LG's flagship is finally here
Already launched in Korea, LG's newest marquee handset, the G4, will roll out globally in late May and early June. All four major US carriers will carry the device as well as US Cellular, and it'll be available in the UK and Australia too.
New leather-stiched options
One of the standout features of the G4 is the real stitched leather back cover, which looks and feels considerably more premium than the plastic options.
In the UK, this tan leather colour is exclusive to the O2 network, but will be available globally.
Just a trick of the light
The other back plates have either a ceramic paint or metallic elements. It feels similar to the G3's faux-metal backing. We also liked the subtle "dented" diamond pattern on the back that catches light in an interesting manner.
The G4 and its G3 predecessor
Like the LG G3, the G4 (left) sports a 5.5-inch LCD display. The quad-HD touchscreen is razor-sharp, with graphics, images, text and movies appearing incredibly crisp. It has a 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution, which works out to 534 pixels per inch.
Big and sharp display
LG claims that the device's screen, an IPS Quantum Display that it says is the first of its kind anywhere, is 25 percent brighter (500 nits) and has a 20 percent wider color range than its previous QHD screens on mobile devices. Contrast has improved by 50 percent over its last iteration too, up to 1,500:1.
LG says the leather used is a by-product of the beef industry so no extra cows have been killed on its behalf.
A barely there curve
Similar to the LG G Flex 2, the G4's display is curved. However, the former is arched about four times steeper, and the curve on the latter is barely noticeable to the eye. In fact, you can only really see it if you place the phone face down on a flat surface.
Hefty but comfy in the hand
Though the phone feels rather heavy, it's nice to hold in the hand and up to the face while on a call, due to the round back that curves from left to right, which contours to your palm.
The UI gets a facelift
The device runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. Overlaid on top is LG's latest UI, UX 4.0. Bright, colorful and more in tune with Android's Material Design flat aesthetic, UX 4.0 is LG's most refreshing UI yet. It's easy to navigate and understand, and we especially liked the charming app icons.
The handset is equipped with Qualcomm's 64-bit, hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor that has a clock speed of 1.8GHz. Inside is a 3,000mAh removable battery, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage and a microSD card slot that can hold up to 2TB.
Upgraded camera specs
On the back is a 16-megapixel camera -- a jump from the previous 13-megapixel effort. New camera tools include three different types of shooting modes: Standard, Auto and Manual, which gives you the most control over your photos.
Includes more gesture shots
For your selfie and video-chatting needs, the phone's front-facing camera has been bumped up from 2.1 to 8 megapixels.
Removable battery inside
The G4's 3,000mAh battery is removable, which can be useful to power hogs who may need to switch batteries in the middle of the day. During our battery drain test for continuous video playback, it lasted over 10 hours.
Samsung looms over all
Compared to other Android rivals, however, the handset didn't edge out the competition. For instance, the Galaxy S6 (right) scored consistently higher than the G4 on every benchmark test.
In the big scheme of things
Those who already have a G3, however, should feel happy to keep their handset since the G4 isn't a significant upgrade. Indeed, it fails to expand or elevate LG's G brand to a higher level of innovation, and it feels more like a premium phone from the company rather than a flagship.