LG is riding a high tide this year unlike any of its times, as the LG G4 has taken the tech community by storm. It has been the talk of the town for a couple of days now, as the device is getting official pricing and is set for launch in some countries. Company has announced the Indian pricing to be at INR 51K, which is very high even for such powerful specs, as the competition is priced around 40K. We have been using the device for the past month, let’s take a more detailed look at the LG G4.
Design & Display
The first thing that is noticeable about the G4 is its screen curves, even though, they are not crescent-shaped such as the LG G Flex 2 but are rather subtly designed. The design makes it for a perfect protection of the display when the device is faced down, meaning it would not be scratch prone. The company also claims that the new design makes its screen more shatter proof in case of drops than G3.
The super-slim bezels of the curved display make it more compelling and compact than most of the 5.5-inch size devices. Our review unit has a leather finish in brown while the plastic craft would be available. Though, it is for a fact that even genuine leather would degrade after the usage of months. So, it is up to the user, whether they want plastic back or would still go for the leather variant or not. We haven’t tested the plastic variant, so, cannot comment whether it would be smudgy or not. Whereas leather back feels pretty comfortable to hold and, of course, won’t take any fingerprints marks.
The company has tried to retain conveniently accessible volume rocker and power button in the rear of the device. The position is still ideal, as fingers naturally wrap around the back of your device, leaving your thumb to carry out the on-screen work. The best part about the design is that the company didn’t leave the microSD and removable battery out of the option, as most of the flagship models this year has. It means there are only two slots; USB port and audio jack that is present on the edges of the device. There is a virtually invisible IR blaster at the top of the phone that can be used as the remote controller. The lack of buttons makes its design very clean and overall an eye charming.
Now talking about the display, the G4 packs an upgraded QHD panel. Rather than sticking to the same technology, LG has thought about how to offer a better display efficiently. The screen resolution is same at 2560 x 1440, but it still impresses a lot. As the color quality, sunlight visibility, and various other factors have been tightened up by the company. This can be called as the second generation QHD panel, as it reflects quite the improvements. The viewing angles on the G4 are perfect, no matter where you turn the device, as it has a good amount of brightness levels. And with a 98% DCI color reproduction, you get an eye-soaring saturation at subtle colors. Overall, it’s a good improvement from the display on G3.
Hardware & Performance
It can be easily assumed that LG G4 specs would ensure that it runs smoothly even if it has to go through a fair amount of strain. Though, the Hexacore Snapdragon 808 chipset on G4, didn’t show any lag in performance, as its two Cortex A57 cores can clock speeds up to 2.5 GHz. The decision of not using Snapdragon 810 might have been a wise one, as company’s G Flex 2 powered by same chipset have received criticism over excessive heating and the battery drainage of the device. LG has remained quiet about the reason for not using the 810 on G4, but it looks like that is out of the question now.
Talking about the Gaming part, the device has performed a pretty smooth, although, we did experience the few lags in some games like Asphalt and Modern Combat 5, but only when the device was running multiple games and played at high-end quality. Or it may be the effect of QHD display, as most of the games are not compatible with 1440p resolutions. So, it’s unfair to judge the Adreno 418 GPU while it is possibly the issue of games not supporting the QHD display.
In our Antutu benchmarks tests, the 808 SoC scored around 45000, which is on par with most of the flagship devices while it lacks behind the Samsung Galaxy S6‘s performance stats. With a Hexacore processor coupled with 3GB RAM, the device is still a beast.
We did a comprehensive browsing test on the G4 and came up with pretty interesting facts. The response was quick while Zoom-in & zoom-out operations were quite easy. The Hexa-core chipset gives a delightful experience, and we hardly saw any lag even when opening more than ten tabs. So, you can browse the web without worrying about the responsiveness.
The new UX on the G4 is somewhat similar to the G3’s version, though; it comes with the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop which is not yet rolled out to flagship devices from their brands. Sporting similar feels, but with improved animations of Material Design language, the UX 4.0 feels fresh yet familiar. The features like Smart Bulletin and Smart Notice are integrated in this version too, just like the UX 3.0 on the G3.
The Smart Bulletin dedicates an entire home screen page for displaying the widgets like music player, your calendar, LG Health fitness tracker, QRemote are some of the feature found in that Bulletin. While the Smart Notice a digital assistant, which would show the notification cards for upcoming events and weather info, and will also address any missed notifications and long-unused apps.
With a large display, the company was bound to provide a Dual Window feature on it, which can be accessed through Overview hotkey. This feature would allow your screen to be used by two apps at a time, meaning you can multitask on two apps simultaneously. Moreover, the Knock Code on LG is perfect security hiding in the plain sight. If you’re not familiar with KnockOn, let us remind you that this feature enables your device to wake up or unlock once you tap on the screen with certain gestures while the display is turned off.
Talking about more software features, the GlanceView would allow you to check time, date, and any missed notifications on the sleeping screen. All you have to do is swipe your finger downward from the top edge. Even though, it is a too much animations; it gives a refreshing look to the interface. Overall, the clean look and easy to understand the function of the Android skin are its USP.
The most talked about feature of LG’s new flagship is the 16 MP rear camera, which boasts an aperture of f/1.8, closely beating the f/1.9 aperture of Galaxy S6’s rear camera. A good jump from the 13 MP on G3 to the 16MP on G4, the new camera module captures some of the most stable shots we have seen on a smartphone camera. It is also thanks to the improved Optical Image Stabilization.
This is the biggest upgrade that the company has done on its flagship this year. Not that the camera on G3 was bad, but the new module is pretty much capable to take detailed shots in any situations, may it be natural light or in low light. In our opinion, the low light capturing capabilities of the G4 is even better than the S6’s rear camera. And with the addition of manual mode, controlling the settings yourself is amazing, you get to tweak the shutter speed, ISO, exposure, white balance, and manual focus. Moreover, LG camera app now allows you to shoot RAW images too.
The selfie lovers can also rejoice, as LG has included a massive 8MP camera module on the front of the device. It has an aperture of f/2.0, which is quite high for a selfie camera. Taking photos is difficult with the rear key as a shutter button, but you can rather go for a gesture interval shot that will take four selfies in a series. Select the best one and socialize.
Just like last year’s G3, the new upgrade of the LG has a removable battery, and some users might love it that company has stick to doing that. The 3000mAh battery is also the same that was present on the predecessor. With an enough juice to last for a day on a normal usage, you can get around 3 hours of screen on time, though, on our heavy usage we only got it 2 hours, which is quite less than one would expect. And with no quick charging feature present, we had to put it on charging for around 1 hour 30 minutes to get the full charge.
If you like to spend quite a time on your device watching videos, surfing the web, and making calls, by the late afternoon the battery would come down to 15%. Though, it would not beat the score of Galaxy S6 in the talk time, but it is still an upgrade from what G3 was able to offer.
LG G4 is a good upgrade from its predecessor, as it improves upon various aspects, like the design, display, performance and an impressive camera. If your question is whether or not to upgrade from the G3, then, the answer is you should upgrade, as it offers more polished features. But if you’re actively looking for models from other big brands and are inclined towards better battery efficiency, then Samsung Galaxy S6 should be your choice.
The USP of the LG G4 is its camera offering, particularly the night-time slow shutter captures and the raw file option with one of the best QHD display. The choice is yours, get the device, according to your needs.