LG G4 with the white Spigen slim case

I hesitate to call this post a review of the LG G4 because it’s not written as a technical article. There are no hard spec sheets, no benchmarks (though I did run one for fun), or side-by-side comparisons against other current flagships. This is just a personal entry on how the LG G4 is working out for me and my needs.

I’ve been in the market for a new phone since my HTC One M7 caught the very unfortunate pink camera defect last year. I couldn’t get any good pictures unless I was completely out in the daylight. It was frustrating because I don’t always have my camera, and I share a lot of quick photos with my friends and family on Viber.

The One M7’s battery was also showing its age. It was never that great to begin with, but now I could hardly get through a day on regular use. Since it’s non-removable, I couldn’t just swap it out with a fresh battery without jumping through a lot of hoops. Needless to say, I was over my phone.

Why I Chose LG

I watched this year’s flagship releases very closely keeping in mind the kind of Android user I am:

  • I don’t play games on my phone
  • I do read a lot of blogs and social media (Feedly, Reddit, Twitter)
  • I’ve massively scaled back on calls and texts in favor of Line and Viber
  • I take a lot of pictures on my phone when I don’t feel like pulling out my camera
  • I frequently customize my phone with wallpapers and icon packs (see: Android Customization Apps)

All in all, I don’t have any intense memory needs from a phone. However, I do need a long-lasting battery to keep up with my social media checks, plus a quality camera for convenient snapping.

Looking through the flagships announced earlier this spring, it sounded like LG G4 was the one for me. It had a removable battery if I ever needed to swap it out once battery life starts slipping, a microSD card slot to hold all my pictures and videos, and a very good camera to boot! I was going to wait until my contract ends this coming September before getting it, but Mike suprised me on my birthday a few weeks ago. <3 Here are my impressions of the LG G4 after about three weeks of use.

Build Quality

Size comparison between HTC One M7 and LG G4

I will start with the build quality so I can get this out of the way: it’s not the best. If you have a chronic case of butter fingers like me, prepare to slap a case on this baby because it won’t survive a lot of falls.

I absolutely loved the feel in hand on this phone, so I initially had Spigen’s Case Thin Fit on mine to minimize extra bulk. It feels that nice. Unfortunately on my flight back from my vacation in Vegas, I dropped my phone at the airport. The case took most of the impact, but I now have a small nick on the corner of my phone. It’s not that noticeable, but it still doesn’t speak well of the G4’s durability. At least I already had tempered glass on it so the screen is just fine. :) I’m not losing sleep over it.

I do now have a white Caseology Daybreak case on my G4. It’s a little bigger and a little heavier, but it provides better protection. Plus, it covers up the nick nicely. I’m pretending it never happened. XD

So definitely get a case if you’re planning on getting this phone!

Battery

Better reviews rate the G4’s battery life as average, but personally I am blown away! I thought the Quad HD display would be an issue, but my phone chugs along just fine with intense browsing, picture taking, and Snapchatting. And Snapchat is a major battery hog! I can easily go two days without charging my phone. This is coming from my previous phone that needs a charge halfway through the day.

Since the battery is removable, I’m confident that I can sustain this long battery life. I can easily place a new one if I need to. Very happy in this department!

Camera

I can’t help but compare the G4’s camera to the One M7. I simply must to fully appreciate how great it is. I used to have terrible phone pictures, but now I don’t. I’m so happy. :’D

Still Photos
Propeller plane

Vegas 808 haul laid out Marimo in Fizzy Water

Say hello to my pet, Beebo the Marimo!

The main camera boasts 16 megapixels, optical image stabilization, and laser autofocus for quick captures. It is indeed fast. I haven’t had problems with having to stay very still to get a decent shot. It also captures decent depth of field for macro photos. The main camera is comparable to a point-and-shoot. If you’re looking to keep your purse light and leave your bulky camera at home, the G4 is a fair substitute.

Selfie using the front facing camera

The front-facing camera is nothing to sneeze at either. With 8 megapixels, you’ll have no problems posting hi-res selfies on your blog and social media. No strange wide-angle distortion like my previous phone did either, and it even comes with Beauty Mode to smooth out your skin before taking the shot. I elected to skip it, but I can see its uses. XD

Videos

Videos are another story. While the quality is okay, macro shots give the lens a propensity to change focus constantly. I had trouble recording videos for too long because the focus kept going in and out. I’ve also seen comparison videos of the G4 against other flagships, and its clear that LG skimped on good recording. I don’t take much videos besides quick Snapchats, but if you like to vlog, you might want to consider this point.

