LG G4 review: Sharp and shooter

Sharp and shooter

GSMArena team, 22 May 2015.

Gallery that keeps memories

The Gallery app has gained a new feature - Memories. Other makers usually call it "events," basically the app groups photos and videos based on when and where they were taken. The Timeline view is reminiscent of iOS, it lets you explore photos by Year, Month or Day and pinch zoom gets you hone in on a particular period or zoom out for an overview.

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Year, Moth and Day views

You can lock certain images, those are secured with a password or a pattern. This would have been a good place to use a fingerprint scanner.

Anyway, the gallery supports DLNA for viewing photos from devices on the local network as well as cloud services (Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box) for viewing shared photos from anywhere.

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The gallery supports DLNA and cloud services

The gallery supports viewing your images in their full resolution. You can easily pinch-zoom to 1:1 magnification. Editing images takes you to Google's Photos app, used in lieu of a picture editor from LG.

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Viewing a single image • editing options

Video player works great

The Gallery's Videos tab stands in for a dedicated Video player app (you can also use the file browser). The interface is rather simple yet powerful.

You get Play/Pause, fast-forward, and rewind buttons, in addition to a slider to scrub through the video. There's also a QSlide button to watch the video in a popup and one to send the video through DLNA to a compatible player. All of these hide automatically after a few seconds of playback.

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The video player has excellent subtitle support

The LG G4 played almost every file we threw at it, regardless of file format, resolution, or audio/video codec. Even AC-3 audio played, though the other popular multi-channel format, DTS, did not.

Subtitles are supported too, including non-Latin fonts. You can configure their size and background, you can even choose the subtitles file manually.

Cloud-connected music player

LG's music player is a lot like the Gallery, which is good news - it can pull songs from DLNA devices and from your cloud accounts so it's super easy to keep your music library in sync. You can sort local tracks into various categories and even grab tracks from a folder.

While browsing your collection, you'll easily spot lossless FLAC songs by the Hi-Fi logo. The Now playing screen will display the Album art, which you can tap to display the lyrics. There's an option to search YouTube for the song's music video too.

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Music player with equalizer settings

There's a robust equalizer on board with multiple presets, including one especially for QuadBeat headsets. You can manually tune a 7-band equalizer too. One option that may be useful for audiobooks lets you control the playback speed and pitch.

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Equalizer settings

The LG G4 has an FM radio too.

Very good audio quality, not quite the best

We don't know if it's the curvature that caused it, but the LG G4 audio output is a step back from what the G3 offered. Good thing then that the former flagship did so well and a step back still gives you very good output.

The G4 posted excellent scores when connected to an active external amplifier, posting excellent scores top to bottom and garnishing them with impressively high volume levels. In fact in the first part of our test the smartphone was among the loudest out there.

Unfortunately, plugging in our standard headphones caused quite a bit of distortion, bringing down the overall scores. The frequency response worsened a bit, intermodulation crept in and the amount of extra stereo crosstalk is higher than on other flagships. Add the fact that volume plummets to only average levels and you end up with a not particularly pretty picture. With the kind of competition it faces, the G4 won't be winning any extra points from audiophiles.

Anyway, here go the results so you can do your comparisons.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
LG G4+0.04, -0.07-93.493.30.0021 0.050-92.6
LG G4 (headphones)+0.93, -0.13-91.491.90.013 0.244-50.4
LG G Flex2+0.01, -0.06-92.592.50.0031 0.012-91.5
LG G Flex2 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.10-92.692.10.0027 0.387-60.1
LG G3+0.02, -0.08-99.498.90.00160.035-100.0
LG G3 (headphones attached)+0.02, -0.09-93.793.30.00600.032-78.5
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+0.03, -0.01-95.692.80.0023 0.0078-95.7
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-92.692.50.0028 0.044-76.9
Samsung Galaxy S6+0.01, -0.04-95.692.80.0024 0.0094-94.5
Samsung Galaxy S6 (headphones)+0.02, -0.05-92.691.90.0025 0.042-83.4
HTC One M9+0.02, -0.06-94.893.00.0049 0.026-93.7
HTC One M9 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.05-93.792.70.0082 0.030-91.6
Apple iPhone 6+0.06, -0.02-
Apple iPhone 6 (headphones attached)+0.11, -0.06-93.893.80.00220.099-65.1
Sony Xperia Z3+0.02, -0.08-86.486.40.0140.021-86.6
Sony Xperia Z3 (headphones attached)+0.29, -0.10-85.785.70.0350.064-50.8

LG G4 frequency response
LG G4 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Going from the g4 to a newer 'flagship' device (s8) was one of the biggest downgrades in terms of camera image quality. The g4 packs quite a capable shooter. I've taken so many long exposure shots with it.

  • Chris

I am on my second one (2017-today). Still working fine, runs a bit hot in summer. The batteries tend to bloat after a year. Camera has a slow shutter, but photos are really good. Friends with new phones still get impressed with the photos. Headphone ...

  • wekesa

please give me the update of its availability