LG G4 review camera specs
The LG G4 boasts an impressive camera, decent screen and a unique genuine leather designIBTimes UK

The launch of the LG G4, the latest flagship smartphone from the South Korean manufacturer, pivoted around the tag line "See the great, feel the great". This was to draw attention to the device's three main selling points: a high-spec camera, a colour-rich display, and a unique leather design.

IBTimes UK was at the London launch event of the LG G4 to get a hands-on with the new device and offer up our first impressions.


LG G4: Design


The South Korean smartphone manufacturer has thrown out the "flat, cold, metal" design that some of its predecessors and rivals featured, and instead opted for a curved metal and leather casing that demonstrates "true craftsmanship at its finest".

While it also comes in ceramic metal - with a diamond-shaped finish designed to offer better grip - it is the genuine leather that is the most distinguished of the design options.

LG G4
The LG G4 features a genuine leather "slim-arc" design and a camera it claims rivals that of a digital SLRLG

Unlike the faux-leather sported by Samsung's Note series, the leather on the LG G4 really does give it a premium feel, while also offering comfort and grip for the user.

At the front of the smartphone an "ergonomic, slim-arc" design delivers better durability compared to flat smartphones.


LG G4: Screen and battery


The LG G4 features the same 5.5in Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) screen resolution as its predecessor the G3, however it claims to be 25% brighter while also boasting a colour range that's 20% broader.

Without a G3 to hand it was difficult to put these claims to the test, though even held up in bright light by the window the display was easily visible and defined.

Held in the hand, the LG G4 is noticeably not the slimmest smartphone, feeling almost chunky when put alongside the iPhone 6. The reason for this is its battery, which LG says its own market research among consumers has proved to be more important than the device's depth.

The 3,000mAh battery is decent on paper, while also coming with the added benefit of being removable should it malfunction or wear out.

With only a limited time with the smartphone, it is yet to be seen how well this battery holds up in the real world.


LG G4: Camera


The 8MP front-facing camera featured on the LG G4 is one of the best "selfie" cameras one the market, topped only by the 13MP on offer from the HTC Desire Eye.

While this might be a selling point for those wanting to make high-quality video calls, it is the 16MP rear camera where the G4 really shines.

LG G4 review specs comparison
LG claims that the G4 camera offers features that rival a digital SLR cameraIBTimes UK

The Laser Cam F1.8 is, according to LG's European president Brian Na, "the closest we've ever come to recreating what you see with your naked eye".

In practice this put the 20.7MP camera I had previously been using on the Sony Xperia Z1 to shame.

In manual mode it's possible to adjust white balance, ISO and extend the shutter speed to up to 4 seconds. The added option of saving images in RAW format for future editing makes the LG G4 camera arguably the best camera of its rival flagship smartphones.


LG G4: Hardware and software


As all of the rumours before the launch event correctly surmised, the LG G4 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor - which featured on it predecessor - and runs Android 5.1 Lollipop.

A relatively respectable 3Gb of RAM, combined with 32GB of internal memory that can be boosted through a micro SD slot


LG G4: Cost and conclusion


No specific pricing has been given for the LG G4, meaning it's impossible to evaluate the device's value for money.

What can be said is that in its attempts to set itself apart from its rivals, LG has fused fashion with firepower to offer a device that actually achieves in offering something different.