Thursday , August 17 2017

Meet the G4 – LG’s next flagship launches with a killer camera and a “human-centric” user experience

LG G4

We’re in Singapore today for the launch of LG’s 2015 flagship phone, the LG G4!

LG says that the G4 is their most ambitious smartphone yet – a lofty goal considering their previous smartphones have been quite highly regarded. As with previous models in the LG G series, the LG G4 has a focus on style, their new UX, and their camera experience.

LG’s putting a big focus on the leather covering on the rear of the G4, offering handcrafted genuine full-grain leather in 6 colours along with more traditional white, grey and gold variants.

Stunning Display

The G4 features a number of innovations including the newly launched IPS Quad HD resolution “Quantum Display” – 25% brighter, with a 20% wider colour range than the G3. It also incorporates LG’s Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) technology, which combines the LCD and touch sensor into a single layer, allowing for greater touch sensitivity.

LG has also had the display calibrated for Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) standards for colour expression. In the past, we’ve seen excellent colour calibration on LG’s flagship phones and we’re expecting no less of the G4.

LG G4 Leather w Camera

Out-of-this-world Camera experience

The rear camera module on the G4 features a 16MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture lens and “OIS 2.0”. LG’s taken Optical Image Stabilisation to the next level, expanding the range of stabilisation to 2 degrees on the X- and Y-axes. This should help users eliminate more camera shake, and afford the ability to take excellent low-light photos.

The camera sensor has been paired with a new Colour Spectrum Sensor which will increase colour accuracy based on ambient light when the photo is taken, automatically adjusting white balance to more naturally match what you see with the naked eye. It’s also said to be able to modify the colour of the flash to better capture the natural look of a scene.

The camera hardware is bolstered by an improved camera software experience, which includes full manual controls including direct access to focus, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation and white balance for every shot. The LG camera software will also allow advanced users to shoot RAW for a more comprehensive photo experience.

There’s also a new Quick Shot mode that allows you to take pictures without even opening the camera app, triggered by a double-tap on the Rear Key. This will take a photo, even while the display is off. LG says that the G4 camera startup time is just 0.6 second.

Also updated is the front-facing camera, which has been increased to an 8MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. The front-facing camera uses a new Gesture Interval Shot experience which waits for a gesture (opening and closing your hand) and takes a series of 4 shots for that photo-booth experience.

Stylish covers and design

LG has built themselves a distinctive design language for the G4, introducing a slight curve that runs along the entire body of the phone.

The improved design is also highlighted by a stylish rear, with LG offering a new tactile option for the G4. LG has introduced a range of six full-grain leather colour options (Black, Brown, Red, Sky Blue, Beige and Yellow), and says they’re produced using an environmentally-friendly vegetable tanning process. The leather rears take up to 12 weeks to produce, with the leather selected for the covers having pores only 0.001 micrometer in size.

If leather isn’t for you, a more traditional rear will be on offer, with a 3D pattern ingrained into the material, which will be offered in Ceramic White, Metallic Gray and Shiny Gold.

LG G4 Leather

Full flagship hardware

While the updated screen and the killer camera are a big focus, there’s more powerful internals lurking inside the G4.

The most interesting point to note is the decision to use a Hex-core Snapdragon 808 processor. It’s a 64-bit processor utilising two ARM Cortex A57 cores paired with four A53 with an Adreno 418 GPU to support the QuadHD resolution display. It’s an interesting choice in the face of criticism faced by the Snapdragon 810 processor that many had assumed would find a home in the G4.

The Snapdragon 808 also allows the G4 to support for Cat 9 LTE, with Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. It’s also paired up with 3GB of RAM, fast becoming the standard for phones sporting Quad HD displays.

With Qualcomm hardware under the hood, the G4 supports Quick Charge 2.0, which should charge the 3,000mAh battery in short order. In another welcome addition, LG has also included support for wireless charging on the G4. (Update – We’ve clarified with LG, that Wireless charging is supported but only with a compatible flip cover.)

In contrast to the direction Samsung’s taken its 2015 flagship, the G4 continues to feature a Micro SD slot and a removable battery.

Human Centric Interface

The G4 runs the latest version of Android Lollipop – Android 5.1 – out of the box, making it the first phone to launch with it.

