Living with the LG G4, part 1: Hey there, handsome!

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

This is a story of a tech writer and his new smartphone. The guy in question is me. The smartphone – an LG G4, which I've been test-driving for some time now. My mission – a task which I gladly accepted – is to review LG's flagship after the hype around it has started to settle. I must find out what it's like to live with an LG G4 as a daily driver – where it truly shines in and what areas its maker should have paid more attention to. Sounds like fun doesn't it? 

While I'm sure that reviewing the LG G4 in the long term will be a great experience, I'm afraid that I won't be able to provide you with solid conclusions overnight. That's just not how long-term reviews work. Instead, I'll first spend no less than a month in the company of the LG G4, after which I'll draw my final verdict. But I won't make you wait a month to hear from me, of course. Along the way, I'll be providing you with updates on my progress, based on all the positive and negative impressions I have logged in my notes. And today seems like a good day to do that. Allow me to kick things off by sharing a few thoughts on the G4's design. 

Hey there, handsome

The LG G4 unit I received was provided with two different back covers, one of which was the regular cover made of silvery plastic. While it looked nice, I chose the second option – a brown leather back cover with real stitching going straight down its middle. It is probably what most people would have done in my place as the genuine material looks a gazillion times fancier compared to the plastic cover. Besides, the leather chosen by LG has a very distinct feel when touched – a feel you simply can't get out of most other high-end phones. 

Mind you, I am by no means crazy about leather. What drew me towards that particular back cover was the unique look it had; it really helps the LG G4 stand out and make people's heads turn. Speaking of which, the handset's design was often noticed by people around me. At first, they wouldn't believe that the G4's back was made of genuine leather, but then I let them touch it. Oohs and aahs followed instantly. 

Now would be a good time to highlight some of the possible downsides of choosing leather over plastic for your LG G4. Firstly, it doesn't match well with the phone's glossy plastic frame, or at least I don't find the combination very attractive. I must also mention that the camera cutout on my cover leaves a noticeable gap around the camera module – not a biggie, but perfectionists will find it annoying. And most importantly, the leather in use isn't very durable, but more on that in a few paragraphs. 

Can you handle it?

I've never been a fan of huge smartphones. This is something I made pretty clear in my previous long-term review – the one where I spent over a month living with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. But Samsung's phablet changed that. Adapting to its size took me only several days, and the more I used it, the more convinced I grew as to what an asset having a big screen could be. 

As for the LG G4, it is one of the bigger flagship smartphones currently on the market, but I wouldn't call it too big. Basically, if you've ever used a phone with a screen of around 5 inches, I doubt that your hand and thumbs will have troubles adapting to the 5.5-inch display on the LG G4. Using it with a single hand isn't always easy, but that's a given with all phones of this caliber. And if it doesn't fit well in the pocket of your jeans, perhaps you should consider getting a few pairs with larger pockets. That's what I did. 

Another thing I got used to rather quickly were the buttons on the G4's back. They have been a trademark feature of LG's phones since the G2's introduction, and while I don't think they're improving my experience in any way, they're not really making the phone any more difficult to use. In fact, they're very easy to feel and make for an excellent snooze button. 

Is the LG G4 tough enough?

Genuine leather is well known for its durability and timeless look. It is often seen on luxury products, including handbags, shoes, wallets, even ultra-expensive designer phones. My leather-backed LG G4, however, is already showing signs of wear even though I've been taking good care of it. Most noticeable are the worn out corners of its leather back cover, as you can see in the photos below. Mind you, the phone has never been dropped and has been in use for only about a month. What might have caused these scuffs is the phone rubbing against the insides of my pocket, but that's just a guess. In any case, I don't want to imagine what this leather back cover would look like after, let's say, a year of use. 

Speaking of durability, the glossy plastic frame of the phone is also susceptible to nicks, but these don't bother me much. They're practically invisible unless you take a closer look. The display, protected by Gorilla Glass 3, is holding up really well. It is scratched here and there, but I find it practically impossible to notice any damage while the phone is in use. 

To be continued...

