Optimising Optimus

The software isn’t bad, but as usual it’s not quite a highlight of the LG G4. Once again, LG’s Optimus UI sticks with very sharp icons and a few other bits and bobs that look a wee bit dated. For some reason, it’s clinging onto the widgets tab of the apps menu when widgets are things you fiddle with for the first day or so and then change maybe once a year.

It really resists the rounder, more accessible visual style of Android Lollipop. And that’s what the LG G4 runs too: under the customisations lies Android 5.1.

LG plasters the phone with a very ugly colour scheme fresh out of the box, too, doing it no favours. As you can tell, I’m not totally in love with how the Optimus UI looks. However, you can tweak plenty of it and if you truly hate it you can always wallpaper over it with the Google Now launcher. I’ve given it a go and it totally changes the visual personality of the software. Nothing’s set in stone with Android.

Think the LG G4’s software looks perfect good? There’s very little to dislike apart from the look. And general performance is great.

One other Lollipop change LG has resisted is the more organic swooshy way it moves. Each way has its charms, but the LG G4 really does feel whip-crack sharp as a result.

Snapdragon wars

That’s all without having as fast a CPU as the Samsung Galaxy S6 or HTC One M9. It rocks the Snapdragon 808, intended to sit one step below the Snapdragon 810. What’s the difference?

Well, while each uses Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 cores as the muscle and the backup of the show, there are only two ‘power’ A57 cores here. Not four as in the Snapdragon 810.

The result? Where the HTC One M9 can score up to 4200 in Geekbench 3, you’re looking at 3502 for the LG G4. Predictably enough, it’s not as powerful.

The more important question, though, is whether you’ll notice. If you’re into cutting edge games or something really processor-busting like N64 emulation, you probably will, as the GPU is also a bit slower.

But if you don’t have a great gaming obsession, the difference isn’t worth worrying over too much. And the Snapdragon 808 seems to deal a bit better when really going for it than the Snapdragon 810. There’s been a lot of talk about the processor overheating, and in theory this one might run a bit cooler.

In actuality, leave the LG G4 downloading over 3G/4G and it gets a bit warm, but otherwise it stays fairly cool. That said, we haven’t had any serious trouble with any of this year’s flagships to date, despite all the fuss some people have made about it.

All the ‘classic’ GPU-testing games Android offers right now run well on the LG G4 too.

Tech Specs 
Operating System
Android 5.1 with Optimus UI
Screen
5.5-inch IPS Quantum Display with 2560 x 1440 resolution (528ppi)
Processor
Hexa-core Snapdragon 808
RAM
3GB
Storage
32GB (microSD expandable)
Rear Camera
16MP, f/1.8 lens, single-LED flash
Front Camera
8MP
Connectivity
Wi-Fi ac, IR, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 apt-X
Battery
3000mAh
Dimensions
149 x 76 x 9.8mm
Weight
155g
Stuff says... 

LG G4 review

The LG G4 is a treat for camera fans and those who want something that looks and feels that bit different
from
£500
Good Stuff 
Great, versatile camera
Sharp and vivid screen
Leather back feels neat
Packed with smart tech
Bad Stuff 
Disappointing battery life
Not as expensive-feeling as S6 or M9
power
0
screen
0
build
0
apps
0
Camera
0
battery
0
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