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10 things you need to know about the LG G4

It's been clear from the sales of the G3 and G2 that people are fans of the way LG has been designing their leading G series phone. Between the incredibly thin bezels and the placement of the power and volume buttons on the rear spine of the phone, there's a lot to love. Add to the looks ample power and a great camera, and it's quite a package.

When it comes to the fourth generation of the G series, we have to take a deeper look at everything LG did to improve the phone — and thankfully, a lot has been done, and we've had a couple months to digest it all.

And with that, here are 10 things you need to know about the LG G4.

Read now: 10 things you need to know about the LG G4

You can replace the backplate of the LG G4 with different leather and plastic options

LG G4 Swappable Back Covers

Being able to remove and replace the back cover of the LG G4 makes it easier for you to customize your phone and make it you own. This means being able to swap different colored and material backings on your phone, but it also means gainings access to the device's battery and external memory — more on that in another slide.

Depending on where you buy your G4, it will come with either a plastic or leather backing. While most of the AndroidCentral staff prefers the look and feel of the leather option, the choice is completely up to you on what you have attached to your phone. LG sells lots of variations of the leather backings on their online store and even more can be purchased inside brick and mortar carrier stores. No longer will you have to put a case on your phone to customize the look of it.

Swap out the battery to instantly be fully charged

LG G4 Swappable Batteries

For years now there has been a debate about if users really needed the ability to hot-swap batteries in and out of their phones. While other companies have decided that they would rather permanently seal the battery into their phones, LG has continued to make it possible to swap the removable battery with a fresh one.

LG sells a charging bundle that includes a 3000 mAh battery paired with a charging cradle so that you can charge your extra battery outside of your G4. The whole point of the extra battery is about convenience. No longer will you have to worry about plugging your phone in when it is low on charge. Simply power down your phone, swap in the charged battery, and when you turn your phone back on, you should be back to a full charge.

Add as much external storage as you like

LG G4 microSD Card Slot

Much like the removable battery, we are seeing fewer phones with the ability to add external storage in the form of a microSD card. Located under the back cover and above the SIM card, the microSD card slot allows cards up to 2TB in size — even if that size microSD card hasn't been invented yet.

Having the ability to add more storage to your LG G4 means being able to hold more media such as music, videos, pictures, and much more. Thankfully, phone manufacturers have started including more flash storage built into the handsets, but the cheapest way to expand your storage needs is to provide your own microSD card when the option is available.

Easily organize your settings menu is lists or catagories

LG G4 Settings View

When you first set up your LG G4, your settings will be "organized" into four different categories. Each of the categories has its own tab that is labeled with horrible scrolling text. Thankfully, LG has made it possible to change the way the Settings menu looks and is laid out.

Anytime you are in the main Settings of the G4, you should see the three-dot overflow menu button in the upper right side of your screen. When you tap it, you will only be given one tile to choose from. This tile option is asking you if you would like to change the view from Tab view to List view or List view back to Tab view. Things are organized a little differently in the two different views so if you can't find something after switching views, it might be because it has been tucked into a submenu or hidden in plain site but organized in a category that you might not expect to find it in.

You can run two seperate apps at a time... If you wanted to

LG G4 Dual Window

As our phone screens continue to get bigger than we could have ever imagined, it only makes sense that people would want to use that extra screen space to be more productive. Baked into the G4 is something called Dual window which allows you to run two different applications at once. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of compatible apps that work with this.

To turn on this function, head into your G4's settings and find the option for Dual window. Here, you will be able to toggle it on and off and will be given the option to automatically open links or attachments from texts and emails in Dual window.

Now that everything is turned on, tap on your square recent apps button so that the carousel of apps appears on screen. Now that you have Dual window enabled, you will see the addition of the Dual window button next to the Clear all button. Tap on it and you will see a dialog asking you to choose two of the listed apps to display simultaneously on your LG G4. There is a light blue line and tab that separates the two applications and by simply sliding it up or down, you can resize the two screens. Tap on the tab and you will be given the option to swap the placement of the two apps, replace the current app with another, temporarily make the selected window full screen, or to just close out of Dual window completely.

