LG G4 news: White Gold edition announced for South Korea

The LG G4 is LG’s flagship Android phone for 2015, and it’s a worthy successor to the LG G3, with an excellent 16-megapixel camera, Snapdragon 808 processor, and a 5.5-inch Quad HD screen. The phone was revealed at the end of April, and is already on sale around the world. Here’s what you need to know about the G4.

White Gold Edition announced

lg-g4-white-goldThe LG G4 is already a bit outdated, as the V10 launched in the U.S. earlier this month, and we’re already hearing juicy rumors about the G5. However, to draw in some new customers, LG has announced a new white gold edition of the LG G4. It is available in South Korea for $600, where it is targeted at women and younger customers. It is the same device that launched earlier in the year, but with a white finish and gold frame. LG did not say if it would launch the edition in any other regions.

Where is the LG G4 available?

The LG G4 is available at all four major U.S. carriers, as well as a few retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. You can buy the LG 4 from Verizon for $550 full price, $200 with a two-year contract, or $22.95 a month with Verizon Edge.

Sprint and U.S. Cellular offer a bundle with some cool extras, in addition to the G4: a 32GB MicroSD card, an extra 3,000mAh battery, and a battery charging cradle. Sprint customers can pay $25 a month for 24 months with EasyPay, $200 with a two-year contract, or opt for one of two leasing plans.

T-Mobile gave customers who signed up through May 25 a chance to test the G4 before it became widely available. In addition, the carrier exclusively carries the brown leather version of the G4. Preorders for the G4 kicked off on T-Mobile’s site May 27, and early birds got a 128GB MicroSD card as part of the bargain. The G4 is $0 on T-Mobile, with 24 monthly payments of $25.

AT&T also offers the G4 for $0 down on Next 12 with 20 payments of $31.50, on Next 18 for $0 and 24 payments of $26.25, on Next 24 for $0 down and 30 payments of $21, or with a two-year contract for $200.

On May 18, LG put the G4 on sale in Hong Kong, followed by Turkey, Russia, and Singapore. Continuing into June, the G4 arrived in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world.

In the UK, the G4 can be purchased through online retailer Clove Technology, where the unlocked, SIM-free phone is priced at £500, which is around $790.

What about the G4’s specification?

The G4 has a subtler curve than the LG G Flex 2, and comes with either a plastic rear cover, or a very swish genuine leather option. We’d opt for the latter every time — it looks and feels spectacular compared with the plastic. Here’s the spec:

  • 5.5-inch IPS screen with a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution
  • Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with 3GB of RAM
  • 16-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie cam.
  • Android 5.1
  • 32GB of memory, MicroSD card slot
  • 3,000mAh removable battery
  • 4G LTE

You can read our full review of the LG G4 here, and check out comparisons with the Samsung Galaxy S6, and the iPhone 6 Plus.

At the end of March, Korea’s Yonhap News said industry sources had placed the G4’s launch for the end of April, around the same time as Samsung will put the Galaxy S6 on sale. The source also said the phone will have a curved screen measuring approximately 5 inches.

The LG G3 was introduced at the end of May 2014, and an early report from Korea claimed the G4 would come in May, but another published by the Korea Times quoted LG insiders as saying the new flagship would launch in April. It seems that the later report of an April launch will be accurate, although it will be in late April.

LG wants some space between the G4 and rival high-end smartphones, and an anonymous source is quoted as saying: “Samsung usually releases its new flagship model in the first quarter of each year, and Apple in the second quarter. We need some in-between time to make a bigger splash.”

The G4 will have a 16-megapixel camera and f/1.8 aperture

Confirming various rumors and official teasers, LG Innotek recently revealed a 16-megapixel camera sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, saying it would be fitted to the G4 when it launches at the end of the month. The lower aperture will allow 80 percent more light into the camera sensor and help improve the clarity of low-light images. It will also allow for some special camera effects, like blurred backgrounds with a clear subject in the foreground.

Take a look at the first teaser video for the G4’s camera below.

