, yet it still competes and is a very fast and snappy phone. The G4 rocks the Snapdragon 808 processor, which is just behind the recently released Snapdragon 810. When compared to other smartphones, like the HTC M9 and Galaxy S6, the LG G4 lags behind the competition. But, according to user reports and my own personal experience, you can’t really tell. Loading times are quick, and the phone is snappy and responsive. The LG G4 also comes with 32 GB of internal memory and 3 GB of RAM. It’s good to see that smartphones are finally increasing their internal memory as 16 GB just isn’t enough even for moderate users. If 32 GB isn’t enough for you though, the G4 has expandable storage up to 2 TB, which is pretty impressive.

The camera on the LG G4 is one of the best components of the phone, and I loved it. The G4 now has a 16 MP rear facing camera, upgraded from the G3’s 13 MP shooter. The front facing camera has also gotten an upgrade to an 8 MP camera. That makes it a great phone for selfie lovers, and it gives “selfie phones” like the HTC M9 some competition. Image quality is fabulous on the G4, especially in HDR mode. There have been some complaints about the sharpness, but it isn’t entirely noticeable. In fact, the phone probably has one of the best cameras on the market, falling just behind the S6 which has slightly better focus and color vibrancy.

The battery life on the LG G4 is probably the phone’s biggest weakness. According to CNET, the LG G4 lasted just over 10 hours. That isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either. It falls just between the M9 and S6, with the M9 having less battery life and the S6 having more. If you are a heavy user, you will certainly want to buy a backup battery that is sold separately. It is easy to swap which is a plus.

Here in the US, you can go to either Verizon Wireless or Sprint for LTE speeds. If LTE is unimportant and carrier freedom paramount then you can go for an unlocked version. The phone will still be LTE capable however won’t work since LTE networks in South Korea are different from US and there is zero compatibility.

THE VERDICT

The LG G4 is a fabulous phone. It has a beautiful screen, a powerful camera, and a sleek design (especially with a better case). But, in terms of specs, it isn’t the absolute best phone on the market. The M9 beats it out in performance, and the S6 beats it in shear innovation. Don’t let that deter you though. If you are looking for a powerful phone to get away from the giant that is Samsung, the LG G4 is the way to go.

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