It features a premium design led by a leather back option that contrasts with the glass-backed Samsung Galaxy S6 and slippery iPhone 6 aluminum. No need to buy a leather case now.
Soft leather is a personal preference, but no one is going to object to the improved LG G4 camera that steps in front of Samsung's stunning camera with an impressive f/1.8 lens.
Is the LG G4 worth the wait? How long until it launches? We finally have those details clad in leather.
Cut to the chase
What is it? LG's next flagship smartphone
When is it out? Announced April 28, available from April 29
What will it cost? Around £500 / $650 / AU$1066
LG G4 release date and price
The LG G4 release date is April 29, at least if you live in the company's home territory of South Korea. It essentially coincides with today's press event, which happened the next day in Korea.
This Android smartphone moves west in early June, according to LG. That means it should be in the US, UK and Australia in time for the summer.
That's similar to the one month delay we've seen from other flagship and curved LG phones, including the LG G3 and the even more recent LG G Flex 2.
There's even less of an exact indication as to how much the LG G4 will cost. It's said to be in the same price range as the LG G3, however.
LG G4 design
The LG G4 design lives up to the many rumors that it'll be clad in premium leather, specifically vegetable tanned leather. It'll come in six colors too: brown, black red, sky blue beige, and yellow.
Leather isn't for everyone, so other less-flashy backs are available with the new smartphone. The black and gold colors with a metallic coating look familiar, as does the white model with a ceramic coating.
All three of these alternate design options sport a unique hammered pattern, but have a plastic base. The dimensions give it a 148.9mm height x 76.1mm width x 6.3mm to 9.8mm curved depth.
LG G4 comes off as a larger Moto X with its similar sloped design and genuine leather back variant. However, LG says it uses a lasting vegetable tanning treatment process that takes three months.
If that's what it requires to avoid the easy bruising we experience with Motorola's Android flagship after one day, then it's well worth the effort.
LG G4 screen
Going along with its sharper camera, LG G4 has a more color-rich display to show off your pictures and multimedia, and the results are bright and accurate.
YouTube : www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVQT1lDukZU
It's still 5.5 inches, still an IPS LCD and still quad HD, but it bumps up the screen specs to a "quantum" display level and is 98% compliant with the Digital Cinema Initiatives industry standard.
This translates into 20% better color reproduction, 25% better brighter for outdoor visibility, and a 50% bump in contrast. Yet the negative LCD technology behind it actually reduces battery life drain.
That's excellent news for people who purposely avoid phones with a 1440 x 2560 resolution because it lights up so many pixels at the expense of the battery.
Battery life should be improved with this new screen technology and, as a backup, LG G4 does support Qualcomm's fast-charging QuickCharge 2.0 spec and the battery itself is swappable.
That slight curve on the LG G4 serves as a way to avoid a cracked or damaged display for the clumsy among us. The curve is not as pronounced as the LG G Flex 2, but remains resourceful nonetheless.
LG G4 camera
The f/1.8 aperture and 0.6 second shutter speed make the LG G4 the brightest and fastest cameras around, edging out the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge by a 0.1 value in each case.
In plain English, this means the 16-megapixel camera remains excellent in low light conditions, allowing 80% more light in than the LG G3. There's also less blur when taking photos of fast-moving objects.
LG G4's camera software has also been enhanced with a comprehensive manual mode, RAW images and a self-friendly Quick Shot mechanic that can take four front-facing pictures for fewer retakes.
In addition to bumping up the camera from 13 megapixels to 16 megapixels, the LG G4 goes from a 2.1-megapixel front camera to a 8-megapixel selfie camera, the same resolution as an iPhone.
Impressively, an ultra-thin 0.1mm blue IR filter is also included to help give photos a natural look with accurate colors by blocking out infrared interference.
LG G4 OS and power
LG G4 has an all-new UX 4.0 interface, but don't worry, this operating system skin doesn't overtake what Google has laid out or duplicate too many apps.
Sure, it has LG's so-so useful smart notices and a overly bright and cheery overlay, and now there's a new smart bulletin that lays out app updates in almost a streamlined widget form.
There's also a Ringtone ID, which automatically composes a custom ringtone for each contact and Quick Memo+, which lets you collect snippets from the web without the adverts.
Other features of the newly announced UX 4.0 include a Smart Alert, which makes activity suggestions based on the weather forecast and a Smart Board, which combines information from multiple apps into a single widget.
