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The quick take

The LG G4 is as close as you can get right now to a no-compromise, high-end Android phone. Almost everything about it is done exceptionally well, from the best-in-class screen and camera, to the reliable all-day battery life. LG's software is quicker and more responsive than ever before, and the premium leather backs add a welcome touch of class.

The Good

  • Fantastic display
  • Excellent camera
  • Smooth, responsive performance
  • Solid battery life, with removable option
  • Premium leather backs are gorgeous

The Bad

  • No wireless charging without using a case
  • Some superfluous software
  • Regular plastic backs are nothing special
  • 5.5-inch Quad HD
  • IPS Quantum Display
  • 2560x1440 resolution (538ppi)
  • 16MP, ƒ/1.8 lens, OIS 2.0, Color Spectrum Sensor
  • 8MP front-facing camera, ƒ/2.0 lens
  • 3000mAh capacity
  • Removable battery
  • Hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 2x1.8GHz A57 cores + 4x1.4GHz A53 cores
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD slot

LG G4

LG G4 Full Review

As good as most high-end smartphones now are, it's still difficult to find one that does everything really well. In the past year in particular, getting the Android phone with the best camera or screen typically meant compromising in other areas. Same deal with the best software experience or build quality or battery life. It seemed like no single Android manufacturer could piece together the entire puzzle.

In this world of imperfect phones, 2014's LG G3 emerged as a solid performer across the board. It didn't look quite as good or perform as spectacularly as some rivals, but at a functional level it did just about everything really well. The battery life was pretty good, the camera was quick and dependable, and the screen — though not as vivid as rivals — was super-sharp and crisp, being the first Quad HD panel on a mainstream smartphone.

As good as most high-end smartphones now are, it's still difficult to find one that does everything really well.

The G3 arrived at an opportune time for LG. The Korean company's local rival, Samsung, fielded a less than stellar premium handset that year, allowing LG to mop up additional market share through a range of phones led by its well-received 2014 flagship.

A new year brings new flagship devices, of course. Samsung gave the Galaxy S series the biggest overhaul in its history, with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge earning high praise for their eye-catching metal and glass designs and impressive internals. But as we discovered when we reviewed it, the GS6 also came with an Achilles' heel or two: Generally lackluster battery life, and a move away from removable battery and storage options that would stick in the craw of some power users.

For LG, the Galaxy S6 represented a strong challenge, but also an opportunity. If LG's next major smartphone could pick up the G3's mantle as a great all-around device while also targeting Samsung's perceived weaknesses, it could secure its spot as the de facto alternative to the world's biggest Android phone maker.

So now we have the LG G4 in our hands, and we're ready to dive into a full review of what could be one of the year's biggest Android releases. Read on to find out how it measures up.

About this review

We're publishing this review after just over a week with the LG G4. I (Alex Dobie) have been using the Korean LG-F500L model, and my device was running special firmware (version x10d3_eu) for G4 testers and members of LG's preview program, which removes some of the Korea-specific software and localization. My G4 shipped with a dark gray plastic back; Phil Nickinson has been using a T-Mobile U.S. model (build LMY47D and software version H81109n) with the brown leather back, and he offers some thoughts on that version of the phone further into this review.

There may be some minor differences, mainly software-related, between what we're reviewing and the G4 models that arrive in the West in early June. That said, the phone is on sale in Korea right now, so what we're using should be considered relatively finalized. The largest change to this review was made after LG announced that the G4 will support Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology for fast battery charges — we've made changes in the review to reflect that fact.

Some other notables: I've been using the LG G4 on EE's 4G LTE network in the UK, paired with a Moto 360 smartwatch. I've loaded it up with a 64GB UHS-1 microSD card (opens in new tab), which I've used mainly for photos and Google Play Music's offline cache.

LG G4 video walkthrough

LG G4

A refinement of the G3's design, with your choice of backs

LG G4 Hardware

Let's begin by pointing out something relatively obvious. For all the talk of how modern smartphones are getting too big, big phones still sell, and from year to year handsets are continuing to balloon in size. Over the past three years, we've seen LG go from 4.7- to 5.2- to 5.5-inch screens in its flagships, so when the man in charge of designing these things says we've reached the "sweet spot," it's worth paying attention. That's exactly what LG's VP of Product Planning, Dr. Ramchan Woo, told us at CES this January, at the time unveiling the 5.5-inch G Flex 2. So it was no real surprise to see the G4 arriving this past week at that same "sweet spot."

Once again, LG expertly fits a relatively large display into a device that feels relatively small.

With a 5.5-inch display, the LG G4 isn't a small phone. But like its predecessors the G2 and G3, it doesn't feel like an oversized handset, mainly thanks to LG's design traits. While it is ever so slightly larger than the G3 in all directions, the use of slim bezels, rear-mounted buttons and a curved, ergonomic back makes the G4 more friendly to hands and pockets than many 5.5-inch rivals. Once again, LG expertly fits a relatively large display into a device that feels relatively small.

From the front, the G4 is the spitting image of the G Flex 2. Flip it over and bears more than a passing resemblance to the G3 — at least with the plastic back panel I've been using. It's fitting, then, that the geometry of the phone lies somewhere between these two. It's not completely flat like its immediate predecessor, nor is it overtly curved like the 'Flex. The glass front bears a curvature of R3000, which is just enough to fit a little more snugly in a jeans pocket, and for it to be visibly curvier than other Android slabs when you pull it out.

The G4's screen is bonkers — if you were waiting for an LCD to rival Samsung's latest QHD SuperAMOLED, this is it.

In the usual LG style, there's nothing of consequence around the front besides that big Quad HD display. The G4 retains the 2560x1440 resolution and 538 ppi density of the G3, but immense improvements have been made in other areas. LG has boasted of improved brightness and color gamut in its new IPS Quantum Display, and the G4's screen lives up to that hype, being immesurably better than its first-gen QHD panel in almost every way. Its colors are as bright and punchy as current SuperAMOLEDs, the whites are crisp and clear, and blacks dark and inky. We've yet to see any issues with sharpening, from which the G3 was prone to suffer. As Samsung has in recent months, LG strikes a nice balance between making images appear vivid and attractive without excessive contrast enhancement. Our only reservation has to do with color balance — our G4's colors seemed a touch cooler than other high-end LCDs, including the iPhone 6's Retina HD panel.

The G4's daylight visibility is excellent, even in direct sunlight and overcast conditions, where lesser phone displays typically struggle. Like AMOLED-based Samsung phones, the G4 also has a super-high brightness level that gets activated in direct sunlight, improving visibility at the cost of contrast. The transition isn't as jarring as on a Samsung phone, but you'll notice the difference if you use a G4 outdoors this summer.

So in short, the LG G4's screen is bonkers. And if you were waiting for an IPS LCD to rival Samsung's latest QHD Super AMOLEDs, this is it. No smartphone display is perfect, but LG's undoubtedly ranks among the best in mid-2015.

A very subtle diamond pattern encircles that beautiful screen, while the glass itself is framed by a reflective plastic trim. Considering how many leading phone makers are moving to metal-framed designs, it's disappointing to see LG sticking it out with a plastic frame. And we have to imagine that some future iteration of the phone — perhaps an LG G5 or G6 — will eventually swap this fake metal for the real deal. Until then, shiny faux chrome plastic seems a little out of place in such a premium device.

For seasoned LG users, the backside of the G4 is, for the most part, a known quantity. The trademark rear buttons for power and volume make a return — a feature we've enjoyed on LG phones since the G2. For the uninitiated, putting buttons on the back may seem weird and counterintuitive, but the placement is such that they're easy to press with your index finger whichever hand you're using.

Above the buttons sits the G4's 16-megapixel optically-stabilized rear camera, which is raised ever so slightly from the surface of the phone. It's flanked by yet more camera technology on either side — LG's laser autofocus unit on the left, and LED flash on the right. And tucked away below the LED is the color spectrum sensor, which LG claims helps it more accurately gauge white balance. We'll take a closer look at the G4's photographic chops later in this review.

