21 May 2015

LG G4: First Impressions

I'm one of those people who goes onto www.hotukdeals.com entering every competition under the sun even if I have absolutely no interest in the prize in question (win a £200 voucher to spend on women's shoes at Aldo, sure, why not?).  As the cliche goes, 'You've got to be in it to win it.'  And yet only once have I ever actually won something when back in 2012, I won a pair of mi Adidas trainers whilst 'taking part' in their interactive zone at Hyde Park in the run up to the London Olympics.  You might agree that that was a pretty decent prize (I'm still getting good usage out of those trainers).  You might also agree that the prize for entering and winning LG's Insider's campaign is pretty decent as well: the LG G4.

As one of the 200 lucky winners of their campaign, they sent me a 'gift' package which included a brand new model of their latest and greatest flagship (32GB, plastic back), a number of postcards detailing the features of the G4's camera, a pack of questionnaires about smartphones for friends and family to fill out as well as a TONE infinim HBS-900 Bluetooth headset, which interestingly has a retractable wire management system.  All this is for me to use (and not abuse) from now until the end of June before I unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) have to return it all back to LG HQ.

LG Tone infinim bluetooth stereo headset HBS-900
Certainly wasn't expecting the G4 to come with these but I'm not complaining.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King?

In my eyes, the Moto X 2014 is the best £ for £ smartphone money can currently buy (check out my review to see why I love it so much) but I'm now (semi-) retiring my trusty X for the G4, which will become my new and only smartphone for the next five weeks.  Wherever my Moto X used to accompany me, be it at home, work, the gym or out and about, the G4 will now take it's place.  I'll be using the stock launcher (bye bye Google Now launcher), internet browser, messaging, keyboard and camera apps to give myself the most genuine G4 experience.  Whether I will come to love or hate this (I'm missing Active Display from the Moto X already) will all be documented over the next few weeks as I give my personal and honest opinion on my time with it.  Honest is the key and operative word there. Even though I've received this free of charge from LG (although there is a £250 security deposit...), that will not beholden me to them; whatever I will like or dislike, I will say it exactly how it is.  So, what are my first impressions?

Powered down.

Phablet? Not So Sure

This thing is rocking a 5.5" IPS display. In comparison, the Moto X has a 5.2" display and the 4.7" screen on the iPhone 6 looks like a postage stamp in comparison.  Despite the perceived gargantuan nature of the G4, it doesn't feel big and clumsy in the hand, which is certainly a positive. 

Those Buttons

LG is the only smartphone manufacturer (thus far) to eschew conventional wisdom and place their buttons on the back.  This allows the bezels to be thinner and frees up space on the side but my finger keeps naturally gravitating towards the right side, searching for the power button.  Definitely something to get use to.

LG G4 buttons rear
Power and volume buttons reside on the rear of the G4.

Take the Lid Off

The G4 is the first phone I've used with a removable back since I had the Samsung Galaxy S2 back in 2012.  Those who love expandable storage and swapping out batteries will love this but, honestly, I've never really utilised either feature.  Being able to increase your available storage through a MicroSD card or bringing your phone back to 100% battery life again is definitely useful but not really for me. 

Road warriors and media lovers will probably love the removable back.


The G4 has, what LG calls a 'slim arc design'.  Basically, there is a slight curve to the whole phone, including the display, but whether it provides a tangible benfit to the user needs to be tested further.

We're not talking LG Flex levels of flex but it's definitely there.

So there are my initialy first impressions.  Thanks for reading and keep coming back to see my updated impressions and opinion as I use the LG G4 as my daily smartphone for the next five weeks.

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