The LG G4 will be announced later this month on April 28. To drum up hype, the Korean electronics giant has spared no expense teasing its next flagship Android smartphone.
With the G4, LG needs to bring its A-game. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have elevated the Android platform to an entirely new level. They aren’t just the best smartphones Samsung’s ever built, they’re the best Android phones you can buy right now. Period.
The G4 needs to have a premium design and not that plasticky faux-metal that the G3 has. It needs to have a killer camera, too. It needs specs to please all the tech junkies and it needs a user interface that isn’t cluttered with junk no one will use.
If LG can pull of these pieces together — and really, I can’t see why not, seeing as the G3 already has the great camera and specs part down — it might just stand a chance of going head-on with Samsung’s sleek Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
1. Leather finish
There’s no way to know for sure what material(s) the G4 will come in, but if the invite that LG sent out is any hint of things to come, we’re probably looking at leather being one option. (I just hope it isn’t some kind of faux-leather like on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.) If it turns out to be true, the G4 will contend with the Moto X’s leather-clad option.
2. Even beefier camera
The G3’s 13-megapixel camera is one of the best on Android. In addition to optical image stabilization (OIS), the camera also uses a laser autofocus system that allows it to lock onto subjects in 276ms. Not only that, but it can take incredible low-light pics thanks to its fast f/2.4 aperture.
With the G4, LG’s likely going to step its camera game up even more. The invite clearly teases a camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens, which means low-light performance is going to be even better. We can also see that the pill-shaped laser autofocus sensor and a dual-LED flash will return on the G4. In the UI teaser video below, LG also shows off a manual camera mode that “makes you a professional photographer” and Quick Capture mode that lets you use the rear-positioned power button to quickly fire off a shot.
3. Simpler user interface
The trend for Android these days seems to be stripping out all of the useless bells and whistles that OEMs loved to bloat smartphones up with. The G4 will run some version of Android 5.0 “Lollipop” with LG’s revamped UX 4.0 “skin” on top. Dubbed the “human-centric ux,” UX 4.0 will be “simpler and easier” with “only the essentials” according to the teaser video above.
The dramatically flattened down interface will have a feature called “Smart Bulletin” that gathers all kinds of information like your fitness data, schedules, music and smart settings. A feature called “Smart Notice” will even suggest activities like riding your bike when the weather is sunny out.
We can also see shiny new versions of the Calendar and Gallery apps, as well as new ringtones.
4. High-res 5.5-inch QHD screen
I didn’t think you could actually improve on the G3’s impressive 5.5-inch QuadHD display, but LG has managed to do just that. The G4 will have the same size and resolution (2,560 x 1,440) screen, but it’ll use a technology called Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT). LG Display says the new display is 30% brighter without any higher power consumption, has a 50% higher contrast ratio and has a 20% better color gamut. The touchscreen even works when it has water droplets on it (great when you’re in the rain!).
And assuming the G4 doesn’t stray too far from the G3’s design, we could be looking at a phone with super-slim bezels. The G3, for what it’s worth, has the smallest footprint out of any 5.5-inch smartphone out there and is, in my opinion, the easiest to wield with one hand.
5. Backside pride
LG’s signature rear-positioned power and volume buttons will be back, too. The design was first introduced on the G2, and while it was shrugged off by reviewers as silly at first, the buttons are actually a natural fit. Your index finger naturally finds itself on the backside, anyway, so why not put some functions there?