While many high-end phones are moving to stereo front-facing speakers, LG sticks with a single rear-facing unit. It's an improvement upon the G3 — and markedly better than the Galaxy S6's disappointing tweeter — but it doesn't quite match the bass and clarity of the HTC One M9, nor the iPhone 6's surprisingly good frame-mounted speaker.

LG G4

Our first look at Snapdragon 808

LG G4 Specs and Performance

It's easy to overstate the importance of smartphone specs, however the state of the market right now makes the G4's internals a major point of interest. Unlike Samsung, LG's flagship offers a removable battery — a 3,000mAh cell — along with a microSD slot to augment its 32 gigabytes of internal storage. (And the G4 will probably be the only 2015 flagship to still use a microSIM — a source of relief if that's what you already have, or frustration if you intend to fiddle with horrible plastic adapters to use your nanoSIM with the phone.)

The main battery-related trade-off has to do with how you'll charge the G4 — there's no wireless charging option without using LG's QuickCircle case, and no Qualcomm QuickCharge support. But all is not lost. We'll touch on both later in this review.

For all the drama over Qualcomm's high-end roadmap lately, the G4 performs admirably with a Snapdragon 808.

On the inside, there's a Snapdragon 808 processor running the show. The 808 is the little brother of Qualcomm's controversial Snapdragon 810, the main difference being the presence of two fewer high-power cores in the 808. So you're looking at a six-core CPU, with two high-performance Cortex-A57 cores and four lower-power A53 cores, along with a slightly less trailblazing GPU, the Adreno 418. It's still a "big.LITTLE" chip, using the high-power cores for demanding tasks and the lower-powered ones for lighter background stuff.

On paper, then, the LG G4 is less powerful than its concave cousin, the G Flex 2, which uses a Snapdragon 810. However this only really holds true if you sit around running benchmarks all day. In the real world, where things like scrolling speed, touch response and app load times matter, the G4 is the faster phone by a country mile. A lot of that has to do with the software, which has also been tuned up. (And in fact Qualcomm and LG are both quick to tell you that the 808 and G4 were quite literally made for one another.) But it's also apparent that the G4 isn't throttling back its CPU anywhere near as much as the G Flex 2, nor is it getting as hot during heavier use.

LG G4

The one area where you might legitimately notice slower performance than an 810-powered phone is high-end gaming. On paper, the the G4's Adreno 418 GPU is closer to the Adreno 420 included with Snapdragon 805 phones. That means there's less graphical number-crunching power than the Adreno 430 used by the Snapdragon 810, and that's reflected in benchmark scores and frame rates in more demanding games. On balance, we found graphically intensive titles performed about as well on the G4 as they did on Snapdragon 805-based phones like the Galaxy Note 4. That's still nothing to sniff at.

It's also likely that having two fewer A57 cores helps the G4 to run for longer on a 3,000mAh battery. By contrast, the G Flex 2, which used a battery of the same capacity, was kind of a trainwreck in terms of longevity.

LG's new flagship feels just as speedy as its rivals.

So the Snapdragon 808 seems like a good fit for the G4, and we haven't found the phone's performance lacking in any area — far from it in fact. It's the fastest, most responsive LG phone I've used, and more importantly it also feels just as quick as competing flagships from HTC and Samsung. LG tells us the 808 is "fully tuned up for the G4, developed over two years with Qualcomm," and the results of those efforts are plain to see. As we'll discuss later in this review, the G4 offers a smooth, stutter-free software experience, and that's not something we could really say about its predecessors.

We can thank a combination of faster hardware, tuned-up software and a more responsive in-cell touch sensor for finally killing off performance lag in LG phones.

LG G4 in plastic

Less than fantastic

The LG G4 in plastic

Let's face it — if you end up with a plastic-backed LG G4, chances are it's because you couldn't get ahold of the leather version of the phone right away. Availability of the the more desirable leather G4 backs remains up in the air, but you can bet the mobile operators will want to get their claws into the various flavors of leather G4 through exclusivity deals. At least the removable nature of the backs opens up the possibility of buying plastic at launch and swapping out for leather later.

Anyway, back to the plastic LG G4. There are three colors available to choose from, should you opt for a traditional polycarbonate derriere for your G4 — metallic grey, ceramic white and gold. The grey and gold options have a matte texture, unlike the slicker finish of the G3. Meanwhile the white plastic back has a shinier, glossier finish.

I'm not a big fan of the glossy white plastic, which brings back memories of the fingerprinty G2 back panel, not to mention countless plastic Samsung phones. The gold and grey options feel much nicer in the hand — though let's be clear, it's still a plastic back, regardless of ceramic this or diamond-patterned that.

The plastic G4 backs hint at more exotic materials, but in the hand it's clear they're just plain old polycarbonate.

Speaking of which, the geometric pattern on the back of the plastic G4s is more than just a printed decal. This is actually embossed into the plastic itself, and you can feel the diamond shaped indentations when you run your finger along the back the phone.

Over the top of that is the same faux brushed metal effect used in the G3, so there's a lot to catch the eye when light hits the back of a plastic G4. It's a unique design that hints at more exotic materials. Alas, when you pick it up it's all too clear it's just plain old polycarbonate.

So the plastic-backed G4s are nothing special, but not entirely objectionable either. Like many others, if I end up using a G4 in the long-term, I suspect I'll find myself hunting down a leather back on eBay. Until then, I'm not losing too much sleep over my polycarbonate-clad model.

LG G4 leather

Vegetable tanned

The LG G4 in leather

Phil Nickinson: If you get a G4, you'll want to get a leather back for it. It's that simple. Don't worry about how it's looked in pictures. They don't do it justice. I used a leather-backed Moto X for much of 2014 and well into 2015, and it's a remarkable option to affix to a smartphone. The brown leather I've got reportedly is exclusive to T-Mobile here in the U.S. But without official word on any sort of availability we'll hold out hope.

It's a little tough to pass any sort of judgment on leather after just a week. Leather's organic. It ages. It'll mar and scratch and ding and suffer all sorts of other words that you generally don't want to see in the same sentence as "smartphone." That's the point, though. It's leather. And it'll get better with time. And for all the gimmicks I've seen with smartphone design, the stitching works. I don't know a thing about fashion or materials used therein, but I do know that the stitching absolutely adds a little something extra to the back of a phone that already stands out more than most.

But here's the really cool part about the G4: If the leather ages more like Robert Redford than Paul Newman, you can swap it out for something new. (A Brad Pitt, perhaps.) But that's not to say that the leather backs feel like some sort of afterthought. If you weren't told that you could remove the back, there's a good chance you'd never question the idea of being stuck with this little slice of bovine hide for the life of the phone. At least in its early days, it's affixed to the plastic back that well. It looks and feels as much a part of the phone as the permanent skin on the Moto X. And with the other leather colors come new textures. You can swap skins as often as you like.

I can't recommend leaving your phone face-down. But with the G4 in leather, I can't help but flip it over to take a look. (Or, yes, to leave for others to sneak a peek.)

Again, we have questions. We don't know how the leather backs will be available. Who will sell them, and for how much? We don't know how well the leather will age over time. But there can be no denying that it's so much more classy than plastic. Period.

MORE: The LG G4 in leather

LG G4

Say hello to LG UX 4.0

LG G4 Software

For a long time, LG's software was a major area of weakness for its devices. In the pre-G3 days, powering on an LG phone would reveal an inconsistent, vaguely TouchWiz-like technicolor mess. However in the past year the company has tightened up its software design considerably, adopting a more consistent, geometric visual style in the G3. Along with this new look came features like Smart Notice, which aimed to serve up useful info cards based on the way you use your phone. LG UX 3.0 was an improvement, sure, but there was still a lot of work left to do, not least in the area of performance and responsiveness.

LG's most important software improvement isn't a new app or feature, or any kind of visual change.

The LG G4 ships with LG's new UX 4.0, based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. In addition to running the latest version of Lollipop, LG's new software arrives with an assortment of design changes and new features. But the biggest improvement isn't one you'll find heavily promoted by the manufacturer. It's not a new app or feature, or any kind of visual enhancement. Instead it's the streamlined performance that puts an end to the intermittent stutters we've witnessed on phones like the G3 and G Flex 2. The G4 is, for all intents and purposes, lag-free. Like all Android phones, things can get a bit choppy when you're updating a bunch of apps concurrently, or in the first few seconds after booting — but in regular day-to-day use the G4's software is as smooth as anything currently available.

