It's already that time of year again—LG has unveiled its latest high-end smartphone, dubbed the G4. In past iterations, LG released its flagship devices in the fall. But slowly over the course of the past 2 years, the release schedule has been bumped up to be more in line with HTC and Samsung's springtime releases, and further away from the sales-sucking iPhone event each fall.
Those of you feeling spurned by Samsung's decision to go with a unibody design in its Galaxy S6 will be glad to know that the LG G4 features a removable battery and a microSD card slot for expandable storage. But the biggest news here is a set of new, premium back plates, and a greatly-improved camera sensor.
The G4's rear shooter features an f/1.8 aperture, which is unprecedented in the realm of smartphone photography, and will allow for more vivid photos in low-light situations without the need for flash.
As with previous releases, the G4 will use Optical Image Stabilization technology (OIS) to reduce blur and distortion from handheld shots.
From a software standpoint, the G4 uses Android 5.0's new Camera 2 API, meaning extensive manual controls will be available as well as output in the RAW format.
This time around, LG is offering 4 choices for the back plate on its flagship smartphone, and genuine leather is now an option. With a threaded seam running the length of the phone, the genuine leather backing comes in both brown and black. A set of plastic back plates are also available—one in a faux-metallic finish, and the other said to resemble ceramic.
Like its predecessor, the G4's display will be a 5.5-inch quad-HD (1440p) panel, but this time around, LG is unveiling a new display technology. IPS Quantum, as it's called, will allow for up to 25% higher brightness, 50% more contrast, and color accuracy that has improved by 56%.
The G4's Android skin is receiving a version bump as well, moving it to LG UX 4.0.
A Quck Shot feature will allow you to instantly take a photo by double-clicking the rear power button at any time—even when the screen is off.
The Ringtone ID function will make it easy to know exactly who is calling, by allowing you to create unique ringtones for each of your contacts.
Many more tweaks have been made, of course, but we'll have to wait until launch day to see the full list.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, LG's new flagship will pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, which features 64-bit architecture and runs at 1.8 GHz
A whopping 3 gigabytes of RAM has been packed into the new unit, so multitasking will be a seamless experience.
The G4 features an Adreno 418 graphics processor, and has 32 GB of internal storage, part of which will house the Android 5.1-based firmware.
The 3,000 mAh battery promises to provide plenty of juice to keep the G4 running all day.
No official release date has been announced yet for all markets (although the device will be released on April 29th in South Korea), but we expect the G4 to start hitting shelves within the next month.
The starting price has yet to be unveiled, but rumors put the G4 in between the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge in terms of cost, so we can expect the base model to run somewhere around $679 to $779.