Mobiles & Tablets

LG G4: Leather-backed with a perfect lens

R Dinakaran | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 17, 2015

LG G4 mobile

LG G4 mobile

LG G4 mobile

LG G4 mobile

The LG G4, with its premium leather back cover and standout camera, is all set to join the game

At a time when smaller handset makers like Xiaomi and computer maker Asus are hogging the limelight in the mobile phone arena with their competitively priced phones, the old guard such as Samsung and LG keep coming up with their new flagships that are priced higher.

The latest flagship from the LG stable - G4, is a high-end device, and looks very much like one, right from the premium-looking leather rear panel and the gorgeous screen.

Form factor

The G4 has a 5.5 inch display which makes it a phablet, when many other phone brands say 5 inch is the ‘sweet spot’. But, a lot of thought has gone into the design, with the curved leather back giving a good grip and making the comparatively large device easy to hold and use, but there is nothing unique about its form and the design resembles the OnePlus and some Nexus devices.

LG has decided not to go with a unibody design for the G4. And unlike other phones that don’t have it, but kind of mimic the unibody design, the leather back cover - in a different colour - in G4 emphasises the fact that it is not a unibody design.

There are no buttons anywhere around the device, as LG has gone with the G2 and G3's design with the power and volume rockers at the rear. In fact, the rear design is so similar to the G3 that the only differentiator is the leather cover.

The leather has one issue, it picks up sweat and dirt and the sheen wears off within a few weeks. The edges too have a worn-out look.

When LG brought in the concept of having the volume rockers and power buttons at the rear, it was thought of being too offbeat. Though there are a few who are not really comfortable with the position, it has gained overall acceptance.

The headphone jack and the microUSB ports are at the bottom. Above the buttons at the rear is the 16 MP camera flanked by the LED flash and the autofocus light. The speaker grill finds space at the bottom.

A single press of the power button wakes up the screen. Those who are not really comfortable with the power button at the rear can double tap to do the same. The double tap worked fine most of the time, but occasionally, we had to energetically tap a few more times to make it work. Similarly, swiping for accepting calls also did not work once in a while. We feel there could be some touchscreen issues with the device. We were not comfortable using KnockCode security as we were apprehensive of the knocks not working during emergencies.

Samsung always had an edge in the screen department, but this time, LG’s IPS Quantum DisplaySize 2560 x 1440 (538 ppi) proves a match. It is equal to Samsung’s Super AMOLEDs.

Performance and more

The overall performance of the phone was snappy, even with multiple apps running in the background. This could be because of the Snapdragon 808 processor and the 3 GB RAM.

The G4 comes pre-loaded with a bunch of LG apps. Yes, almost all phones except for the Nexus range and a few other phones do the same. But the difference here is the really good Smart Notice. Somewhat like Google Now cards, the Smart Notice notifications include weather and birthday notifications. Though it is great, it is not much for those who have been used to Google Now. You also have Google Now functionality with the G4 as it is an Android phone.

The 16 MP camera is one of the best that has been offered in a phone in recent times - even better than Samsung’s S6. The camera is one aspect where the G4 scores over other phones.

The camera was able to reproduce rich and realistic colours. It managed to capture great macro shots and also did a really good job with low light conditions . The best part of the camera is that double tapping the volume down key activates the camera, even when the phone is locked, and there is hardly any lag while taking pictures. In video mode, it is capable of recording even in 2160P mode.

The 3000 mAh battery, again, is one of the best, and we could get over a day’s juice from a single charge. But playing graphic intensive games and heavy use of the camera, especially while recording videos drained the battery a lot.

The phone comes with 32 GB internal storage and support for an external memory card up to 2 TB (yes you read it right). The removable battery and the huge storage makes the G4 really compelling for users who use the mobile as a desktop-replacement.

Love: Design, leather

back-cover, camera, screen

Hate: Touch-screen issues, headset jack at bottom

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Published on June 17, 2015
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