In my last tech-related post, I detailed my year-long persnickety quest to find the One True Phone that I could finally, finally call my own. As I wrote then, I ended up with the LG G4, with a commitment to stick with it for the next year. Luckily, I made very much the right call.
I adore this phone, and I really wish I had picked it up as soon as it was released. Here’s some reasons why.
The most important part of a phone experience for me is the display quality, and this has the best display I’ve ever used. One might argue that it’s Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays on the Galaxies S6 and Note 5 that are the absolute tops, but to my eyes, Super AMOLED causes truly palpable eye strain, especially when I’m doing any long-term reading on the device. (One Reddit commenter suggested it might be due to an imperceptible “flicker” in AMOLED, but I don’t know for sure.) Given that book-reading is one of the primary things I do with a phone, an IPS LCD is by far a better solution. And I’ve never seen a better one than that of the G4. Sharp, vivid, bright, and, importantly to me, very pleasant to read off of.
Now, of course, this phone has the particular quirk of being ever-so-slightly curved. When LG introduced its Flex line of seriously-curved phones, I rolled by eyes. It seemed a pointless gimmick, but now I’m a believer. The curve on the G4, which is far subtler than that of the Flex phones, really does make the phone a joy to hold. It sits happily in the palm, and something about the arc even makes the weight of the phone rest in just the right places. The display isn’t distorted by the curve, and actually feels nicer to swipe around on, with a little swoop you can feel. If anything, I wish the phone had just a bit more of a curve. I lurve the curve.
Like the G3 before it, the buttons are on the back, which is exactly where they should be. It’s so obvious and natural, I can’t believe that this configuration isn’t more common. I can double-click the volume-down button when the screen is off to launch the camera, and double-tap the screen to wake up the phone. Excellent.
The performance is great. It’s not the powerhouse that the Note 5 is, where everything happens absurdly fast, but the G4 is plenty quick. There are occasional instances of lag, weirdly sometimes with the camera shutter, but on the whole, it’s an extremely smooth experience.
Oh right, the camera. It’s phenomenal. I actually like it better than the ostensibly “better” camera on the Note 5, because it looks to me that the G4 gives me more true-to-life images, less saturated, and more finely detailed.
Battery life is fine. I’ve had no problems, and if I did, I can swap the battery out.
And guys, the backs are swappable. The base model I got was a deep blue color, which was okay. The bezel and buttons in blue looked better than the plastic back, which didn’t look great, with an uninteresting diamond pattern. But then I slapped the red leather back on it, and it now looks and feels fantastic. Not like a technology product, but more of an organic object, not unlike a small book. The deep blue buttons popping out of the deep red leather back is really classy looking. It even smells good!
And here’s something I discovered wholly by accident. The other day I had the phone in my hand, I think to grab a picture of my kids doing something silly (as usual), and I needed to deal with a smudge on my glasses. Holding both my spectacles and the phone, I realized that, entirely unintentionally, I had bought a phone that matched my glasses. If you can’t tell from the image below, there are dark-red arms on the specs, dark-blue frames around the lenses.
It really was meant to be.