LG shot a second promotional teaser to showcase the G4’s camera capabilities. Professional photographer Colby Brown extols the virtues of manual controls on the G4, which allow you to adjust the ISO, white balance, and even the shutter speed. All of these controls should ensure that the G4 takes stellar low-light photos. See the trailer below to hear what Brown’s got to say.

LG error reveals the G4’s style

In mid-April, an LG website was accidentally sent live, and revealed the new G4 smartphone’s design and style. While the site did include specifications, they were all related to last year’s G3 smartphone. Instead, we see the G4 itself, and as we gathered from the event invitation, the phone has the option of adding a leather rear cover. These come in several colors including the brown we’d already seen, plus black, blue, red, cream, and yellow. Each is made from genuine hand-stitched leather.

Other pictures reveal the G4’s screen will stay the same size and resolution as the G3, but will be brighter and more energy efficient. It’s being labeled as an IPS Quantum Display. Another image shows the G4’s camera will have a manual mode, plus a removable 3,000mAh battery will be hidden behind the rear panel, separating the phone from the Galaxy S6 and the HTC One M9.

Realizing there wasn’t much left to reveal, LG posted an official picture of the G4 on its Facebook page on April 16, showing the brown leather rear cover in detail. Check it out below.

LG G4 Teaser Image Leather

Second teaser video says not all Quad HD screens are created equal

The LG G4 will have another 2560 x 1440 pixel touchscreen, most likely measuring 5.5-inches, just like the G3. However, LG says that just because it sounds similar to the G3, doesn’t make it less exciting. We’re promised a 25 percent brighter image, and a 20 percent wider color range from the new IPS Quantum Display. Read more about it below, but watch the teaser at the top of the page first.

LG’s new UX 4.0 interface is ready for the G4

Like most other smartphone manufacturers, LG has its own user interface that it layers on top of Android to personalize its devices. LG’s interface has always been pretty light and clean, and its latest version, UX 4.0 looks as nice as usual. In a post, LG detailed the new features that will debut in UX 4.0, and hinted that the UI will debut on the long-awaited LG G4. The company even referred to its upcoming flagship phone by name several times in the announcement.

While most of the features are pretty standard, they do add some interesting functions to the device. LG even posted a video with all the features:

  • Manual Camera Mode: LG will now let you set the camera manually, so that professional photographers can maximize the potential of its smartphone’s cameras.
  • Quick Shot: If you want to access your camera more quickly, the Quick Shot mode will turn the volume down button on the back of the G4 into a shutter button, that will activate the camera and take a picture rapidly. LG specifically mentioned the G4 here.
  • Smart Board: LG will also add a feature that’s just like Google Now, in that it gathers key data in one place for you to see at a glance. calendar alerts, news, health, and other key items will be listed here.
  • Gallery: The gallery app got a makeover with new groupings based on events and locations. This should make it easier to find your photos at a glance, especially if you take a lot of them.
  • Smart Alerts: Contextual awareness is a big deal right now, and LG hopes to give you helpful suggestions of things to do based on the weather, your location, and so on.

LG added another video, showing the new UI in action. The Quick Shot mode for the camera is highlighted.

It’s unclear when the new UI will arrive, but it will probably debut with the G4, which we expect to see at the end of April.

A smaller, curved screen, or an even higher resolution?

As we swiftly approach the expected launch of the LG G4, more and more leaks are springing out across the Web. The latest comes from LG itself. The Korean company, which is known for its display technology, showed off a brand-new, 5.5-inch Quad HD screen. The LCD screen has a pixel resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and a pixel density of 538 ppi. Apparently, the new tech offers more true-to-life colors, better contrast, and less light leakage.

LG screen

Although the press release on the new screen doesn’t come right out and say that this screen will grace the LG G4’s new frame, the company hinted strongly that we’ll see it soon. “LG’s forthcoming flagship smartphone to be unveiled at the end of the month,” the release says.

Recently, a post on GFX Bench showed a device named the LG G4 (F500x) was put through the Android Open GL test. The full spec list is visible on the posting, and reveals some intriguing information.

The post says the G4 will have a 5.5-inch screen with a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution and a density of 534 pixels per inch, which is in line with earlier estimates, though lower resolution than some rumors. However, the benchmark also mentions a very surprising spec: a Snapdragon 808 Qualcomm processor. Although this 64-bit, hexa-core processor and its Adreno 418 GPU are powerful, they’re not as impressive as the Snapdragon 810 octa-core chip.

