LG G4 Beat Review: A Worthy Midrange Companion With Manual Camera Controls!
LG G4 Beat LTE Specs
Unboxing / Accessories
|Simple small box of LG G4 Beat|
|The inclusions inside the box|
Upon opening the package, you'll be greeted with the standard package you normally see from a smartphone. There's a 1A wall charger adapter, quick thick and durable looking micro USB data / charging cables and a standard earphones with microphone that doesn't actually sound bad. I would just love it better if LG included even just the excellent sounding Quadbeat 2 which is several times better than most above 2,000 Pesos in ear monitors.
Build Quality / Design
|The some sort of textured liked brushed stylish back cover of the phone|
In a world where everybody is going metal in their midrange to flagship phones, LG is one of those who's left at making plastic and chrome painted handsets. That will lead to some criticizing them and will say that "hey it's made out of plastic, it sucks". However, that's not the case with LG G4 Beat. Just like the G4 even is a smaller package, the "plastic with some sort of metal mixed" materials they used here doesn't feel cheap and easy to break at all.
|Visible here is LG's innovative back design showing the power button, volume rocker, LED flash, rear camera and laser autofocus sensor|
LG made it sure that with the G4 Beat, you get a well crafted handset that's comfortable and not heavy to hold at all weighing at just 140 grams. Aside from that I also loved the dimensions of this device as it feels just right in my hands. Thanks to its rounded corners and semi curved back design.
|This is how slim the LG G4 Beat looks in person|
The LG G4 Beat's display is also protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 that prevents hairline scratches and even cracks when dropped sometimes.
|It goes with removable battery and has a micro SD card slot! :)|
LG is also one of the mainstream brands left that's still adapting a removable battery option and have micro SD card slot. And why not? I personally love that one and it works for most people. Please don't change that one LG.
So far the only thing that I didn't liked with its design and build is the "chrome painted" sides even if it looks better than most it still doesn't have that "premium feel" at all. There's also a good chance that the paint chipping soon. In general, LG did an "okay" job here that could still be improved in their next releases.
Display QualityLG managed to make the G4 Beat one of the midrange handsets with the loveliest display around. That is clearly one of the stronger points of this phone. It comes with a 5.2 Inch Full HD IPS Panel with 71.88 % screen to body ratio, outstanding color accuracy and white balance! It's warmer than the Honor 6 Plus, but not as warm against the ZenFone 2. Definitely just right for me.
|LG G4 Beat's display showing the on screen keys|
Due to the smaller screen size at 5.2 inches it blows away most handsets with 5.5 inch with Full HD screen and 401 ppi in terms of details as this one is denser at 424 ppi. Having said that, pixel detail freaks will surely like this phone.
Brightness is also on point as LG made it possible not to make this phone overly bright or lacking in brightness. Also comes with a night brightness function that sets the brightness at super dim automatically between 00:00 to 06:00pm. That makes this friendlier to the eyes when you're using your phone at night especially with lights turned off. Viewing angles is also great and never really had a problem with it. It also has 10 points of multi touch to give you great overall accurate touch experience.
Lastly, this device is meant to please you with your viewing experience that makes it great for watching movies, viewing photos and etc.
|Geek bench battery test|
Under straight gaming and hard core usage, we may have a problem with the G4 Beat as the Full HD screen is a bit more power hungrier than expected on a 2,300 mAh battery. It only lasted a little over 3:15 based on our Geek Bench battery test.
Fortunately, when it comes to normal daily usage the G4 Beat performed actually okay when I used it as my main phone for several days. It was able to last an average of 10 hours with occasional calls, regular texting, social media thing, music on commutes and taking photos.
Standby time is also fantastic as I experienced an instance where I forgot to use the phone for two days and there's very minimal battery drop at just 5% to be exact.
Note: Charging time is around 2 hours
CameraLG is widely acclaimed across the globe as one of the masters in mobile Photography. That's why I expected a lot from the 8 MP color spectrum sensor of this phone especially when I learned that it adapts most of the features found with the flagship G4 like the full manual controls here.
And I'm glad that I did! Even with just using an 8 MP camera, the G4 Beat performed exceptionally well for my usage. The color balance is amazing, there's little grains and it isn't saturated at all. Sharpness is decent, has one of the fastest shutter speed I tested and the focus speed is laser like. Macro photography lovers will also enjoy this as it can focus on close up subjects with ease. It also has an auto HDR feature that doesn't require you to manually put the phone on HDR mode when taking against the light shots.
Note 1: LG G4 Beat also performed nicely in terms of video performance both front and back cam
Note 2: By default the G4 Beat takes photos in full wide angle mode at 8 and 5 MP
|Sunny day, football field outdoor shot in manual mode (ISO 50)|
|Auto HDR enabled in against the light shots, produces great results|
|Great for macro shots|
|Auto and manual comparison (ISO 150 and exposure 1/60 settings)|
|Show how it struggles in low light, there are some blurs and it's not that detailed in general|
|Great rear camera flash that doesn't overexpose the subject|
|Outdoor selfie sample showing some visible grains|
|Sample selfie shot with beautify 4 on|
|Selfie camera test in the dark with soft screen pink flash on|
Not as good as regular selfie flashes, but good enough to make you visible
|The toned down LG UX UI of G4 Beat|
|The thermal management of the G4 Beat is also quite nice as I only recorded 36 degrees Celsius at max even when playing games|
However, LG failed to add good amount of RAM here. At just 1.5 GB that falls short against most modern mid level handset configuration at either 2 or 3 GB. Even if the RAM management of the LG UX at Android 5.1 Lollipop is noticeably efficient and responsive most of the time, there will be times that you'll feel that lack of RAM. Then you also get a lowly 8 GB of internal storage which is disappointing nowadays as even under 5K phones have at least 16 GB of capacity. Even if this phone is expandable, having 8 GB of ROM isn't acceptable for a phone in this price range. Let's hope that LG will not cut corners in hardware performance against most modern midrange phones with their next releases.
Going back to the awesome things about this phone, the LG UX is almost bloat free and feels generally smooth in terms of performance. I also liked that it has a full double touch to wake function, easy wifi sharing features and great connectivity as a whole. I never had problems with WiFi, LTE and Bluetooth. Even if I rarely use NFC, it's great to know that this phone have it.
|Slightly lower than expected Antutu score|
Great 10 point multi touch screen
|Geek bench and quadrant scores|
VerdictLG did a lot better this time, the LG G4 Beat is a worthier baby brother of their flagship compared last year. The LG G4 Beat is miles away better and lovelier than the G3 Beat that can also cope up with some mid level offering of other brands. It also goes with best in class display, great audio reproduction and full manual cam controls not commonly found in this price range. To sum it up, even with some flaws, the LG G4 Beat is an interesting handset that a lot of people will surely appreciate once they have it.
I recommended this for those who's into mobile photography, loves music on the go and wanted a baby G4 that doesn't lag so much in terms of features and looks.