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

LG has launched its latest flagship Android smartphone, the G4, hoping its unique leather design and high-spec camera can compete with Apple's iPhone 6, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9.

The LG G4 runs Google's Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, features a 5.5in display with Quad HD resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with six cores, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a 16MP rear camera that the firm claims can compete with digital SLR cameras in terms of functionality.

At the London launch of the smartphone, LG revealed that the leather design and slim-arc design was meant as a departure from the "monolithic slabs of cold metal" that recent generations of rival smartphones had become.

LG said the G4 will go on sale in the UK on 28 May

"The LG G4 offers comfortable elegance, a great visual experience and a human-centric user experience," said Andrew Coughlin, LG's UK and Ireland head of mobile. "Its stunning and ergonomic slim-arc design delivers 20% better durability compared to flat smartphones."

LG G4: 'Digital SLR camera technology'

Beyond its genuine leather design, the stand out feature of the LG G4 is the camera.

The rear camera features Laser Cam F1.8 technology that LG's European president Brian Na claimed is as close to replicating what the human eye sees that a smartphone has ever achieved.

"It's the closest we've ever come to recreating what you see with your naked eye," Na said at the London launch.

Na also said that offering manual adjustment of white balance, ISO and shutter speed - as well as the ability to save photos in RAW format - meant that the LG G4 replicates the functionality of a Digital SLR camera.

LG has previously stated that it intends to sell 10 million units of the G4 in an attempt to maintain its lead as the world's third biggest smartphone producer in terms of annual sales.

"LG knows this year will be very crucial whether to maintain (its position)," LG Electronics mobile chief Juno Cho told the Korean TImes in March. "By widening gaps with our Chinese rivals, such as Xiaomi, LG will actively respond."

The G4's predecessor, the LG G3, has sold around seven million units since its launch in May 2014, according to the firm.