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LG G4 Review: An Impressive Phone with Great Camera, But Slightly Higher Price point
One of the most versatile smartphone makers - LG has been phenomenal with its newest device -- the G4. Not that it has brought something new this time around that will impress you to the bones but looking at the premium device you will, for sure, drool, provided you have the taste for Android platform.
The G4 is not a thoroughly new device in terms of design, as it borrows most of the accent from its predecessors - the G3 and even the G Flex. However, LG has managed to fine-tune the G4 in certain ways. To be specific, in the latest G4 you will find an augmentation in the design language, display and camera.
- Impressive camera
- Sharp and Accurate Display
- Good Balance of Specs
- UI and new apps
- Poor battery
- Plastic build
While its stay with GizBot, we found out several good and bad things about the device. Moreover, even leaving the specs out of the sight, the device has certain aspects that will win your attention while the other aspects might hurt you if you are over expecting from it. Anyway, let's dive in to the detailed review, spec by spec.
Design and Build quality
As said earlier, the device takes the design ques from ite predecessor but to talk about resemblance, you might possibly find it identical to the G Flex 2. Obviously, the curves of the G Flex 2 is much more than the G4's. Anyway, the new addition would be the removable leather encased backpanel, which is not one of my favorites but there is also a plastic option for the back. The leather is tanned with vegetable oils, which according to LG is environment friendly and you also get to choose the color of the leather.
The plastic covers come in Ceramic White, Metallic Gray and Gold. They have a subtle 3D diamond pattern and the White one is coated with ceramic paint.
The shape of the G4 is not breath-taking but when you notice the slight circular bend on the top and bottom side of the device, it does look quite interesting. The sides of the phone pretty much straight and devoid of any buttons. The top side hosts a microphone and an IR blaster, while the bottom side of the phone gives a space for headphone jack, micro-USB port and primary microphone.
On rotating the device, the back panel is something that makes the device a unique one. The leather panel has a stitch running vertically from the center. The innovative placement of the power button, volume rocker, camera, laser auto-focus and dual LED flash are all found here.
The loudspeaker is at the bottom left. Upon removing the back panel, you will see a removable, battery, microSIM card slot, and microSD card slots. The card slots are blocked by the battery.
As far as the dimension is concerned, the G4 measures 148.9×76.1×9.8-6.3 and it is a pretty light device (considering the size of the phone) at 155 grams.
The LG G4 sports a same 5.5-inch LCD display like its predecessor did. However, this one has a sharp quadHD panel which won't fail to impress you at all. Offering a resolution of 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution and 534 pixels per inch (ppi), you can call it the one of the best displays featuring smartphone. To put it in perspective, it can give complexion to Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9.
Also another addition to the display department is the IPS Quantum Display, which makes the device, according to LG, 25% brighter (500 nits) and has a 20% wider color range than its previous QHD screens on mobile devices. Therefore, you will surely find a huge difference if you take a regular QHD panel and this one and use them both under extreme sunlight condition. Perhaps, if your eyes are sharp enough, you will also notice a great bump on the contrast ratio of the display.
In terms of color reproduction, it's yet to make much progress. However, you will see a great improvement in the color accuracy of the display. The G4 offers a clear and sharp viewing experience and the touch response is pretty fast and smooth.
The brightness level is not the best but above average and offers a good readability in harsh light conditions.
LG G4 being the flagship device, is no less than any other Android monster available in the market. Powered by Qualcomm's 64-bit, hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor, which has a clock speed of 1.8GHz, it can do everything without even showing a slightest blip. It still has four Cortex-A53 cores in the LITTLE cluster. The other is in the GPU, the 808 has Adreno 418. Not just that but at the same time also the 3GB RAM successfully makes the device more admirable.
Most of you all might be disappointed with the fact that LG didn't use the Snapdragon 810 and instead took the stripped down version of the chipset in the G4. However, according to the company, 808 chip is actually more optimized for the G4, and works to boost the phone's camera, imaging and display performance. Unfortunately, we don't see how the mechanism works. Therefore, the only thing we can do is accept at this point of time.
While I expected some lags on the gaming front due to the GPU clock, but to my surprise, the G4 didn't hang or blip even after I opened quite a lot of apps and then played Asphalt 8. However, it did impress me in this area. At times when the device gets heated up, it tends to lag a bit, but that's ok unless it doesn't happen often.
