Thursday, May 7, 2015

LG G4 First Impressions

LG G4 First Impressions Review

LG’s entry into the 2015 smartphone flagship race makes a relatively bold statement as the LG G4 boasts flagship internal hardware, a gorgeous Quad HD display which is even brighter than its previous generation flagship the G3 and a f1.8 aperture rear camera which LG expects consumers to ditch their heavy and expensive DSLRs for. Well that being said, that’s what all smartphone manufacturers tend to do isn’t it?  Hyping their products up to ridiculous levels and leave us consumers with a single thought when we actually see the product in real life…. “ Is that it?”

As fate as given me the opportunity to review the LG G4 way before the handset was actually going to be on sale in Singapore, I thought that maybe this would be a good chance to satisfy my curiosity if this LG flagship is just going be another “same same but different” android phone which sadly as become quite the trend in the smartphone scene as of late.

To much disappointment to the geeks out there, I am not going to cover the hardware specifications too much as I am sure if you are reading this, you would have probably already memorized them from other reviews. No this will be my honest first impressions and real world use experience of the LG G4 and no I am not being paid or sponsored by LG to write this.

So lets get started…

Since this is just the first impressions review, I will be covering the following points of interest which I feel after 4 days of using the phone I can confidently comment on.


Well honestly the unboxing experience was a little lack luster. But I understand this being a Korean trial demo unit (YES KOREAN…But according LG executives the overall experience will be similar on the Singapore version) and probably have been in the hands of other reviewers before me.

The G4 comes in standard rectangular box not unlike what other smartphones and in it packs in the LG G4 itself, a wall charger and a micro USB cable. Plain and simple. Yep that’s it nothing fancy there. Oh yeah and if you guys were wondering, I got the metallic grey back version. (sigh I know….. but the leather ones were all taken, plus it was given out at random)

2.    FEEL THE GREAT…. wait what?

I would have FELT the great if I have gotten my hands on a G4 with the leather backing, but as the gods forbid I only managed to get the metallic grey plastic back one. 

However I did try out G4 units with the leather back and my…. they do sure feel premium, not like those leather stickers/skins you paste onto your phone but real leather (kind of makes me feel guilty about owning one…imagine the cows…). 

The plastic metallic back cover that I got to bring home was not too bad. For one it isn’t a fingerprint magnet, its quite resistant to scratches. The G4 curves ever so slightly, not to the of the L G Flex, but just enough to give the user a comfortable grip in hand, LG calls it the slim arc design. Just expect it to wobble a little when typing on it while it’s on a surface.

And yes the back cover is removable, but wait there’s more! How does a removable battery and a micro SD card slot sound? 

* 2 thumbs up!* 

Apparently not all Korean smartphone manufacturers think it’s a good idea.


The LG G4 brings smartphone displays to a whole other level in my opinion.

Especially true for the lot of us who are still used to 1080p screens being the standard on our smartphones. The G4 boasts a 2560 X 1440 resolution with its 5.5” IPS (in plane switching) Quantum Display.

Colors are accurate, striking, bright and vibrant especially the reds…oh those reds… Really not much to say, you have to see it to believe it and I promise you will not be disappointed. Hands down one of the best if not the best display on a smartphone to date.

4.    Last but not least…Its a Photographers Dream

Lately cameras have been the bane of android smartphones, with plenty of them performing sub par compared to their iOS counterparts. 

Samsung has been leading the android front with its stellar performing camera on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. However being the shutterbug I am, I spent most of my initial 4 days with the LG G4 testing out the camera and I can confidently say that LG has brought a new contender to the ring.

Focusing? LASER FAST and with Optical Image stabilization, I hardly got a blurry shot shooting at slower shutter speeds. (Provided the subject is not moving of course)

User interface? Simple, straightforward and MANUAL MODE with RAW support ???? (Some of us have to buy an app for that!)

F1.8 Aperture makes a hell lot of difference in low light and gives a rather acceptable bokeh for a nice shallow depth of field.

With a new color spectrum sensor, auto white balance on the G4 is accurate and I have yet to get an image that is overly warm or cool.

The 16 megapixel 1 / 2.6” sensor captures sharp and detailed images and quite a step above the other smartphone camera’s out there. The only gripe I have with the inbuilt camera is the poor ISO range (only up to ISO 2700) and lack of a time-lapse function or interval-shooting mode. That would have made the camera even better and tempting for photography enthusiasts. 

Even the gesture and voice activated shutter mode is an incredible simple but useful feature that is included in the LG G4, easier selfies and literally zero camera shake when capturing those long exposure shots (did I mention the shutter speed goes up to a full 30 seconds?!).  

Images taken look fantastic on the phone and video capture at 4K is smooth and stutter free. Although I would need more time to explore and test the full extent of this camera but so far it has been a tremendous joy to use, might just have made compact point and shoot cameras redundant. 

The LG G4 has honestly gotten my attention after the first few days of use and I am still getting acquainted with it, as I am sure there are still plenty more I have yet to discover about this phone.

Stay tuned for my Full Review of the LG G4!