Jul 09 AT 1:48 PM Nick Sarafolean 0 Comments

Review: LG G4

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LG has gone from an unskilled company clumsily creating poor smartphones to a company that now creates some of the best devices on the market. The change was quite recent, really taking off with 2014′s LG G3, which marked the start of a new era for the company; an era focused on creating high-quality devices that honed in on the right hardware and paired it with software that was vastly improved over past attempts from LG.

The LG G4 is the company’s latest entrant into the flagship game. It represents a step forward for LG, one focused on creating an incredible smartphone experience. In our full review of it, we’ll look at some of the things that make it great, as well as some of the things that hold it back. Sit back, relax and read on to find out more.

1. Hardware

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This is LG’s area of expertise, with the company creating one of the best-specced phones with the G4. The LG G4 packs in a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor with max clock speed of 1.8GHz, Adreno 418 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage plus a microSD card slot, 16-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, 3000mAh battery with fast charging, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 4.1 and Android 5.1 Lollipop. The body of the phone comes in at 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 – 9.8 mm, making it very nicely sized. For the pièce de résistance, the G4 is adorned with a 5.5-inch QHD (2560×1440) Quantum Display.

If you’re looking for the best hardware, the G4 is where it’s at.

2. Design and Build Quality

While LG offered an exciting leather option for the G4, our review unit came with the alternative plastic back option, making our decision based on that. Even with a plastic build, the G4 still looks and feels like a high-quality device. The back of the phone is mildly curved and features a light diamond pattern that provides a pleasant texture. The rear button setup is as welcome as ever, with your pointer finger naturally resting on it.

Though plastic doesn’t exude quality like leather or metal, the LG G4 manages to rock the look well. Reflective plastic accents pick up light and add an interesting look, without coming across as cheap. The dark steely gray keeps the phone from looking comical, and gives off a vibe that lets people know that the phone is built for performance.

In terms of durability, the G4 doesn’t stand out. It’s not designed to be waterproof or contain any added durability features. It feels solid enough to survive a tumble or two, but don’t expect it to be a phone that’s designed to be tossed around.

LG G4 design and hardware: simple elegance

3. Display

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LG has done it again with the G4′s display, somehow managing to vastly improve over last year’s already spectacular G3 display. The 5.5-inch Quantum Display is bright, colorful and razor sharp. We were most taken aback by the color reproduction of the display, which is shockingly accurate and makes other contenders pale in comparison. Whites are white and blacks are black, leading to an all around gorgeous viewing experience, with enough brightness to work well in any situation.

Two thumbs up to LG for the display.

4. Software

LG’s software has progressed a lot over the past year or so. With the G3, LG entirely revamped its custom UI, turning it into something that was far more functional, fast and attractive than previous iterations. With the G4, LG kept the software largely the same, which led to us being rather unimpressed with it. The software wasn’t perfect when it launched with the G3, and a year later, those imperfections haven’t been sorted out.

While it’s still not the most attractive or cohesive UI, the software on the LG G4 is fully functional, even if it does feature a few too many animations. Next year, we hope that LG takes it upon itself to improve the software and make the G4 a bit more exciting and pleasurable to use.

LG G4 software experience: surprisingly average

5. Performance

The performance of the LG G4 is curious. It can fly through certain tasks and while it never really prevents you from doing anything, the phone will randomly stutter over animations. It does it a little too much for comfort, which makes us wary of how it will age. That being said, LG can likely iron out the performance in an update, which should eliminate the little bugs and stutters.

Don’t worry about the performance impacting the functionality of the phone. The stutters seem to be software-related, occurring with animations and the like, rather than with actual intensive tasks.

Check out the benchmarks below for some standards of performance.

Benchmarks

Benchmark Test Score
AnTuTu 48778
Quadrant 23860
Geekbench 3 1118 (single-thread) 3515 (multi-thread)
AndEBench Pro 8915
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 18520
SunSpider 1.0.2 756.6ms

LG G4 performance: benchmarks vs reality

6. Camera

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With the camera on the G4, LG has created a masterpiece. The G4′s camera is the best smartphone camera on the market, even beating out the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6. The speed at which it operates is incredible, blazing through any task. Colors are accurate and the camera handles demanding lighting situations with ease. Low light performance is great, with the G4 capturing enormous amounts of light without introducing excessive amounts of noise.

The front-facing camera is also great, with excellent performance in both bright light and low light. All in all, LG has earned itself a gold medal for the camera on the G4.

Follow the link below to find camera samples.

LG G4 camera: for pros and novices alike

7. Battery

The LG G3 had great battery life, and the G4 got even better. It can last for hours upon hours of different tasks, ranging from taking pictures to streaming video to browsing the web. You can likely get through a full day with the G4, and maybe even a second day if you play it right, because the battery life is that good. The real stunner is the battery usage in standby, when it seems like the G4 doesn’t even use battery. You can leave it sitting for several hours, connected to LTE, and come back to find that it’s only used 2 percent of its battery. It’s truly remarkable.

LG G49 / 10

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LG has once again hit it out the park with its flagship. The G4 is quite possibly the best flagship of 2015, with incredible hardware, a mind-blowing camera and battery life that makes you giddy just thinking about it. The only things keeping it from a perfect 10 are the unchanged software, which could stand to be improved on, and the small performance issues that come along with animations and other small software tasks.

If you’re searching for a flagship, take a long, hard look at the LG G4. Try one out if you can. You’ll fall in love with the LG G4 and the incredible experience it provides.

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A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @Zricon15.

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