Mobile Technology

LG G4: Early impressions

LG G4: Early impressions
Before running our full review, Gizmag has some early thoughts on the leather-clad LG G4
Before running our full review, Gizmag has some early thoughts on the leather-clad LG G4
View 5 Images
Before running our full review, Gizmag has some early thoughts on the leather-clad LG G4
1/5
Before running our full review, Gizmag has some early thoughts on the leather-clad LG G4
The leather back of the LG G4 (you can also buy plastic versions, coated with thin layers of either metal or ceramic)
2/5
The leather back of the LG G4 (you can also buy plastic versions, coated with thin layers of either metal or ceramic)
The plastic sides of the LG G4 take away from its otherwise premium build materials
3/5
The plastic sides of the LG G4 take away from its otherwise premium build materials
The G4 brings back the back-facing buttons we've seen on all of LG's recent flagships
4/5
The G4 brings back the back-facing buttons we've seen on all of LG's recent flagships
Stay tuned for Gizmag's full LG G4 review
5/5
Stay tuned for Gizmag's full LG G4 review
View gallery - 5 images

The LG G4 is the third first-tier Android flagship of 2015, following the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 (and S6 edge). Before we run our full review, we have some thoughts on the leather-clad version of the LG G4.

The LG G4 is a very solid phone, as we expected it to be. The leather backing is a nice touch (though it isn't the first company to try this, with Motorola offering a leather Moto X as well), and the phone's display looks very good. LG managed to make an IPS screen that could be mistaken for an AMOLED one – meaning its contrast, deep blacks and richness of colors are all in very good shape.

We find its plastic sides, though, to be a big negative. Your fingertips are typically more sensitive than the rest of your hand, and when you hold the G4 your fingertips rest against those cheap-feeling plastic edges. Technically this leather version of the G4 does have a mostly premium build, but because your fingers go straight to that plastic, it doesn't feel like it in hand.

The plastic sides of the LG G4 take away from its otherwise premium build materials
The plastic sides of the LG G4 take away from its otherwise premium build materials

Performance is mostly good, but LG just can't seem to make a flagship that has 100 percent silky-smooth performance. We aren't yet sure if its slight and occasional lag is coming from the launcher or from the LG UI in general, but the phone doesn't feel nearly as snappy to us as the Galaxy S6 does – and it also feels a bit less zippy than the stock Android-running Nexus 6.

So far the G4's camera is in very good shape: it brings back LG's laser autofocus, and its ƒ/1.8 aperture does a great job in low-lit conditions. But the camera still doesn't launch as quickly or easily as the GS6's does.

Battery life appears to be (at least) pretty good so far, but we'll have more on that in our full review. Its lack of (built-in) wireless charging tech is another area, though, where it lags behind its best competition.

The leather back of the LG G4 (you can also buy plastic versions, coated with thin layers of either metal or ceramic)
The leather back of the LG G4 (you can also buy plastic versions, coated with thin layers of either metal or ceramic)

Stay tuned for more on the LG G4, but from where we stand now it looks like a decent upgrade over last year's G3 – though it might also have too many holes to be considered a true peer of the Galaxy S6's. The G4's bigger 5.5-inch screen is about the only clear-cut advantage we're seeing so far over the Samsung flagship.

Product page: LG

Correction 6/7: The original version stated that the G4 doesn't support quick charging, but it was indeed added in a pre-US launch update.

View gallery - 5 images
4 comments
Z2000
I had the LG G2 and upgraded to the LG G3 when the G3 was released and was about upgrade again to the G4 today due to the G4 upgraded camera and software/hardware, but after seeing the G4 and holding the phone in the store, I was greatly disappointed.
LG made the G4 corners squarish and the G4 is a pain to hold in the palm of your hand as the bottom edge that rests on the palm of the hand just jabs the palm of your hand. Why on earth did LG decide to take away the round corners of the LG G3 and use squarish corners in the G4? Looking at HTC M8/M9, Samsung S6 and Apple 6 phones at the store they all had round corners and were comfortable to hold in the hand, except for the odd-ball LG G4!
Also, LG ruined the G3 display in the "updated" G4, now you get over-saturated colors the hurt your eyes to look at. It's like bleeding colors to burn your retinas. LG, why take the beautiful LG G3 display and give it gimmicky colors. Shame!
If the above is not bad enough, they also made the G4 top bezel bigger, so you have more non-display space at the top of the phone.
I am disappointed with the G4, what could have been a nice phone. But I guess that's what you get when marketing and market "research" drives the ergonomics and design of a phone. I don't care about the high end specs of the G4 anymore, compared to the G3, the G4 is just a pain to hold in your hand. Upgrading from the G3 to the G4 is strong no and I am sticking with the G3. Let's hope LG goes back to good basic design with the G5, until then, the G4, in spite of its excellent specs, is more marketing than good design.
EdmondChung
From web, G4 is offical support quick charge 2.0 but it come with non quick charge power adapter.
JørgenUdvang
You fail to mention the features that makes the G4 stand out for many users, like removable battery, SD-card (with support for up to 2TB cards!) and the ability to shoot photos in RAW (DNG) format. In Asia, the G4 is sold in a version supporting dual SIM-cards. I believe it's the only top model that has that (correct me if I'm wrong).