Add, subtract, rearrange, and customize the on-screen buttons to your heart's desire

LG G4 Customize Home Buttons

The on-screen buttons located at the bottom of the G4's display that allow you to navigate through your phone are always there so you should be able to customize it to fit your taste. LG allows you to do this in your phone's settings.

Head into your LG G4's Settings and find the Display option. Under the Basic Settings heading, find Home touch buttons and tap into it. Here you will find three different buttons that each offer their own ways of customizing your navigation buttons.

The first option is Button combination which allows you to add, remove, and rearrange the buttons that you want on your navigation bar. Other than the stock buttons, you can add a shortcut to drop down your notification bar, QuickMemo+. Qslide, and Dual window. You can have a maximum of 6 of these buttons active at any given time so choose wisely. Lastly, you can the arrange the buttons from left to right to the order that you would like them to be in.

Back in the Display menu, the second option that you have is color. This is where you can choose the background color in the bar that is behind your navigation buttons. You have the options of making the background either black or white which will then change the navigation button colors to the opposite option.

The third and final option for customizing the navigation buttons is the ability to hide the home touch buttons. This will allow you to hide the navigation buttons from certain applications on your phone while you are using it. In most games and video streaming application, the developer has made it so that the buttons slide off the screen, but this isn't the case in all apps. Simply find an app on the list that you don't want to see the navigation buttons in and select it. When you are using the app in question, the navigation bar and all will slide off screen and if you ever want it to reappear, simply swipe inwards from the edge where the buttons retracted to and they will be there for your use.

Charge your phone quickly with Qualcomm's Quick Charging

LG G4 Turbo Charging

One feature that everyone wants from their phones is a long battery life. While the secret to making a battery last more than the average work day has yet to be cracked, Qualcomm has figured out a way to charge your phone in a fraction of the time that it normally takes. With Quick Charging 2.0 built into the LG G4, you will be able to use certified chargers to refill your phone's battery in a matter of minutes.

Control your home entertainment system with your phone

LG G4 IR Blaster

Tired of constantly looking for the different remotes that control your entertainment system? Using the built-in IR blaster located at the top of your phone and LG's QuickRemote application, you can turn your LG G4 into a universal remote.

When you launch the LG QuickRemote app, you will be asked to set up a remote. Simply select the room you are in and add the plus button. It will give you several categories to choose from such as TV, cable box, and more. Input the brand of the equipment that you are trying to control and follow the on-screen instructions. In no time, you will be using your G4 to control every electronic in your house.

Use your volume buttons to launch the camera and QMemo+

Using the volume keys on the back of the LG G4, you can launch into QuickMemo+ and the phone's camera without even turning on your screen. All you need to do is double press on either of the volume buttons while the display is off and the corresponding apps will launch.

To turn this feature on, head into your G4's Settings and look for the Shortcut key option. Here you will find a window explaining that QuickMemo+ will be launched by double pressing the volume up button and the camera will be launched by doing the same with the volume down button. Use the on/off toggle located in the upper right side of the screen to active the feature.

At the bottom of the screen, you will also see the option to turn on something call Quick shot. With this activated, every time you quick launch the camera by double pressing on the volume down button, it will immediately take a picture. This is useful if you need to capture something that you might miss if a picture isn't taken immediately, but typically this just leads to a lot of blurry random photos in your gallery.

Add your favorite apps to the LG G4's lock screen

LG G4 Lock Screen Shortcuts

When using your LG G4, you probably noticed that there are app shortcuts that sometimes appear at the bottom of your lock screen. These shortcuts lead to stock LG apps that you might not even use on your phone. Hidden within your phone's settings, you can actually reassign these shortcuts to applications that are more useful for you.

Head into your G4's Settings and enter the Lock screen menu. Under the customize header, you should see the Shortcuts option. Here you will get to choose what applications you would like to appear on your lock screen. Click on the gear that is overlayed on top of the app icon and a dialog window will load. Here you can select a new app to add a shortcut to or just to remove the shortcut altogether.

