Korean electronics company LG has long been playing second fiddle in the smartphone market. Its larger competitor, Samsung, has established itself as the most popular Android smartphone brand in Australia for the several years. Despite this, LG has been pushing hard to increase its market share, culminating in its most recent flagship smartphone, the G4.
Taking technological cues from its predecessors, including a blazingly high-tech camera and innovative rear-mounted buttons – as well as the curved screen and form factor from the experimental LG Flex – the G4 certainly has the features to take on the big boys of the smartphone world. The big question is this: What do Australians think of it?
Having been released back in mid-July, the G4 has been on the scene for several months longer than its main competition, allowing Aussies plenty of time to get to know the ins and outs of LG’s latest. We’ve surveyed hundreds of people across the nation to find out what they think about every aspect of the LG G4.
The G4 packs in a Quad HD 5.5-inch display, which follows a gentle concave curve – designed to better fit your face during calls and make everyday viewing easier. The impressive display is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor backed up by a big 3000mAh replaceable battery, whilst a micro SD card slot adds the option of expandable storage to the 32GB included.
One of the G4’s most interesting features is the inclusion of the power and volume buttons on the back of the phone, just below the centrally-placed camera. LG claims these buttons are easier to access whilst holding the phone upright and making calls. The back of your G4 can also come with a natural leather casing in several different colours, making it stylish (and often hard-wearing) alternative to most plastic or metal devices. Several of our respondents praised the long battery life and screen size of LG’s hardware, with others also commenting positively on the build quality.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the G4 though is the camera. Packing in a 16MP shooter at the rear and an 8MP front-facing lens, the camera comes with advanced features such as optical image stabilization and laser auto-focus. You can even make gestures to control the front-facing selfie camera from a distance. The camera app itself allows you to take full advantage of the hardware, with manual settings allowing you to adjust exposure, shutter speed, ISO, focus and even shoot in RAW format. With almost universal approval for the G4’s camera amongst the Aussie buyers we talked to, this phone is certainly one for the photographers.
LG’s handsets all run Android, with the G4 being no exception. The manufacturer supplies their flagship product with only low-key UI modifications, including squarer icons and a modified notification tray with more features. In addition to the high-tech camera app mentioned before, LG also includes several of its own apps which enhance Google’s first-party apps. These include Event Pocket, which suggests local venues and attractions based on calendar events you create, and a redesigned Gallery app for your photos and videos.
The LG G4 owners we talked to were mostly positive in their comments towards the device’s software, although a few did criticise the slow rollout of software updates – an unavoidable occurrence for any company which adds features on top of the stock Android OS. Other praises levelled at the device included the light weight, ease of handling and perhaps surprisingly, that it was good value.
Is the LG G4 value for money?
With the G4 retailing at around $799, it undercuts other top-notch smartphones by up to several hundred dollars, whilst still providing all of the features and performance you’d expect. Despite LG’s lower profile than some of its competitors, the G4 really does seem like an impressive investment if you’re after the very best in quality. To learn more, see how LG performed in our latest customer satisfaction ratings for smartphones.