The LG G4 after a few weeks - still impresses me [quick review / update]

So, it's been a couple of weeks since I got my hands on the LG G4.  I've been able to switch it over to my daily driver and even take it on a weekend trip with the family and a Soapbox Derby Race to really see how it handles a busy schedule.

This is about the normal length of time that I get to review a phone... even a little bit longer.  Usually by this point in most phones I've reached the end of what it can show me, and novelty has started to wear a little thing and I get to really get the true impression of the phone.

It's an interesting time in 'ownership', and I thought I'd take a few moments and share my impressions.

One of the situations that really sets this device review apart for me is that not only is it 1 month long that I get to review it, but that I'm also doing so along side a nice little group of #TRYLGG4 (look up +Sivan Rehan +Rob Blaich +Darren Yung +Daniel Allard).  We have a little hangout going where we talk about what we're all learning.

They also get to share their photos and experiences on the TRYLGG4 site.

For the first few weeks I went with the LG home screen, and I really tried to give it the best shot.  The SmartNotices were really cool, and I liked that side homescreen with the "Google Now"ish cards about your LG Health (I like comparing it to Google Fit), Agenda, etc...

In the end I went with Nova Launcher, as great as they were, they were just a novelty and something I didn't use as much as I probably should have, plus there was a noticeable lag here and there.  Turning off Smart Notice and changing the launcher had immediate (and sustained) performance increase.

I did really get used to the 5x5 grid of the LG launcher, so that's why I went with Nova - so I could customize it to look pretty much just like LG look.

The other thing is the camera - it really is as good as they claim.  And something that I didn't really use on the G3, after giving it a try again, I'm finding I'm using it all the time:  the shortcut key for the camera.  Just double tap the Vol- button from screen off and it'll pop up the camera (maybe not as fast as the S6) and take a picture.  NOTE:  you can turn off the 'take a picture' part and have it just open the camera.  Which I eventually did.  Using the Vol- button you can take a picture just as easily if you want more.

Speaking of taking easy pictures, they have the voice option, like many others, (and my son just loves shouting CHEESE CHEESE CHEESE in an effort to make my phone take many more pictures than it should), but for selfies you can do the hand signal and it'll take a photo.  Do the hand thing 2x and it'll take 4 pictures.

I don't do many selfies, but ... with this camera, I definitely myself doing it more often.

It was really nice because I like shooting landscape, and when I'm outside with my polarized sunglasses, it ends up the way my glasses are polarized with the LCD that I no longer can see the screen.  SO I just shoot anyways with the CHEESE or button or hand gesture.  No fumbling trying to find the button.

The speaker is definitely louder - I can't wait for Xposed to allow me to adjust the volume steps as even at the quietest setting is a little too loud to be using when the wife is trying to sleep.

There are really only 2 complaints I might lodge with this so far - and if +LG Electronics Canada is listening (and can do something about) I'd hope they would take into consideration.

  1. I wish there was a way to separate RING VOLUME from NOTIFICATION VOLUME (I don't need my hangout notifications being SUPER loud... but I don't want to miss phone calls)
  2. I wish that when you pulled down the notification shade that it only pulled down just the notifications first, then a further pull would bring the power toggles (like on a Nexus).  Often I'll pull down the shade and with several notifications AND the toggles it pushes the notifications almost off the screen and I have to start scrolling around.

But that's about it... little things like finding out whether it's PMA or Qi would be nice, but I can be patient until the official launch in Canada (we should find out when they announce the CircleCase which will be available).  In bright sunlight the gamma really shoots up and the contrast goes for a bit of a shit, but you know what, it's still viewable (only really noticeable on dark screens like Ingress).  The back ridge makes it a little tricky to interact with when it's laying on a table... but I'm getting used to it and how to adjust my usage (propping it on something small, like even a cord helps; or just using it in your hand and get to feel the leather).

Overall... a few weeks in and I'm still loving it.  The camera is awesome... I try to shoot in manual, but the phone is pretty smart still.

+Rob Blaich is just sharing a post while I'm writing; of a fellow who's posting a bunch of photography with the G4, and has some extensive testing against the S6.  Pretty cool stuff.

Given the right tools you can help inspire you to do more.  Well done +LG Electronics Canada 

Follow us on our social media