LG G4 review

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

LG G4 review

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

LG has this habit of launching into a market that's already well-stocked with new high-end flagships, and as such has a slew of rivals to fight off when making a case to be your new smartphone for the next two years.

LG has historically had price on its side when it comes to one-upping the competition, and now it's super cheap too. So how does it stack up against the competition?



LG has replaced its flagship phone a little early by launching the LG G5 at Mobile World Congress 2016. We've only had a little time with the new phone, but it's promising and there's a lot of change here.

The first thing to note when comparing it to the LG G4 is the brand new metal uni-body design. LG has decided to go for a full-metal jacket on the phone, but it hasn't lost its removable battery.

You can now pull the battery out of the bottom of the phone and plug in new modules to improve on some of the phones features.

The LG G5 also includes a 5.3-inch 2K display as well as 4GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, Android 6 Marshmallow software and an impressive 16MP rear-facing camera.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung's Galaxy S6 (and its brother, the Galaxy S6 Edge) is a phone that's shown the South Korean brand still knows how to make a really decent handset.

While it's got the same QHD screen as the LG G4, the shrunken dimensions combined with the Super AMOLED screen make it a really compelling thing to look at – plus it also comes in a variety of storage sizes, from 32GB to 128GB… although does so at the expense of a microSD slot, which LG offers.

It's more expensive than LG's offering, and the gap between the two will likely continue to grow – and weirdly the S6 is a more complex phone than the G4 too, where historically LG has been all about smashing as much stuff in its devices as possible.

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

The HTC One M9 is almost the nemesis to the LG G4, adding in style and design prowess but dropping the camera and screen quality. However, there's something about the refined package that HTC has created here that makes it more impressive, with the classy Sense overlay joining well with the Boomsound speakers and metal chassis to offer something rather decent.

That said, the LG's leather back will entice some over the metal, the camera is much better here (with more modes) and the screen much better too, with both phones ending up neck and neck in battery life.

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

iPhone 6S

I've included both these phones here simply because they both offer slightly different competition to the G4. The iPhone 6S is one of the front-running phones on the market simply due to the mature experience it offers, but the 6S Plus brings a larger screen (similar to the G4) as well as extended battery life.

Both thrive through the iOS app ecosystem and familiar user interface, as well as exceptional design and speed under the finger.

However, LG creams the two of them with its screen technology, and even though Apple's got some great camera tech the South Korean brand still manages to provide improved snaps.


LG G4 review

Oh, this is a tricky one. You're an LG fan and you can't decide which phone to go for. The LG G4 is superior in terms of photography, the screen is better quality (although the same res) and the design is curved and enhanced.

There's more power stuffed inside and the battery life is roughly the same. So surely the new model? Well, no, as the LG G3 is lot, lot cheaper than the new offering, and comes with Android 5 too.

I'd advise the LG G4 as the phone of choice simply because it will get software upgrades for a year longer – and now the price has dropped a little too.

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.