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LG G4 review: Discontinued and forgotten

LG G4 camera hands on
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £530
inc VAT SIM-free

With its vibrant screen, versatile camera and surprisingly comfy leather rear, the LG G4 still holds its own


  • Super bright screen
  • Fancy leather back
  • Removable battery


  • Performance is lacking

LG G4 review: LG UX 4.0 & Android 5.1

Note: Since the review was written, the LG G4 can be upgraded to Android v6.0 Marshmallow.

The G4 runs the latest version of Android 5.1, but it also comes with LG’s new UX 4.0 interface over the top. In keeping with Google’s new Material Design scheme, it’s much cleaner and flatter than the G3‘s interface, and I much prefer how its Smart Notices have been integrated with the main clock and weather widget on the main homepage.

LG’s Smart Bulletin board lies to the left of your main screen, which houses LG’s Health app, your calendar, music controls and other quick start guides, but thankfully you can select which bulletins you want to appear, or disable the entire panel if you don’t want it clogging up your home screen.  

You can also choose whether to allow notifications on the lock screen, and LG’s Knock Code pattern returns as an alternative method of unlocking your handset. First seen on the G3, this lets you tap out a specific pattern onscreen even when the display is turned off to unlock your phone. It’s very effective, and perhaps a little more secure than the more common unlock pattern settings you’ll find on other smartphones.

Other handy features include a new Smart Settings menu. This can automatically switch sound profiles when you get home, for instance, and you can also enable it to turn on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings as soon as you step through your front door, or turn them off again when you leave. Likewise, plugging in a pair of earphones or connecting it to a Bluetooth speaker can prompt it to automatically open an app like Spotify or a game, for instance, to save you the hassle of rooting around for it in the app tray.

LG G4 Smart Notices Power Saving^ Smart Notices are now much more neatly integrated into the main weather widget, and it will also tell you which apps are using a lot of power

Meanwhile, Smart Power Saving will warn you when apps are using too much power, and will create a Smart Notice prompt to let you shut them down in order to help save battery. Likewise, the G4’s graphics RAM will put the CPU to sleep when there’s nothing happening on the display, helping you squeeze a few more hours out of it when the phone is locked. 

The new Event Pocket feature in the basic Calendar app is also quite useful, as this lets you add new events by dragging images, text, memos, tasks, locations and even information from Facebook directly into your monthly planner. It could use some refinements, though. For instance, I wasn’t able to drag a pocket image onto an already scheduled event without it creating a separate entry.

LG G4 Calendar Pocket^ Event Pocket makes it easier to personalise and consolidate your various calendars, but we’d like to be able to add more than one piece of information without creating multiple events

Likewise, any time information in a memo, for example, isn’t scanned or picked up when it creates the calendar entry, so you’ll have to manually adjust these figures after you’ve dragged in the text. Dragging in Facebook events is pretty handy, though, and it will even suggest nearby events for you to add into your calendar as well. Finally, Quick Memo+ lets you save the contents of web pages for later, stripping out the adverts so that you’re only left with the text.

LG G4 review: Conclusion

The G4 may not be as powerful as other flagship smartphones, but it’s certainly got a wealth of features to help it stand out from the competition. While I’m not a huge fan of the ceramic or metallic models, the leather back is surprisingly elegant and I definitely prefer it to the slippery glass back of the Galaxy S6. The G4’s unique colour spectrum sensor also puts it neck-and-neck with the camera on the back of the S6 and I think its display looks just as sharp and punchy as Samsung’s Super AMOLED panels.

In this sense, I’d say it’s a genuine alternative to either of Samsung’s flagship handsets, and I’d definitely choose the G4 over the HTC One M9 despite the decrease in overall performance speed. The G4 might not have as much stamina as the S6 or S6 Edge, but its removable battery does give it an extra degree of flexibility and the presence of a microSD card slot also makes the G4 a far more accommodating device than almost every flagship phone I’ve seen this year. 

The leather might not be to everyone’s tastes, but the G4 is definitely the phone to choose if you want a top-end handset that can adapt to your own needs. For me, the curved screen of the S6 Edge still has that unbeatable ‘wow’ factor, but the LG G4 is a very worthy alternative.

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ProcessorHexa-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Screen size5.5in
Screen resolution2,560×1,440
Screen typeIPS Quantum
Front camera8-megapixel
Rear camera16-megapixel
Memory card slot (supplied)microSD
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
Wireless data3G, 4G
Operating systemAndroid 5.1
Battery size3,000mAh
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£530
Price on contract (inc VAT)N/A
Prepay price (inc VAT)N/A
Contract/prepay supplierN/A
Part codeLG-F500L

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