LG G4 home screens

LG has also made its software brighter and more Material Design-friendly, adopting more vivid colors to show off that impressive IPS Quantum Display. Whereas last year's UX focused on subdued "mature" colors, this year it's all about bright blues, purples and magentas. It's still a mostly flat and geometric affair, with liberal use of large squares, circles and rounded cylindrical toggles. As on the G3, everything feels quite heavily stylized to fit with LG's established design language, but the company's been able blend this with the look, feel and features of Android 5.1 Lollipop more equitably than before. LG has also embraced Material-style animations across many of its apps, with cards flying into place in the Smart Notice Widget, and color transitions exploding outwards when ending a call.

The camera icon still looks like a washing machine.

There are a few visual tweaks we're not entirely happy with, though. Some of LG's graphics are are a little abstract — the triangular mountains (I guess?) in the gallery icon for one. The size difference between LG's icons and those belonging to third-party apps can also be quite jarring. Quirks from earlier Android versions also remain in places, including an Android 4.x-style tabbed app drawer with a section for widgets. And the camera icon still looks more like a washing machine than anything you'd take use to take photos.

Many longstanding gripes from LG's earlier Lollipop-based software have been addressed though — notifications on the lock screen can now be expanded in the proper way, and there's an easy quick settings shortcut to toggle between All, Priority and DND modes. (A good thing, because in line with Google's vision of Lollipop there's still no traditional mute mode.)

In UX 4.0, LG does a much better job marrying Lollipop's look, feel and feature set to its own design language.

The Smart Notice widget was one of the major new software additions in last year's LG flagship, and this year's version has been given a graphical overhaul and a handful of new features. The widget now adapts its background color to match your home screen wallpaper, which is a neat visual touch, taking it beyond the boring square arrangement of old. A Material-style help button also lets you look up help articles from the manual. (Or at least it should eventually — the English version of this feature isn't fully live yet.)

The core of Smart Notice is its weather functionality, which shows you current conditions, and advice for later in the day. ("Prepare for rain falling in the afternoon," for instance.) And these can sometimes be hit and miss — for example at one point the widget told me to prepare for "a rainy morning commute" on a Saturday. Other smart cards include birthday notifications for contacts, suggestions for new contacts based on recently-dialed numbers, and recommendations to clear out downloads and apps that haven't been used in a while. In UX 4.0, it can also pull in data from LG Health, assuming you're using that service, and tell you about apps that might be draining the battery.

Smart Bulletin, the slide-out panel placed on the leftmost home screen, also makes a return, this time with enough functionality to actually justify its existence. You'll find cards for LG Health, an agenda readout from the LG Calendar app, controls for LG's music app, and a miniature TV remove for use with the phone's IR blaster, among others. It's roughly analogous to iOS's widget panel, but unlike Apple's implementation you're limited to cards for LG's apps alone.

Though improved, Smart Bulletin and Smart Notice rarely stretch beyond being mildly useful.

The problem with both Smart Notice and Smart Bulletin, improved as they are on the G4, is that neither has really advanced further beyond being mildly useful. I'm not immediately junking Smart Notice like I was before, but there's nothing it does that I miss when I switch to another phone or launcher. And Smart Bulletin still doesn't really do enough to justify its presence for those of us not completely bought into the LG ecosystem — after initially sticking it out with the feature for a couple of days, I eventually turned it off.

For me, regular Android widgets are more useful than Smart Bulletin, and Google Now remains a better predictive card-based app than Smart Notice.

Fortunately, familiar and more useful LG software tricks are alive and well on the G4 as well. KnockOn allows you to double-tap the screen to wake your phone — useful because of the rear-mounted buttons. And KnockCode lets you secure the G4 with a specific pattern of knocks. LG's split-screen Dual window mode also returns, with Samsung-like icons in the Overview menu showing you which apps can be opened in this mode. Similarly, QSlide lets you open some of LG's apps in a miniature windowed view. The list of supported apps for both features remains relatively small, however, and neither is as useful as Samsung's Multi window and Popup view.

The Gallery app can now create "Memories" out of your photo albums, and stream them to your Chromecast.

A few of LG's built-in apps have inherited notable new features, too. The LG Calendar app gets a new "event pocket" feature, which lets you tag pictures, Facebook events and locations to your calendar entries — though these only appear in the LG app if you're syncing back to a Google Calendar account.

And the LG Gallery app can now group photos into "Memories" based on date and location, similar to HTC's Zoe or Motorola's highlights reel, creating automatic video highlights and letting you browse your photos based on location through a built-in app. The Gallery app will create these automatically, and notify you through Smart Notice if you have this enabled. What's more, the app also has built-in Chromecast support, making it easier than ever to show your pictures on a bigger screen.

That's a generous helping of new stuff to top off a mountain of familiar LG functionality.

Overall, LG has taken important steps forward in terms of design, performance and feature set. Some of it is a bit superfluous — LG Health, for instance, looks pretty, but doesn't do much beyond tracking your steps and syncing back to an LG Account. And we've already questioned the usefulness of Smart Bulletin to the average user. But the most significant improvements have to do with the way LG's latest software looks and performs. Though it won't be to everyone's tastes, the new LG UX is brighter, more modern and more Material Design-friendly than before, and LG's war on lag has yielded its fastest, most responsive software experience to date.

There's always room for improvement, but on the whole, UX 4.0 is a firm step forward for LG.

A few other software bits worth mentioning:

  • LG has introduced a Smart Settings feature, which lets you toggle certain settings based on your location, or which accessories you have plugged in. (For example, turning Wifi off when you leave home.) We've seen similar features from other manufacturers, and there's not much to see in LG's relatively basic implementation.
  • We mentioned earlier that we're using a G4 running software based upon the Korean version of the phone, and as a result some of the English translations on our unit are a little askew. We've noticed this the most in Smart Notice's weather predictions and the LG Health app — sometimes with unintentionally comical or passive-aggressive sounding results. "Do you feel a sense of achievement?" and "Exercise makes you look great!" after reaching a step goal, among others. We saw the same thing on Korean G3s a year ago, and this was eventually fixed on European devices. Our T-Mobile versions have no such malady.
  • The menu for LG's lock screen shortcuts doesn't play nice with Android's Smart Lock feature. If you want to see the option (under Settings > Lock Screen) to change the app shortcuts displayed there, you first need to disable your lock screen security, then change your app shortcuts, then re-lock.
  • LG's built-in keyboard is actually pretty good. It's responsive, customizable and includes a pretty good correction engine. At the very least, it's managed to keep me from installing SwiftKey during my first week with the G4.
  • For anyone wondering, the G4 works just fine with Android Auto.
  • There's still some stuff you'll want to turn off.

LG G4

Lasers, color spectrum sensors and RAW

LG G4 Camera

The LG G4 arrives at a time when high-end phone cameras are starting to get really, really good. As other aspects of smartphone hardware begin to plateau, digital imaging is one area in which we're still seeing meaningful improvements each generation. And between leading devices like the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6, it's becoming increasingly possible to take amazing photos on your phone, regardless of lighting conditions.

The G4 can stand alongside the GS6 and the iPhone as one of the best phone cameras out there.

LG's been making some big promises about the G4's camera in the run up to the phone's announcement, and for the most part the manufacturer's audacity is well-founded. The LG G4 can stand alongside the GS6 and the iPhone as one of the best phone cameras out there.

The star of the show is the G4's 16-megapixel, optically stabilized rear camera. The main camera features stabilization across all three axes, as part of LG's "OIS 2.0" tech. And it's tucked behind an impressive f/1.8 aperture lens, which is among the brightest we've seen in a flagship phone.

The main camera also is backed up by LG's laser autofocus tech, first seen on the G3, which bounces an array of infrared lasers off your scene in order to assist with focusing. And as we mentioned earlier, the G4 introduces a color spectrum sensor below its LED flash to help it detect the correct color balance for each scene. It's an impressive assortment of imaging technology, and the G4 makes good use of it.

