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LG dons leather in premium smartphone battle

01 May 2015

LG has unveiled its new flagship G4 smartphone – complete with leather backing – as the Korean company ups its play for the premium market.

The company says it is ‘focused on delivering comfortable elegance, a great visual experience and a human-centric user experience’ with the G4, which features an improved camera, 3,000mAh removable battery, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with X10 LTE.

The phone’s camera features a F1.8 aperture lens – a rare feature for smartphone cameras and one that allows 80% more light to hit the image sensor than the lens in LG’s G3 model.

 A manual mode is also available for the first time, allowing experienced photographers to directly control the focus, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation and white balance.

An 8MP front-facing camera is included for all those selfies, with Gesture Interval Shot, an upgrade to the original Gesture Shot feature, which takes four shots, spaced two seconds apart to improve users’ chances of getting that perfect shot.

Meanwhile, LG says the new ‘human-centric’ UX 4.0 is ‘simpler and more intuitive than its predecessor to better understand and respond to the needs of each user’. The UX eliminates unnecessary steps and provides more configuration options for advanced users, LG says.

Design-wise, the G4 sports a slim arc along its body, with a subtle curvature of the display, and introduces an environmentally friendly vegetable tanned leather back. Those wanting to bypass the leather can opt for rear covers of ‘pure ceramic white with 3D patterns, artisan-forged metallic gray’ or ‘lustrous, shiny gold’

Juno Cho, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company president and chief executive, says the company is living up to its promise of innovation for a better life, with a fashionable, premium smartphone that is ‘more focused on delivering a balanced user experience and can compete with the best of the best’.

“We wanted to give consumers a truly human-centric devices that combined the analogue sensibilities with technologies that delivered real world performance,” Cho says.

“From the design, to the camera, to the display and the UX, this is the most ambitious phone we’ve ever created.”

It may be the most ambitious phone LG has created, but the company has somewhat modest expectations for it, with Cho reportedly expecting the company to sell eight million G4s this year and 12 million throughout its lifecycle.

While the figures would be a big jump on the G3, which reportedly sold around 10 million units, it’s still well short of that seen by the likes of Apple, which earlier this week reported sales of more than 61 million iPhones in Q1 of this year alone.

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