LG G4c review
Processor: Quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, Screen Size: 5in, Screen resolution: 1,280x720, Rear camera: 8 megapixels, Storage: 8GB (3.45GB), Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 140x70x10.2mm, Weight: 136g, Operating system: Android 5.0.2
The G4c is a miniature version of LG’s leather-bound flagship, the G4. It might not seem like it considering it has a large 5in display, but like many of LG's 2015 handsets, the buttons are all located on the back of the phone, allowing for a smaller, more compact chassis than its bulkier 5in rivals.
There’s no leather here though; the G4c is made entirely out of plastic. It has the same curved back as its bigger brother, though, and borrows the same diamond pattern as the G4’s ceramic and metallic variants, so at least it bears some family resemblance. It also has a curved display, but with a 3,000mm radius, it’s so subtle that it’s practically non-existent. It's nowhere near as pronounced as the LG G Flex 2, and I struggled to see it even when I looked at the phone side on.
Some of the G4's software tweaks make the cut, at least, including Knock Code and Glance View. The former lets you wake the phone by tapping out a personalised lock pattern anywhere on G4c's screen, while the latter gives you the time, date and any active notifications by swiping down from the top of the screen when it's asleep. Glance View was a tad temperamental, however, either refusing to recognise my thumb swipes or it took too long to respond. You'd be better off just using the power button for checking the time.
This isn't nearly as disappointing as the G4c’s screen quality, though. Our colour calibrator measured a meagre 65.9% sRGB colour gamut coverage, which is one of the lowest scores I’ve seen, even among budget handsets. A lack of yellow, green, red and magenta coverage creates a very cool colour cast. High brightness levels of 438.7cd/m2 and clean-looking whites help mask this to some extent, but warmer images looked plain wrong, with skin tones appearing unnaturally pink and peachy.
Black levels were also quite high at 0.47cd/m2, but its contrast ratio of 915:1 was more promising, providing a good level of detail in all of our test photos, even given the 1,280x720 resolution. I wish the screen wasn't quite so prone to picking up fingerprints, as this not only made the screen look a bit grimy and grainy, but it also meant I was constantly having to clean it in order to get a clear, unspoiled picture.
Fortunately, the G4c redeems itself slightly with excellent battery life. With the screen brightness set to 170cd/m2, it managed an impressive 14h 43m in our continuous video playback test. This compares very well to other £200 smartphones, beating the Samsung Galaxy A3, 3rd Gen Moto G and Sony Xperia M4 Aqua by quite some margin.
The rear 8-megapixel camera is another point in the G4c's favour. The app is relatively basic, with no extra modes or HDR shooting, but images were surprisingly decent at the default settings. Colours were rich and natural, and while the overcast weather conditions resulted in a rather bleached out sky, there was a good level of detail present and hardly any noise.
^ Despite the overcast weather, colours were very accurate in our outdoor photos
The G4c coped well indoors as well. Noise levels increased slightly when relying on natural light, but colours still had plenty of punch and compression was kept to a minimum around the stems of the plants in our still life. Turning on the flash gave everything a rather disappointing blue sheen, but it's better than nothing if lighting conditions are really bad.
^ Moving indoors created a lot more noise, but objects still looked bright and punchy in low lighting conditions