Around the front is an upgraded 8-megapixel camera, behind an f/2.0 lens. As our own Russell Holly discovered, the G4's front camera isn't just good for casual selfies, it's also a surprisingly competent camera in its own right, going toe-to-toe with many of the previous year's rear cameras in terms of image quality.

LG's gesture-activated selfies also make a return, and now you can use the closed-fist gesture twice in quick succession to capture a burst of selfies.

MORE: The LG G4's front camera versus four of last year's flagships

The LG G3 was a competent all-round camera, and the G4 takes things to the next level. For the most part, the upgraded sensor captures a ton of detail, with rich, realistic colors in just about all conditions. The camera's f/1.8 aperture allows plenty of light to be captured in darker conditions, while also helping produce great-looking macro shots with beautifully defocused backgrounds. And the camera's optical stabilization allows for longer, blur-free exposures in low light as well.

That all adds up to a camera that's among the very best we've used on an Android phone.

With that said, let's nitpick a little. Each camera has its peculiarities, and the G4 seems to favor aggressive noise reduction and sharpening techniques for its photos — more so than its main rivals. In some instances, particularly pictures with lots of edges, like shots of trees, this can result in some artifacting and occasional loss of fine detail. That's something that can be tweaked in software, though of course there's no guarantee LG will do so.

It's also apparent that LG isn't using the same processing technique as Samsung for HDR (high dynamic range) shots. The Galaxy S6, for instance, appears to use on-sensor HDR for live HDR previews and near-instant HDR captures. The G4 is a little slower to take HDR photos, and its HDR images are a little more susceptible to motion and halo effects than those from Samsung's latest cameras. LG's technique seems to cope a little better with very bright images however, for example when shooting subjects with the sun directly in the background.

A truly excellent smartphone camera, but one with a few quirks.

LG G4 camera

We're reluctant to dwell too much on the quirks of the G4's main camera, because it really is one of the best we've used. In some scenes you'll get better pics with the GS6 (or Note 4), in others the G4 will produce the best-looking shots. I'm not convinced either one is "best" overall, but I do think that on balance they're probably equally good.

Elsewhere you'll find an impressive, upgraded panorama mode now capable of taking panoramic shots in excess of 100 megapixels, which is pretty ridiculous. G3 owners will also be pleased to learn that the G4's panorama setup is a vast improvement upon the largely hopeless pano mode of its predecessor.

LG has tweaked its quick camera shortcut from the G3 — now you double-tap the volume down key to launch the G4's camera, instead of long-pressing like before. The obvious comparison here is with Samsung's quick-launch feature, though LG's isn't quite as quick as its rival.

On the surface, the G4's camera app appears largely unchanged. If you just want to point and shoot, the very simple "Simple" mode will let you do just that, but the automatic "Basic" mode is where most of us will probably live. That gives you control over the usual stuff — flash, guidelines, timers, HDR and other common toggles. And as was the case on the G3, this is all laid out somewhat haphazardly. It's not immediately obvious why the HDR toggle lives under Settings, but the Panorama mode lives under Modes, for instance. In any case, it's easy enough once you get acquainted with where everything is.

Serious photographers will want to live in the G4's impressive new manual mode.

Serious photographers, however, will want to live in the G4's new and highly impressive "manual" mode. As the name suggests manual mode gives you all the controls and readouts you'd expect from a pro-level camera. This includes the ability to take RAW images — special image files that capture more information than just a regular JPEG, and which can be used to manually process photos in professional software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

Readings along the top of the manual mode UI include a histogram, white balance (in kelvin), focus mode, EV (exposure value), ISO and shutter speed. Down below, there are controls to let you tweak all this stuff, accompanied by an auto-exposure lock button which you can tap once to lock, or twice to revert to auto. The combination of a really great phone camera, fine controls over your photo settings and a RAW capture option really is a gift to photographers, and one that introduces all kinds of creative possibilities.

RAW photos from the G4 are captured in DNG (digital negative) format, and generally weigh in at (at least) a hefty 20MB apiece — so you'll definitely want to invest an SD card if you intend to make use of this feature. The process of getting RAW images off the G4 is also a little more arduous than it needs to be, requiring you to plug in the phone or share the DNG using the File Manager app, or another app like Adobe Lightroom (opens in new tab) (which requires a paid subscription service). Sharing a RAW + JPEG photo from the Gallery app only shares the JPEG, for obvious reasons.

Once the files are copied off the phone, it's up to you to load it into your photo editing app of choice and do your thing, just as you would with a RAW file from a digital camera. It's been fun to take a shot at processing (and sometimes over-processing) RAW photos from the G4, turning dull or overexposed images into something more pleasing to the eye. One thing we've noticed so far, however, is that bringing out shadow details in images from the G4 exposes a lot of chroma noise. That's not too surprising given the relative size of the camera's sensor, however.

Check our sample photo gallery for a couple of light trail shots taken in manual mode with long exposure times. With a maximum exposure time of 30 seconds and a proper smartphone tripod kit, we don't doubt that we'll see some serious impressive shots taken on the G4 once it's widely available.

For video capture, the G4 defaults to 1080p, though you can crank it up to 4K (2160p) if you're happy to record no more than five minute at a time. In either mode, the G4 records at a smooth, consistent 30 frames per second. Video captured has many of the same characteristics as photos from the G4 — generally good-looking footage in most conditions, with a tendency towards somewhat aggressive noise reduction. And while the G4's OIS tech helps to keep handheld footage stable, moving footage often exhibits a weird depth-shifting effect, seemingly due to the fact that it's stabilizing along the z axis now as well as x and y. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but something to watch out for.

That's a whole lot of camera. And while the LG G4 might not be head and shoulders above its immediate competition, there's a great deal to like here. Excellent photos — among the best you'll get from a smartphone — in just about all conditions. A host of manual shooting options and creative possibilities thanks to the new RAW shooting mode.

And with the arrival of the G4, Samsung is no longer the only choice for an Android phone with a really great camera.

Camera showdown: LG G4 versus Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6

LG's talking a big game about the quality of the G4's camera, and in the time we've been playing with it, it's certainly produced some impressive images. But it's also up against some impressive competition — smartphone cameras have never been better than they are today, and today they're really good. So we're pitting the LG G4 against the competition, namely the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Take a closer look at all three in our G4 vs. GS6 vs. iPhone 6 camera showdown!

LG G4

All day longevity — with a couple of trade-offs

LG G4 Battery Life

With Samsung moving to fixed internal batteries in the Galaxy S6, a removable battery is an easy differentiator for LG to offer in its 2015 flagship. And so it's no surprise to see the G4 arriving with a 3,000mAh removable battery — a higher capacity than its local rival, and with the option to swap in a fresh battery in on longer days.

LG's removable battery comes with a few strings attached, however. While there is Qualcomm Quick Charge support, the phone only comes with a regular 5V/1.8A charger. And there's no wireless charging support included out of the box — the only way to charge wirelessly is to use LG's Qi-compatible QuickCircle case. That last point will be particularly disappointing for anyone in Europe upgrading from a G3, as the the Euro version of that phone came with Qi charging built in.

MORE: Wireless charging, in plain English

Being a phone of few compromises, the G4's charging situation stands out as perhaps the biggest functional trade-off.

As for battery life itself, the G4 could be a good choice for buyers disappointed by usage times of the Galaxy S6. I've been getting around 16 hours per day with mixed usage consisting of web browsing, messaging, music streaming and photography using the rear camera. Phil has seen about the same. With more intensive usage patterns on LTE, with heavier camera use, this figure dropped to around 14 hours. To put that in terms of screen-on time, I've been getting around 4 hours with mixed indoor and outdoor use on Wifi and LTE.

You'll get a full day comfortably, but little more.

For most of us, that's not sufficient to comfortably squeeze a second day's use out of a single charge. But it is enough that I'm not worrying about the G4 needing a mid-day top-up, as many GS6 owners including our own editors have found.

Having used a G3 pretty much exclusively for six months last year, I've also noticed that prolonged use doesn't seem to tank the G4's battery anywhere near as much as the previous model. That suggests the new phone's innards really are more efficient than its forerunner's.

