Today, LG has officially unveiled its new flagship smartphone, dubbed the LG G4, with launch events in Singapore, New York, London, Paris, Istanbul, and Seoul.
“We wanted to give consumers a truly human-centric device that combined the analog sensibilities with technologies that delivered real world performance. From the design to the camera to the display to the UX, this is the most ambitious phone we’ve ever created,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.
LG really has stepped up their game this time around, innovating on nearly every aspect of the phone. To begin with, the phone has a slight curve in it, called the “Slim Arc” design. “Slim Arc offers 20 percent better durability than a flat smartphone in face-down drops and gives the smartphone a more comfortable and secure feel in the hand,” explained LG.
To add to the comfort in the hand, LG has moved away from the plastic back of previous smartphones, but it isn’t jumping to metal or glass, like the Samsung Galaxy S6. Instead, LG is offering the phone in six colors on a handcrafted, genuine full-grain leather backing. “The vegetable tanning process employed is an age old tradition that requires skilled craftsmen to produce and dye the leather. The colors of the leather on the G4 are rich with warm tones that look authentic and change over time.” If you don’t want leather on the back of your phone, LG is offering a ceramic white with 3D patterns, and artisan-forged metallic gray and shiny gold.
Inside the new flagship is a 1.8 Ghz Snapdragon MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 6-core CPU with an onboard Adreno 418 GPU. LG may have been smart to avoid the newer, 8 core Snapdragon 810, as it is plagued with overheating and battery issues. The phone packs 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded via the micro SD card slot by 128 GB. The removable battery stores 3,000 mAh.
The phone’s display was also improved over the G3, adding new “Quantum Pixel” technology, which promises to improve color accuracy and contract, something that was often complained about for the G3. The display packs 538 pixels per inch, which measures up to 1440 x 2560 at 5.5 inches, and is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
On the camera front, the phone packs in a 16 MP sensor behind a wide f/1.8 aperture lens, and a dual-tone flash to better mimic natural light. “The camera module features a wide F1.8 aperture lens that allows 80 percent more light to reach the sensor. LG improved low-light performance even further with OIS 2.0, which doubles the performance of the improved OIS+ by expanding the range of image stabilization from one degree to two degrees on the X- and Y-axis and adding a third axis for the first time.” The front-facing camera was also upgraded to 8 MP.
LG is the first to put a color spectrum sensor in a phone, which helps auto mode find and adjust to the colors and lighting of your subject. The G4 can also shoot in RAW mode and inherits the laser fast laser autofocus from the G3.
The G4 is LG’s first phone to run the company’s new UI, called the human-centric UX 4.0, on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop. The new UI design takes a more light handed approach than LG has taken previously, preserving the essence of stock Android. However, it’s still far away from perfect, and even Samsung seems to have gotten closer to stock Android with its Galaxy S6. The software is awfully similar to the LG G Flex 2, with many of the same gestures and actions.
LG is now packaging Chrome as the default browser on the G4, instead of its own browser, which it has used in the past. It also bundles Google Drive on the phone, and has partnered with Google to offer a free 100 GB of space on Google Drive for two years after purchase.
The LG G4 will start its global roll-out on April 29 in Korea and will eventually be available on approximately 180 carriers worldwide. Prices and carrier availability will be announced locally in each market.