LG’s “UX 4.0”, its latest software layer, launches with the G4. They say it eliminates unnecessary steps while providing more configuration options for advanced users. There’s a number of new features that are aimed at integrating the phone seamlessly into your life:

  • The new Gallery makes it extremely fast to scroll through thousands of pictures and view them on a timeline. The Memories feature automatically organises photos and videos into event albums based on the time and place they were taken, without having to upload to the cloud.
  • Event Pocket allows users to create one, unified calendar by dragging and dropping appointments and activities from multiple calendars and social media sites. After the initial setup, there’s no need to log into multiple calendars.
  • The improved Smart Notice widget provides more personalised notifications for weather, travel and more by analysing habits, such as how a user commutes to work. This allows Smart Notice to issue personalised messages such as, “Make sure to take an umbrella on your way to the subway”.
  • Quick Help allows users to search for instant answers to any questions about operating the LG G4, right in the Smart Notice widget.

As well as these new and updated features, there are some bonuses like an additional 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years with the G4.

LG has also worked with Volkswagen to offer owners of certain models a ‘car-friendly’ version of the G4 UX on the in-dash display that will show contacts, navigation and music from the G4.

Full Specifications

  • 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440, 538ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 808 Processor with X10 LTE
  • 3GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 32GB eMMC ROM with microSD slot
  • 16MP rear camera with F1.8 Aperture + OIS 2.0 and 8MP Front-facing camera with F2.0 Aperture
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1LE, NFC and USB 2.0
  • 4G/LTE, HSPA+ 21 Mbps (3G)
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop with LG UX 4.0
  • 3,000mAh (removable) Battery
  • Ceramic: 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 – 9.8 mm @ 155grams
  • Leather: 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 – 10.1mm @ 157grams
  • Ceramic Colours: Metallic Gray, Ceramic White and Shiny Gold
  • Genuine Leather Colours: Black, Brown, Red, Sky Blue, Beige and Yellow

G4 Profile Leather

Availability and Pricing

LG hasn’t provided launch details for Australia at this stage, advising that they will offer more details once confirmed.

While the New York launch of the G4 is currently underway, Chris is on the ground in Singapore for the local launch event later in the day – we’ll have a full hands-on report on the LG G4 for you soon!

Will you be making the LG G4 your next phone? Tell us what you think in the comments!

 

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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19 Comments on "Meet the G4 – LG’s next flagship launches with a killer camera and a “human-centric” user experience"

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ohdenny
Valued Guest

Oh man, I bought my G3 in August.

Alan Kerlin
Valued Guest

Looks like the new gold standard for Ingress players. Just don’t tell those horrible smurfs about it.

Lucas Buchanan
Valued Guest
Lucas Buchanan

I’m sold

Stephen Crisafulli
Valued Guest
Stephen Crisafulli

Now the 3 month wait for Local availability 🙁 let hope it keeps last years price $800 and not a cent more.

Alex
Valued Guest

Currently using the G3 and it’s a great phone, still uses a customised version of Android but it’s updated pretty regularly. It’s also a few hundred cheaper than Samsung/Apple flagships but with better specs.

Not a fan of the leather back but the camera upgrade looks great.

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

The camera hardware and software upgrade on the G4 makes me annoyed that I bought my G3 last month.

vijay alapati
Valued Guest
vijay alapati

red leather back looks sexy, wish S6 edge had this instead of glass 🙁

Member

I kinda want. Leather and all.

Duncan_J
Valued Guest
Duncan_J

Have I mentioned how disappointed I am with no Qi in the leather back options?

Level380
Valued Guest
Level380

not fussed, not keen on the leather myself!

Duncan_J
Valued Guest
Duncan_J

there’s no non flip style QI backs in fact

Level380
Valued Guest
Level380

Let’s hope the battery life is great on this beast, cause I’m in if it is!!!

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

If LG have improved on the power management from the G3, then the battery life on the G4 will be great.

Level380
Valued Guest
Level380

Yeah g2 was great, the g3 not so great, so let’s hope the g4 is great again. But that qhd screen is a power pig

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk

Yeah.
The QHD screen on the G3 does not sip power, it gulps it down.

JeniSkunk
Valued Guest
JeniSkunk
Is the wireless charging on the G4 Qi charging, or LG’s own proprietary wireless charging system like the G3? I’m not impressed by the limited colour range of the ceramic backs. There should have been G4 ceramic back versions of the G3 Burgundy Red, and Moon Violet colours. As well, the G4 looks less appealing with it’s black only bottom front bezel and earpiece speaker bar, in comparison to the rear colour matched bottom front bezel and earpiece speaker bar on the G3. With the G4 now having a DCI calibrated screen, I hope LG next turns its attention to… Read more »
Tom V
Valued Guest
Tom V

Are you sure about the wireless charging? I read, it’s available only with a certain case.

Member

Well, well, well, I was thinking of getting the next Sony phone but the G4 has just blast to the forefront of contention with those pretty awesome specs, especially with the camera.

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