My Post-Honeymoon Review of the LG G4 (T-Mobile)


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Apr 11, 2015
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Where do I begin? It's been a crazy (and somewhat expensive) three months of finding my next device that will keep me happy for at least the next year. With the iPhone 5S carrying me through most of 2014, I wanted to see what Android had to offer. Having used both Androids and iPhones since the first-gen iPhone and the T-Mobile G1, I never really had any bias between the two, but Apple's iOS ecosystem never felt "new" despite it's improvements over the years. So, Android has my attention again and with so many flagship choices out there nowadays I decided to give each one a run for their money. I started with the S6 for obvious reasons (G4 hadn't been released yet) and didn't like it due to madness surrounding battery drain issues as well as the inability to upgrade the storage and replace the battery if need-be. I took it back and decided to try out the G3 which I didn't over-hype myself over knowing that it was "last year's thing". At this point I had learned about the G4 from forums and what not, so it was just going to be a placeholder until I could upgrade to that. Finally, on June 3rd, I received my G4 and have been messing around with it ever since.


I'll start out with the downs first because I was raised to not eat the dessert until I finished my vegetables. Keep in mind these are all my opinion and I am going to try my hardest to stay neutral because I don't want people to assume that their experience is going to be exactly the same. Remember, your mileage may vary.

  • First is the inconsistencies. Like the S6, each carrier decided it was up to them to govern what options were available on the device. I haven't heard much from the Sprint front (and I am going to keep this within the American carriers because that's all I hear about), it seems as though the overall experience with the G4 is not shared. This is not only unfair to people with a phone that isn't fully-equipped, it creates a conundrum of confusion as well as the attitude of "I am not getting the full experience so I am going to get a phone that does".
  • The headphone volume is still on-par with last year's G3, and by that I mean it's still leaving something to be desired. I like to listen to music a little louder than normal due in part to some hearing loss from the Military, and even at full volume it still seems quiet. On the iPhone and S6, it would hurt to crank it up even past 75%.
  • The back buttons are still somewhat gimmicky to me. I can understand why LG decided to do this, but I still find myself having to clean my camera lens off because of all the smudging from trying to find the volume up button. That being said, it is a huge improvement from the G3's embedded circular button that felt almost exactly like the camera lens.
  • The autobrightness issue is not huge to me, but still something I would like to see addressed. I only turn on auto when I am outdoors and keep it manually set anywhere from 45-50% indoors unless I am editing photos or playing games with dark atmospheres.
  • As previously posted, the Smart Settings feature is not doing what it's supposed to do. This is something that I really want to see fixed in an upcoming update as it seems like a really cool and useful feature. I am not the type of person that likes to use a third-party app in lieu of a native feature that runs off of a framework that is already consuming battery, but if it doesn't get fixed, I may have to. Pulling down the quick settings and ticking the connections on/off takes about two seconds and is something I don't mind doing in the meantime.


Despite the downs listed above which are mostly annoyances rather than problems, I have had a very positive experience with the G4.

  • The camera is just awesome. As far as innovation goes, LG has done things with their camera on both the software and hardware front that puts it out in front of the other flagships in many ways. The laser autofocus, tri-axis OIS, RAW support, and the manual mode that gives you that DSLR feeling.
  • The IPS Quantum 5.5" inch display is a huge upgrade to the G3's IPS and definitely a competitor to Samsung's Super AMOLED technology. While some may prefer the more vibrant aspects of the latter, the G4's more neutral color reproduction gives me the benefit that knowing my photos and videos will look more similar when switching between devices.
  • The UX 4.0 interface has definitely been more geared towards the utilitarian while cutting out all of the bells and whistles found in other flagships. I personally don't need 10 gestures and all sorts of sensors watching me while I use the device, nor 4 different widgets on the lock screen that are accessible with from a swipe away. Keep the OS simple and let me drain the battery if I want, don't do it for me.
  • The overall aesthetics of the device are pleasing and comfortable. With all of the other flagships getting upped to more premium designs featuring metal and glass, I still have no problem using a plastic phone if it means I don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get function over form. The curved screen definitely helps keep my oily face from smudging it up, and the brown leather back just looks beautiful and I can't wait to see what it looks like after a little wear.
  • Removable battery and SD card is something that I think we will miss dearly when all manufacturers decide to go to unibody designs. I never liked the model of having to pay an extra $100 for 32gb or $200 for 96gb of extra storage. None of it means anything when your battery health fades and you can't replace it without having to pay someone to do it, if even possible.


I am happy with the G4. If put on a scale, all of the positives that come from this phone definitely outweigh the negatives. I am going to keep this one as my daily driver for a good while, and keep my fingers crossed that future updates will iron out the little problems. Being an early-adopter is never easy, and I think people get it in their heads that if something isn't right out of the box, it will continue to be that way for a long time. Tens of thousands of these devices are pushed out of factories every day, and there is bound to be issues with some of them. Finding a good one is key, and once you do, you know you made the right choice. I was lucky enough to get one that performed up to expectations on my first go-around, and I can honestly say it's one of the best Android devices I have ever owned.