As with the G2 and G3 before it, the LG G4 has an optional Quick Circle Case. It replaces the back and adds a flap-style cover to the front with a prominent and large circle at the top that exposes the display. But with the G4 they've given the interface a bit of an overhaul, and they've adopted a lot of the visual design of the LG Watch Urbane LTE.
That takes the form of a circular app launcher, spiraling up to a top-level app on the left side, with the rest stacking back behind it as you spin to cycle through the options. And those options are: - Quick Time (not to be confused with Apple's QuickTime video player) - Quick Torch (the flashlight) - Music controls - A quick launch for the camera (though you can still double-tap the volume down button on the back to take a photo right quick) - Settings, a link to download more - Call log - LG Health - Messaging - Calculator - Calendar events - Compass - Phone dialer - Download more apps
There's also an always-present icon at the top just waiting to be tapped to take you back to the clock face.
Compared to the five slots available on the G3, the G4's Quick Circle interface offers you all of the Quick Circle mini apps in one space. There are several watch faces to choose from as well — long tap to drop back to the watch face changing interface, and then swipe to find the one you like. It's not unlike Android Wear in that regard.
An added bonus, the Quick Circle Case also brings wireless charging to the LG G4, something that's sadly lacking from the phone's standard backs (be they metallized plastic, ceramic coated, or leather-wrapped). The cases are designed to mimic the diamond-pattern metal backs available for the G4, offering dark gray, a champagne gold, and silver choices.
There's one more Quick Circle case to mention, and that's the Quick Circle Pop Case. This case (presumably a cheaper one, but LG's being mum on availability and pricing for everything so far in the G4 ecosystem) doesn't bring wireless charging to the party, but is made of a soft, grippy, rubbery plastic. Where the standard Quick Circle Case flap is a stiff board, the Quick Circle Pop Case's cover flap is softer, almost floppy. It'll be available in black and an eye-popping red.
- Check out our hands-on with the all-new LG G4
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm (the old one), and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.