Our early verdict is that there’s not an overwhelming sense that G3 owners will want to upgrade to the G4. Yes, if you want the leather back, Snapdragon 808 and improved camera. However, on the whole, the phone remains pretty similar and that £200 price difference doesn’t seem worth it.
Price When Reviewed
LG G4: $500
The LG G4 is here to replace the
LG G3 as the Korean firm’s new flagship
smartphone, but should you upgrade? Is the LG G4 the best Android phone of 2015? Or which do you pick if you don’t own either phone? Here’s our LG G3 vs LG G4 comparison review. Read our
LG G4 hands-on review.
Deciding not to launch the LG G4 at MWC 2015, the new phone is finally here after being unveiled at simultaneous events around the world. We attended the London event so we’ve managed to have some time with the LG G4 (and our review sample has arrived at PC Advisor towers).
As you would expect with two different generations of smartphone, there is a big gap in price. The LG G3 has been available SIM-free and unlocked at £300 for a while now and this may drop even further when the LG G4 goes on sale.
To get the new model you’re looking at £500 for the ceramic model and an extra £20-30 for the leather option (see below). That’s quite a lot extra so it’s it worth buying the up to date LG G4 or going for last season’s G3? See also:
Where to buy LG G4 and best LG G4 deals.
LG G3 vs LG G4: Design and build
The firm has gone down a new route with the LG G4, offering a genuine leather-clad rear cover. That’s quite a change from the metallic skinned plastic of the G3 and almost to opposite of rivals like the
Samsung Galaxy S6 and
HTC One M9.
The cover is still removable and there are six colours to choose from (some a bit odd), but if leather isn’t your thing then a ceramic model is also on offer (see main image). This is more a plastic rear cover than anything as LG admits that it’s only made of five percent ceramic.
We like the subtle curve of the G4 which is slightly like the G Flex but its edge which separates the rear cover from the screen is still plastic and looks nicer on the G3 which has a brushed metal finish – even if it is fake.
Beyond the change in material, the LG G4 feels very similar to the G3 on the whole. What is a shame is that it’s a bigger device as we were hoping for trimmed down dimensions even though the screen is no bigger. It’s wider, taller, thicker and heavier which is really the wrong direction. See the tablet below for the numbers.
75 x 146 x 8.9mm
76 x 149 x 9.8mm
LG G3 vs LG G4: Hardware and specs
There’s no change when it comes to the screen size and resolution – that means it’s 5.5in and Quad HD (1440 x 2560, 538ppi) either way. However, there is a new IPS Quantum Display in the G4 which LG claims is better.
We’ve taken a look at these two phones side by side and the new display is brighter and has better colour reproduction – white is especially nicer – but it’s not a dramatic improvement.
One of the main changes in hardware is the processor which has been upgraded from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 to a Snapdragon 808 (not the 810 model most expected). This means a jump from quad-core to six-core (dual-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A57 & quad-core 1.44 GHz) and an Adreno 418 GPU. We’ll be benchmarking the G4 over the next few days so come back soon for a more detailed comparison.
With the LG G3, the firm offered either 2- or 3GB of RAM depending on which storage model you opted for. It’s now a straight 3GB to go with 32GB of internal storage. As previously, the G4 offers a microSD card slot so you can add more storage with up to 128GB cards.
The battery size remains at 3000mAh and is still removable. However, LG claims that the G4 will manage 20 percent longer than the G3 thanks to the Snapdragon 808 processor. We’ve not been able to test this out yet.
Wireless is another thing which remains very similar. The G4 has 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE with aptX, NFC and the IR blaster. LG hasn’t added anything like a fingerprint scanner or heart rate monitor. However, wireless charging is no longer standard so you’ll need to buy and use the Quick Circle on the G4 for this feature. It’s a downgrade which seems unnecessary.
As well as the processor a key upgrade is the camera which LG spend most of the launch event talking about. The resolution has leaped from 13Mp to 16Mp and still has the laser auto focus but there’s more to it than that. It has an impressive aperture of f/1.8 and new OIS 2.0 (optical image stabilisation) which now has a range of two degrees rather than one and a new z-axis.
There’s also a new Colour Spectrum Sensor which aims to understand ambient light and colour better than a regular IR sensor. The front camera has also been upgraded from 2.1Mp to 8Mp.We’ve yet to put the new camera through its paces but we will very soon.
The updated camera app has a Manual Mode which allows you to control things like white balance, ISO, shutter speed and focus. The new Gesture Interval Shot will take four consecutive selfies.
LG G3 vs LG G4: Software
There’s only a small amount of difference when it comes to software. The LG G3 is upgradable to Android 5.0 Lollipop while the LG G4 comes pre-loaded with
Android, 5.1 Lollipop.
With a new phone comes new software so the G4 has LG’s UX 4.0 adding a few new features such as Quick Shot, Event Pocket and improvements to existing things like Smart Notice and the Gallery app. LG hasn’t confirmed whether the LG G3 will be upgraded to UX 4.0 or not.
A key difference as mentioned already is the camera app which has a new Manual Mode and Gesture Interval Shot (for taking four selfies in a row). There’s also a bit less bloatware following in the footsteps of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface.
LG G4: Specs
Android 5.1 Lollipop
5.5in IPS Quantum Display Quad HD (1440×2560, 538ppi)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, six-core (dual-core ARM Cortex A57 and quad-core A53 with 64-bit support
Tech Advisor's Reviews Editor, Chris has been reviewing all kinds of tech for over 10 years and specialises in audio. He also covers a range of topics including home entertainment, phones, laptops, tablets and more.