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The LG G4 is Nearly Perfect – Review

chipchickpick1The LG G4 is a unique instance where a phone manufacturer brags about releasing a phone with a great camera, and actually comes through. To that effect, the LG G4 has one of the best phone cameras on the market today, so much so that it can go head to head with the likes of the iPhone 6. It’s clear that LG was listening to what was said about its predecessor’s weaknesses, and as a result they’ve improved the camera tremendously.  But on top of the great photos that the LG G4 can take, the camera app also sports DSLR like manual controls, the likes of which we have only seen on the Nokia Lumia 1020. So if you’re someone who likes to fine-tune your camera’s settings, the LG G4 is as good as it gets on Android. The camera even performs well in low-light, and it also packs in a fast and sharp Auto-focus system.

Like its predecessor, the G4 is slightly curved. The result is a phone that is truly comfortable to hold. Yet despite its large 5.5’ display, the G4 manages to be one of the most ergonomic large-display phones we have ever held. But aside from its curviness, LG has also made a big fuss over the leather back plate that the G4 optionally comes in. At first we felt that the whole leather back plate concept was a bit gimmicky, but the truth is that it takes a lot to stand out these days, and the leather back plate is truly unique. However, if you opt for a G4 without the leather back plate, on its own the G4’s build is kind of meh and plasticky.

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The IPS Quantam display on the G4 is 25% brighter than its predecessor. It also packs in a higher ppi and a higher resolution (2,560 x 1440 pixels) than the display on the iPhone 6 Plus. But the number of pixels per inch becomes irrelevant to the human eye after a certain point anyway. In any case, the LG G4 has one of the best smartphone displays out there, but what we especially appreciate about it, is that not only does the display offer sharp and bright visuals, but that its colors are accurate and true-to-life.

Under the hood, the LG G4 is running on a blazing fast Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM. The phone earned a Quadrant score of 24873, and performance is top notch. On the software side, the phone comes running Android 5.1 with LG’s UX 4.0 overlay on top of it. We really like UX 4.0 because it’s very clean and simple to use. That also means that some of our favorite features from the LG G3 are still there, such as Dual Window. Of course, LG has also thrown on a few improvements to UX 4.0, such as Smart Notifications, but they aren’t exactly stand out additions.

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Verdict

The LG G4 may not be a massive update over its predecessor, but the improvements it brings to the table help make the phone shine. Most importantly – everything we want in an Android phone can be found in the LG G4 – and that includes an amazing camera, display, an ergonomic grip, and a clean user interface. And while the G4’s leather back plate is a bit gimmicky, it certainly helps distinguish the LG G4 in terms of design. Our only significant gripe with the LG G4, is that without the leather back plate, the phone is plasticky, and just isn’t nearly as striking and stylish as the Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 or iPhone 6.

In any case, Android smartphones do keep getting better and better. And the LG G4 just stole the Android phone crown from us for best flagship Android smartphone.

The LG G4 is available free on contract from Amazon on AT&T, or $669 without contract, and it will be available from all 4 major carriers soon.

The Good: Amazing 5.5’ display with true-to-life colors. Top notch camera with DSLR-like controls and fast Auto-focus. Ergonomic design makes the phone easy to grip. Clean user interface with welcome additions to Android. Super fast performance. Leather back finish is certainly unique and quite cool looking. Expandable memory and removable battery. Solid battery life. Comes with 100GB of Google Drive free for 2 years.

The Bad: If you don’t go with the leather back plate option, the regular plastic back plate makes the phone look pretty ordinary looking.