Here's the scary wear and tear on a leather LG G4 after 2 months of use


For a smartphone to be regarded as well designed, it must excel in three key categories. Firstly, it must look good – it must please the user's eye and must stand out visually in a crowded phone market. Secondly, it must feel comfortable in the hand – it must not be slippery or awkward to hold. And thirdly, it must be durable – it must prove itself as an investment that can withstand the tests of time. The LG G4 meets the first two criteria, that we can confirm. But how does it and its leather back fare in terms of durability?

That's not the kind of question we can answer as soon as a phone – any phone – lands in our hands for review. After all, a handset's resilience should be evaluated after the phone in question has been in regular use for some time. But we're pretty sure we have that requirement covered already. Our LG G4 has been serving as a daily driver for about 2 months now, and the signs of wear and tear on its leather back have grown quite obvious.

For the record, our observations are based on our experience with a brown genuine leather back for the LG G4. This particular cover has a rather smooth surface treated to a very subtle texture, unlike other color variants, which have a more pronounced texture (see the official LG G4 images here). The durability of the latter cover variants might differ, as we're about to see in a bit. With this out of the way, here's what our LG G4's back looks like today, after 2 months of every-day use. 


One important fact we must highlight is that our LG G4 has been treated with great care. It has never been dropped, and you'd usually find it resting on a soft piece of cloth on a desk at the office. Yet the four corners of the leather back are clearly worn out, most likely due to the phone rubbing against the inside of pockets it has been in. Another sign of wear is the change in color of the stitching running down the cover's middle. The thread is now darker, having gotten dirty over time. Also, stains of unclear origin can be seen here and there, most noticeably around the speaker.

Still, it turns out that our LG G4's leather back is holding up pretty well compared to others' – a quick search on the web returns photos of much more worn out leather covers. The first four images below, courtesy of Android Central, show two LG G4 backs that are definitely in worse shape. (Guess which one of the two landed from shoulder height on a brick patio.) And it isn't like they've been in use longer than ours. Yet the signs of wear are clear to see, especially near the edges and corners of the cover.

Interestingly, both these LG G4s come paired with a brown leather back, as is the case with our unit. Other LG G4 back covers, however, might be less susceptible to damage. Several members of the Android Central forums have shared their black G4 backs (photos 5 to 8 below) looking as new after 3 to 4 weeks of use. Besides the color, the difference between the brown and black covers is the texture – the former has a smoother finish, while the latter has a more pronounced, and seemingly more rugged, texture.

How is your LG G4 holding up? If you'd like to share photos, feel free to do so via our Tip Us form.


Related phones

G4
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18.5h talk time)

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51 Comments

1. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Honestly, I don't think leather would be as durable as plastic or metal. The leather back does look really good. However, with 1 or 2 year of use, you might go through one or two of them if you don't use a case.

14. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

Oh! what a scary thing. It's just leather. At least it doesn't shutter with the first drop like gass. There are also plastic backs that will come in lower price and printed on ebay that will come with the theme you like.

15. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

I'm so scared right now

25. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

never said it's a scary thing. It's just look better after you own a phone for a long period of time. It doesn't look aged. My Z2 has no mark on it anywhere and I have it for 1 and a half year now. Before that, my Nexus 4 and HTC One X have no mark as well. With leather back, I would likely not put case on it, but it will def get stain and mark on it even I baby that phone.

33. epdm2be

Posts: 827; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

You Z2 doesn't use something so fragile as LG's waferthing painted leather. High quality leather used in e.g. car-seats is less prone to wear and tear than these cheap crappy leather covers. In fact it is OBVIOUS that this kind of back would suffer much more from wear and tear than polycarbonate-plastic, glass or metal. "Our LG G4 has been serving as a daily driver for about 2 months now" 2 months that's NOTHING. Show us the pictures after 6 months, a year and especially after 2 years! Normal people don't dismiss such an expensive phone after a few months. Unless you're ridiculously rich with way too much time on your hand and the attention span of a goldfish.

