LG's flagship smartphones don't have the marketing clout of rivals from Apple and Samsung (and apparently LG also lags behind in secrecy, as the new LG G4 was leaked from here to Timbuktu before today's announcement). But the G4 will be worth keeping an eye on, with some key improvements to its display and rear camera over last year's G3. Oh, and there's also that cowhide you'll find on its backside.
The LG G4 sticks with a 5.5-inch, Quad HD display like we saw on the G3, but the new version has some improvements. LG says the G4's "IPS Quantum Display" is brighter, more colorful and with better contrast than the G3, which had a pretty dazzling screen in its own right.
LG is putting a lot of focus on the G4's camera, with its ƒ/1.8 aperture. LG says it can let in 80 percent more light (the "more than" isn't clear, but we're guessing they're comparing it to the G3). The main camera also has a color spectrum sensor along with the laser autofocus that we first saw in the G3. The rear shooter has 16-megapixel resolution, with the front camera jumping way up to 8 MP. We're to the point where selfies are shaping smartphone specs.
One of the most eye-catching features of the G4 is its leather back option (it's genuine tanned leather, similar to the Moto X, not the fake leather we've seen on Samsung devices). There will also be cheaper options described as "metallic craft" and "ceramic craft," which appear to be plastic backings covered with metallic and ceramic layers.
The phone also has a slight curve to it, like a much less pronounced version of the G Flex 2. The idea here is to make the phone feel more comfortable in hand, something the Flex did fairly well.
If you're heartbroken that Samsung eliminated removable batteries and microSD card slots from its 2015 flagships, LG is hoping you'll take consolation in the G4. It supports both (and by the way its battery is an ample 3,000 mAh, the same as the G3).
The G4 starts rolling out on April 29, when it lands in Korea. The rest of the world will follow at as-yet unspecified times afterwards. For what it's worth, the G3's US launch was a couple of months after its Korea launch. Pricing info will also come from individual carriers, as we get closer to launch.
For more, you can read Gizmag's hands-on impressions of the G4, from LG's London event.
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