So overall I'm satisfied with the longevity of the LG G4, and pleased that LG's around to cater to those of us who want a high-end phone with a removable battery. However that's tempered by disappointment that LG wasn't able to go all-out and include the latest charging standards — both wired and wireless — in its new flagship. Maybe next year.

LG G4

A phenomenal flagship

LG G4: The Bottom Line

As LG positions itself as the major rival to Samsung in the Android space, the G4 emerges as one of the most important launches of the year. And depending on how things pan out, it stands a decent chance of being one of the best Android phones of 2015. It really is that good.

The G4 is competent across the board, and exceptional in the areas where it really matters. It brings to the table one of the best IPS LCD displays we've seen in a smartphone, a camera to match the latest from Samsung, reliable all-day battery life and performance that leaves older LG phones in the dust. By offering removable battery and storage options, the G4 can cater to hardcore power users who demand these features, as well as serious photographers who need extra storage for RAW photos. And LG's attractive leather backs for the G4 add considerable gravitas to what might have otherwise been another ho-hum plastic chassis.

On the software side, LG delivers a premium handset running the latest version of Lollipop, along with a new Material-influenced user interface. Though perhaps excessively colorful and over-geometric for some tastes, LG's UX 4.0 also feels responsive and modern. There's some superfluous software bundled alongside that, of course, but in the Android world that problem is hardly isolated to LG.

The G4 is competent across the board, and exceptional where it really matters. And it stands a good chance of being one of the best Android phones of 2015.

Like the G3 before it, there's really nothing at all that the LG G4 is bad at, and that might be its greatest strength of all. As much as we may grumble about the lack of Qi charging or offering a quick charger in the box — or the fact that leather doesn't come as standard — that's far from a convincing Achilles' heel. Instead what you'll find if you pick up a G4 is a great high-end smartphone without any real compromises to speak of.

For that reason, LG's 2015 flagship has earned itself a hearty recommendation.

Should you buy the LG G4? Yes

If you're in the market for a high-end Android phone this year, the LG G4 is a great place to start looking. The G4 is the Korean firm's best phone yet, making important advancements in display quality, performance and digital imaging. It has just about everything you could ask of a high-end smartphone. While the plastic model isn't particularly spectacular, that unique leather version is sure among the most unique and eye-catching smartphones out there.

While G4 pricing hasn't been announced on all carriers at the time of writing, you can probably expect the phone to line up with other flagship Android phones from the likes of Samsung and HTC.

