If your flagship has had five star reviews throughout and it was time for you to launch a new one, what would you do? How do you top the feature-packed greying one?
You basically do what LG have done- instead of trying to create another all-new fantastic handset, they have taken the best bits of their laser-powered speed machine aka the LG G3, added a very premium finish to it and created a flagship which if raw specs are to go by, promises to be an even better handset than the five-star G3.
The all-new G4 is slightly curved with a stitched leather back. Designed for convenience and ease of use, LG are calling the G4 a hand-made masterpiece. As we saw earlier this year both with the HTC One M9 and Huawei's P8, it is not about re-inventing the wheel but more to do with polishing a product that was excellent to start with.
The G3 has an excellent camera and the biggest feature on the G4 and indeed the real innovation has been to its camera. The camera is a 16MP jobber and has a F1.8 aperture and while earlier, the focus was on having more megapixels, this time around, LG have concentrated on trying to make the camera faster and have improved on the laser technology that was first shown off in the G3.
For instance, the G4 now takes .6 seconds to launch the camera by clicking the button on the back of the phone. The emphasis has been to draw in more light into the sensor and understanding the end product more and working backwards with it. They have improved on their gesture mode so you can take selfies by shaking a fist at your phone and a wider lens means groufies will now be a reality than a picstitch hatchet job.
The photo gallery comes with a time and location based memories feature thats on the phone and not on cloud which saves data drain over wifi. The gallery timeline works exactly like the one on the Apple iPhone and sorts photos according to year.
Design: Flat, cold and angular rectangle smartphone designs were dissed on stage. They were branded uncomfortable and unstable in the hand. Full glass phone backs recieved a thumbs down too for their propensity to capture fingerprints.
With the G4, LG set out to explore different mediums and have come up with two finishes. Genuine hand-stitched leather and a ceramic coated metal.
The phone has a slight arc to it and according to the company, the design makes it 20 percent more durable than regular phones when dropped face-down. LG spent 12 weeks inventing a way of making the back of the smartphone an all-leather job. The leather is tanned using vegetable dyes and comes in six shades. The metal back version has a delicate diamond pattern overlay on it and can be customised using a range of accessories including the round cut-out flip case that became quite a range with the G3.
Internally, there's a whopper of a battery- 3000mAH removable battery. The phone uses a graphic RAM which puts the CPU to sleep when the screen displays still images. Additionally, the Smart Power saving technologies UX sends the user smart notice cards to turn apps off completely.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor makes an appearance, not the 810-version. We were told this particular processor makes data heavy browsing like Google Maps usage easier- but more on this in our full review.
The G4, additionaly, has an IPS quantum display which has 98 percent of the colour gamut that's visible to the human eye and during our brief time spent with it is absolutely breath-taking.
Google's docs, slides and sheets are preinstalled so sharing via google drive will be a breeze and in addition to 15GB free storage on Google Drive, G4 customers also get 100GB storage free for 2 years on Google's cloud.
LG have also tied up with Volkswagen so you get a simple driving friendly interface on your phone via Mirror Link to display on your car's dashboard while driving. After their tie-up with Audi earlier this year to unlock their cars using the Watch Urbane LTE, LG are the one to watch in the Internet of Things space.
Customers also get the LG QuadBeat 3 earphones in the box that LG promise have clear mid and high tones and sound like larger headphones, despite being in-ears.
In what is probably a very left-of-field move, LG are giving 4000 handsets to consumers around the world to see how they feel about the device.
'It is quite a bold move but we have found putting the phone into the hands of the consumer a barrier and will be trying to bridge that,' said Andy Coughlin, Head of LG Mobile UK.
Several hundred consumers in the UK will be getting the new flagship in their hands in the coming weeks, so if you are one of the lucky few, Mobile Choice would love to know of your experiences of using the phone!
Also, stay tuned for our in-depth review soon...