06-19-2015 10:01 AM
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  1. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    Five things I’ll miss from the LG G4, and five things I won’t-lg-g4-custom-homescreen-hero.jpg

    I’ve had significantly less time with the LG G4 than the editors, but now that I’m saying goodbye to the G4, I wanted to share a more complete thought on what I thought of this phone, and what will linger after the device heads on to a more permanent home. The G4 is a very different beast than the 2014 Moto X that I am still rocking (and will likely rock next year, if the recent Moto X 2015 leaks are any indication).

    I rocked the unofficial, not-for-sale Korean international version for just under three weeks, of which it was my only phone for 4 days before reverting to my secondary device. I spent quite a bit of time digging through the settings and the like for the how-to articles I penned for the site, but I also found myself playing with it at work and around town. This is a phone that, for one glaring flaw and a bunch of small ones, could’ve easily been my primary phone. And the one glaring flaw to me is likely a tiny little thorn to you, if that.

    Camera

    Five things I’ll miss from the LG G4, and five things I won’t-lg-g4-watefall.gif

    At the end of the day the camera on the LG G4 is top-notch, and it’s to biggest thing I notice going back to the Moto X. It was easy to use (thought the quick trigger with the volume down isn’t as easy to nail as the Moto X’s double-twist), the shots for the most part looked great, and it supported RAW images, not that I really took advantage of it during my short time with the G4. I was definitely glad to have it at the first family event I’ve attended in 18 months.

    Battery

    I only had a SIM in the G4 for four days, but I was pleasantly surprised by the battery lasting all day. This is another thing that I find myself longing for as I come back to the Moto X needing to charge around dinner. I don’t care that much about a battery being removable, but I care about it being big enough the get the job done, and the battery in the G4 gets the job done.

    IR Blaster

    I’ve never had an IR Blaster on a phone before, and I have to say that while it is in essence a frivilous feature, it is one that gives your phone an ‘oh cool’ feature. Especially when you use it to mute TVs in the newsroom at work. QRemote on Smart Bulletin was enough to keep Smart Bulletin on during my stint with the G4. I owe this phone a debt for its service as a remote during the Tonys. I wouldn’t make it a must-have for my next phone, but it’s something that I’m going to start checking more spec sheets for when I’m looking for whatever replaces my Moto X.

    Double-tap

    A few months back I ran a poll on the ways that you, our readers, (wake your phones up), and I was surprised at the avid fanbase of KnockOn and other double-tap methods for waking and sleeping their phones. I didn’t know how it could beat Moto Display for waking up a phone, and in my mind, I still prefer waving my hand over my Moto X like a sorceress to tapping like a madwoman.

    But double-tap to turn *off* my phone’s screen is **glorious**.

    I understand the addiction, and I’m kinda wishing that Nova allowed me to shut off the screen with a double-tap on my Moto X. I used the power button on the G4 to screenshot far more than I did to actually wake/sleep the phone, and I find myself double-tapping the screen, only to bring up my music instead of shutting off the screen.

    Soda animation

    This would normally fall under one of those intangibles that makes or breaks a phone experience, but the soda animation helped turn a pain point into something I actually appreciated. It’s the perfect example of an OEM covering a stock Android flaw with their UI.

    I use Smart lock, but for the G4 that meant I still had to swipe to open the phone after tapping. And at first, that was annoying, especially as the default hula animation wasn’t that great to my mind, but then I found the lock screen animation could be changed with a (setting that vanishes) when you have a password on your phone. The soda animation makes the unlock screen a delight, and it even helped serve as a small reminder that I need to cut down on my soda. A small detail, but one I’ll miss.

    The rest of this list… not so much.

    Settings are a trainwreck

    Five things I’ll miss from the LG G4, and five things I won’t-lg-g4-content-lock-hero.jpg

    I’ve covered this before, but it bears repeating: the Settings app on the LG G4 is a mess. This will change categories between the Tab view and the List view. (For goodness sake, use the list view.) Settings vanish once you decide to use a lock method on your phone. (FOR GOODNESS SAKE, LOCK YOUR PHONE.) Some settings are not in their traditional location. Your screen lock method is in Lock screen, not Security, and so is Smart Lock.

    Most people won’t go into Settings as often as I did. But you’ll have to go in there sometime, and there’s no escaping the madness inside.