If you do not see the option to change the lock screen app shortcuts, it is most likely because you have some form of lock screen security set up such as a pattern, PIN, password, or Knock Code. To customize these shortcuts, you will have to disable your screen lock first so that the option to customize the shortcuts appears in your G4's settings.

83 Comments
  • 11. Buy this phone, not the overhyped Moto device ;) MIC DROP
  • I agree. We should have fewer options! No one could possible like different phones!
  • I didn't say the Moto shouldn't exist... It's just not for serious people's pockets. MIC DROP
  • As a happy former LG G2 and current LG G3 owner, I think you should pick your mic back up for the G4. It's an OK flagship, but its not "all that". It's barely an upgrade from the G3. Granted, a good part of that is due to Qualcomm's SD810 issues, but LG didnt add alot either. Overall its the same phone as the G3 with a more efficient screen but lesser CPU/GPU.
  • I hated the g3 and I love the g4. To me they are two completely different devices MIC DROP
  • LOL. OK, I will bite. In what way are they completely different - other than what I said above "same phone as the G3 with a more (power) efficient screen but lesser CPU/GPU.
  • Lesser gpu and cpu?? Wow you don't understand the g4 MIC DROP
  • You really have to stop dropping that mic, you will hurt yourself picking it back up. When you do, remember lift with the legs, not the back ;) YES, the 808 is what it is using because Qualcomms A57 cores run way too hot, so cutting them from 4 down to 2 helped that, but you only get 2 high end cores that really arent even high end by the latest standards.. The GPU is NOT the Adreno 430, its the Adreno 418. A cut down version as well. It runs OK, but its not equal to the high end. The problem is todays "high end" SD810 runs way too hot. I am an LG fan, I like their products, and we all know it should have had the SD810, but Qualcomm dropped the ball. Not LG's fault at all, but it's definitely a good year to be skipping the G4 or anything with the SD808 or 810 in it. The SD808 is a fine chip, but its just not what I want in a flagship high end phone.
  • That's not how this works...that's not how any of this works
  • I can only say one thing.
    IR Blaster.....!!! Drops MIC, everybody trips over it.
    Note 5 sits in corner, but I have a Pen.
    Note 4 sits in other corner laughing and pointing.
    LG G2 sits in another corner pissed at the Note 5 for stealing it's curved back design.
    GSIII in last corner just starting to laugh at the MIC DROP. (sad) Galaxy Note 4 {Sprint 5.1.1}
    Galaxy S III {FreedomPop 4.3}
    LG G2 {Sprint 4.4.2}
  • I had the G3 and now the G4. After using the latter for a few months now, I don't think the differences are that great with the exception of one area: The camera. The G4 definitely has higher resolution cameras that perform well in a variety of areas. Although to be honest, I found the G3 camera had less shutter lag when taking night shots.
    Another improvement is the sound volume when using headphones of bluetooth. The G4 is definitely louder, which for me is a good thing.
    Other than that, for me the changes (improvements) are marginal.
  • What about the G4 Pro? Wouldn't that be an upgrade from the G3? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Depends... Lets wait and see the official specs. If it uses the Snap808, then the CPU and GPU are downgrades.
  • I owned the G2 and loved it, love my G4. I don't upgrade every year either. Makes each upgrade a real upgrade.
  • I'm a serious person. And I'm planning on buying the Moto X. Sorry to destroy your theory... Posted via the Android Central App
  • "why so serious?" In the voice of the joker MIC DROP
  • I think he means serious about battery. Everyone knows the Moto batteries haven't been very good. Last Moto I had was the 2013 X and battery life was atrocious. People complain about battery life on the G4, but forget about the replaceable battery. Quick Charge and all that is fine, but its a fact that the quickest way to go from 0-100% is swapping out the battery. You can't do that on the Moto X. Thus its not a good choice of phone for serious phone users.
  • Powerful hardware with stock Android with good tweaks and a SD card slot is overhyped apparently Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • A+ for you kiddo MIC DROP
  • Awesome I like getting A+ on stuff Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • Is there a glass back? Just kidding !!!
  • If not, then it's hot garbage. LOL Actually, if this phone had the Wacom pen and baked in apps, then I would have already upgrade my Note 3. Love it. But having a hard time leaving the wacom stylus. Beautiful AND FUNCTIONAL phone.
