In a joint event between London and New York, LG has lifted the veil on the next iteration of its high-end smartphone, the G4. The G3's designs largely borrows from the G3 and iterates on it with a new slightly curved screen and optional leather back covers. The camera seems to be LG's core focus for this device, and we'll get back on those details in just a bit.

The G4 will be the first device to officially use the Snapdragon 808, Qualcomm’s MSM8992 big.LITTLE SoC arrangement that uses two ARM A57 cores in one cluster clocked in at 1.82GHz and four ARM A53s at 1.44GHz in the other. The GPU also uses a lower end Adreno 418 clocked in at 600MHz. Qualcomm avoided LPDDR4 in the S808, and thus remaines a LPDDR3 piece likely running at up to 933MHz.

While we're not too concerned with the resulting CPU performance and loss of two big cores, and slight frequency loss of the Snapdragon 808, it's the GPU which should see higher impact as 3D performance suffers a tad compared to the Snapdragon 810's Adreno 430. In our preliminary tests with the demo device, we see GFXBench Manhattan offscreen go down from 22.7fps to 15fps and T-Rex from 49fps down to 35fps when comparing the G4 to the HTC M9, which sports a FHD screen as opposed ot the QHD one we find in the LG device.

The detailed specification lists shows the iterative improvements over the G3, launched last year:

 

LG G3

LG G4

SoC MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801
4x Krait 400 @ 2.5 GHz
MSM8992 Snapdragon 808
2xA57 @ 1.82GHz
+
4xA53 @ 1.44GHz
GPU Adreno 330 @ 578MHz Adreno 418 @ 600MHz
RAM 3GB LPDDR3 933MHz 3GB LPDDR3 933MHz
NAND 32GB NAND (eMMC 5.0)
+ microSD
32GB NAND (eMMC 5.0)
+ microSD
Display 5.5-inch 2560x1440 IPS LCD 5.5-inch 2560x1440 IPS LCD
Network 2G / 3G / 4G
Qualcomm MDM9x25
UE Category 4 LTE
2G / 3G / 4G
Qualcomm X10 (Integrated)
UE Category 9 LTE
Dimensions 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm
149 grams
148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 - 9.8 mm
155 grams
Camera 13MP rear camera, 1.12 µm pixels, 1/3.06" CMOS size,
F/2.4. 2-axis OIS

2.1MP F/2.0 FFC
16MP Sony IMX234 rear camera,
1.12µm pixels, 1/2.6" CMOS size
F/1.8, 3-axis OIS

8MP Toshiba T4KA3 FFC
Battery 3000 mAh (11.4 Wh) replaceable 3000 mAh (11.4 Wh) replaceable
OS Android 4.4.2 with LG UI Android 5.1 with LGUX 4.0
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GNSS, MHL, DLNA, NFC 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0
SIM Size MicroSIM NanoSIM

The screen size and resolution stay constant at 5.5" and QHD, but the device has an angular element to it, similar to the LG G Flex 2 but not as pronounced: The screen is touted to be a new generation IPS Quantum display. It looks like LG is claiming 20% gamut increase. The display has  50% increased contrast over the G3, achieving a total of 1500:1 contrast ratio. The G4 reintroduces Panel Self Refresh which was unfortunately missing from the G3, and this should vastly improve battery life over its predecessor.

The screen has a 3000mm radius curve throughout the phone's design that LG markets as "Slim Arc" design.

The phone comes in several different plastic and leather cover options. These are high-quality hand-produced genuine leather products. The plastic version sports a diamond pattern mimicking a metallic look. This also means the G4 is slightly bigger and heavier than the G3 as it comes at a increased 155g. The removable battery of the G4 remains similar to the G3 at 3000 mAh, and the SIM moves to the nano-size. The microSD slot remains an option for the G4.

The G4 gets a camera update, moving from a 13MP to a 16MP design that migrates from an F/2.4 to F/1.8, allowing for potentially better performance. We find a Sony IMX234 sensor, a unit we haven't yet seen used in any other devices. LG were keen to point the F/1.8 over Samsung’s F/1.9 on the latest Galaxy S6. The new OIS system dubbed "OIS 2.0" now offers a 3-axis gyroscope instead of the traditional 2-axis implementations in all current OIS devices. Another first is the implementation of a colour spectrum sensor next to the flash unit, and is able to read RGB and infrared light. LG is able to vastly improve white-balance and also increase clarity for more natural pictures.

The phone now also offers full manual control, with customizable ISO, exposure, shutter speed and white balance among other things. RAW format capture is also supported. Double clicking on the rear buttons already takes a picture within a second, LG is here taking another stab at Samsung's S6 as it only is able to open the camera app in the same time.

The front camera has been boosted to a 8MP Toshiba T4KA3 sensor and sports an improved gesture shot triggering function.

The volume rocker on the rear changes slightly, moving to a flatter central piece. The flash element of the camera in this area is a dual LED design, and we also find the microphone grille at the bottom. One of the elements LG seems to be pushing with the G4 is the design of the back cover, allowing for a replaceable leather rear while retaining the front facia that exhibits a faux carbon-fibre effect of sorts.

The device should be available this week in major markets. We’re currently waiting in line to get some hands-on time with the device, and hopefully on the list to get a sample to follow up from the LG G3 review.

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  • hansmuff - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - link

    Any idea about pricing and particular vendor availability? Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - link

    No indications of pricing, but TheVerge reported it would be available on all four major US carriers. Hoping it also makes it to Canada, as this is the first phone (other than the Xperia Z3 Compact which isn't available on Rogers) that feels/sounds like an upgrade to the LG G2.

    Will be interesting to see how the phone compares to the G3 (should be faster/smoother) and the S6. The lack of 2 big cores should help a lot with heating issues, compared to the SD810 SoC.
    Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - link

    Quote from http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1526101/lg-g4-the-...
    "TORONTO, April 28, 2015 /CNW/ - Beginning this June, Canadians can get their hands on the eagerly anticipated LG G4, LG's latest smartphone and the successor to the award-winning LG G3. Globally announced today, the LG G4 will be available this summer through Bell, Rogers, TELUS, Videotron and WIND Mobile."

    So, it appears it will be available on every major carrier in Canada and the US.

    Will be interesting to see if the removable battery and MicroSD slot remain in the Canadian model(s).
    Reply
  • hpka - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - link

    I'll be annoyed if either of those things are removed as this looks like a perfect phone for me, in part, for those specific reasons. I'd even sooner loose the leather than I would the MicroSD slot and removable battery. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - link

    Pricing? Try $650 for the base model like every flagship ever. Reply
  • Endda - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - link

    The G3 was $580 on AT&T upon release Reply
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    Any carrier may do a sale or price reduction at any given time, even at release, but its still was a $650 phone like every other entry level flagship. Even the entry level iPhone 6 is $650. You guys need some work spotting patterns. LOL. Reply
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - link

    /edit , I mean the starting point for a flag ship not "entry level"... In other words, the "base model" Reply
  • Kutark - Monday, May 04, 2015 - link

    There is no justification for these things costing that much money. You can get a top end 10-11" tablet for that. I mean thats almost surface pro territory. $300-400 seems more reasonable.

    IMO the reason they price them that way is so they can use their famous 2yr contract BS and sell it at a "reduced" cost.
    Reply
  • dazweeja - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - link

    You may also find that the choice to use the cheaper 808 was to differentiate on price. Reply

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