Every year, there are more and more new smartphones hitting the market, but the most exciting announcements still come from Samsung, HTC, Sony and LG. This year the key devices being the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5, the HTC One M9, the Sony Xperia Z4 and the LG G Flex 2 and LG G4. During the major shows, CES and MWC, we hardly heard a word from LG other than about the LG G Flex 2 at CES – which is certainly noteworthy, but nothing on the more highly anticipated LG G4. It is possible (and smart) that LG was waiting for the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge and the HTC One M9 hype to die down. Whatever the reason, LG is officially announcing the LG G4 at a world event on April 28.
We are getting to know quite a bit about the LG G4, between rumors and LG's own website that put up a teaser page showing a leather-backed G4 running the new LG UX 4.0 and an array of other goodies. In this article, we will sift through the almost certain 'facts' as we know them. It looks like the LG G4 will be a real contender and give its closest competitor, the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge a real run for the top seed in our yearly Android smartphone 'race.'
Let's start first with the overall look and design of the new LG G4 – it really looks a lot like the LG G3 with no real surprises or major design changes. The controls remain on the back, squarely under the camera lens and the front of the device is mostly display with very small bezels. The G4 is slightly wider and taller than the G3 – 75.3 mm wide versus 74.6 mm…149.1 mm tall versus 146.3 mm, however, it will retain the same 8.9 mm in thickness.
We do know that you will be able to order premium back covers that will come in ceramic white, metallic gray, shiny gold, and what appears to be beautiful stitched leather in black and five additional colors – tan, red, light blue, tan and yellow. The leather really adds that touch of elegance and the look of a premium device.
The next most important item to discuss is the display, and there are no secrets here – LG has already announced that the G4 will have an improved 5.5-inch Quad HD (QHD) panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and about 534 pixels-per-inch (PPI). It uses, what they are terming, an IPS Quantum LED display technology that gives the G4 a 20-percent improvement in its color gamut. According to LG, the design should use less energy and be easily visible in bright sunlight. Other improvements include a 50-percent higher contrast than conventional QHD LCD panels. It has an embedded touch sensor directly within the LCD, not a separate layer as in the past and should improve the touch sensitivity. The brightness has increased by 30-percent with no increases in power consumption, thereby saving battery life.
The Inner Workings
When it comes to specifications, the processor area is a little sketchy, but we expect the LG G4 will have a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with two high-powered A57 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four lower-powered A53 cores. This is different from the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor found in the LG G Flex 2, but should offer less drain on the LG G4's battery. An Adreno 418 GPU will handle the graphics of the G4. It will carry 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, although it also looks like it will continue with the microSD card slot to add additional storage.
We can also see from the picture that it will be using a large speaker on the back on the device with a small slot to let out the sound. LG has still elected to bypass the fingerprint scanner for some reason as other manufacturers are including one. The LG G4 will include Qi-enabled wireless charging, an IR Blaster and FM Stereo Radio. The 3,000mAh battery remains the same size as the LG G3, however, with LG's attention to battery life this year, such as the display and processor improvements, we hope to see better battery life from the LG G4. Because of the Qualcomm processor, LG G4 users should have access to the Quick Charge 2.0.
The camera on the LG G3 was always in the top five smartphone cameras and it looks like the LG G4 will improve on that feature. LG officially announced that it would sport a 16MP main camera with a wider f/1.8 aperture – allowing 80-percent more light than the LG G3. This means better low-light shots will be possible and less blur when shooting fast moving objects. It will continue with LG's laser AF technology to give you some of the fastest focus times available, as well as OIS+ and a dual-tone flash. The camera will include a manual mode (EV, ISO and shutter speed), on-screen histogram and white balance reading, RAW support and a slow-sync flash mode for capturing background detail in night shots.
With the growing importance of selfies and video chatting, LG Innotek developed an 8MP front-facing camera (FFC) that gives images more natural and accurate looking colors. It will be great for video chatting as well.
LG announced its new User Interface, LG UX 4.0 long before it acknowledged the G4. The official teaser video is below for your enjoyment. A newly redesigned Smart Bulletin panel includes TV remote capabilities, a music widget and health-tracking device. Smart Notice 2.0 is an upgrade with new cards that allow you to receive more helpful and personalized recommendations. The Gallery app is faster, and conveniently groups photos into "Memories" based on time and location of the pictures. The Smart Calendar app now includes useful drag-and-drop capabilities.
LG is planning to have many accessories ready to go with their LG G4. There will be some interesting cases offered up – one with a round cut-out for a clock face to show through, and a wireless charging stand that will fit your G4 perfectly. More things will arrive as we get closer to launch day.