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

394 Comments
  • Good review Posted via the Android Central App
  • And it looks excellent in the app! Well done AC!
  • Well, LG3 is definitely one of the better phones on the market, all though there are a few like Moto X Pure Edition and Galaxy S3 Mini that can compete with it. /Teddy from http://www.consumerrunner.com/top-10-best-phones/
  • Yes, I agree. Kudos to AC, a very comprehensive review compact but covers all the areas. I like to mention I the Photos you used for this review. Which camera did you use these close-up pics? I have seen a video review about LG g4 here https://fanreviews.co/mobiles/lg-g4-2015-smartphone/lg-g4-review-9-month... can you tell me after the launch of some flagships product like Nexus is LG Still a better option?
  • i wouldnt say so as mine the battery gave up after 6 months
  • So far every review been about the same for the G4 Posted via the Android Central App
  • You're right. This is like the 3rd review I've seen that gives this phone high marks.
  • I love my G2 and now my G3 but I don't understand why each iteration increases the size of the bezels. Also the lack or wireless charging and quick charge is total BS. With that being said, I will still buy this phone but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm a little disappointed.
  • See my comment below about wireless charging. I'd be surprised if it can't be modified. That being said, if can be added on that easy (like the G3) it's even more BS that they didn't just throw it in.
  • Give people a removable battery and a microSD slot and yet they still find something to complain about.
  • They want it all. I'd say that's a great trade off. With an extra battery you can go from 0 to 100 with a simple swap. Plus as they said you can just purchase the special case that enables wireless charging. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Its not a simple swap if you carry your phone in a tight case like I do. It's a total pain in the butt not to mention you have to purchase and charge the second battery every night. The lack of quick charge 2.0 in the G3 was disappointing especially since the snapdragon 801 SOC had it built in but LG refused to enable it. This is a huge omission and will completely remove this phone from my wish list. I am sick and tired of carrying a battery charging pack so quick charge is a must. Totally disappointing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wait! you will carry a quick charger with you , but not a battery pack, or extra battery, which requires no wait time except at home when its charging, but a quick charger requires you to stand by an outlet for 1/2 an hour to get what back to 50%? I CALL B.S. SAMSUNG FANBOY COMPLAINER on you. : ) Honestly people, my G3 goes from 10 % to 70% in 1 hour and from 10% to 100% in 1.5 hours. Thats quick in my book.
    and i added wireless charging to my G3 buy buying a new back that had it installed for about $25.
    I'm sure new backs with wireless charging will be available from 3rd parties. but the wireless charges so slow compared to the included charger.
  • I agree. So, if he won't go for the LG G4, he'll go for the Nexus 6? Galaxy S6? S6 Edge? Iphone? HTC One M9? THIS is the ONLY mainstream device that has a removable and exchangeable battery! So... Totally trolling :) haha. I have the Note 4, love it, and it has a replaceable battery and I haven't replaced it once! So for me, in all honesty, it isn't a big deal. I have a Nokia DT-903 wireless charger and I don't use it! AT ALL! Maybe I should? haha. For me, not having expandable memory is the deal breaker. I won't buy another phone unless it has 64GB memory as default --not as a tier to upgrade (like 599 for 16, 699 for 32, and 799 for 64)... 32 is just too little in my opinion for someone that uses their phone a lot. In fact, I find that most people even with low end specs or midrange need 32 just for all the pictures they take! Even crappy quality ones take up space! Anyways, I don't even use the quick charge function on my Note 4. I use one of those USB charging hubs on the headboard of the bed (it's like a table) and we charge all our devices there, usually at night, or leaving it there in the morning for other things like bluetooth devices, etc. Battery charging speeds are fine.
  • Eh, I see his point. It's not a deal-breaker for me, but swapping a battery really is a pain in the ass of you have your phone in a heavy duty case, and charging a power bank once a week or so (that's sufficient for me with my 10,000 mAh Anker, anyway) is less annoying than having to be sure that a spare battery is charged. I couldn't really care less about wireless charging, but the lack of quick charge is the closest thing to a disappointment about this phone for me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol always call someone a fanboy if they don't agree with you. Idiotic statement Posted via the Sailfish iMore app
  • lol ye that's what most people do well said pirate
  • No wireless charging or quick charge? No fingerprint scanner? No loop-pay style payment capability? Lousy video OIS? I thought this was as close to a no-compromise phone as possible?
  • True. But the S6 battery isn't great which is very annoying. The G4 has really great battery life.
    As for wireless charging, who cares? I have wireless and find it deeply irritating. The pay stuff will be ace... when it finally happens. When will that be though? Posted via the Android Central App
  • See that's the thing. The s6 battery is about the same to what they describe here (I'm typing this on the s6). After deactivating volte and WiFi calling (there is a bug with them) I get about 15 hours with 4 hours of screen on time, which is very good considering the battery capacity of the s6. According to what I have read, Samsung will release an update very soon fixing the bugs.
  • Even with the s6 battery sucking, I throw it on a charger for a few minutes and get another few hours of battery life because of quick charge. Not true of this device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do the UK phones have the Wi-Fi calling on too? Four hours screen on time isn't bad at all, although as I use my phone heavily on my commute, battery gets hammered due to constantly scanning mobile data. If I was sure the S6 could hold out ok on my 2 hour train journey I'd probably go for it. (My S5 frequently dies on the train home but I have a spare battery I can swap out) Posted via the Android Central App
  • The battery life of my S6 is way better than that of my S5 - with the same 140 apps installed. But not as good as the Note 4...
  • 4 hrs SOT and 15hrs of usage is very disappointing for today's standards. That's what I was getting and complaining about my phone in the first few months. Now of course I barely get 2.5-3hrs since I went through way too many charging cycles.
    No matter how efficient they made hardware on s6 obviously there is no replacement for displacement. 3000mAh with 1080p on that phone would probably easily get you 24h usage and a extra SOT so you don't have to bother w charging at all. via AC App on VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • I don't think it's disappointing at all. I think it's good given the battery capacity and screen resolution of the phone. I had the LG g2 with a 1080p screen and 3000mha and I would get the same on screen time. Yes, if you get a phablet you can get a better battery life (galaxy note, nexus 6 etc) but you can't have it all! You have options! If you want a 40 hours battery life this is not the phone for ypu
    Besides who needs 24 hours batter life. Don't everyone charge their phone at night? Like waking up a 7 am and charging your phone when you go to bed is good enough.
  • I will take lousy battery life with quick charge over great battery life without quick charge all day everyday period. Posted via the Android Central App
  • YOU SAMSUNG FANBOYS. wireless charging is slow compared to LG's wired charging, finger print scanner, thank god LG didn't throw that crap in there, (hate home buttons as well) Loop-pay, really, thats supposed to be a feature, google wallet or a card for me thank you.
    video ois, don't know but ok, never use video on my phone,. when you are taking hd video using your data or finding a public wifi to up load videos cause your storage is full, waiting on quick charge as well. I'll be swapping batteries and SD cards and moving on. THANK YOU.
  • the design and build quality looks POS to me other than that its a solid device
  • POS? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Point of sale ...
  • Piss On Snakes... Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's so cruel to do. Unless it's a dick.lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • I always knew it as Piece Of Shit. Hey man don't .. me there are sayings for the same acronym. Like FFS could mean For Fuck Sake or Front Facing Shooter. Posted via the Android Central App
  • im with you as i always took that as piece of **** to, epsecialy as the way he put it saying its POS then saying other than that its a solid device would mean he does mean piece of ****.
  • Piece of Steak, meaning: if it ain't a whole 16oz then it ain't worth eating...I think Posted via Android Central App
  • Too big.
  • Troll on..
  • that's by far my biggest gripe with the phone as well.
  • ...that's what she said... :D
  • Better battery life than the S6? Bye bye S6.
  • It's not that much better, but every other category the s6 wins. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's kind of annoying and really irritating to have to charge up my S6's battery by about 3 pm.
  • It's probably like an hour longer for the g4. Also, I've heard of plenty of s6 owners that achieve 4-4.5 hrs of on screen time. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Damn dude....you would trade your S6 for a G4 when every spec the S6 has other than battery life is straight up better than the G4? Lol Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Order and magnitude of preferences are important. Someone might prefer the convenience of a long lasting battery to slightly superior specs in other departments.
  • (Slightly) being the key word. Samsung's fanboys think their Korean version of Apple's iPhone is the mother and father of all smart phones. So we should all expect to see them sippin' on large amounts of Hatorade. Posted via My htc One M8
  • It goes both ways. I'm just here to be the objective source of truth!! Haha Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not all of us S6 owners are fanboys. I like my phone a lot but it's not the be all end all.
  • That's a lie look at my comment below. The only thing the S6 really have on the G4 is a fingerprint sensor, quick charging, wireless charging, and a processor that drop a few less frames in gaming. The G4 is the better overall device. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol!! You have no idea what you're talking about - UFS 2.0 storage > eMMC
    - DDR4 RAM > DDR3
    - Exynos 7420 > SD 808
    - Mali T-760 GPU > adreno 418 You can debate all you want about which is the better overall device, but as far as hardware is concerned, saying the G4 is even close to on par with the S6 would be an insult to Samsung. Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • 4 things I can personally care less about, those differences are small, removable battery much more significant IMO. also not a fan of glass, since I'd cover it, not so with the G4. 2 great devices, and I look forward to the debate that will surely continue through the summer. I'll have to hold it first, but definitely leaning towards the G4. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Then get what you care about. I'm comparing the hardware between the two. Nothing else Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • yeah but u responded to a statement that said "best overall device" ... I'm just stating my opinion as far as what features are important to me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ya , I did. And I personally judge which is best overall by which has the better hardware (and software to a lesser extent) Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • I don't always agree with you, but on this point, I do. Posted via the Android Central App
  • 9ersfan3 I see you are enjoying you S6/edge...... Oh wait, what are you using? lol
