Review: LG G4

LG is somewhat of an underdog in the mobile phone world. In a mostly saturated market, Apple and Samsung seem to be the ones that sell the most phones; however, the LG G3 was a solid competitor last year. So the question remains: does the LG G4 improve upon the G3, or is it just another phone that will fade into the shadows?

The design of the LG G4 isn’t very special and is actually a step down compared to other 2015 flagships. The whole phone is made of plastic, and nothing about it looks premium. The good news is this can be fixed by replacing the removable plastic back with the leather one, which can be purchased from LG for $69.99. One other design decision that is a bit odd is the placement of the volume and power buttons on the back. It isn’t very natural to use and requires some getting used to. However, don’t let one strange design decision deter you from buying this phone.

The LG G4 features a large, Quad HD 5.5 inch screen. Even though the screen is the same size and resolution as the LG G3, LG has made some changes to make this display even better. The screen on the G4 is brighter, more accurate, and more energy efficient. With these improvements, this phone could be considered the best screen on a smartphone. The G4 has a 6-core Snapdragon 808 processor paired with 3GB of RAM. The phone is very fast, and it runs everything you could imagine quite well, but compared to other flagships it is a little bit slower than the Galaxy S6 or the HTC One M9.

The battery life on this phone is excellent due to the large 3000 mAh battery. I could easily get this phone to last all day. The battery is also removable if a day of battery life isn’t enough for you. One thing that this phone lacks is any sort of quick charging feature or wireless charging that other flagships have. However, the G4 is actually one of the last flagships to include a removable battery, so this could be a good reason for some to choose this phone over a different flagship.

One really big feature on the LG G4 is the 16-megapixel camera. This is definitely one of the best cameras on a flagship smartphone. The f/1.8 aperture lens lets plenty of light in, and in turn is great in low light situations. Another benefit of this low aperture lens is the shallow depth of field, which keeps the subject in focus while blurring the background. LG also improved the fast laser autofocus system that debuted on the G3 by adding a color spectrum sensor. This new sensor improves the color and white balance in photos. The camera app has a manual mode which lets the user change the white balance, ISO, focus, and shutter speed, just like on a DSLR. LG actually markets this camera as DSLR quality, it’s not quite there yet, but it certainly is a good phone camera.

LG’s take on Android Lollipop is decent, but it isn’t very eye catching. LG’s software has been toned down in recent years, and this is a welcome change. The good news is the user can easily change the theme to something that looks a bit better if they choose to. The LG G4 will be receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the next few months.

Overall, LG actually created a pretty good smartphone. Besides the design, everything about this phone is flagship quality. The screen is amazing and the camera is almost unheard of in the smartphone market. The G4 also still has the removable battery and microSD card slot that most other flagships are lacking now. The LG G4 32GB can at the moment be purchased for $199 on a 2-year contract or $629 off contract.

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