New LG G4 flagship smartphone has a leather or ceramic case

Korean tech giant LG has formally unveiled its latest flagship smartphone – the LG G4 – which features innovative case materials as its principal differentiator. G4 customers have a choice of leather or ceramic covering for their 5.5 inch smartphone, which LG is claiming makes it more “human-centric”.

“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,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “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.”

Other than the case materials, LG is following a similar strategy to many of its competitors, by serving up incremental tweaks to the components. Having said that the chip, camera and screen have all been upgraded, and the G3 was generally highly regarded, so the G4 should be a competitive piece of kit.

“With a genuine leather back, the LG is hoping to marry fashion with functionality in the G4, whereas others have gone with one or the other,” said Rob Kerr of uSwitch. “Staying with the theme ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, the G4 builds upon the solid base of the G3 with only slight hardware improvements. The ever so slight curvature of the phone sets itself apart from other designs, with a more natural grip in the hand, instead of being a monolithic slab.

“Last year’s G3 set the bar in screen quality with a QuadHD display, which other mobile makers have now matched. With a similar screen in the G4, LG could be seen as resting on its laurels. But although there’s no showy dual curve screen to see here, it still packs in the pixels with some new brightness and colour perkiness. And with a camera that would appease professional snappers, it has listened to its market and worked in what’s important in a phone – form and features.

“LG might struggle to stand out against the S6 edge, but with HTC One M9 slightly improving on the One M8, and Sony traditionally offering slight improvements, perhaps it’s now all about evolution and not revolution.”

One other spec upgrade worth noting is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, which is its first appearance in the wild. Qualcomm is presumably especially keen to big this up having lost out on the Samsung Galaxy S6.

“LG and Qualcomm Technologies collaborated from the initial stages of the Snapdragon 808 introduction to skillfully tune the technologies to make many of the LG G4’s unique features possible,” said Reiner Klement, VP of product management at Qualcomm. “The resulting LG G4 smartphone provides a highly refined user experience with exceptional call quality, advanced multimedia and fast connectivity to the Internet. We congratulate LG on the launch of this innovative new device.”

Here are the key specs:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor with X10 LTE
  • Display: 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440, 538ppi)
  • Memory: 32GB eMMC ROM, 3GB LPDDR3 RAM / microSD slot
  • Camera: Rear 16MP with F1.8 Aperture / OIS 2.0 / Front 8MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (removable)
  • Operating System: Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Size: 148.9 x 76.1 x 6.3 – 9.8mm
  • Weight: 155g
  • Network: 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21 Mbps (3G)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.1LE / NFC / USB 2.0
  • Colours: [Ceramic] Metallic Gray / Ceramic White / Shiny Gold / [Genuine Leather] Black / Brown / Red / Sky Blue / Beige / Yellow
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