  • Obviously its your opinion and not a fact. But i always find it dunny when pll try to dismiss the other phone's advantage like "oh youll never notice the difference between the exynos and the 808..." but then you want to give points for the G4 like they are truly valid like a removable battery. I have owned ever Samsung phones (high end) including the S6 and i never benefited from a removable battery. To me its not an advantage Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well...for anyone who tries to claim that the G4's hardware is even close to the S6, this video us sure to cause all sorts of butthurt, lol. LG brought a knife to a gunfight. I don't wanna change my mind about the 808 being decent but this didn't help that notion at all https://youtu.be/n4p_pO4I0Hw Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • well i wouldnt say the s6 is that much better it was like a fraction of a second quicker to load most of the apps on it in comparison to lg g4, so for a 100th of a second whats the big deal, id still have the g4
  • I have an S5 with wireless back and use swappable battery EVERY DAY. Wireless I hardly ever use however. I'm really annoyed by the mediocre battery on the S6, the G4 could be a real alternative. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Fair enough. Sadly all those specs don't translate well into the actual use of the device with reports of the apps having to be reloaded after multitasking to a different app for only seconds, apps crashing in the background randomly *which also happens on the G4 but was less often*, the performance of the S6 being tainted when adding custom themes, and the S6 and the G4 being downright comparable in performance in the first place. All that hardware with no seeable benefits. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's a software bug that Samsung started addressing yesterday with an OTA. And the G4 has a very similar problem. Hopefully LG fixes that soon The G4 is more comparable to the Note 4 IMO. Since they have much more similar hardware and removable batteries. The G4 is a 2015 flagship with mostly 2014 specs. Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • The G4 doesn't have 2014 specs IMO.. I'll say you are correct in that it is more comparable to the Note 4. And in my opinion that phone is one of the if not the best phone on the market. *I hope Yarell doesn't hear me* It has everything without leaving out much to be desired. A true flagship. So that was a nice thing to say.lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • I personally don't have any problem with the G4's specs. I'm actually one of the few on AC that's been adamantly defending the Snapdragon 808, lol. Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Yes 808 FTW. Posted via the Android Central App
  • totally agree that the G4 resembles the Note more than S6. can't wait to see the Note 5, never been so excited for a launch. it'll be interesting to see if LG comes out with a larger note like device later this year Posted via the Android Central App
  • So what 2014 device had the 808??? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The S6 performs like a champ and the themes do not slow down the phone. Only when you apply it it takes a few seconds to settle then its fast as hell. No need to try to downplay the S6 clear advantages. Posted via the Android Central App
  • C'Mon, man. Don't be THAT guy. The specs you listed will not improve the user experience in any appreciable way. At this level it's just chest-puffing.
  • You're right!! I think the mobile industry should just keep the specs just as they were in 2014...like forever!! I'm talking 10 years down the line I want the same specs that the G4 features. LOL!!! Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • A disingenuous reply. No one wants stagnation. But claiming that specs which offer no tangible benefit now make the S6 better now is just bravado.
  • Thats not true at all, youre being disingenuous yourself now because if the G4 had thr bettter specs you probably would have use them as an argument Posted via the Android Central App
  • Then you might as well say the S6 and G4 are no better than the Galaxy S4, Optimus G, htc one X, etc. There's no real tangable benefit to owning the newer handset is there? The former flagships still have displays, processors, RAM, and internal storage, right? Lol Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Now, now, such patently absurd twisting of my words is beneath you (I hope). Surely you can do better than that! We're talking about two current flagships, with comparable performance in every category. Bringing in old devices that are MEASURABLY poorer from a user experience perspective is just silly.
  • I'm not here to argue dude. But the S4's performance is definately comparable to these 2, especially if it's running stock. Okay, with the Optimus and One X I was reaching a little bit, lol. All I'm saying is that what samsung has done with the S6 is a pretty significant accomplishment overall. It's the first smartphone to feature both UFS 2.0 and a 14 nm. chipset. Both built in house no less. This is stuff we won't be seeing in phones until the end of the year. Add that to all the other specs and the S6 is clearly industry leading. More so than the G4' pretty much run of the mill specsheet Having said that, there's nothing wrong with the G4's specs, and IMO I think we reached the point of diminishing returns on android hardware performance when Krait 400 and the adreno 330 hit the scene with the SD 800. Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Doesn't the 808 support UFS 2.0? according to the specs page it does, you just need a charger capable of it. The One that comes with the G4 doesn't do it. If i have to go get a charger that does it, that's not a big deal for me since i always have multiple chargers in my home anyway.
  • You have so many delicious comments for me to down vote! :D (@9ersfan3)
  • Haha... Enjoy, kiddo!
  • You enjoy trolling, so just shut up Posted via Android Central App
  • A phone that only gives me 2 hours, 45 minutes of on screen time on a single charge is worthless. That's what I've been averaging on my S6. If the G4 can give me at least another hour, that would be awesome. Specs are worthless if the battery doesn't last long. Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • Jesus, that is really bad. My S5 is much better than that! Oh dear... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just checked gsam and my longest screen on has been 4 hrs 42 min.
  • 3000 mah > 2550mah
    5.5 screen > 5.1 screen
    F 1.8 > F 1.9
    Sd Card > No Sd Card
    Removable battery > No removable battery
    It works both ways
  • G4 has quick charge 2.0 which the s6 doesn't have. Only Samsung's off brand "quick charging" Posted via the Android Central App
  • Dude, your comment is unacceptably stupid Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • ye g4 is better the bettery life is a big plus i see people knocking but if you have no battery left it dont matter how good your phone is if you cant turn it on then its just a paper wieght
  • Yes your app might open milliseconds faster, congratulations. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Let them worship their samsung godlike specs. For me, i love what LG offers now, it's what matters to the public, everybody has their own preferences Posted via Android Central App
  • A longer battery life is more important to me. What can an octo-core phone do better (something I'd actually notice) than a hexa-core phone? Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • Longer battery is important to me as a field worker, not being able to find any chargers, so i will stick to LG Posted via Android Central App
  • I am an archaeologist who is always working in remote locations. It's irritating that I have to stop what I'm doing and pull out a portable battery charger for my S6 every day. A larger battery is a must for me. By the way, nobody will ever notice a performance difference between the S6 and G4. Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • No wonder you want the phone with archaic specs!! Jk... In all honesty, I'd debate the g4 as a buying option. In big on expanding storage and removable battery Posted via the Android Central App
  • Maybe no one will notice, Indy'. But look at how much faster that S6 you have is than the G4 https://youtu.be/n4p_pO4I0Hw Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Yeah, don't really care. I don't use my phone for gaming. I use my Xbox One for that. Why do you care about my choice in phone? Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • Don't flatter yourself Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Dayummm! That 0.25 seconds faster (and usually only because animations were turned off on the s6) is incredible. That's it, everyone. The G4 is doomed.
  • Lmao!! Disabling animations has a trivial effect on app loading speeds. And no, if you watch the entire video you'll see the G4 got trounced, which is to be expected going up against that superior of an SoC. In the coming weeks there will be much more of this comparison on YouTube and it'll be the same thing over and over. Im willing to bet the SD 805 variant note 4 is gonna win tests like these against the G4 as well in the the coming weeks. It's no biggie, just is what it is Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Lol, I was just joking.. sort of. TBH, I didn't get to the gaming/benchmark portion, where I'm sure the differences in chips becomes more noticeable. But someone watching that video at face value who just looks at the score will be pretty mislead by the scoring system, as I saw at least a few cases out of a dozen where the transition animation literally did make the difference in the winner (these were pretty simple tasks like loading a page or video on YT). Of course, the GS6 will be winning most resource intensive tasks, but I can't help but shake my head at a video like that because when you see "12-3!" in GS6 favor it suggests a much larger difference in performance than you'd find in practical usage.
  • The final score is misleading, especially since a bunch were less resource intensive and they were also very close launching most of those. I try not to pay attention to benchmarks in general unless there's a huge disparity. They can be very misleading as you know Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Indeed, sir!
  • Samsung Fanboys are just as irritating as Apple Fanboys. It must really bother you that LG has come out with an exceptional phone, doesn't it? Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • It must since they're all over this glowing review spouting off about the s6. LG hit a home run. Accept it and move on. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Someone clearly doesn't like what LG is offering. Internal wise you may worship samsung, but regardless of the advantage, samsung clearly has disadvantage that people despise Posted via Android Central App
  • Well considering they're opening a third warehouse to meet the needs of their customer base, I'd say it's a smaller number of people than LG Posted via the Android Central App
  • Heh, you think samsung sells a lot is something that you must point it out to everybody and everywhere eh? What a moron Posted via Android Central App
  • Mine was at 88% at 3pm... (ducks for cover)
  • Must have woken up at 2pm with a hangover and a body in your bed. _Posted via my Nexus 6_
  • Burnnnn Posted via Android Central App
  • Oww! Sizzle sizzle!
    Thanks you two, I almost woke my wife up laughing, lol ;)
    (hmmm, so technically I DO have a body in my bed!)
    But actually as I type right now, the phone is at 56% with 18 hours and 23 minutes of runtime since unplugging this morning. Average runtime is 36.2 hours per charge, average SOT is 6 hours 38 minutes, with the longest actual SOT recorded by GSam pro being almost 7 hours. I'd post a screenshot, but I don't think you can do that in the comments...
    Device is an M8 though, so it's not really relevant to this article.
  • You know its bad when Samsung fanboys lie about battery percentage. Oh the struggle! Posted via My htc One M8
  • I probably should have mentioned at the top of the post that those figures are for an HTC One M8. Those numbers are real and I have screenshots. Today I decided to run everything full tilt; no powersave (not even the mild one I usually use), wifi on, mobile data on, HD calling over VoLTE on, BT on, screen on auto brightness. I held nothing back and used it hard, and just got home from work with the phone at 81%.
  • Ha! Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • I charged up my phone at 5 pm today and I'm at 47% with 1 1/2 hours of on screen time. That's pitiful. I miss my Nexus 6. At least the battery in that lasted me well over a day. Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • Mine went off the charger at 7am, and back in for a boost at 6pm. Full day, lots of emails and team viewer sessions. S6 has a fine battery. Posted via a SGS6