    Back-mounted buttons

    While my fingers did find the buttons pretty easily on the back, and the edges of the phone are nice and smooth without them, they still work better on the sides. Screenshotting with the buttons on the back had plenty of issues with mispresses every other time I tried to cap the screen. Using the quick-launch for the camera was awkward and there were several missed photo opportunities while I was trying to get the timing of the feature down at that family even I mentioned earlier.

    It can look pretty. It can be easier to use on a larger phone. I’m still not a fan.

    Size

    I may be in the minority, but I don’t want my phone to be huge. I am surrounded by big screens most of the day for serious video-watching. I want a phone with a reasonable and pocket-friendly size. The G4, while not terribly bigger than my case-wearing Moto X, was just a bit too big and unwieldy for me, my slender hands, and my bootcut Levis. The lack of side buttons also made the phone a bit more slippery, and I found myself wincing as the G4 slid off whatever I leaned it up against at work and hit the desk.

    Bluetooth and speaker

    The G4 was my daily driver for 4 days, and during that time, I found it to be a bit touchy with Bluetooth, especially with the Kinivo headset that I use most of the day. While I was sitting at my desk listening, we’d be fine, but the moment I went for a walk and slid the phone in my pocket, I’d immediately know if I put it in right side up. Pairing the G4 with some of my devices also took a bit more patience than usual as there were a number of failed pairings. It is worth noting again that my device was the not-for-sale international Korean version.

    Listening to music through the device speaker was a bit muffled as well, especially coming from the Moto X’s front-facing speaker. Setting it face-down helped a little, but if I put the phone on a stand or cradle, I could forget clean listening.

    Emoji

    Five things I’ll miss from the LG G4, and five things I won’t-lg-g4-emoji-screen.png

    This is gonna seem frivolous to many of you. So be it. I hate the emoji on the LG G4. It replaces the Google emoji on the Google Keyboard. It replaces them in Hangouts. It replaces them everywhere, and the knife just digs a little further into my spleen each time a tweet with one pops up. My friends would send me an emoji to cheer me up, and it would just punch me in face. Maybe you don’t use emoji. I do. And I refused to use the ones on the LG G4.

    The G4 will be a hell of a device for a lot of users, especially those who take a lot of pictures and don't mess with their settings much. If you're a fan of big phones with replaceable batteries and don't care as much abut the UI on your phone, the G4 is for you. But, sadly, it's not for this twitter-happy, emoji-loving, music-blasting girl.
    Jonneh, redeyss, Fam Money and 2 others like this.
    06-16-2015 09:18 PM
  2. imnjs's Avatar
    Nice thorough review, and I hope the Moto X serves you well! What don't you like about the 2015 model? Just curious.
    06-16-2015 10:03 PM
  3. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    That bar that keeps showing up on the leaks pisses me off, especially since the width of that bar and that dimple suggest the camera is going to be small again. The bar makes sense from a customization standpoint, you only have to cut one hole in the leather/wood. Also, people keep suggesting it's jumping to 5.5-5.7", and I'm perfectly content to stay at 5.2". But I was proven wrong about the 'zits' on the 2014 model, so I could be wrong again.
    06-16-2015 10:27 PM
  4. imnjs's Avatar
    Yeah that bar does look a little silly. Is that leak source usually pretty accurate? TechnoBuffalo says there are rumors there will be a 5.2" and 5.7", so you may be in luck.
    Ara Wagoner likes this.
    06-16-2015 11:13 PM
  5. Anthony_NE's Avatar
    I hope the Moto X '15 is sub 5.5 and has a stellar camera. I'm enjoying this phone, and coming from a Moto X '13 the camera experience is lights out good, but I'd go back to a Moto in a heartbeat if it's as I hope it is.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    06-16-2015 11:19 PM
  6. Jonneh's Avatar
    OMG Ara, the emoji...yesss those damn LG emoji! One of the first complaints I had after coming from the Nexus 5's emoji. This sh*t is terrible-looking.
    Fortunately with root (waiting) there's an app that will replace it with Google's. Can't wait for this!

    By the way Ara, did your friend Thomas happen to tell you ohayou? :-P
    おはようございます。おげんきですか。
    06-16-2015 11:29 PM
  7. tx_tuff's Avatar
    For screen shots use quick memo. Pull down notification shade (I have that set as my 4th on screen button) and hit Quick Memo button. You will see screen shot animation than a bar come down at the top. Far right of bar is a check mark, hit that and pick gallery.

    May sound like a lot of steps but it's really simple and easy one you get it. Easier than trying to hit two buttons at once.
    Shawn_S likes this.
    06-17-2015 01:55 AM
  8. scottysize's Avatar
    What?

