A phone addicts review of the LG G4

BlueGoldAce

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Hello everyone,

This post is designed primarily to share my own thoughts with fellow android lovers, but to also give some perspective to those on fence in terms of buying this phone.

I want first say that I purchases the galaxy s6 edge (64gb) as a preorder and got it form tmobile early, in mid-march...and it was, at the time and IMO, the best phone I had ever owned. I have owned most flagship phones starting with the originally evo 4g, they should make a group similar to AA only for phone addiction. I have not only owned most android flagships, but also iOS devices. For example, in the last 12-18 months, I have owned the iphone 5s, galaxy s5, lumnia 1520, LG G3, iphone 6 and 6+, note 4, nexus 6, s6 edge, and now the lg g4. Its a bit ridiculous...but I think it allows me to make decent judgements on the devices I own.

Anyway, I was the person who thought my s6 edge was way better than the LG G4 could ever be. It has faster hardware, metal and glass design, cool edge screen (Pain in the bum if you want a decent screen protector), samloed, great camera, and it runs fast. I didn't see how the LG G4 could match it, and scoffed a Phil's "why I would choose the LG G4 over the s6" blog post.

But....lately I was getting a bit impatient with the s6 edge. The battery was horrible (not a big problem for me since I have wireless chargers and wired chargers around me most of the time...but still annoying), the phone was suffering from random stutters and freezes that were never apparent before (factory reset didn't do anything to fix this), and I often had to factory reset the phone to fix random bugs that popped up in the software. I also was missing a larger screen....and decided the the note 5 could not come soon enough.

Then I noticed how much this phone was selling on swappa, and through some psuedo magic, i was able to get the LG G4 brand new, from tmobile, for little to no cost. Seemed like the perfect stop-gap. I could sale the s6 edge for a pretty penny, and use a shiny new (although inferior, in my mind at the time) phone for a month or so until the glorious note 5 was released (or moto x 2015...whatever, you get the point). So that is what I did, and ended up with the leather backed lg g4 that I have now.

I am going to be brief on the main comparisons that have been mentioned time and time again, and maybe expand on a few other things I have noticed:

The screen in personal taste, based on your preference of technology. That being said, the g4 LCD screen does not feel like a downgrade...and that 5.5 inch screen in a compact body is killer. The extra size makes a big difference.

The build quality on paper is as good, but the leather back and ergonomics of the phone make it feel every bit as premium...and it is actually a feeling that I prefer.

The camera; both are great...better than the already superb iphone camera. One may be slight better in this situation or that, and vice versa....but this comparison is null. Both are great, and I bet the manual mode on the g4 is fun and useful, as is outputting in raw format.

Speed and performance of the devices; This is the area that I worried most about, because on paper, the lg g4 is outclassed by the s6. Not in real life usage. Honestly...the lg g4 has been more reliable for myself in terms of consistency, with no random lags or freezes. I even did a side by sides test, and in the common apps and task (chrome, messaging, email, webpage loads, imgur, etc) were dead even, with the lg g4 or s6 tieing or taking the win at random. The s6 did load large games faster...but nothing you will notice if the devices are not side by side...and thus nothing to worry about in general. The lg g4 performs every bit as good and the s6.

The battery life; The LG G4 will get you through an entire day, and the turbo charge is nice when you need it. The s6 edge typically would not get me through an entire day. Actually, it was quite bad, easily one of the worst in the phones listed at the beginning of the post. LG omitting wireless charging is a big oversight in my book, but the s6 edge ability to wirelessly charge does not make up for its short comings here. Essentially, its swappable battery vs wireless charging. Wireless charging is convenient, while the ability to swap batteries can make the difference between running out of batteries while out and about, and being worry free.

Misc: The sd card feature is nice, though with 64gb internal in the s6, it wasn't a big plus or minus for myself. Fingerprint scanner vs knock knock code....take your pick. Also, while both will support a wireless payment, the s6 edge has the ability to use pre-existing magnetic card readers. This is a big plus today, but the banking industry is rapidly moving towards a NFC based card system (essentially what Europe uses) due to security, so this advantage will only last so long....but most likely through the life time of these phones.

Price: LG G4 (based on tmobile pricing) is almost half the cost of the upper models of the s6 edge...big advantage for the lg.

Speakers: LG G4 is louder.

Sound Quality: There may be a bigger difference here than I notice, but since I use Bluetooth headphones, I can't fault either for sound quality. Both sound great. That being said, the s6 edge uses a wolfram audio chip (or something like that), that is suppose to be superior...so keep that in mind if you use high fidelity wired heaphones (I mean studio quality...not psuedo ones like beats). As I mentioned, I use bluetooth...and that segments into the below section.