Surprisingly the LG G4 passed on the Snapdragon 810 and uses the weaker Snapdragon 808 instead. Overheating issues are probably to blame, but at least this phone has a meaty 3GB of RAM to it.
LG G4: what it should have been like
While we're sadly coming to realise that most of the following won't actually happen, the G4 could have been SO MUCH BETTER if LG had listened to us:
A metal chassis
The LG G3 sure does a good job of looking metallic, but that's all it is, an effect, and as soon as you pick up the phone the illusion is broken, so much so in fact that it actually winds up feeling cheaper than the LG G2.
So we really hope the LG G4 will go the whole hog and have a shell crafted from actual metal. Even Samsung's sticking metal in its phones now so LG really can't afford not to.
We'd also appreciate it if they gave the G4 a unibody rather than having a removable back, as it's likely to feel more solid and premium as a result.
Sadly metal is looking ever more unlikely, but at least we might see some leather.
Improved battery life
The LG G3 had good battery life, but it was actually slightly worse than the G2's battery and that's not a trend we like to see. There's steeper competition here now too, with Sony in particular doing well with the Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact, both of which have a whole lot of juice.
A battery saving mode
Battery saving modes are all the rage these days, whether it's Sony's Stamina mode, HTC's Extreme power saving mode or Samsung's Ultra power saving mode, but the LG G3 doesn't have one.
Now it already does a good job of conserving battery on the fly, by adapting the display and slowing down the processor when the extra horsepower isn't needed, but it would be great if the LG G4 went even further and had additional options that could be toggled as needed, just to squeeze even more juice out.
More power is an obvious wish and an increasingly redundant one as most high end phones are levelling out and delivering near faultless performance. But the LG G3 actually did noticeably lag at times.
Maybe that's down to the QHD display, maybe it's just down to poor optimisation, but whatever the reason we really hope LG sorts it out and gives us a faster phone in the LG G4.
A slicker interface
LG could also afford to do some more work on its interface. The G2's was a cluttered nightmare and the G3's was a big step in the right direction, but still not as slick as it could be.
In particular we'd like to see improvements made to Smart Notice. This sits below the weather widget on the home screen and gives you tailored advice and suggestions, for example it might give you more details on the weather or suggest you add someone to your contacts if you call them a lot.
The problem is it just doesn't work that well, often providing irrelevant advice, so LG should make it smarter or ditch it, we already have Google Now after all.
A better camera
On the whole the LG G3 has a pretty great camera, complete with optical image stabilisation and a laser autofocus. But while it performs well in bright light it's not so good in low light, relying on software to unconvincingly smooth over noisy shots, rather than taking good photos to begin with. So hopefully the LG G4 will improve in that area.
The good news is that we should be getting what we wished for, with the LG G4 now confirmed to be coming with a 16MP snapper.
We'd also like to be given more manual control. The LG G3 is great if you just want to point and shoot, but there aren't many options for those who want to adjust the exposure or ISO for example. This too looks like a wish which will be coming true, as LG has revealed a full manual mode.
A superior screen
This one might seem strange, after all the LG G3 is already QHD, but we're not talking about more pixels. Rather we'd like to see improved performance from the pixels that are already there. In particular the LG G3 suffers from a noticeable loss in brightness when not viewed square on, so if LG can sort that for the G4 we'd be pretty happy.
Thankfully it seems that might be happening, as a brighter display has been promised by the firm.
Water and dust resistance
While not exactly a headline feature, water and dust resistance are undeniably nice things to have. We have to wonder how many people ever actively make use of the fact that they can submerge their smartphone, but knowing that it can survive a little water gives us some peace of mind.
Here in England it rains all the time and sometimes we'd actually like to be able to use our phone while outside, without first crafting a makeshift shield from whatever else we happen to be carrying / wearing at the time.
Knock Code improvements
We love Knock On – the ability to wake up your phone with a tap, but Knock Code, which takes things further by letting you also unlock your phone with a series of taps, just doesn't work all that well.
The main problem is that if you touch the screen when picking the G3 up it registers that touch as the first tap and causes the pattern to be interpreted incorrectly. We're not quite sure how LG can get around that so it's a good thing we're not designing the G4, but hopefully LG has a solution because a feature which doesn't work is just an annoyance.
With support for high quality audio the LG G3 already does a great job when listening to music through a good pair of headphones, but its speaker isn't so hot either in terms of positioning or quality.
For the LG G4 we'd like to see dual front-facing speakers, like those on the HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z3. It's a much more logical place for them, especially when you're watching something or playing a game. If LG can make the sound crisper and richer too then all the better.