    1. Settings? It's the same settings as all other Android phones I've used.
    2. Size? Are you kidding me? Have you seen the Note/Nexus/iPhone 6 Plus/any other 5.5" display. It's the smallest 5.5" display on the market!
    3. Back mounted buttons takes time to get used to. I find they are the perfect place for buttons. I'm constantly looking for them on my iPhone. Personally, I LOVE the back mounted buttons.
    4. Speakers won't help with any product that doesn't have them in front. So, if this is a problem, take a look at the HTC M9 (which by the way is just as tall as the G4, but has a smaller screen!)
    5. You're going to complain about emojies. OK.

    I say good luck in your search. I don't agree with your opinions, but then again, I have my own, so we all know what opinions are like.
    ladyc0524 likes this.
    06-17-2015 07:37 AM
  9. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    OMG Ara, the emoji...yesss those damn LG emoji! One of the first complaints I had after coming from the Nexus 5's emoji. This sh*t is terrible-looking.
    Fortunately with root (waiting) there's an app that will replace it with Google's. Can't wait for this!

    By the way Ara, did your friend Thomas happen to tell you ohayou? :-P
    おはようございます。おげんきですか。
    Allegedly you just need to replace the emoji file in the Android system, but yes, they look terrible! Finally, someone who understands! And yes, he was telling me ohayou. My last post of the night on my primary accounts is always hashtagged oyasumi. It's easier to search back through than goodnight. (I don't really speak Japanese, but you pick up a few words after years and years of anime watching).

    Posted via the Android Central App
    Jonneh likes this.
    06-17-2015 09:28 AM
  10. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    I hope the Moto X '15 is sub 5.5 and has a stellar camera. I'm enjoying this phone, and coming from a Moto X '13 the camera experience is lights out good, but I'd go back to a Moto in a heartbeat if it's as I hope it is.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    I hear you, I still miss the pocketability of the Moto X 2013 (I also think that one looked the best when customized), but I liked having a really good camera again.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    06-17-2015 09:31 AM
  11. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    What?

    1. Settings? It's the same settings as all other Android phones I've used.
    2. Size? Are you kidding me? Have you seen the Note/Nexus/iPhone 6 Plus/any other 5.5" display. It's the smallest 5.5" display on the market!
    3. Back mounted buttons takes time to get used to. I find they are the perfect place for buttons. I'm constantly looking for them on my iPhone. Personally, I LOVE the back mounted buttons.
    4. Speakers won't help with any product that doesn't have them in front. So, if this is a problem, take a look at the HTC M9 (which by the way is just as tall as the G4, but has a smaller screen!)
    5. You're going to complain about emojies. OK.

    I say good luck in your search. I don't agree with your opinions, but then again, I have my own, so we all know what opinions are like.
    NO SIR. It may look the same on the surface once you get it in list view, but it is not the same, and when looking to do something simple, I repeatedly had to hunt even when it should've been quite simple.

    I know it's small for it's screen size, I'm saying I don't need a screen or phone that's physically that big yet. I need new pants with deeper pockets first.

    Yes, I'm gonna complain about emoji. I use them. A lot. 🔱🔱 And they look so terrible after using Google emoji for years.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    06-17-2015 09:34 AM
  12. Almeuit's Avatar
    Yes, I'm gonna complain about emoji. I use them. A lot. And they look so terrible after using Google emoji for years.
    I can agree on this -- I thought I hated Samsung emojis till I saw the LG ones haha.
    Jonneh likes this.
    06-17-2015 09:45 AM
  13. imnjs's Avatar
    Regarding the emoji, I am actually really surprised nobody has implemented downloadable emoji. Would be the same concept as downloading fonts or themes. I personally like the iOS emoji not because it's the nicest looking but because it's the most globally used. I hate when I send a text to my friends with iPhones and they ask "why did you send that emoji? It looks sad", when it's actually supposed to be funny or a smirk.