Screen

Nova-launcher-Moko-icon-pack-1-sm There was a time when I thought 4.7 inches was the perfect screen size for me. The G4 is almost a phablet at 5.5 inches, and turns out it’s an even more perfect screen size. I hold my M7 now and it’s just so tiny. It could be my deteriorating eyesight (nooo), but how did I manage to read anything on that phone?

It took me no time to get used to handling a bigger phone with a bigger screen. It’s so much more comfortable for me to read on. I’m also now very accustomed to the back buttons. I pick up my iPod Touch and instinctively reach for buttons on the back now. I was pleasantly surprised at how ergonomic it was.

Paired with the awesome battery life, I’ve been using my tablet a lot less since I got my G4.

Performance

In terms of performance, the G4 has 3 GB RAM so there are little to no stutters. The phone does get warm when I do a Snapchat story or record a video, but I’ve never had an app crash on me so far.

As for software, I use Nova Launcher Prime and a third-party locker, so I admit that I don’t see much of LG’s skin beyond the Settings panel. I am pleased with what I do see though. Adjusting the volume, for example, allows you to bring up options to control independent volumes for calls, videos, and touch feedback. My phone came with version 5.1 Lollipop with all the Material Design goodness. I have no complaints.

Some Actual Reviews

For some real technical reviews and a second opinion, here are reviews from my favorite tech channels:

And if you’d like to see the specs, check out GSM Arena’s LG G4 page!

That’s my write-up on LG G4! All in all, I’m very happy with my new phone. :D Awesome camera and battery life with a nice big screen for easy reading. I look forward to getting a lot of good use out of it for years to come.

What phone do you have? What kind of phone user are you? Let me know below!

Comments

  1. I totally want to get a phone that isn’t iOS-based, but I am so dependent on certain apps, it’s ridiculous. Luckily, Android is pretty up to date with apps for the most part, I may not have any difficult switching when I do make the switch. I love the fact that Android makes it easy to customize your phone.
    Kristine recently posted…Standing Desk for the Grad Student SalaryMy Profile

  2. LG sounds like the perfect phone for you. I usually use my phone for photos too. It’s quite a hassle to carry another camera with you. I’m happy with my iPhone 6 though but I wish it has the Android’s customization function. I envy your cute theme.
    Alissa recently posted…I’m Back!My Profile

  3. Your phone sounds great! Actually, having the ability to take great photos was the reason I got my phone, too! (Sony Xperia Z2). Although mine don’t look as good as yours do. :(

    The only Apple product I have is my iPod, and only because it’s a Classic (it holds… 130gb? I think? Maybe 160… I forgot!). But when that dies I think I’ll just get a super large SD card for my phone because I think Ipods now are just phones without the calling function, honestly.

    So I guess I’m a hard core Android fan haha. I like the customization, and how we get new features etc often. I have to have a chuckle when Apple annouces things and people point to their 2+ year old Android phones saying they could do that years ago. :P
    Jana recently posted…Just an updateMy Profile

  4. Thanks for writing this, Raisa! I kinda shut myself out from knowing what’s latest/greatest/in around the Android world, as well as for other upcoming and current phones, to avoid buyer’s remorse. :P But I was really happy when I read that you also use Nova Launcher. \o/ Out of the handful launchers I tried, this was the best and the closest I could get to a snappy and very, very clean Android UI.

    I only had a Nexus 4 as an Android phone and I really loved it to bits. I may have changed phones now, went back to Apple (because of the camera and photo quality, most apps I like and need were only available for iOS), but I keep the N4 as a spare phone. I wanted to get the current Nexus phone tbh but maybe I’ll wait off a few more years maybe they’d fix the features by then (weak camera, not very suitable for games – not that I’m a heavy gamer but it crashes a lot before when it came to game apps, weak battery too). Love your theme, so girly! Hehe.
    Anna recently posted…365: Stories by James RobertsonMy Profile

    1. Nova Launcher is the best! :D I’m so obsessed with icon packs and I can’t use the without a third-party launcher. I also like Smart Launcher. It’s very different but worked great when I had a really cheap Android before.

