Introduction


Coming in second, third, or even fourth place in the Android smartphone space deserves adulation, mainly because there’s just a vast collection of handset makers eagerly trying to snag a piece of the pie. However, when you’re constantly being overshadowed by another company, the expectations to improve results and rise to the occasion become higher – almost making any sort of attempt be regarded as futile, unfortunately. That’s the reality that LG has been facing for the last several years, as Samsung has been continuously managing to grab the lion's share of the Android market.

Already, Sammy has hit gold with its latest flagship line, which only makes it more difficult for LG to make any headway in closing the gap between it and the unstoppable beast. Needless to say, the bar has been set high for everyone else, but where other phones invoke minimal attention due to their lackluster specs sheet, boring design, or terrible performance, the LG G4 is on an aggressive approach to make a daring statement. Crazy to say, not every successive phone is a staunch improvement over its predecessor – either that, or in some rare instances, they’re worse!

Looking back at LG’s track record, there’s no denying that the company is all about making long-lasting impressions. In fact, they did that last year with the LG G3, one of the first commercially available smartphones to offer a pixel crushing resolution of quad-HD (1440 x 2560) with its screen. It’s back again here with the G4, unsurprisingly, but don’t be fooled that this successor is just going to sit pretty and let the competition breeze past it. Everything about this phone has been retooled and reworked to ensure it’s a flagship worthy enough for all to “see the great, feel the great.” So, has LG managed to pull it off?

The package contains:

  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable

Design

The genuine leather back of the LG G4 gives it a distinct, high-quality feel, but the phone's also available in plastic.

Unless you’ve own or used an LG G3, most people would argue that the LG G4 looks very similar to its predecessor – and that’s certainly true to an extent. However, there are subtle differences that make it an undeniably iterative design, as opposed to a dramatic one that we’ve been seeing in other recent phones. In particular, it now features a more hard-lined style, subtle curvature defined by its Slim Arc design, and a brand spanking new vegetable tanned genuine leather material (provided you go for the leather variant, and not the plastic one).

Yes folks, you read that correct, the G4 can be picked up with a casing that’s comprised out of vegetable tanned leather, a process that we're told takes approximately 3 months to complete. The result, surprisingly enough, feels pretty sweet and adds a higher degree of sophistication to an otherwise ‘more of the same’ phone. Seriously, though, this leather feels a lot smoother and more durable than the leather options for the Moto X – it’s not as malleable or mushy feeling. Throw in the Gütermann Mara style stitching running straight through the middle, it really delivers an elegant package that’s both classical and timeless.

Offering more personalization to the consumer, the leather back covers are removable and available in 6 beautiful colors. Alternatively, the G4 can be bought with the usual plastic base material, but with a specific 3D diamond shaped pattern that disperses light in an interesting manner at different angles. If it weren’t for the new genuine leather material option, the LG G4’s design would otherwise be a boring one lost in a world filled with more premium offerings – there’s nothing too polarizing about it at that point. Thankfully, though, they’re able to mix things up.

Normally, successive smartphones tend to achieve a slightly more compact frame that their predecessors, but in the case of the G4, that’s not quite the reality. Even though it retains the same sized screen, the G4’s body is longer, wider, thicker, and heavier than the G3 before it – so it’s a handful to say the least, requiring two-handed operation more than none for most people. Despite that, the curvature of the phone provides a pretty ergonomic feel in the hand, since our hand naturally wraps around its back.

A signature design choice for LG, the power button and volume controls are again found in the rear of the phone, where our index finger gently rests over them as we’re holding it. While this placement seems to be a logical one, especially when our finger naturally falls onto them in a holding position, it’s almost impossible to adjust the volume if it’s placed in some sort of cradle – whether it’s the car or at home, there’s just no easy access to it.

