Two Thumbs Up:
*Screen, size/form factor
*Rear facing buttons
*SD card reader/removable battery
The screen, like the G3, is sharp and beautiful. They did better color balancing with the G4 and the colors are a bit more true to life and the display doesn't look for feel over sharpened. The form factor I didn't like at first, compared to the G3. Having used the Nexus 6P, I now look back at a smaller display size phone fondly. And the rear facing buttons are still a design element I love. Its so much easier to grip your device with nothing on the sides to get in the way (I'm looking at you volume rocker) and LG is still the only OEM doing this.
One Thumbs Up
No Thumbs Up:
LG's skin most consider the worst of the OEM bunch. I'm not in this lot, but its not terrific. After using stock Android again for a time with the Nexus 6P, I can honestly say that that's one thing about the G3 I don't miss. Android has come so far that it really seems a shame for most OEMs to try to use their own skin and software as the differentiator and not their hardware. The colors they chose seem garish, and either too muted or too bright depending on where you are in their menus. One thing that isn't too bright is the LCD panel that LG chose for the G4. While the color tuning is better, and though LG claimed to increase the brightness of the display, the G4 rates exactly the same in terms of brightness in nits as the G3, which was notoriously poor in bright light. Now, not everyone can use or even should use AMOLED display panels, but while LG's product looks great indoors, it suffers in direct sunlight.
And again, knowing what the G4 is - in a vacuum, the build quality and materials are fine. As noted above, you even get choices of leather over the standard polycarbonate plastic. But - this isn't a vacuum, and LG released the V10 a few months after the G4 and its build quality is in every way imaginable superior. From the ruggedized plastic back to the premium metal frame, the V10 is phone you want to carry and been seen carrying. The G4 in comparison looks like the little brother trying to keep up with the Joneses.
The rear speaker is a clear, but does nothing for me in the sound department. Yeah, yeah its a smartphone speaker. Its purpose is to ring and give me notifications and stuff. But let's focus on the reality here - most people now use their smartphones to consume media, and may even use it as their primary source of media consumption for 50% or more of their day. Knowing this, and still putting a speaker on the back of the device is just plain wrong. Or foolish. Or wrongly foolish. I don't care for it one bit, and the front facing speakers on phones like the Moto X Pure and the Nexus 6P will put it to shame.
The G4 is a really nice phone, and is just about what my wife was looking for in her next smartphone. And it might be fine for a large group of folks, especially those for whom a solid mobile camera and expandable memory are priorities. Its not a large jump in any area over the G3, which made it a "like to have" but not "need to have" at the time of its release. Perhaps even more so now that LG has a few more offerings out in the market. The G4 is a really good phone, but if you don't mind the jump in size and the extra display that the V10 touts, its got everything the G4 has, and then some.