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LG G4 review: Android smartphone gets a 'yes' from me

The smartphone market moves along at a fast pace, with a new device seemingly every day. Unfortunately for customers, upgrades from providers move at a much more sedate pace. You'll get one every two years unless you pay extra. That's generally fine, though most people end up longing for one before that magic date rolls around.

That brings us around to those who are set for that upgrade now. The latest flagship handset comes from LG, no stranger to this market. And, for the most part, it's an excellent piece of hardware. But let's take a closer look.

The Good and the Bad

There's a lot to love here. The screen is beautiful. The 5.5 inch size isn't too big and it fits in the pocket just fine. The resolution is great -- 2560 x 1440 with 538 PPI. There's also a 16 MP rear camera and a generous 8 MP front facing one.

The processor is a Snapdragon 808 and battery is 3,000 mAh, and has no problem lasting all day. Connectivity is also good -- more bars than my old Nexus, though it's usually 3G, which is due to the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere.


There's also 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. You can add an SD card and up that storage considerably -- 2 TB to be exact. There's the expected Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB support, which all work flawlessly. It has no trouble connecting to my Pebble watch, something the Nexus struggled with.

The biggest plus is that there is no bloatware included. That's a rarity for a Verizon phone. It runs Android 5.1 and is easy to customise. In fact, there's already tutorials out there on rooting, though I haven't yet done that. Of course, the good folks at XDA Developers have the instructions covered, just in case you want to.

So, we've covered the thin, beautiful screen and all of the other benefits. But what isn't quite perfect? Well, not much, but I do have some gripes.

The biggest problem is the On/Off switch. It's on the back and sandwiched between Up/Down volume buttons and it's flush with the phone. It looks nice, but it's hard to find by touch. You generally need to turn the phone around and look. If you don't then you'll likely turn the volume up or down.

Setup is also a bit odd, but I can't really complain about it. After all, it worked just fine. But despite being Android it never asked for a Google sign in. That's manual. I opened Gmail and logged in and then all of my contacts magically appeared. At least they're there. It would have been a real problem without them.

Those are minor issues and shouldn't deter potential buyers. If you've used Android before then you'll figure it out without any worries.

The Verdict

On the whole I like this phone. It certainly isn't for anyone new to Android, but if you understand how things work then you will fare well and have a beautiful large screen in your pocket with plenty of power to do what you wish.

Would I recommend it? Well yes for people who know Android, but I wouldn't be handing it to my 80 year old mom. It's mixed bag, but there is the whole "it's beautiful" part.

Definitely a keeper for me and I'm sure most readers would have no problems either. In other words, it gets a thumbs up. LG did well here.