While the LG G4 has a pretty impressive-sounding 3000mAh battery, its stamina is, just like the other 2015 flagships, a bit disappointing. One day using the LG G4 I got up at 10am (yes, it was the weekend), and with mid-to-heavy use I’d drained the battery by 7pm. I spent hours listening to podcasts and around an hour streaming from Netflix, but that’s still pretty bad.
It doesn’t seem to be just down to the screen either. With looped video the LG G4 lasted for 9 hours 52 minutes. While that’s way below the 14 hours I got out of the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung seems to have really worked on sending as much of the phone to sleep as possible when it’s not used.
The LG G4’s battery life isn’t so bad that you should write it off your most-wanted list, it is a bit disappointing given its battery is actually of a higher-capacity than any of the other 2015 top dogs. Fingers crossed LG will be able to tighten this up a bit with future software updates.
I tried the Battery Saver mode to see if it would improve things. And it does, but it keeps a pretty tight rein on screen brightness so isn’t something you’ll want to use 365 days a year. It doesn’t seem to restrict the CPU either, which is one obvious area the LG G4 could have saved some juice without a big day-to-day sacrifice.
What else is in the bag?
What else do you get? Naturally, at this price you get 4G. There’s also a tiny little infra red transmitter on the top of the LG G4. This lets you control your TV with the phone, and just about anything else that uses a TV-style remote.
It’s a nifty feature particularly useful for pranking housemates or family members, not to mention solving those “I can’t find the bloody remote” woes.
The internal speaker is pretty solid too. It’s very similar in tone and sound quality to the Samsung Galaxy S6. Top volume is good and sound quality is not too bad at all, but the tone isn’t quite as rich as the HTC One M9’s BoomSound twins. It can sound a bit harsh when maxed out, but overall it’s very impressive.
The LG G4 does miss out on a few little bits you can get elsewhere, though. There’s no fingerprint scanner, for example, and no heart rate sensor. Certainly not the end of the world, but some potential buyers will be disappointed.
LG G4 Verdict
Has the LG G4 swooped in and stolen the 2015 phone of the year award from Samsung? Not quite. The Optimus UI is once again not the best-looking in town, and some of the aesthetic hardware upgrades are barely skin-deep.
It doesn’t have the price advantage the LG G3 had, either. At £500 for the ceramic-plastic versions and £525 for the leather versions, it’s actually the same price as the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 from the top spots online.
But it’s certainly competing on the same level as those rival flagships. The camera is top notch, the screen brilliant and those extra 0.4 inches of screen space will be enough to convince a bunch of buyers. Only time will tell whether using a slightly lower-end processor was a bad idea, but there are no major sacrifices right now.
In the end there are just a few minor niggles holding the G4 back from taking the top spot from the mighty Galaxy S6, but it should certainly be on your shortlist, especially if you appreciate microSD cards, bigger screens and gadgets wrapped in luxurious animal skin.