This concludes the first part of my long-term review of the LG G4. In the coming days, I'll be back with another update focusing on a different aspect of LG's flagship. And there's a lot more I want to share with you. The part I'm most excited about is the upcoming in-depth look at the LG G4's camera, but I'll also focus on areas like the overall software experience, the phone's multimedia capabilities, and the power of its hardware. Stay tuned for more!

Related phones

  • 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)



1. hafini_27

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Leather back is bound to be wear out. Looks and feel nice but not really durable.

7. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

leather back feels durable on Moto X 2014, I bought when pre order started and it still looks great. what helps Moto X 2014 leather is sides aluminium. my LG G4 hardly 3 weeks old and sides colors changing or saying feeling like peeling. I also agree leather don't match quiet well with overlook of phone. especially when you see from sides. I've just switched to plastic cover came with it and now this phone feels terrible in hands. I really enjoyed leather feel of G4.

2. yaniv00

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

In the "is the LG G4 tough enough" part, it's gorilla glass 3, not 4

3. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 147; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Got a 2 week old G4 that I'm using as a secondary device. This is my 2nd droid fone after trying out the Galaxy S3 for three months in 2012, I'm generally an iOS user and currently have the iPhone 6+ that is my daily driver. The G4 leather cover is already scuffed at the corners like this one but otherwise it still looks perfect. I find the UI is cluttered, compared to the iPhone, lot of settings are buried deep in the device compared to iOS. G4 is also a bit laggy at times and warms up wen used heavily. The qhd, screen is gr8 and I do notice the difference wen sitting side by side with the iPhone. Camera is also gr8 but has a bluish tint on white, but it's not a gr8 leap from the iPhone. I hate that I can't access the drop down menu wen phone is locked like on iPhone. I know that u can add some items on locked screen manually. I like that the phone can easily slip into ur pocket and unnoticeable like the 6+, it's also lite but construction is not as solid as the 6+. Overall I think android has come a long way since the days of Galaxy s3 that I couldn't stand. But the polish of the iPhone and iOS is still leaps ahead.

9. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Try the s6 edge mate

12. No_Sammy_No_Gimmicks

Posts: 147; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Checked the S6 before trying G4, I hated the similarities in looks with the iPhone and I feel the shiny look is cheap. Chose G4 instead due to uniqueness, something different from iPhone.

4. fancollo unregistered

I just sold mine. While in total the phone is great, it has some serious issues - at least for me. The biggest one is the screen. You may praise it high res screen with good colors etc, but the fact is, that if you're wearing sun glasses (polarized ones), you will NOT be able to see the screen outside. Since my eyes are just more important than a phone screen, i wasn't able to use a 600 usd device for indoors or bad weather only. Furthermore it got quite hot now during summer, much more than other phones did i had. So i had to switch it off constantly while outside or after a longer call. While this might not be a problem for some, for me it is. Oh and there's the front cam. 8mpx and with hdr enabled (obviously removing my glasses) the pictures were not very usable. either the face bright and around just white blown out surrounding, or just dark face and good visible surrounding - no thanks. So yes, some might not think of these things as a problem, for me they are and so i sold it and back to my Moto G - no problem in sunlight and it doesn't get hot. I loved the G4, but it wasn't enough...

10. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Again try s6 edge, or s6 edge plus or note 5 if you a big screen fan

6. AlbertAribe

Posts: 168; Member since: Jun 21, 2014

Wow.... Handsome man :-)

8. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

The right to bear arms didn't mean THAT kind of bear.

15. Nick_T

Posts: 184; Member since: May 27, 2011

You, sir, made me lol :)

13. ydl08

Posts: 54; Member since: Nov 01, 2013

Why bother on a product which disappointed in sales? Nothing against LG but interested to see how the Chinese perform at such a cheap price

16. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Disappointing sales? Where?

14. Coconut00

Posts: 485; Member since: Jan 13, 2015

They never finished the "Living with the HTC One M9" article.

18. Maaaaaaaaster

Posts: 21; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Because they aren't living anymore. RIP.

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