It isn’t very often that one receives a device to review that is brand new and never been opened before. Well recently I was lucky enough to receive the brand new LG G4 to play with. Not only is the G4 recently launched, the box was sealed which meant I was the first to break the seal! It’s safe to say that I did a full unboxing!
Starting with the box, I can tell that LG have put a lot of effort into ensuring that the whole unboxing process is enjoyable. After slicing the seal, the top part of the box is lifted up to reveal the device, which is safely kept in place like a baby in a cradle. Inside the box you find the usual charging cable and adapter as well as earphones that come in their own box. What makes the earphones extra special is instead of the standard black cable, they have a sort of shoelace string type cable.
Picking up the device, I soon realised what the fuss was all about. The device is really comfortable in the hand. The curved back follows the contour of the hand and the aluminium shell ensures that one can get a good grip. The LG G4 comes in two different back cover materials. Firstly there is the genuine leather which comes in brown and black and then the metallic look which comes in metallic gray and ceramic white. The unit I received came with the metallic gray back cover which has diamond shapes embedded on it. While the back cover can be changed, the front of the device which is carbon fibre black stays the same.
Much like what is seen on previous LG devices like the G3 Beat and G Flex 2, the power and volume rocker can be found on the back of the device below the camera. I found that in the beginning I kept on pressing the volume button instead of the power button but after a couple of attempts you are sure to get used to the position.
On the bottom of the device you find the micro usb port and headphone port. The sides of the device have no buttons or ports so they are smooth.
Switching on the device, you are greeted by the LG logo and then the standard settings for a new Android device. The LG G4 comes loaded with the latest version of Android, Android Lollipop. I am a huge fan of material design and was excited to see how LG incorporated material design into their latest UX 4.0 UI. LGs UI is easy to use and I found that material design really made the UI even more interactive than what I found on previous models.
The G4 makes use of a Quad-core 1.44 GHz processor which is super fast and together with the 3 GB RAM, the G4 is nippy. Swiping on the display and opening apps is smooth and there is no lag. I tend to have many apps running at a time and I found the RAM usage to be moderate and the device didn’t slow down during all this multitasking.
The 5.5 inch IPS LCD Quad HD display shows colours nicely and is easy to see outside as can be seen in my videos. Photos look crystal clear and since I am a YouTube lover, I found watching videos on the G4 really enjoyable. Like the back of the device, the display is curved which means that the entire screen doesn’t touch the ground in case the phone is accidently dropped.
A big focus of the LG G4 has been on its camera and rightfully so. The 16 MP lens with laser autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash and a 1/2.6” sensor size takes amazing photos. Have a look at some of the photos I snapped in my garden. The colours are fantastic. The camera app is also really easy to use and comes with a range of features to bring out the photographer in anyone. The G4 captures video in Full HD or 4k so you always have a decent video camera in your pocket for those funny moments. Manuel mode lets you adjust settings such as exposure, ISO and white balance which will make DSLR users happy. I found playing with manual mode fun and you can really tweak the settings to capture an image in any setting.
For taking selfies there is an 8mp front facing camera which can be triggered by opening and closing your hand in front of the camera. One cool feature included in the camera app is the ability to use both the front and rear cameras at the same time. So you can take a photo or video with the back camera and have the rear appear on the display in a small block. This is pretty cool for vloggers who want to show what they are seeing but also be seen.
The G4 comes with 32GB internal storage space which should be enough for the average user. If you are like me and tend to need more space, the device supports up to a 128 GB card.
The Li-Ion 3000 mAh removable battery should last about a day. It is best to reduce the screen brightness to about 50% to ensure that the display doesn’t cause too much drain. I actually always set my screen brightness to about 35% on all my phones regardless of how good the battery is.
Overall I really like the design of the G4. The curved back sits comfortably in your hand and the curved display is easy on the eye. The camera captures high quality photos that will be perfect for Instagram, as seen by some local Instagrammers! The G4 has a solid build quality and like the fact that the battery is removable. The G4 is a contender to the Iphone 6, S6 and Sony Xperia Z3 and has every right to be there.