Review by Sunetra Chakravati,8/12/2015 4:47:17 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Great quality audio | Good image quality from front and rear cameras | Solid battery
Poor internal memory | Oversimplified camera settings | little value for money
LG’s entry into the fierce mid-range melee is the LG G4c, a lookalike of the Korean brand’s flagship – the LG G4 at under half the price. This kind of imitation should set off alarm bells as with “mini” or lower cost variations of high-end models, the imitation rarely extends beyond the outer shell. This isn’t to say users expect the same spec for half the price; just that these variations rarely beat similarly priced standalones.
Aesthetically it does carry across the LG G4’s textured brushed metal style back and except for the telltale sound when you tap it, it’s not too obvious it’s your standard plastic back. A lot of people have commented on a slight curve on the back but it’s mainly just tapering at the corners designed to give this effect. When held upright, this slight curve doesn’t have any noticeable affect on ergonomics but it does make for a more comfortable experience when using the model for gaming or videos. These curved edges really contrast with the chequered pattern on the back, which looks equal parts, industrial, fish scale and 70’s discotheque wallpaper.
AV-wise the 5 inch display is slightly above average for a mid-ranger at 720p and around 294ppi. The playful yet minimalist LG UI does a good job of making the most of this but it does fall flat in more complex situations ie – contrast is lacking in dark scenes and but overshot in vivid ones. This said, the phone has a great viewing angle, a small bezel and can kick out a lot of sound, making it one of the few models which is actually suited to more than one person watching something on it. The sound quality matches the impressive volume, handling even bass levels well through both front and back speakers.
The camera set up includes 5MP on the front and a further 8MP on the back. Both give a good quality in standard settings but are really optimized for simple point and click photography, meaning those wanting to experiment with different modes, filters or manual settings will be a little disappointed.
The flash on the back outperforms most others making it useful on a night out, especially with their “say cheese” auto capture feature which makes for well-timed photos even in the hands of the most amateur snapper. The camera controls include the LG’s back buttons to control volume, take pictures and auto load the camera when held down, even when the phone is locked.
This latter function can cause real issues in terms of accidental shots and battery drain as it is prone to activating in your pocket and taking rather dull shots of their linings.
Despite the pretty low 1GB of RAM, the camera mode is lag free and even handles long periods of video recording without an issue. However, this minimal RAM does become noticeable when loading apps or even just flicking between tabs, where the delay can be noticeable, but not inhibitive. What is inhibitive on the other hand, is making a handset with 8GB of memory with a measly 3 GB free after you’ve taken the operating system, LG overlay and pre-loaded apps. It’s also rather naughty that while LG lists the RAM and internal memory for its flagship model in their website in their “technical specs” section, the “technical specifications” section of their lower models like the G4c doesn’t give consumers this information… It’s almost like they don’t want people to find out.
However, filling up that 3GB of space need not be the end of your mobile downloads, happy snapping or app installs, you can add another 64GB through inserting a micro SD card which should be more than enough for nearly everyone.
LG’s crowd-pleasing track record for removable backs and batteries continues in the G4c, making it one of the few handsets on the market which isn’t sealed shut. The actual battery is 2540mAh and goes a long way, delivering really impressive staying power even before activating the battery saver mode.
The user interface features a really clean yet fun design with aspects such as the swipe unlock bubble having temporarily distracted me from whatever I’d picked up the phone to do a couple of times. Icons on the menus are uniformly square but the stylish and angular designs within does make the apps menu look great. However, all this careful, well positioned style seems to disappear as you flick across from the apps to the widgets tab which looks like someone has thrown them on from a distance.
The LG G4c is too cut-down and too highly priced to be a strong option for most consumers and apart from the sound quality, it doesn’t really have any stand-out or iconic features past the vague resemblance to its bigger, better brother. Where this phone may be a reasonable option is for those looking for a modicum of style with a lot of simplicity and an entry level price, perhaps making the G4c a good choice for those seeking an entry level model, but not much more.
Operating System: Android Lollipop 5.1.1
Storage and memory (RAM): 8 GB + 1 GB
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410, Quad-core 1.2/1.3 GHz Cortex-A53
Dimensions (mm): 139.7 x 69.8 x 10.2
Weight: 136 g
Display: 5-inch, 720p HD (1280 x 720), 294 ppi
Battery: 2540 mAh
Camera: 8MP; 5MP