    There are some texting programs, like Textra, that allow you to switch how you see emoji, and there is even an option for iOS. But it doesn't transfer over to other apps unfortunately.
    Jonneh likes this.
    06-17-2015 09:54 AM
  14. Almeuit's Avatar
    Regarding the emoji, I am actually really surprised nobody has implemented downloadable emoji. Would be the same concept as downloading fonts or themes.
    It would be nice. The only way I know how to switch Emoji is with "Emoji Switcher" from the app store. Sadly it requires root .
    06-17-2015 09:55 AM
  15. GrooveRite's Avatar
    I never knew there was a preference for emojis, lol! I just use whatever is available. Not that serious for me.
    BBSeattle likes this.
    06-17-2015 10:04 AM
  16. sata's Avatar
    I thought most users use whatsapp and not regular SMS... each of them has different emoticons, right?
    06-17-2015 10:06 AM
  17. Jonneh's Avatar
    I thought most users use whatsapp and not regular SMS... each of them has different emoticons, right?
    WhatsApp, We Chat, LINE, etc...they all have emoji and stickers (even Hangouts finally implemented stickers, though they're limited and you can't download fun ones of your own choosing).

    But the emoji that are stuck within the keyboard you're typing with on the phone (not within those specific chatting apps) are horrible. LG's implementation of this is bad in my opinion, lol. But, it's all subjective--looks are looks. Many people probably like them and even prefer them over the Google's strange yellow blobs. I think the blobs have character, though.
    06-17-2015 10:21 AM
  18. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    WhatsApp, We Chat, LINE, etc...they all have emoji and stickers (even Hangouts finally implemented stickers, though they're limited and you can't download fun ones of your own choosing).

    But the emoji that are stuck within the keyboard you're typing with on the phone (not within those specific chatting apps) are horrible. LG's implementation of this is bad in my opinion, lol. But, it's all subjective--looks are looks. Many people probably like them and even prefer them over the Google's strange yellow blobs. I think the blobs have character, though.
    Kinda, some keyboards have their own included emoji, but sadly, on most keyboards, it'll be covered up by what came on the phone. I think the blobs have character, too, and the non-people emojis look worlds better.
    06-17-2015 10:39 AM
  19. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    Regarding the emoji, I am actually really surprised nobody has implemented downloadable emoji. Would be the same concept as downloading fonts or themes. I personally like the iOS emoji not because it's the nicest looking but because it's the most globally used. I hate when I send a text to my friends with iPhones and they ask "why did you send that emoji? It looks sad", when it's actually supposed to be funny or a smirk.

    There are some texting programs, like Textra, that allow you to switch how you see emoji, and there is even an option for iOS. But it doesn't transfer over to other apps unfortunately.
    I keep praying for it, too. Just stick it under language and input. That said, it's an understandably low priority.
    06-17-2015 10:39 AM
  20. Almeuit's Avatar
    I never knew there was a preference for emojis, lol! I just use whatever is available. Not that serious for me.
    I really like the Google ones -- I dealt with the Samsung ones but the LG ones seem just .. Idk .. They rub me the wrong way ^_^.
    VDub2174 likes this.
    06-17-2015 10:47 AM
  21. ansextra's Avatar
    Maybe I'm wrong but I use Swiftkey and I believe the emoticons come with the keyboard? Would the phone only provide the emoticons when using the native keyboard?
    06-17-2015 02:05 PM
  22. gavo360's Avatar


    But double-tap to turn *off* my phone’s screen is **glorious**.

    I understand the addiction, and I’m kinda wishing that Nova allowed me to shut off the screen with a double-tap on my Moto X. I used the power button on the G4 to screenshot far more than I did to actually wake/sleep the phone, and I find myself double-tapping the screen, only to bring up my music instead of shutting off the screen.
    You can get this feature on any phone with nova, install the app 'screen off and lock' and with nova gestures use this app for the double tap gesture.
    Inders99 and Jonneh like this.
    06-17-2015 02:22 PM
  23. msm0511's Avatar
    Yes, I'm gonna complain about emoji. I use them. A lot. And they look so terrible after using Google emoji for years.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    I hate the emojis on my M9 as well. I have no idea if they're the same as Google's or not. One of the things I like about using Textra is the iOS emojis. Unfortunately they use really old versions of them, but still better than the default HTC keyboard.
    Ara Wagoner likes this.
    06-17-2015 02:33 PM
  24. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    You can get this feature on any phone with nova, install the app 'screen off and lock' and with nova gestures use this app for the double tap gesture.
    Yeah, I might be trying that before too long. I knew it was possible, but I thought most of these apps were root only.
    06-17-2015 03:05 PM
  25. Ara Wagoner's Avatar
    Maybe I'm wrong but I use Swiftkey and I believe the emoticons come with the keyboard? Would the phone only provide the emoticons when using the native keyboard?
    Some do, some don't, and on many, it will default to the pre-installed ones (such as with Hangouts, which is supposed to have the Google emoji).
    06-17-2015 03:07 PM
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