The LG G4 is here, and as previewed, it does indeed feature a leather back, designed for comfort and durability according to the company. The smartphone has some serious bona fides when it comes to hardware specs, including a quad HD (1440 x 2560) 5.5-inch screen which uses new “quantum display” tech for better color reproduction, a completely redesigned camera with a larger sensor, Snapdragon 808 and an expandable microSD slot for more storage.
The G4’s most stunning feature might be its unique industrial design, which follows other top-end device makers in angling for quality craftsmanship and materials, but which ends up at a very different destination from most. That leather back option is the result of over three years of research, and carries a special LG-designed treatment aimed at making it water-resistant and less susceptible to scratches and mark-ups.
In addition to the brown finish we’ve seen bandied about so much already, there are beige, sky blue and black versions coming, with additional colors planned. If leather isn’t your thing, other variants use a hammered pattern back finished in metal or ceramic-painted white plastic. Bonus: All G4 backs are interchangeable with one another.
LG has also taken some cues from its more experimental phone designs for the G4 – the new flagship has a subtle curve, which, while not as pronounced as the arch of the G Flex 2, is designed to provide a better hand feel, as well as bolster resistance to breakage from direct falls.
That new display is said to have better outdoor visibility, lower-power consumption and is also up to the DCI standard, an agreed-upon reference class for color spectrum used by Disney, 20th Century Fox, Sony and many others for film and television. LG says that by contrast, displays based on AMOLED tech are oversaturated when compared to their own panels.
As for that new camera, LG is once again going with a 16-megapixel sensor on the back, but it’s a larger sensor versus the G3, and it has a super bright f/1.8 aperture, both of which should help with low light image capture. The image stabilization tech used should be twice as effective, and is the most powerful on the smartphone market, per the company.
In addition to capturing RAW, advanced photographers can also enter manual mode to control things like shutter speed, ISO, white balance and more. A special sensor positioned under the flash is also new, and helps to determine true whites for more accurate color balance without WB manipulation.
That Snapdragon 808 under the hood is a 64-bit hexacore CPU clocked at 1.8GHz, and should provide plenty smooth performance for both launching and using apps. Paired with the 3,000 mAh battery the G4 is sporting, users can expect just under 20 hours of talk time on a full charge, or around 10.7 hours of web browsing time. It also has 3GB of RAM, and ships with 32GB of internal storage, in addition to offering that microSD slot as mentioned above.
What’s nice about this year’s LG flagship is that the OS was created with Google users in mind, meaning that Google’s suite of productivity apps comes pre-installed, and that Chrome is the default browser choice. There’s OS-level Chromecast support, too, for sharing from your onboard music library and gallery apps, and most of LG’s own apps feature Android Wear extensions out of the box. You also get 100GB of free Google Drive storage for two years with G4 purchase.
The LG G4 goes on sale in Korea first, with a street date of April 29, and will arrive in the U.S. by the end of May or the beginning of June.