LG unveiled its latest G4 flagship smartphone in a move to take on the Apple iPhone 6, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and others. The new LG phone boasts vastly improved front and rear cameras, an upgraded display and a subtle curve in its design compared with the G3 model that preceded it.
The new G4 includes a 5.5-inch quad HD In-Plane Switching (IPS) Quantum display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 16MP rear camera, an 8MP front camera and a 3,000mAh removable battery. The smartphone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop.
The LG G4 will start its global rollout on April 29 in Korea, according to LG, and will later be available around the world. Prices and carrier availability have not yet been announced, but Sprint is already touting availability of the G4 sometime in June.
The new smartphone is the first to use LG Display's new 5.5-inch IPS Quantum display, which offers 20 percent greater color reproduction, 25 percent improvement in brightness and 50 percent greater contrast than previous displays, according to the company. It includes Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) technology, which combines the LCD and touch sensor into a single layer to provide better color reproduction and touch sensitivity, and it is calibrated for DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) standards for improved color reproduction.
The G4's new 16MP camera promises to capture great images, even under low-light conditions, using an F1.8 aperture lens that allows 80 percent more light to reach the camera's sensor, LG said. Also included is improved OIS 2.0 image stabilization for blur-free images.
The high-resolution 8MP front-facing camera aims to give users sharper, more detailed portraits and group shots than they can take with cameras on other phones, which typically have much lower resolution. Users can trigger the shutter by opening and closing a hand twice in front of the camera.
The new G4 smartphone also gets new styling cues compared with the previous G3 phone, including new covering materials, such as handcrafted full-grain leather in six colors. The phones can also be purchased with ceramic rear covers instead of leather. The ceramic-backed phones are available in Ceramic White with 3D patterns, Metallic Gray or Shiny Gold. The leather-backed phones are available in black, brown, red, sky blue, beige or yellow.
The design of the curved G4 builds on what LG calls its Slim Arc, which runs along its entire body, highlighted by a display with a subtle curvature, according to LG. The slight curvature offers 20 percent better durability than a flat smartphone in face-down drops and gives the smartphone a more comfortable and secure feel in the hand, according to the company.
The G4 measures 5.86 inches long by 2.99 inches wide, and is 0.24 to 0.38 inches thick, depending on its materials.
The new devices also include LG's latest human-centric UX 4.0 user interface, which promises to be simpler and more intuitive to better understand and respond to the needs of users, according to the company. The improved UX eliminates unnecessary steps while providing more configuration options for advanced users, such as a Quick Shot feature that allows users to take a picture without opening the camera app by double-tapping the phone's Rear Key while the display is off.
"We are living up to our promise of Innovation for a Better Life with a fashionable, premium smartphone that is more focused on delivering a balanced user experience that can compete with the best of the best," Juno Cho, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Co., said in a statement. "We wanted to give consumers a truly human-centric device that combined the analog sensibilities with technologies that delivered real-world performance. From the design to the camera to the display to the UX, this is the most ambitious phone we've ever created."
Earlier in April, LG accidentally went live with a Website that included details and images about its upcoming G4 smartphone. The site was apparently supposed to be offline until the phone's launch, but it accidentally displayed images of the new phones before the official launch.