News by Josh Dasey on Wednesday November 11, 2015.
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LG has today announced a new colorway for its G4 flagship in South Korea, introducing us to the G4 White Gold Edition. Of course, this is something manufacturers tend to do when a device is getting on a bid in its yearly cycle of flagship. The G4 was launched earlier this year and this is way for LG to say. "Hey, our handset is still here".The White Gold Edition of the G4 features a while body on the front and rear panels and gold strips down the landscape edges... not real gold we should add, but plastic. The company says this device is designed to appeal to "women and young customers" although we are unsure why this wouldn't appeal to a 40-year old man either. We imagine this handset will also be launched around the world eventually, but at the moment is exclusive to LG's homeland. This is merely an aesthetic enhancement as the LG G4 White Gold Edition remains the same handset as the normal G4 underneath, and here?s what we thought of that handset when it launched:
LG promised that the G4 would be a radical redesign over the G3, but it is not. Yes, this is a new handset, there are no HTC One M9 style tricks here, but the G4 definitely follows the design ethos LG has been employing since the G3 launched last year. It's not necessarily a complaint, more an observation, because the G4 still looks elegant, but is it among the best in terms of looks? Last year the G3 landed as one of the most complete looking smartphones on the market, it just looked slick. The G4 certainly does not lessen that appeal, but the market has changed since and there are plenty of good looking flagships out there right now. Indeed, the G4 arrives as the only flagship of this year launched with a plastic build, other companies (even Samsung opting for metal, plastic, or a combination of both). Again, it's not really a problem, but it will undoubtedly put some off the G4 right from the start, especially considering how delightful devices like the Galaxy S6 look and feel. LG has tried to up the premium factor with the addition of real leather covering the back plate (plastic versions will also be available) and it is beautiful and gives the G4 a touch of class. We think, based on first impressions, that this is a nice looking device, but falls behind key rivals in terms of looks. The LG G4 arrives with the same 5.5-inch Quad HD screen that made its debut last year on the G3, but this time the company has tweaked and improved it. That means such things as color gamut, brightness, contrast ratio, touch function, power consumption, and thinness and the results are a bunch of statistics. For example, there is 50% more contrast ratio, 120% better color gamut, and a 30% rise in brightness. That's all great, but the really good news is it translates to the panel and the G4 boasts arguably the best smartphone screen on the market. For those who were unhappy with Samsung omitting a micro SD card slot on its Galaxy S6, you will be pleased to see that LG has included one here, meaning you can expand storage capacity with the G4. The rear leather plate is removable, but the 3000 mAh battery is unfortunately not removable. In terms of other specs, LG has surprised many by putting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 in the G4 and not the newer Snapdragon 810. Both are 64-bit, but the 808 is hexa-core, while the 810 is octa-core. With 3GB of RAM there should be little in the way of noticeable performance different and the G4 should be every bit as nippy as its rivals from Samsung, HTC, and beyond. However, this is a damning decision for the Snapdragon 810, a chipset that was also overlooked by Samsung because of persistent overheating problems. LG used the 810 in its G Flex 2, but the company obviously does not trust the processor enough for its flagship. Qualcomm is likely to be paying attention to this, so expect the Snapdragon 810 to have a lesser cycle than normal. Around the back and in the middle of LG's now familiar rear button configuration sits a 16 megapixel camera with a wide aperture of f/1.8 and OIS. That aperture is slightly better than what Samsung offers on the Galaxy S6 and LG says the G4 is a triumph taking shots in low light conditions. Of course, we will have to put the handset through its paces before making any lasting conclusions. For the selfie crowd, LG has generously slapped a sizeable 8 megapixel snapper on the front, which in terms of megapixels at least is what the iPhone 6 boasts on the rear. While the G3 as a whole brought LG into the big leagues of the smartphone market, for our money it was the UI that finally told consumers that the company was ready to make that leap. The simplified take on the Android platform was a refreshing change from the likes of HTC's Sense and Samsung's TouchWiz, as well as several other such skins. LG has taken that UI and improved apparently improved it with UX 4.0, and we really think that it is a UI that could divide opinion. It is not as polished as those offerings from HTC and Samsung, but then UX 4.0 looks easy to use and is likely to have a low impact on Android Lollipop, which incidentally comes out of the box with the LG G4. Again, it is hard to make any lasting impressions, so we will wait for that review unit to land in the office before deciding either way on UX 4.0.
Josh is our European editor, tackling news events, reviews, and new items from his UK home. As a former HTC marketing employee, Josh is close to the industry and bring his experience to MobileBurn.