While we tested the device using the AnTuTu benchmark tool, it managed to score 45187, which makes the device stand very close to Samsung's Galaxy Note 4.
The LG G4 comes loaded with all the goodness of the Android 5.1 Lollipop. Which means that you will get to see all those small time tricks of looking at the app page, notifications on the lock screen and Guest Mode.
What is pretty much a likable part in this department is the LG's native UI which is slapped over the Android. The UI compliments the OS very well and the result is an excellent UX. The UX 4.0. UI is pretty colorful and goes pretty well with the Android's Material Design.
One of the new software or the app that has been added to the phone is the LG Smart Bulletin, which is uses the entire home screen to display widgets of certain apps.
Other native features are Smart Notice, a digital assistant that shows notification cards, Dual Window, KnockOn, and more.
Camera aspect is basically what G4 is all about. The company has worked quite a lot to offer the best of the photo shooting experience to the users. You can probably say that the G4 has the most advanced camera currently. The Korean company has in fact upgraded the camera drastically.
Firstly, there is a larger 1/2.6" sensor with 16MP resolution. It's positioned behind a wider f/1.8 lens, which lets 80% more light in compared to the LG G3. The lens allows you to shoot like a DSLR. The larger lens offer the camera to recognize the gap between the subject and the background and blur the background.
The G4 is also been bestowed with the improved optical image stabilization, which now works on three axis (previously two). Than the most advanced technology where the company uses Laser to autofocus the subject, adds another layer of goodness in the camera department. One of the newest addition to the camera is the Color Spectrum Sensor, which detects ambient light for more accurate white balance. If you are worried about taking selfies, there is an 8MP front-facing camera as well, which gives you enough quality.
What is incredible about the device is also the right mix of the hardware and software. The camera UI is pretty simple and can be managed by anyone. There are basically three shooting modes - Simple, Basic and Manual, which are self-explanatory.
While you go manual, you can manually set the focus, shutter speed, exposure and ISO.
Some of the sample images that we clicked came out really interesting and clear. The color sharpness and the minute details in the images shot also appeared pretty amazing.
Speaking of videos, the LG G4, shoots video at 2160p resolution and 30fps. It has a 120fps slow-motion mode at 720p, but no 60fps mode, even at 1080p.
Connectivity and Storage
The LG G4 doesn't lose out in anyway in the connectivity segment. It offers the complete package that includes: 4G LTE for up to 300Mbps of download and up to 50Mbps of upload, 3G HSPA+ (42.2Mbps/5.76Mbps), Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1 with Low Energy mode and apt-X for better audio streaming.
It doesn't end here. The G4 further support NFC, ShareBeam, DLNA, Miracast (which can mirror your phone's screen) and microUSB 2.0 port. Not to forget the IR blaster works in team with the QRemote to give you best experience with operating the home appliances.
The LG G4 is bestowed with a 32GB of onboard storage. But you will be surprised to know that the handset supports a microSD card slot that can take up to 2TB of additional storage unit.
Battery has been something that hurt me the most in this phone. LG has been using the same battery pack since the time of the G2. The same 3,000 mAh capacity cell should have taken a leap this time around. Moreover, the increasing technology usage in the device, like the QHD display and larger processor, the company should have at least raised the battery capacity to 3,500 if not more.
As we used the device, with the continuous video playback, the G4 lasted 10 hours and 18 minutes, and the talk time that the phone will offer maximum is 16 hours and 34 mins. The problem with the phone is that even if you are not using the phone, it sucks in your battery despite the phone's capability of killing running background apps.
The G4 is a monster device with immense potential in the camera front. Although, the processor is a bit of an embarrassment but the Snapdragon 808 is not that bad either. There are several things besides the specs that make the device very admirable. The leather back-panel may not look premium at times but it does offer a very good grip to the hands and at the same time the device is quite handy despite the large 5.5-inch build.
It must be said that LG has in fact improved a lot in terms of adding new features to the phone. Perhaps, that design could have been much better as well. The display of the device is not perfect but very close to perfection.
Sadly, the most disappointing part of the device is the battery. It is not premium in terms of value. The Korean company should have spent more time in the battery aspect as well.
While the call quality was pretty good and even the internet experience was more than what other smartphones would have offered.
At the price of Rs. 51,000, the LG G4 can ace the premium smartphone market, owing to its great imaging capability, best display technology and design to some extent.