  • I was thinking the same thing, if only it had an "L-Pen".
  • "G" pen! Get it right!
  • "Tired of constantly looking for the different remotes that control your entertainment system?" First world problems.
  • It wasn't able to recognize my Vizio TV or soundbar, anyway.
  • Works with my Vizio tv with no issues. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, I assumed that it wasn't a manufacturer-specific problem, since Vizio isn't exactly a no-name brand. How old is your TV? Mine's four years old, so it's not new, but it's not old by TV life expectancy standards.
  • Strange...I had no problem getting it to recognize ny two Vizio TVs.
  • I dunno. I had it on my G2 and G3, but found it more of a pain than it was worth. I suppose it would be good if you lost your remote, but if your remote is not lost, then its much easier to use the remote.
  • And smart phones are first world products. We've earned our toys, and any minor headaches that go with them.
  • I'm still trying to understand what possessed LG (and Samsung for that matter) to NOT include a dedicated camera button on these phones. Great cameras and no dedicated shutter button...WTH... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mmmm no..you can just say smile or do the 10 second option. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That was my favorite part of my Z3. I just wish it had gotten Lollipop before the G4 came out. I got tired of waiting. Literally received the Lollipop update the day I got my G4 in the mail. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I got one on mine. ... Posted from my Samsung S6 Active
  • EDIT Ignore me
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds6-o4gomRc&ab_channel=thejulianatheorist
  • I've had this phone since it came out. I'm pretty frustrated with it. Here's why: 1. Touchscreen misses taps. This is unacceptable.
    2. Lag. My nexus 5 was infinitely faster. So was the Gs6 I owned before this phone. It had some lag but far less.
    3. Camera is not best in class. With all the hype, I expected it to perform up to a pretty high bar. It doesn't. Auto focus misses much too frequently and auto mode in general is horribly programmed. And no, manual mode and RAW support do not make up for this. I'm seriously considering going back to my old nexus 5 and selling this thing.
  • Wow. You must have a dud. I love my g4 and in my opinion its one of the best phones out there if not the best, especially with removable battery, leather and sd card. I have no lag and I love the camera. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't have a dud. In fact, I have had 3 of them. All have the same issues. There is a huge thread on xda that details the touchscreen issues. This is not an uncommon problem
  • You have the sprint variant? MIC DROP
  • I dont think you really have G4 do you? None of your complaints ever exist on my 3 months G4. Camera isnt the best, but I can say it is just one close step behind S6 camera, and that means many Android phone camera behind G4. If you cant take good photos with it then blame yourself not the phone. Because nothing wrong with it. About touchscreen I dont have that problem. I know that problem exist. Defect display not just plague G4, many others, but surely not entire batch. And dont forget screen guard usually to blame that caused this touchscreen problem Posted via the Android Central App
  • It is definitely entire batch. I bought a G4 last week, went back to the store for warranty due to the display not registering much of the screen touches, had to leave it so they could try to see what was wrong. To make it short, they gave me a new one wich still had the same issue and the IMEI code was 260 numbers apart. They told me that they could keep giving me a new phone but that wasnt the case and that I should contact LG directly and if they didnt give a concret answer to come back and they will ask for LG's answer with a full lab request since the carrier will be losing money. My carrier is Telcel which is the biggest carrier in Mexico.
  • I'm really sorry to hear that. Mine is International version with dual sims LTE. 3 months using it for phone, browsing and gaming, I dont have any problem at all. Dual Sims really add a big plus for this G4. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Figured I'd jump in and help since everyone else seems to disagree... I'm experiencing all of what you mentioned. Agree 100% would've tried to switch to a Note 5, if they kept the SD/removable battery. oh well I guess... in addition, I've found the back buttons to be less handy than I thought they'd be. I also think it feels more "plasticky" than my note 3. I also, shockingly, prefer TouchWiz. and lastly, the LCD screen is vastly inferior to S amoled in sunlight, or with polarized lenses.
