LG G4 review

An Android smartphone that's all about its camera and a strange look

LG G4 review

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This is where LG first begins to flex its muscles: the display on the LG G4 is simply mind-blowing. I've often said that the screen on the phone is the thing most brands have to get right if there's any chance of making their phone a critical success among users, as it's the element most will use more than anything else.

LG G4 review

However, while LG has a rich heritage in making impressive screens, it didn't use that power with the G3, making a darker screen that ticked the headline-making box of being the highest-res on the market.

This time around, the difference is quantum. Literally. The new Quantum IPS display on the LG G4 is really, really nice to look at, and vies for top spot with Samsung as the best on the market.

At 5.5-inches, it's not the easiest to navigate around with one hand... in fact, it's impossible. But what you get in return is a large display that displays everything amazingly well. The contrast ratio is the part that impresses me the most - it's almost as deep and rich as the Samsung Super AMOLED offering, which is really cool to see from an LCD.

The colours look rich and vibrant, which LG is talking up because it adheres to a more modern cinematic standard - the brand is all about making sure the buying public equates this phone to 'cinema quality' images.

It's an irrelevant point in practice, as it just means the colours are a little deeper, and the red especially are brighter than ever. There's a lot of science about how we all perceive different colours more strongly than others, but in reality it just means this is a very colourful screen.

LG G4 review

I really miss the ability to tweak the settings up and down - I'm all for deep, rich and even over-saturated colours, but many hate that - and one of the big advantages Samsung has is the option to change the intensity of the screen.

The auto-brightness is a bit too aggressive though - at night you'll be struggling a little see the screen even when it's trying to intelligently match to your surroundings.

The other cool thing about the display is the 'Knock On' effect that allows you to wake the phone from sleep. It's really useful as it prevents the need of hunting around on the back of the phone for the power button.

It's such an intuitive way of opening the phone that I constantly do it on other handsets, irritated when it doesn't happen. It's not super accurate, sometimes needing a second to 'rest' before opening up, and the 'Knock Code' (meant to replace the PIN or swipe code method of security) is too fallible to be considered a really useful too.

Knock Code allows you to tap certain portions of the screen to create an invisible pattern that'll open your phone, but having used this for months I've never felt like it really works accurately all the time in the same way as the fingerprint scanner on the iPhones or the exceptionally speedy option on the Galaxy S6.

Some people swear by it though, so if you can settle on a code that's perfect for you and your tapping it's a nice option to have.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.