Featuring a top-end display, great camera and atypical design, the LG G4 is one of the best Android smartphones currently available.
Great display and camera, distinct design, £100 cheaper than competing smartphones
Plastic backplate feels cheap, hexa-core not octa-core processor
Screen: 5.5in, 1440x2560, 538ppi, Quantum IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
Processor: Hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Storage: 32GB, microSD
Battery: Li-Ion 3000mAh
Camera: 16MP, 5312x2988 pixels with laser autofocus, OIS, LED flash and 1/2.6'' lens rear, 8MP front
LG may have been overshadowed by its Korean competitor Samsung in the smartphone arena over the past few years, but the firm took a big step forward in 2014 with the G3 smartphone.
Featuring an atypical button placement that put the power and volume controls on the back, a 500ppi display, and a super slick rear camera with laser autofocus, the G3 was possibly the best Android smartphone available at the time.
So LG took a page out of HTC's One M9 design book and chose not to radically rethink its strategy in building the G4.
However, Samsung took a completely different tack, redesigning the Galaxy S6 from the ground up, and some buyers have justifiably questioned whether there's enough new innovation in the G4 to repeat its predecessor's success.
Design and build
The G4 is one of the most interesting smartphones around from a design perspective. It has the same atypical button placement as the G3, with the physical controls on the rear, and has a slightly curved chassis similar to LG's G Flex handsets.
The two design elements make the G4 look noticeably different than competing smartphones. LG claims that the G4's curved chassis makes it more ergonomic than traditional flatfront smartphones.
However, we found that the curve doesn't really make much difference to how the handset feels in the hand and is more an aesthetic than a practical touch.
That said, measuring 149x76x6.3-9.8mm - from its narrowest to deepest curved part - and weighing 155g, the G4 is comfortable and easy to use.
As, we found on the G3, the G4's feel is aided by the rear button placement, which puts the power and volume controls directly where our index finger naturally sits when holding the phone with one hand.
Those who like to carry a spare battery with them when on the move will be pleased to know that LG has made the G4's backplate and battery removable.
Our only qualm with the G4's design is that the shiny white finish polycarbonate backplate felt slightly flimsy and gave the handset a cheaper feel than many competing top-end phones, like the metal backed One M9 and Gorilla Glass-coated Galaxy S6, for example.
In fairness to LG, the firm is also offering a fake leather finish model that it claims will give the handset a noticeably classier feel, although we didn't get a chance to test this claim during our review.
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