  • Have had mine for three months now, no issues. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've been very happy with the camera (although I'll admit that I'm not much of a photo geek, so any minor issues that drive more experienced photographers nuts may well not be apparent to me), and I haven't experienced any touchscreen issues. I completely agree with your point about the lag, though. There's no excuse for a two-month-old flagship phone to lag like this. I don't know if it's poorly-optimized software or if the SD808 isn't able to handle everything, but it's frustrating. The lag isn't terrible, and I'm mostly pretty happy with the phone, but I don't think I'm $600 worth of happy with it. I love the display, camera, and leather back, but I don't think I'd have bought it if I had it to do over again.
  • I agree with your assessment but maybe not your solution. Going back to a nexus 5? Ouch...Well, it wouldn't work for me. Anyway, to solve some of your problems I'd suggest switching to a different launcher, I'm using HTC 's. You should also clear the cache on the keyboard and then stop using it. I'm using HTC's keyboard. This combo got rid of a lot of my touch screen problems and lag. I also clear the cache at times (the one in the settings menu). There are just no good Android phones out anymore. No removable batteries. At least the G4 still as that though the software is not that good and lags a lot. Hopefully some good ROMs come out soon since this is excellent hardware.
  • Played with my wife's Sprint g4 this weekend. Really not all that impressed. The screen is nice and its fast. But other than that it's a nice phone Posted via...The One
  • Now that Samsung has basically killed off the Note Line, it would be great to see LG add a stylus phone to their lineup with removable battery and SD storage!
  • I feel like I've seen the phone with a stylus, forgot what it's called but I remember it having mid-range specs. If they literally took the G4 made it 5.7 inches and added a stylus I would buy it in a heartbeat. And I would use QuickMemo more often. Hahaha. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah, there was a G3 variant with really, really reduced specs. Crappy MediaTek processor, 5.5" display with a sub-720p resolution, etc. Anyone who bought that expecting it to compete with the Note line probably threw it at the wall ten minutes after opening the box.
  • Yeah. Once I read the specs I was thinking to myself...."this isn't going to sell well". Yeah if LG can step it up with the hardware and lighten up their software their phablet would be able to at least compete with the Note series. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's actually got a 5.7 inch screen called the LG Stylo. It's mediocre specs is for its prepaid lineup. A cdma Boost variant and a GSM one running on Tmobile lte for various other prepaid outfits. They are selling it at around 179.00 and it's sold out at most brick stores. Laugh it up, but LG (and Samsung for that matter) know that if it has a big screen and enough memory to download Facebook and Candy Crush, people will buy it and not care one iota about the mid range processor in the phone.
  • Yeah I've realized that us Android Nerds are a small group when it comes to phone sales. Most people still use phones as just a phone. That's it.
  • I am using the lg stylo now and have been for about a year now.. Not a bad phone for the price but not as good as my g2 was.. (oh how I miss that poor phone) Just bought a g4 and I've got my fingers crossed.. I hope I'm not disappointed.. Can't wait to have the ir blaster again...
  • I just wish it wasn't so huge.
  • That's what she said MIC DROP
  • Ayyy lmao Posted via the Android Central App
  • #2 and #3 were big reasons for me getting a G4. Those and of course, the killer camera.
  • I wish they would move the buttons back to the normal spots... I just cannot do those back buttons. It is a great phone though Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's so comfortable in the back though. I got uses to them on my G2 within a few days. It's naturally where my fingers rest. It's hard for me to go back to phones with buttons on the side. And phones without double tap to wake. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed with you. Buttons on back become much more comfortable then on sides, especially big phone like this. And Tap to wake/sleep become a "must have" feature for my phone since G2, now (G4) and later. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed. I rarely use the back power button. And I am finding that not having buttons on the edges is more beneficial than I thought it would be (never thought of it as a big problem, but not worrying about which edges to hold when holding it in landscape is kind of nice.)
