LG's vegetable tanned leather generated no shortage of excitement during the launch of the G4, and that continued well after the phone hit shelves. It's a beautiful design, feels amazing in the hand, and really catches the eye of those around you. Unfortunately, it also makes choosing a case somewhat more complicated. The uneven stitching makes most cases feel awkward, and so a lot of users have decided to be brave and go without.
One of the big questions about these leather backs, especially when they are being used without a case, is how durable they are and how nice they look after extended use. After a terrible accident that left my G4 looking quite rough, I took a look in the forums to see what everyone else had to say.
The biggest gashes on my G4 are the result of a particularly nasty tumble, and just about as far from normal wear and tear as you can get. Protip: When packing up from 4th of July fireworks, make sure your phone isn't still in the cupholder of your camp chair before you sling it over your shoulder. The leather doesn't play nice with a brick patio, though to be perfectly honest I'm impressed the phone itself survived the spill unscathed.
Even without my absent-mindedness, the leather on the back of this G4 had already started to show signs of wear. This sentiment was echoed over and over again in the forums, as it appears the corners on the brown leather variant are the first to go. You'll see some discoloration and fading in the bottom corners, which comes mostly from the phone living in your pocket. Some folks have resolved the issue by putting the phone in the case, but a couple of users pointed out the wearing seem significantly less obvious on the black leather version of the backing. Given the increased texture in the black version, that makes sense.
Above all, it's important to remember the leather on this phone is actual real leather. As such, it needs to be cared for like any real leather product. If you're unfamiliar with how to care for real leather, you should read up and grab the necessary supplies. It's not a huge time drain or anything, but once every couple of weeks at the very least will keep the leather on your phone looking way better than mine.