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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
- 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
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!