Bluetooth: This one is BIG for me, personally. Both function fine for auto hands free and etc. As mentioned before, I use bluetooth headphones, in particular I use a pair jaybird blue bud x and beats studio wireless. The strength of the bluetooth signal on the LG G4 is FAR superior to that of the s6 edge (or nexus 6 for that matter). A specific example: I use my bluebuds for walking to and from work, yard work outside, etc. When I do this my phone is in my jeans pocket. When I used the s6 edge, I would literally have to hold the phone in my hand when walking, or I would have to deal with a constant cutting in and out of the audio signal to my headphones. When doing yard work...I would have to revert to a wired pair of headphones (since I can't hold my phone in my hand the whole time). When working out in the gym, I would have to carry the s6 with me everywhere, or keep it in my pocket. With the LG G4, this issue has completely disappeared. I can stick the phone anywhere in my jean pocket, and do whatever I want...not audio singal problem. I also can leave my phone in one spot in the gym and proceed to walk around, etc and not loose signal. This may be minor to someone else...but to me its huge. If you use bluetooth headphones on a regular basis, the LG G4 is far superior to phones I have used recently.

So the above wasn't as brief as I intended...but, despite how the above may or may not read, its a close call if you break it down by categories...but if you look at the big picture, IMO, it becomes an easier choice.

The LG G4 manages to wrap everything up into a well presented package. Take the above, and combine it with software that, while full of "features", manages to come across as smooth and useful. To me, it seems well thought out and organized. The extra features in the phone manage to be useful, or easily disregarded.The hardware truly shines; LG has created a great phone here, essentially fine tuning an idea since the LG G2. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. Its current price on tmobile is killer for this level of a phone.

I highly recommend this phone. As I stated earlier in the post, this phone was suppose to be a temporary phone while I waited for the next big thing (Note 5 most likely). While I can't promise I won't end up with the Note 5, based on what I am reading, I very well may keep the LG G4 for a good long while. I am quite smitten with this device.

Thanks for the read! I am too tired to proof read, so sorry about that.
 

Golfdriver97

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Thanks for the write up. I like my G4 as well, and for me, the only thing I wish would be different is a tiny bit smaller screen size. Other than that, it is a sweet phone!

From my G4
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gvndeb60

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Can not agree more about the Bluetooth range comparison. I use a set of LG Tones (750 model I believe) that pairs perfectly with both phones and produces similar sound on both phones.
But, on the S6 I have the same issue, if it is in my pocket it will cut in and out, if I bend over to tie my shoes it cuts out. If the S6 is in my cup holder in the center console of my car, it cuts out when I pump gas. I have none of these issues with the G4.

Just want to emphasize this for someone on the fence between these phones that relies on Bluetooth headphones. Nothing scientific about my "tests" but 100% of the time that I bend over or swing my arm in front of the phone when it is in my pocket it cuts out from the S6.

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Aredubu

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Nice write-up. I couldn't agree more with your observations about the G4. It is really an awesome device.

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BlueGoldAce

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Can not agree more about the Bluetooth range comparison. I use a set of LG Tones (750 model I believe) that pairs perfectly with both phones and produces similar sound on both phones.
But, on the S6 I have the same issue, if it is in my pocket it will cut in and out, if I bend over to tie my shoes it cuts out. If the S6 is in my cup holder in the center console of my car, it cuts out when I pump gas. I have none of these issues with the G4.

Just want to emphasize this for someone on the fence between these phones that relies on Bluetooth headphones. Nothing scientific about my "tests" but 100% of the time that I bend over or swing my arm in front of the phone when it is in my pocket it cuts out from the S6.

Posted via the Android Central App

My experience exactly. It's not something reviewers often discuss, but if you friend on Bluetooth, the G4 will serve you well, and the s6 will give you headaches. I orginally thought it was my phone, but from what I have seen and heard, it's a common problem.

The g4 audio users less battery in Bluetooth for some reason.

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sfla99

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I'll give the G4 the BT win over S6 for sure, my Moto 360 used to disconnect daily for unknown reasons on the S6. I have not had a single issue with it in the G4.

Now if I could just get my device to stop lagging so often I could be happy lol.


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dungoyle

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...

I want first say that I purchases the galaxy s6 edge (64gb) as a preorder and got it form tmobile early, in mid-march...and it was, at the time and IMO, the best phone I had ever owned. I have owned most flagship phones starting with the originally evo 4g, they should make a group similar to AA only for phone addiction. I have not only owned most android flagships, but also iOS devices. For example, in the last 12-18 months, I have owned the iphone 5s, galaxy s5, lumnia 1520, LG G3, iphone 6 and 6+, note 4, nexus 6, s6 edge, and now the lg g4. Its a bit ridiculous...but I think it allows me to make decent judgements on the devices I own...
You have a problem! Thankfully for us, your phone obsession is our gain, as it is obvious that you have "no dog in the game", and your opinion definitely feels to be coming from an unbiased space. Thank you for sharing your comments. Personally, I went from the Droid Turbo to the G4, and a big part of the decision for not choosing the S6 was screen size. The older I get, the more I realize, I can't go down in screen size when changing phones. Your additional comments make it clear that I made a good choice. Thank you for your review.
 

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