Rounding things out, the top edge of the phone is home to its IR blaster and noise cancelling mic – while the bottom is occupied by its microUSB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and standard mic. There’s a small slit on the bottom right area of the phone that allows us to pry off its rear casing, uncovering the removable 3000 mAh battery, microSIM slot, and microSD card slot. Although everything appears fine and dandy, which it is, the additional amenities pale in comparison to what we see and get in other flagships – such as a water resistant construction, finger print sensor, and even wireless charging/rapid charging.


LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Motorola DROID Turbo

Motorola DROID Turbo

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.89 x 0.44 inches

143.5 x 73.3 x 11.2 mm

Weight

6.21 oz (176 g)

LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Motorola DROID Turbo

Motorola DROID Turbo

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.89 x 0.44 inches

143.5 x 73.3 x 11.2 mm

Weight

6.21 oz (176 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


Display

Colors are purposefully overblown and saturated. It’s nowhere close to being the most color accurate screen, but it has that drawing factor with its saturated tones.

Last year, we were utterly amazed by the introduction of the G3’s quad-HD resolution display, one that brought even more detail and pixels than any other screen before it. Back for round two, the LG G4 ensures that it’s still a relevant thing in the space because it’s fashioned with a new 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 (quad-HD) IPS Quantum Display, one that LG boldly claims to offer 20% greater color reproduction, 25% stronger brightness output, and 50% better contrast than the G3’s screen. Not only that, but it’s meant to deliver vibrant colors because it’s apparently been calibrated for DCI (Digital Camera Initiatives) standards.

Details have never been an issue with the G3’s screen, so it’s no surprise it’s not an issue here either because the G4’s quad-HD resolution and 538 ppi pixel density deliver some amazingly crisp details! There are plenty of them, trust us.

During the G4’s official announcement, LG talked big about its new display technology – the IPS Quantum Display, which LG mentions to offer high-contrast, vibrant images that are true-to-life. We’ll give it credit for doing that, but it’s mainly noticeable when you’re running the camera interface and comparing the colors you see in real life to what the display is showing. However, as we dive deeper and check out its color accuracy under the color gamut chart, it reveals the undeniable truth that the panel favors a saturated production – something that’s made more profound as each color value in the chart is skewed from the target value.

While it’s not as accurate in color reproduction as last year’s display, the move is a purposeful one in giving this IPS Quantum Display the rich and iridescent color tones LG has promised. Sure, we can argue about its inaccuracies, but some folks won’t mind it as much, especially when it’s a drawing factor with its glow. In addition, the G4’s color temperature is a stark contrast to the G3, as it reaches a very cold color temperature of ~8000K – giving whites that noticeably bluish tone. And finally, LG ever so slightly improves the brightness with this model, since it reaches 454 nits in our testing, which is shy of the 500 nits LG mentioned it would deliver.

So, what does this tell us? LG follows through in delivering the promised proclaim that the IPS Quantum Display will deliver about 20% color gamut over the usual sRGB gamut standard, something that’s profoundly made known looking at its color gamut chart. While it’s not as accurate this time around, the decision to offer a more saturated display is a purposeful one – so greens are green, blues are dark blue, and reds are blood red. Don’t get us wrong, the display is able to stir up attention due to its rich and vibrant colors, but it’s clearly overblown to simply draw people into its glow. Is it accurate? Not really, but some folks won’t be too bummed out by that realization because it has that drawing factor.



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175 Comments

1. TimePass

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Best in class

11. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

Yes, as you said, in its class (which is not the flagship-level).

27. Simona unregistered

exact. the screen remain the same as on g3 ; dark , yellowy whites , grainy text when browsing websites... THis is really not good ..

33. fonelover123

Posts: 153; Member since: May 04, 2015

i dont trust their review on the battery performance its impossible for g4 to got a weaker battery than g3. there were already review conducted by other experts and they found that g4's battery has really improved from last year's g3.