  5. Sounds like a cool phone!

    I have some kind of android one. I basically bought the cheapest I could, since I don’t use em that much. I use mine for games sometimes and checking mail and stuff. Or if I need to call someone on the go, that’s really it. So I didn’t need like a fantastic phone.
    Maroon Caludin recently posted…Vacation!My Profile

    1. Nothing wrong with that! I got a flagship for the camera mainly. If I didn’t consider that, I’d have gone with a more affordable phone contract-free.

  6. The photos look really good!!!

    I realized lately that I’m technology-stupid which is probably why I’ve always stuck to the iPhone. I just don’t feel like dealing with all the bells and whistles that come with an Android because I’m bound to fuck shit up. I HAVEN’T EVEN UPGRADED MY MBP’S OS FROM LION??????? So when I’m in the market for a new phone, it’s basically just the latest iPhone or something. :(

    And I’m googling Marimos right now holy lol I think I want one.
    Helga Weber recently posted…5 Little Lessons I Learned RecentlyMy Profile

    1. I think you really can’t go wrong either way! I really like iPhones too. :3 The rumored pink model coming up makes me regret my phone slightly haha.

      I delay my Macbook’s updates as long as I can lol. Coz I forget about them and then I get the prompt when I’m working. -.-

  7. Like I mentioned I only have a Sony Xperia Z and I’m happy with it. It is updated and does what it should. I think I quite love my Sony phone, but it’s great that you found a good phone that works. Everyone’s experience with phone brands are different and while I like LG, I could never get into it. I’m more of a Samsung phone kind of gal, if I had to choose the one brand I like most of all.

    Still I dislike HTC the most, because I could never get used to the configuration of it. Photos look good! ^^
    Michelle recently posted…Surprised Heavenly TreatsMy Profile

    1. Ugh, I was rooting for HTC so much. :( I was gonna get the M9 before it was announced because the rumors said it was gonna be amazing. I was crestfallen. I should never have bought the hype. T_T

  8. I like the look of it but 5.5 puts me off. I used to have a 4.7 too (an HTC Sensation, not a great phone but a good size) and then my nexus put me up to 5.2 and, as a landscape user, it’s too long for my stubby little thumbs. I don’t know how I’d deal with even bigger but it seems like it might be inevitable.

    Your Marimo made me think of this cool little locket I saw on etsy the other day which you might like. I’m also considering buying but still contemplating :)
    Kalliste recently posted…Happy Birthday to MeMy Profile

    1. I wish I could’ve handled a Nexus 5! It looks really good, even now. :D Plus it still gets the latest Android version, right? That the main issue with Android right now. Too much fragmentation!

  9. That’s nice that the phone has a removable battery! I also always have to put a case on my phone because of how often I drop it XD;;

    The photos came out really well too. I used to not care about the phone camera, but I find myself using it more and more. It’s become an important feature!

    I’m glad the LG G4 is working out for you so far! It looks like a great phone. I currently have a iPhone 5 and like you, I don’t play games on my phone. I mainly use it for reading and posting things!
    Cat recently posted…Onigirazu follow-upMy Profile

    1. Yeah, the only games I play sometimes on my phone are logic puzzles. Unblock Me is my favorite, but I haven’t played it in a long time! I got to level 300-something on my old phone, but it didn’t transfer when I switched. T_T

  10. i don’t play games on my phone either but when it comes to spec issues, i’m just extremely picky (tsk, self..stop being such a tech geek and nerdy about everything!) so when i purchased my sony, i was reallly debating about its RAM and whatnot. i don’t have a lot of apps other than the common chatting ones like LINE and some social media like twitter – heck, i don’t even have path, vine or snapchat! but i’m still so picky that i want a fast, fast and FAST RAM hence the reason why i picked a 3G RAM sony. i may be too calculative over tech and gadgets most of the time but yeah, i’m not even sorry.