  • I am just that one guy in 1k that cannot get used to it... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Its not meant for everyone. I guess it boils down to personal preference. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Like what the guy above me said, it boils down to personal preference. I personally like the placement but I know some don't, especially those who use their phone on a table, to which the G4 isn't suited for that not only due to its button placement but also due to its curved shape, so it's gonna flip and flop about while typing on a table unlike a phone with a flat back like an iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6. But the curved back is wonders for ergonomics, for me at least. Posted from the LG G4 "Spigen + Anime" Edition. Wait, what?
  • Yeah I feel like out of all the phones that have come out this year the G4 is my personal favorite. It's done everything pretty well with very little compromise. Great Camera. Decent battery (that's removable), SD Card support, Great Screen, Great ergonomics (for being a 5.5 inch phone). I feel like the only thing people don't like is the software. If this were a Nexus device I feel like people would eat it up.
  • The only moments I use the back buttons it is for music volume when phone in pocket or to make a quick camera shot. It's comfortable and like that I'm not scared to drop my phone while trying to reach the sides buttons of a phone that size! Double tap wakes/sleep is best feature I've got from phone device at the point that I'm becoming mad at iPad 2 cause it doesn't do that!
  • Every single time I use my wifes Nexus 5 I try to tap to wake.......I feel dumb every single time too. Like I get mad at her for not having a phone that has tap to wake. Hahahaha. Google should somehow find a way to make it standard on all phones. Without having to use a 3rd party app to do it. Have it be in the basic Android software. That would be great.
  • Hey if you ever looking for that feature to go on other phone. Get hola launcher and there's a feature to download with it to have the tap sleep/wake on any phone I think you should try it
  • Might be my next phone.... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agree with several others on this forum. I loved my G3 so decided to upgrade to the G4. Returned my first device due to horrible touchscreen issues (unresponsive, missed taps). My second G4 seemed more responsive at first, but now a month later I am having the same issues. Bad touchscreen and lag. I really hate this phone now. Trying to work out a deal with my carrier to let me swap over to a new G6 Edge+ when they are released this Friday. Yes, I will miss the sd card slot and removable battery, etc, but I will NOT miss the terrible, poor quality touch screen. Also, I'd like to point out that all of my past phones, iphone and Android, worked better than the G4 in sunlight. I can barely see the screen on the G4 in direct sunlight. I had high hopes that the new screen technology would "WOW" me, but it really doesn't. Really disappointed in the G4 and can't wait to get rid of it.
  • You might be right. I'm just waiting for custom ROMs to come out and get better. The hardware on the G4 is excellent. I like that I can change the battery out and micro SD is much needed for me. I'm almost out of storage on my 64GB card because I use FLAC for my music files. The good news is that I got rid of the touch screen issues by clearing the cache for the keyboard and switching to a different keyboard and did a way with the default homescreen as well
  • Hi You are giving wrong info on 6 of 10. You said max of 6 home screen buttons can be used. That is wrong. You can have max of 5 at a time..
  • Well I just won a G4 though I have not received it. I remember people complained about the G3 in a similar fashion. I've had mine for over a year using Nova Launcher Prime and the phone is holding up. I think maybe it is how I set up and use my phones, but I never seem to have the issues others do (even the wide spread ones). I agree with clearing cash. I also think a walk through the developer options is a good idea. I also purge apps I simply don't use (anymore). The G4 will be a free phone so I'll give it a spin but likely I'll sell it and get LG's OTHER new phone :) Posted via Android Central App with my LG G3
  • Another flagship device crying out for a Google Play Edition. Too bad that's a pipe dream now. Posted via Nexus 6
  • I bought this phone last week and the touch screen was horrible, a lot of input didnt register. Went back to the store for warranty and they g