40. Simona unregistered

I am really think the batt won't be any better.. only 6-8h ? uff

43. fonelover123

Posts: 153; Member since: May 04, 2015

Elsewhere, battery life is an improvement on last year’s G3, both in terms of its capacity and according to the results from our tests. Streaming a 720p video in flight mode with the screen set to a brightness of 120cd/m2 drained it at 6.3% per hour while audio streaming over 4G drained it at 3.6%. LG credits the phone’s improved efficiency to a number of changes, not least a more efficient screen. The G4 uses what LG calls “N-type liquid crystals”, which it says allows the light from the screen’s backlight through the structure of the liquid crystal more easily. by PCpro review

52. fonelover123

Posts: 153; Member since: May 04, 2015

see how can we trust this review? they even changed now the score 9.2 to 9.0? yes they did its only means this review is not yet finalized? i have a supect there was a mistake in the battery just like what happen to g3 last year. im now reducing my trust to PA they always changeable minded they should finalized thier review before showing it to the World.

92. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Its called SamsungArena not phonearena :P

54. gtrc11

Posts: 32; Member since: Feb 05, 2015

i think this is a bad review because how they do a review with a pre released unit? and in 5 days? jajaja phone arena is really getting bad

113. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

G4 was launched in korea the day after the announcement though

91. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

You need to stop taking drugs.. The G4 screen has no ghosting , the White are a bit blueish not yellowish , no grainy text when browsing but its got a less powerfull GPU Than the G3 lol.

107. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

The Adreno 330 in G3 is WAY LESS powerful than the 418 in G4. Get your facts straight.

125. may_czos

Posts: 956; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

There was also G3 with SD805 and Adreno 420.

131. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

Yep, but that was a Korean exclusive and not much people know about it.

150. MySchizoBuddy

Posts: 159; Member since: Aug 23, 2011

the screen is NOT the same as the G3. it only has the same resolution

159. Shocky unregistered

That's the whole point, the resolution is the same but the GPU has less performance when compared to the SN 805 version of the LG G3.

100. cheetah2k

Posts: 2299; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

The G4 to me is more about righting the wrongs of the G3. Its more of an incremental update/refresh than anything else. I would say that Qualcomm are part to blame, no point producing a flagship model if the CPU cant cut the mustard.... I think Sony did a good thing by releasing the Z4 only in Japan, to enable them to focus on the Z5, which will hopefully come with a Samsung made thermal efficient Qualcomm CPU fit for the global market (820)

176. perry1234

Posts: 654; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Alas , all the Z5's use SD810 :(

116. Chuck007

Posts: 1416; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

Actually I believe I read an article where a LG executive confirmed the G4 isn't their real flagship this year. Still doesn't stop it from being a great phone nonetheless.

121. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

define flagship.

142. JimJ777

Posts: 10; Member since: May 04, 2015

You're on Crack..lmfao

12. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

no doubt. Best mid-ranger for 2015.

16. seven7dust unregistered

name one android game that won't run on this phones soc ?

88. romeo1

Posts: 824; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

All games should run but oddworld can't run at its max. They should've gone 1080p and destroy the m9 and s6 in graphics. The 808 isn't good enough for a flagship with 2k as the competition is ahead now.

126. may_czos

Posts: 956; Member since: Nov 22, 2014

Adreno 418 in SD808 won't destroy Adreno 430 in the M9. Quite the opposite. It's even worse than Adreno 420 from last year's SD805.

133. romeo1

Posts: 824; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Thats true but its not comparable as with the 418 and 420 won't overheat. So the 430 is killer but im not sure for how long you could go on before it gets uncomfortable

148. Cicero

Posts: 1149; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Name one Android game that won't run on my old still S4 with SD600 soc?

17. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

With almost the same score as the s6 (9.3)... 0.1 point more than the g4 when s6 trashes g4 in so many fields. Very biased review by PA imho.

65. AppleJuice

Posts: 145; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

And tell me where the "S6 trashes the G4 in so many fields", I'll wait for your response. I like both phones, but you guys are funny.

93. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Brute power the S6 trash the G4. Design maybe ( question of taste ) Screen quality ( question of taste ) But otherwise sorry G4 is superior.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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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