    you’re lucky your phone battery isn’t built in though. mine is built in and most phones nowadays tend to have built-in battery so that’s quite a downfall there. i mean, samsung does that now right… and iphone, of course, it has always been built in batteries for iphones. too bad iphones will continue to charge even if your battery has hit 100% which leads to battery leakage (aka the reason why i decided to buy a sony)

    i haven’t tested the G4 so i wouldn’t judge on how fast its camera is. like, my sony has 20.7 MP camera with ISO 12800 at max but honestly, my iphone’s camera is still faster than my sony but with less customization – manual setting and whatnot. so yeah, plus and minus. nonetheless the G4 has pretty good camera so it’s cool. and beebo is cute!!

    i gotta say that front camera is so useful for selfies, lol. mine’s only 2.2 MP so selfie is not really….recommended imo. then again, it’s not like i take selfies a lot so yeah. heck, there’s 0 photos of me in my phone! :))

    speaking of android 5.1 and google material (if that’s what you’re referring to there), i feel like writing a post about them. as an interface designer, i do apps design following guidelines from google and apple and geez, i find google material’s really stiff and restricted! suffocating! gahd, i’m so gonna talk about this someday LOL
    Alice recently posted…MFT: August 2015My Profile

    1. I’d love to hear what you think about Material Design! :D Z-dimensions are a popular design element right now. My only gripe with Material Design is sometimes the colors can be gaudy.

  11. *adores your photography skillzzzzzzz*

    I’m almost like you when it comes to phones, using it for social media/blogs and simple pictures while not playing games. The thing I like about Androids is the fact that you can switch out the battery and microSD/memory anytime. My iPhone’s battery is failing a bit these days; but I think it’s due time for an upgrade soon! It’s awesome when you can go a couple of days without needing a charge! I remembered those days when new phones take forever to drain the battery @___@. The camera takes really nice high res pictures!

    1. Yess, my pre-smartphone phones lasted a long time. XD I wish phone manufacturers would take battery life more into consideration! I know thinner phones are in right now, but I wouldn’t mind a thicker phone in exchange for more juice. *_*

  12. Nice “review” of your new phone! I’m glad you’re liking it so far! I still can’t say positive things about LG because of my own experiences, but it does sound like they’ve improved, so yay for that!

    I, too, am not much into cellphone games, and what I do play is once in a while thing. I’m more like you with my phone usage, except I don’t take too much photos — only the ones I need to take LOL.

    I’m glad the battery life is great! The screen looks pretty big! The camera quality is great! Your photos all look so nice! ^^
    Tara recently posted…The Bag Story Part IIMy Profile

    1. I have so many pictures on my phone, it’s not funny anymore. :’D I don’t why I keep them either. After I post the shot somewhere, I forget all about it!

  13. LG G4’s one of the flagship phones I’ve been ogling on Youtube reviews. (The other is Zenfone 2 which has also been receiving praises since the launch.) I used to have a G2 Mini and that was already a good experience with LG, I can’t imagine how it can even be better. :)

    Love how you wrote your review for the average consumer. Most reviews out there say so many things that don’t really make sense to a non-tech person.
    Dani recently posted…Baler, Aurora | The Circle HostelMy Profile

    1. I was thinking of getting the Zenfone 2 at one point! I didn’t hear good things about the battery though, but I’m definitely rooting for mid-range phones with awesome specs. :D

  14. The LG looks rather sleek compared to its older models. I quite like the design.

    I really need a new phone with better battery life, as I’ve had my iPhone for a while now and the battery life depletes rather rapidly during the day.

    I wish they would make the battery removable for all phones!

    I admire the camera quality! As someone who hasn’t been impressed with LG’s phones before, this one actually looks pretty good! I’m an iPhone user myself, but I’d love to get an Android phone because they just seem to be better. But we shall see :) I’m glad you’re enjoying your new phone!

    1. You can’t go wrong with either one! :D I think at this point, both platforms have plenty to offer so it really boils down to what you prefer. I don’t believe that one is better that the other.

  15. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I have the G3 and I’m pretty jealous of your camera on the G4 right now. I have an upgrade that hasn’t been used yet but I don’t know if I want to stick with LG or if I want to venture out to some other Android. Your post might make me stay.
    Shayne recently posted…August Goals [The Final Goals]My Profile

  16. I’m torn between and iPhone and this one! Android slows down overtime! Huhu! (Hahaha as if I have the budget to buy at this time.)

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