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. Here are my impressions of the LG G4 after about three weeks of use.
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.
So definitely get a case if you’re planning on getting this phone!
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Linus Tech Tip’s LG G4 Review – More than a refresh?
- MKBHD’s LG G4 Review
- Pocketnow’s LG G4 Review: Sticking with What Works
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. 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!