36. Plutonium239

Posts: 1239; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Car seats are specially treated to hold up better. I wonder if the armorall leather wipes I got for my car's seats would work well on the g4. Anyone with stains on their G4 should give it a try. It did a wonderful job removing stains and dirt on my car's leather seats(I have a 2004 Cadillac Deville).

44. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Yeah my point was the leather back was a bad idea from the beginning. They look nice until some time has gone past.

55. Chidoro44

Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Unless it's from Motorola, where the high quality leather wears nicely over time even looking better than out of the box if you prefer a weathered (but not worn out) look.

49. cheetah2k

Posts: 2294; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Looks like my new leather wallet after 2 months of use. Its meant to "age" and wear.. I like it :)

53. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

Try Coach wallet sometime. I bought mine for $120 but 2 years later, still look like new. I sit on it all the time lol

2. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

That's why i'd prefer Samsung faux leather over real leather it's something expected afterbfew month usage.

10. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1177; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Exactly! Almost a year with my note 4, and the faux leather looks as good as it did new.

3. Zomer

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2013

It also looks like crap, I don't see anyone making a car with a leather hood.

4. Nick_T

Posts: 186; Member since: May 27, 2011

7. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Moto does it and it works better than LG it seems.

13. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

No it doesn't. Same result as the LG back leather. Check XDA. Even Michael Fisher had a video about his Moto X and how the leather back didn't age well. It has been proven, real leather ain't a good match for smartphones.

34. epdm2be

Posts: 827; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

No, not for hoods but car makers use leather for seats. They take much more abuse when you slide on them with a variety of pants, coats, belts, skirts, dresses etc... I've seen a lot of cars with damaged leather seats (especially the driver seat), just as I have seen old cars with great looking leather seats. It all depends on how you care for your car. I've got leather seats myself in my 2007 car and they look almost like new (even after 8 years). Unlike this phone after 2 months. People should take more care for their devices instead of abusing them.

5. gendo

Posts: 55; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

I've had the G4 since mid May. The edges are more worn out on my brown leather, but the edges are still leather. Wear and tear was expected. It's leather, it ages. I've got the black leather as backup.

27. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

wasn't that always the point of leather? like leather wallets people get expecting them to wear and form to their bodies? why is it that when it comes to phones people reverse all their other opinions?

6. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

This is just normal although it looks kinda ugly to hold now with that condition. meanwhile my gold on silver m9 had it worse. The gold paint job on the side are showing black dots, obvious sign the paint wasn't done probably

8. Switch00

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Maybe it's the cheapest leather available or not processed as it should... May be from frog's skin.

9. jessyi

Posts: 327; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Atleast you can change the leather back easily..it removable..unlike unibody phones of metal or glass.

23. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

The biggest problem I see is it is an insulating material. They make coats out of leather. I have no idea why someone would think it was a good material for a smartphone.

11. phljcnth

Posts: 559; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I remember being accused of bantering when I said G4's leather back is impractical, and that it will scratch and stain easily. Oh well. (- -,)

12. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1844; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

As always Black don't crack!!

16. stijnvbrummelen

Posts: 41; Member since: Dec 20, 2013

That is leather. It ages. But I like that. I think the phone gets more personal by that. I have the same black edges on leather G4.

18. slannmage

Posts: 289; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

It's very thin, it is just a thin layer on plastic... Any ways, it is removable so buy another one.

19. 99nights

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 10, 2015

Wow that was pretty fast to get wear and tear.

20. defcon888

Posts: 39; Member since: Nov 03, 2014

I have had mine from day 1 and mine looks like the first set of pictures...mainly corners are worn. I doesn't live in a case until I am running or working out....other than that....pocket or I just carry it. I think the more worn it looks the better....people pay big bucks for the worn look (i.e. Fender guitars make some called "Relics" which ar factory worn on purpose). So, only with time it will look better.

21. Sondae

Posts: 291; Member since: Jan 02, 2013

Well its common for leather but you can probably buy a new back case for your g4 on ebay. Its much cheaper than replacing it with glass.

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