14 Jul LG G4 – the Phone of the Year or Just Another Smartphone
In November 2013 LG released the Nexus 5 and the LG G2 a few months before and suddenly the obscure LED TV manufacturer became the household name for great smartphones. Granted, LG phones were never the absolute best, even in 2013 they lost to HTC, because that year HTC One M7 came out and took all accolades available. Yet LG continued to manufacture awesome phones, very often for a surprisingly affordable price – just check out the LG Optimus G E975, or LG Optimus G Pro E980 and their prices – staggeringly good smartphones for prices way below comparable competition. This year the buzz is clearly about the LG G4, whereby the specs are not that stellar, but somehow the phone seems to have more than at first glance noticeable.
What is inside
The specifications are unconventional, to say the least. There is a hexa-core processor by Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 808 chipset with the Adreno 418 GPU, featuring 32 GB of storage and 3 GB of RAM, with storage expansion facilitated by the microSD card slot. The camera is a 16 MP lens with laser autofocus, LED flash, a 1/2.6” sensor size and all the expected bells and whistles such as HDR, 2k video, optical stabilisation and stereo sound. The secondary camera still manages a whopping 8 MP, with video shooting capability of 1080p @ 30 fps. The IPS LCD screen is 5.5 inches with a 72.5% screen to body ratio, it has a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, which translates to approximately 538 ppi pixel density. It comes with the latest Android OS v5.1 Lollipop pre-installed. The Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery seems to be replaceable with a little effort.
Good vs. Bad
Well, the hexa-core does spend less energy, the battery is 3000 mAh and despite the big screen, the LG G4 can work for a long while. The camera is truly great, but a flagship phone nowadays truly has to have a top of the line camera. It is great to be able to replace the battery, also the choice of changing the back cover is a very nice feature. There is wireless charging, but no Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, or at least not this test model. The display is very high quality, brilliant as the advertising says, but when compared to the AMOLED screen of, say Samsung Galaxy 6, there is a noticeable difference in contrast, which to some extent can be fixed, but not entirely. The colours are natural, very accurate and warm. The LG Optimus UX 4.0 user interface is a bit sluggish, there is a lot that can be done there, let us hope one of the forthcoming updates will improve on that.
With 5.5 inches the display is a bit large, but right now large seems to be the ticket. There are some Note-like gimmicks integrated into the UI, which is really awesome. It is also great that the microSD slot can facilitate the new 2TB microSD cards.
The new LG G4 is by no means the smartphone of the year, this accolade is still arguably split between the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9, which may change with the Sony Xperia Z4 release, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is the best phone right now, only it was released back in 2014. Having said that, the LG G4 is a stunning smartphone, very much one of the best out there and the list is narrow. LG G4 can be found at slightly over 400 quid, even less if you look for it, without contract.