LG's first smartphone release of this year was the LG G Flex2, but the LG G4 remains its flagship device.
This time round, LG is introducing a new sense of luxury with a series of calf-leather back panels supplied by a company that also provides the same material for handbags made for many designer labels.
The LG G4 sticks with the Android tradition of a user-removable battery and a microSD memory expansion slot. Local buyers get a free second battery and battery charger with every LG G4 purchased.
Last year's LG G3 was the first mainstream smartphone with a quad high-definition (QHD) display and the G4 continues with it, but this time with an in-plane switching Quantum LCD panel.
The new screen offers 20 per cent greater colour reproduction, with a 25 per cent increase in brightness and a 50 per cent increase in contrast, says LG.
Working with chip-maker Qualcomm, LG uses a specially made Snapdragon 808 chipset for the LG G4. This phone uses a 1.8Ghz 64-bit hexa-core processor and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop. It comes with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for expandable memory up to 128GB.
The LG G4 has an updated user interface that promises to be simpler to navigate. The new Gallery places photos in a timeline, and there is a more centralised notification hub for more personalised information, such as the weather during the daily commute to work.
The gesture controls have also been tweaked. If you are taking a selfie, making a fist will snap a picture. Do that twice in quick succession and the camera will snap a sequence of selfies.
Of the colour options available for the LG G4 internationally, only five will be offered here. The regular rear polycarbonate panels come in metallic grey and gold. The other three colours - red, brown and black - will be available in soft calf leather. LG says that owners will have to pick a colour and stick with it, as it will not sell the rear covers separately. The calf leather comes from a company that supplies leather to luxury-handbag makers. It is treated using a chemical-free vegetable tanning method.
The 16-megapixel camera is tweaked to offer the best complementary features.
It comprises last year's new feature, Auto Laser Focus - which uses infrared signals to determine the distance between the camera and the subject - and a new feature, Colour Spectrum Sensor (CSS). This feature reads the colour values of ambient light in a scene to improve colour accuracy during reproduction in a photo. The sensor is then able to adjust the white balance and flash to create images with colours closer to what the human eye can see.
The f1.8 aperture of the lens allows more light to reach the sensor. This delivers brighter images when shots are taken in low light. When combined with the use of the optical image stabiliser, laser sensor and CSS, photos with more accurate details and colours are produced.
There is also an 8-megapixel front camera with a wide-angle lens. The LG G4 has a manual mode that lets users set white balance, shutter speed and aperture size, and shoot in RAW format.
This article was first published on May 6, 2015.
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