  • Fine... okay nice, fine is nice for you, enjoy Posted via Android Central App
  • You might be the biggest troll this site has seen yet, and you came out of the woodwork lookin like the sole lg cheerleader. Get over it, the s6 is better and will triple the sales Posted via the Android Central App
  • Will it triple sales? Most likely. Is it better? That is surely debatable in my opinion G4 takes the cake. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh really? I don't bash another product, i just despise stupid fanboy like you Posted via Android Central App
  • Deactivate volte and WiFi calling and you will get much improved battery life
  • every review I've seen puts the screen, camera and responsiveness on very even footing.
    If you see it winning in every other category, you've got some Samsung colored glasses. the only category the S6 beats it in without argument is high end gaming.
    Myself I'd prefer longer battery life as I don't play high end games, I play games like solitaire and words with frends
  • Samsung fanboy, what matters to them doesnt matter to somebody and it pisses them! Posted via Android Central App
  • Samsung Fanboys are just as annoying and irritating as Apple Fanboys. Posted via the Android Central App on the Galaxy S6.
  • True that Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah, I don't get how the S6 supposedly beats the G4 in every other category. There might be some slight advantage with the processor and storage format.. but I haven't heard any real world reviews that has made a big difference. The biggest advantage the s6 has for me is size, but I may be willing to trade that for a longer lasting and removable battery. I've been on Nexus devices since 2011 and I really don't want another device with a hampered battery.
  • Not in every other category. Spec wise yes the S6 has it. But the specs for the camera, battery, and Android version are in favor of G4 if we're just talking specs. Posted via the Android Central App
  • But you can swap a fresh one in 30 seconds with the LG G 4, something you can NOT do with the S6. So the battery life is moot on a phone with a replaceable battery. And it's not like the LG G 4 comes with a small battery to begin with. Posted via the Android Central App
  • this ... I don't get people complaining about quick charge. it has the best quick charge possible, 100% in 30 seconds. some don't use replaceable batteries, so not everyone will agree, but for those that do, it's a much better alternative to quick charge. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It all depends on use. Some reviews have the S6 with longer battery life. Phone Arena for example got 7h 14 min with the S6 and 6h 6 min with the G4.
  • Phonearena's battery tests are absolute BS. For one they say the S6 edge' battery lasts for more than ONE HOUR more than the regular S6 (with an ever so slightly dimmer display by 20 nits), when that is obviously not true. They also say the Droid turbo lasts longer than the Z3, which sadly isn't true even though it has a considerably bigger battery. Search XDA forums and 80% of Droid Turbo users get 5, maybe 5:30 hours of screen on time, while Z3 users get 6 to 7 hours consistently.
  • LG did a pretty good job it seems with a few key missteps as well. Surprised the battery isn't much better than the S6 and that lockscreen animation alone speaks to them still making some poor/ugly/cartoony decisions with the UI. I can stare at the leather back for awhile and gorgeous never crossed my mind, maybe it's the pictures.
  • The battery IS much better than the S6. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I read 4 hours SOT which isn't much better than the S6. The G4 has good battery life but it's not great while the S6 has mediocre battery which definitely isn't great either. Hopefully, it's software related on both and not the screens.
  • Their G4's are running on pre-release software so let's hope. Posted via the Android Central App
  • ye id say some of it is to do with the software as with my game when i released it you could play for about 3 hours before using up a battery on any phone, so i reprogrammed it so not to use so much and now it plays the same and lasts 6 hours play.
  • That Samsung SD card though :D
  • Is Lollipop's multiuser function disabled like it is the G3? Guest mode isn't the same no matter how badly LG wants us to believe that it is.
  • No its there. Posted via the Android Central App
  • RAW looks amazing! Posted via the Android Central App
  • No. Straight up RAW shots usually look worse, because typically you make it look good after the shot on editing software. If we are being honest, RAW shots for normal photography is a huge pain in the ass. You can't share them until you convert them to a jpeg, they almost always need editing, and they are huge files. I'm not knocking RAW, but like the manual mode in the camera app, you kind of need to know what you are doing. Posted
  • Do they look worse in The review? Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's about options. The normal person can use the auto mode and get great pictures. If you are someone who understands manual modes and RAW this is the first mainstream phone to allow it.
  • 100% agree. For the majority of images, let the camera do the processing, save yourself some time and storage and just shoot highest quality JPEG's. If I had all the time in the world to sit around fucking around in Lightroom every night after a day of shooting, I'd shoot in RAW more. But mostly, I like to take a very nice photo that I can share without the need for editing. STILL, that being said, it is GREAT users have the OPTION to shoot in RAW if they want. Posted via Android Central App with my LG G3
  • Isn't there an option to do both RAW & JPEG at the same time? That way, you can share the photo immediately & work on the RAW later. And yes, I realize it takes up more storage that way...good thing I have a 128 GB card :).
  • Yeah. In fact there's no RAW-only option. It's JPEG or RAW+JPEG.
  • Meh
  • Meh? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes meh.
  • Ok, bye Meh.. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Bye Felicia.
  • Who DAT? Posted via the Android Central App
  • His mom Posted via the Almighty One M9 or my retired Nexus 4
  • Lol that's funny. I wonder if its true. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why the huge bottom bezel.... so ugly.
  • They had some excess plastic at the factory and thought, "why the hell not?".
  • Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • With the bezels so thin, it's where LG houses a lot of the phone's internals. That same question was asked (and answered) about the G3. Posted via Android Central App with my LG G3
  • Just picked up an S6 this week...should I return it to wait for the G4 or feel good in knowing I have the best flagship of 2015?
  • Depends on your needs is all it comes down to. I have the s6 edge and truly love it. The only complaint is the battery life.
  • To be honest, either would do the trick. Just got my S6 Wednesday so still putting it through the first week. Have a while longer with it before deciding.
  • Oh snap! Posted via the Note 4 or Tab S 10.5
  • Feel good for being a close second? "Oh snap!" Posted via the Android Central App
  • best is subjective. depends on what you're priorities are ... I'll decide for sure when i hold the G4, but for me it has the advantage. can't go wrong though, we'll have fun debating which is better all summer, but we can all agree they're both amazing devices. and I'm glad there different in a lot of ways, happy to have options. Posted via the Android Central App
  • All hail glory for options Posted via Android Central App
  • Just keep the S6. It's still a great phone.
    There will always be something better a bit later that will be better than anything now.
  • If it costs the same as the s6 it will not be value for money! What feature in the G4 makes it actually better than the rest? I feel LG only concentrated on the screen and camera... The leather is an attempt to make it more premium after seeing that Samsung actually improved on design an complexity of craftsmanship! G4 needs to be cheaper as everything in the phone is cheaper than what is in the S6! G4 not a bad phone but it more like the S5 was to the S4!
  • The only thing Samsung did was change the material's used to make the device. The design is the exact same unless you are talking about the Edge. I'm agitated with people saying its a completely new design when its actually not. Now what they focused on needed to be addressed. The G3 last year could've been the perfect phone but they messed up on screen, performance, battery life, and low light photography. All of which is improved in the new phone without skimping on some of its main appeals *micro SD card and removable battery* all in all making for a phone with little compromise which is a fantastic thing. Posted via the Android Central App
  • GG4, UFS storage 2.0, 14nm finFet chip, wireless charging that supports both standards and a metal and glass design that is very attractive. Tell us, what is so unique about the g4 again? I bet you wanna mention all the gimmicks that is found in the camera? Kudos to lg the did a good job, but it's no where near the Galaxy outside of its camera. Oh! And before you start with removable battery and expandable storage crap, that's 2012 news.
  • But you were bitching about no SD or removable battery 2 months ago... Posted on my Moto X that is prob being charged as we speak...
  • Ha! Got 'em! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lmao Welvyn da great Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • I bet you think that don't you? I bet you think you know me too? The only person doing the biatching is you sir! After all, I doubt you can help it. I despise SD card fool. I have a note4 with a 32gb SD card and the shit is In the phone gathering dust lmao. Anyways! See ya, I wouldn't want to be ya.
  • Lol, so lame. Did the person in your profile pic write that for you?
  • Stupid samsung fanboy Posted via Android Central App
  • if you're gonna claim the S6 is so much better, which I can't argue with, u can't just dismiss the removable battery. if the s6 had one, I doubt you wouldn't list it as an attribute and reference 2012. at least be fair when comparing them Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm not saying anything is "unique" to the G4. All I'm saying is it "in my opinion" is a better overall device. I think the design of the G4 is nice and I really like the look of it with the black leather back. Glass and metal is nice but you definitely are sacrificing functionality for form and that can't be argued. Also the glass on front and back make the phone more fragile than a G4 with a plastic or leather back that also can't be argued. While "in my opinion" the G4 has both form and functionality while not skimping on either making for a great all-around handset. The only true disadvantages the G4 has like he said in the review is the no wireless charging *don't use it anyway*, no fast charging *that's a bummer but it's mitigated with a removable battery though*, and software may look ugly to you which is a personal preference. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Also if you think that a removable battery doesn't matter how about checking the latest poll done by Android Central. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yea! But i bet that pole was stating the opposite last year lol. Anyways that's android central pole. Outside this blog, not so much. The s6 edge and the s6 will sell 8times the g4 guaranteed. So much for removable battery and SD card.
  • can't argue that point, the masses care about two things, aesthetics and camera, and the S6 will sell by the tens of millions ... hopefully not TOO well that the Note 5 is sealed. personally, battery life is most important to me, and it being removable is a huge plus. I need wireless charging though, and (mildly) disappointed I have to make that happen instead of it coming out of the box. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not just those but also they worry about what everyone else has and the marketing push that Samsung and Apple does really make a difference as well. I and I'm pretty sure everyone else here couldn't give a f**k about what other people that you know have.lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm not saying it