LG's next flagship smartphone has just been officially introduced, and it's a corker. The series of leaks were right on the money, with a brand new 5.5-inch Quad HD display surrounded by some beautifully designed materials and packing some serious camera power. Here's what you can expect from LG's new leather-clad superphone.
Campbell Simpson travelled to Singapore as a guest of LG.
I've only had a small amount of time hands-on with the G4, so here are my first impressions. We'll have a full hands-on of the new phone this afternoon, so stay tuned for more.
And, before you ask, no — LG isn't releasing any pricing details or giving a firm on-sale date for its Australian retailers and telco partners just yet. It'd be reasonable to expect it to launch in Australia in around three months or so, though.
A Slightly Curved, 5.5-Inch Quad HD Screen
The G4 has the same screen size as the G3 — a 5.5-inch LCD panel — but it's a huge improvement from an already good display. The G4's new Quantum IPS display is much, much brighter at its maximum luminance than the G3, for one. Its 2560x1440 pixel resolution and 538ppi pixel density is equal to the G3's, but with in-cell touch tech
What you won't see on the G4's spec sheet is the fact that it's (very slightly) curved. The centre of the LG G4's display is concave by a couple of millimetres at most, but it's a small design tweak that genuinely makes a visual difference. Interestingly, that black border around the G4's display is gone, and instead replaced with a carbon fibre-esque weave design to the screen's edge that covers the entire face and looks beautiful.
Competitive Specs, Android 5.1, Snapdragon 808
This will be the first smartphone released in Australia with the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system. The G4 will only be available as a 32GB variant with 3GB of RAM onboard, but you'll have a microSD card slot that'll let you add another 128GB if you're so inclined. A removable 3000mAh battery matches the G3 and is a welcome addition for frequent travellers or those that like having a spare handy.
The LG G4 will be the first phone out in Australia with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, a cut-down version of the Snapdragon 810 designed to eliminate any overheating and power issues that have plagued that particular chipset. It's a hexa-core rather than a quad- or octa-core CPU, and if you're counting clock cycles then Samsung's S6 and its octa-core Exynos will likely be faster and more efficient.
A Genuinely Amazing 16-Megapixel Smartphone Camera
The LG G4's camera is one of the best, if not the best, cameras you can get on a smartphone. It's a 16-megapixel sensor with a fixed f/1.8 lens, letting in 80 per cent more light shot-for-shot than the G3. It has LG's latest three-axis optical image stabilisation, twice as effective as the G3's; I've given it a test run and captured clean snaps down to 1/4-second shutter speeds.
The manual shooting mode within LG's bundled camera app, too, is amazing. It's surprisingly simple to use, but offers access to adjustable white balance, ISO, shutter speed and even stepped manual focus — all of which are controlled by touch-sensitive dials on the interface and which make the G4's camera incredibly versatile. It's honestly great. You also get an 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera, making for some pretty damn detailed selfies if you're so inclined.
Six Removable Leather Backs, Plus Plastic
Rather than opt for a glass back panel and the nonremovable battery and more difficult SD and SIM card access that goes with it, LG's G4 has a removable back — and it's wrapped in leather. Six leather options are available, with black, brown, red, blue, beige and yellow on offer. If you don't want that, choose from three honeycomb-textured plastic backs — grey, white, or gold. LG will also offer a Quick Circle flip case, which will be the only cover to support wireless charging; there's a new wireless charger on the way too for that.
I've seen and felt the tan and red leather options in person, and for my money they're some of the best coverings that I've ever seen on a smartphone. The covers have the slighest bulge on each edge, which helps you hold the G4 in one hand. The quality of the leather is a massive improvement from the Samsung Galaxy S5 and other faux-leather phones, too — it's super-fine and smooth and the centre stitching is a nice accent that your fingers will enjoy. At the moment, I like the tan option most.
Here Are The Nitty-Gritty Specs
LG G4 Specifications · Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 808 Processor with X10 LTE · Display: 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440, 538ppi) · Memory: 32GB eMMC ROM, 3GB LPDDR3 RAM / microSD slot · Camera: Rear 16MP with F1.8 Aperture / OIS 2.0 / Front 8MP with F2.0 Aperture · Battery: 3,000mAh (removable) · Operating System: Android 5.1 Lollipop · Size (ceramic): 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 - 9.8 mm · Size (leather): 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 – 10.1mm · Weight (ceramic): 155g · Weight (leather): 157g · Network: 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21 Mbps (3G) · Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.1LE / NFC / USB 2.0 · Ceramic Colours: Metallic Gray / Ceramic White / Shiny Gold / · Genuine Leather Colours: Black / Brown / Red / Sky Blue / Beige / Yellow · Other: Manual Mode / Gesture Interval Shot / Quick Shot