Either LG downgraded to the 808 after seeing the overheating issue and battery drain concerns both Samsung and HTC appeared to have with their latest flagships, this is simply another variant of the G4, or it’s completely wrong.

At this point, there’s no way to know if the benchmark is correct about the processor – they’re often faked – but its other specs might still be accurate. The post lists 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 16-megapixel camera with 4K UHD video capture, and a selfie snapping 8-megapixel camera on the front of the device.

LG may make the G4 slightly smaller than the G3. According to this source, the G4 could feature a 5.3-inch Quad HD screen, with an almost bezel-less display. While this sounds a plausible scenario, a phone with the model number LG VS999 — suggesting it’s a Verizon device — has been spotted with an almost unbelievable 2880 x 1620 pixel resolution.

Discovered in User Agent data — which shows developers what type of devices are used to browse websites, and is easily faked — it’s not clear whether this is the G4 or not, but its model number is an advancement over the VS985, the G3’s model number when sold through the Verizon network.

Screens with this resolution have been fitted to laptops in the past, but never to a smartphone, and lowering the size of the display while upping the resolution sounds unlikely. Also, screens with 2560 x 1440 pixels are hardly common place now, so sticking with one for the G4 would hardly make it “old.” We’ll treat this rumor with even more skepticism than usual.

Other possible G4 specifications include a Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 20.7-megapixel camera, a 3,500mAh battery and a choice of 32GB or 64GB of internal memory.

What will it look like?

Leaked renders spotted by Nowhereelse.fr, show the G4 with a slight curve to the screen. If the pictures are the real deal, this seems like an odd choice from LG, seeing as it just launched the curved G Flex 2. Of course, as with any leaks, we’d advise taking this one with a grain of salt.

A set of images leaked through Photobucket and the XDA Developers website have been labeled as the LG G4, but all is not what it seems with the unknown device, which probably isn’t the G4 at all. Why? Several telltale signs say this isn’t a flagship phone – the rear controls aren’t the same color as the body, like the G3, and the screen bezels are much larger than the G3, and G Flex 2. LG’s hardly likely to go backwards with the G4’s design.

LG has adopted a squarer shape for the rear controls on the Magna and Spirit, and this phone may be a slightly higher-specced version of these mid-range devices – this time with a laser autofocus added to the camera. Some sources claim there’s a stylus hidden in the top rear left, but this is more likely to be the antenna often fitted to Korean smartphones, where mobile TV is a popular feature. Despite what others say, we’re not convinced this is the G4 at all.

Although the April 28 event invitation doesn’t explicitly state it’s for the LG G4, if it is, then does the tagline and cover image give anything away? The background is stitched leather, and we’re told we’ll see and feel the “great.” Will LG go for tactile leather on the phone, in a similar way to Samsung and the Note 4? We’d be surprised, but the invite certainly suggests the phone will have more than just a plastic shell.

A stylus probably won’t be part of the package

According to a report from China in late December, LG may include a stylus with the G4, and turn it into a competitor of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The rumor is based on a selection of trademarks recently registered by LG, including the G Scrawl, and an updated version of the G Pen. Currently, the LG G3’s closest rival is the Galaxy S5.

LG has already produced a spin-off version of the G3 with a stylus, unsurprisingly called the G3 Stylus, and has included a pen with older devices such as the G Pro Lite. At the beginning of February, a report surfaced showing evidence of a G4 Stylus phone, indicating the stylus-equipped G4 will be a sequel to the mid-range G3 Stylus. It’s expected to have a screen resolution of 720p.

Where does all this leave the G Pro series? One report says LG will drop the G Pro entirely, and instead concentrate on making the G4 really impressive. A larger, Note 4-style screen may be part of the package, opening the door for the G Flex 2 to take over from the G3 as its standard Android flagship phone. After all, we’ve seen evidence LG wants to really push flexible-screened phones over the next few years.

We’ll update this report with more news and rumors about the LG G4, so check back often.

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