LG’s G4 packs fast f/1.8 lens, Snapdragon 808 power

Smartphones from Samsung and Apple may be the most familiar faces in the high-end handset market, but LG wants to be a contender there, too. Today, the company unveiled its latest flagship phone, the G4, which looks ready to hang with the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6.

Like the last-gen G3, the G4 features a 5.5", 2560×1440 IPS LCD. Compared to its predecessor, the G4's panel is said to have improved brightness and contrast, as well as 98% coverage of the "DCI color space" (presumably the DCI P3 standard). In layman's terms, that means the G4 can reproduce a wider range of colors than the average sRGB monitor.

The G4's body features LG's trademark curved shape, although it's less extreme here than on phones like the G Flex 2. Where Apple and Samsung have clad their latest premium handsets in aluminum and glass, LG is sticking to removable, leather-clad backs. For those not into skin, LG also offers plastic backs in metallic and white finishes.

Under the hood is a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC with two ARM Cortex A57 and four A53 cores. An Adreno 418 GPU handles pixel-pushing duties. LG equips the Snapdragon 808 with 3GB of RAM here. There's 32GB of onboard storage, and unlike the Galaxy S6, the G4 keeps its microSD slot.

Most of LG's efforts appear to have been focused on the G4's camera. The new shooter features an f/1.8 lens, compared to the f/1.9 and f/2.2 irises on the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6. As far as I can tell, that's one of the fastest lenses available on a smartphone, period. The wide aperture should let the G4 vacuum up more photons than its competitiors in low light, which could lead to better image quality. The G4's camera also features optical image stabilization for extra sharpness at long shutter speeds.

The included camera app has a number of pro-friendly features, too, like manual control over shutter speed, white balance, and ISO. Photographers can even get raw files from the G4 for more control in post-processing.

LG's latest flagship will ship with Android 5.1. The company didn't provide pricing or release info for the G4 in the U.S., but shipments begin tomorrow in South Korea, with worldwide availability to follow.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    removable battery? check! microSD? check! buhbuy samsung! i have officially switched to LG. good luck on your future endeavors. i will send flowers.

    • jessterman21
    • 7 years ago

    The screen is my problem though – I don’t need anything over 720p and would rather save a bit of battery life – and I have a 5″ phone right now, and it’s just slightly too big for one-handed use. 4.7″ would be perfect.

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    One can expect on a fixed lens with fixed aperture, that the lens would optimized for said aperture 😉

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    The size of the sensor is irrelevant to the exposure value.

    The f-stop is a primary differentiator on camera phones because the other variables are a function of the size limitations- the sensor is going to be small, and the focal length is going to be short.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]You don't need to know anything else; the f-stop alone determines how much light the sensor gets per unit of area per second[/quote<] - Are you really not seeing how contradictory that statement is? How can you not need to know *anything* else? If it's "per unit of area", surely you need to know the area? ie, the size of the sensor!! And again, you're telling me now that a 50mm f/2.0 lens is the same on any system. Well sure, I couldn't disagree with you there - again you've furnished me with TWO pieces of information, which is indeed enough to confirm the exact dimensions of the aperture. And of course, you'll never get a 50mm lens on a smartphone, because a 2-inch thick phone wouldn't be very popular. So an "f/2.0 lens" on a smartphone, (entirely omitting the focal length or sensor size, as they generally do with phone specs, and has been my whole point from the start) will absolutely assuredly NOT have the same physical diameter aperture as an f/2.0 lens on a larger system, and may or may not have the same diameter as an f/2.0 lens on any other smartphone, because they never tell us the crucial second piece of information we need to actually make meaningful comparisons. Hence my point, just saying a lens is "f/2.0" is a somewhat meaningless piece of information on its own.

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    Also, a larger aperture, while letting in more light and granting an edge in lower light environments, might not necessarily translate into a sharp image with the aperture wide open.

    Even some expensive SLR lenses, etc, need to be stopped up a bit to provide their best optical resolution/sharpness.

    • Bonusbartus
    • 7 years ago

    Well I kinda do like to have a phone I can repair, my desire Z had a broken digitizer (not cracked) it just didn’t work in certain areas of the screen, a 15 dollar replacement was enough to get the device working another year.
    I never carry insurrance on my phone and I am handy enough to do those kind of repairs, the disassembly guides can be found online, and youtube provides a lot of help in that regard.
    if I had to replace the entire display assembly on that phone I would have thrown it away.

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    You don’t need to know anything else; the f-stop alone determines how much light the sensor gets per unit of area per second, thus anchoring the exposure value. A faster f-stop means faster shutter speeds, faster film/ISO speeds, or a combination (compromise) of the two, regardless of the system in use.

    And no, using a larger system does not mean that the aperture is physically larger; a 50/2 lens is a 50/2 lens whether it’s designed for Micro Four Thirds or 135-format 35mm full-frame, and has a 25mm aperture. The difference is that such a lens is a normal lens on 35mm, a short telephoto on MFT, and would be an extreme super-telephoto on a compact camera or camera phone.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    All sounds right to me, but that still brings it back to what I said in the first place.
    As you say yourself – “An f/1.8 lens will let in the same amount of light [b<]per sensor area[/b<]" - Per sensor area. My original point being that "f/1.8" is essentially a meaningless number without at least knowing the sensor dimensions. Different apertures on different systems are different diameters, and let in different total amounts of light, yet they can all be "f/1.8" relative to the system they're a part of.

    • Axiomatic
    • 7 years ago

    Lets hope the LG G4 is native Android 5.1 or close to. I just had a terrible experience with TouchWiz on top of Android with my Samsung Note 4 and finally threw in the towel. I guess I just became one of those Android purists. TouchWiz is the debbil.

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    An f/1.8 lens will let in the same amount of light per sensor area (or film area) as another f/1.8 lens.

    That’s why it results in the same exposure setting possibilities, regardless of the system in use, and allows comparisons across systems *in terms of exposure*.

    Remember that these tiny-sensor systems- be they on phones or point and shoot cameras or drones or whatever- have really small lenses with physically short , but relatively normal focal lengths; in the case of phones, the focal length is typically a moderate wide angle, equivalent to around a 28mm to 35mm focal length on a 35mm system.

    The only differences are that a) less total light (number of actual photons) is captured, thus noise per pixel is significantly higher limiting usable ISO range, and b) that the small sensor with a fixed aperture means that the only control over depth of field possible is through controlling compositional elements of camera to subject to background distance.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 7 years ago

    Nokia 808, Nokia 1020.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    f-stop is indeed relative brightness, but it’s only relative to other settings on the same system.

    The resulting exposure level is standardized across systems, by cranking up the sensitivity on smaller sensors, and calling a much higher sensitivity (with accompanying noise) ISO 200 compared to the same ISO 200 on a large sensor. So yes, you get the same resulting exposure with the same standardized combination of numbers… but beneath the standarization, a particular aperture rating doesn’t physically let in any particular amount of light… it’s dependant entirely on the complete imaging system, and a smaller f/1.8 aperture on a smaller system will need to compensate by pushing the sensor that much higher to attain the same overall exposure for the same values exposed to you in the camera’s interface.

    That’s all I mean… just talking about aperture alone doesn’t mean a thing… you can have a huge f/1.8 lens, or a tiny f/1.8 lens, and the huge one will let in a correspondingly huge amount more light… they’re only rated “f/1.8” relative to the system they’re designed to work with.

    F-stop ratings are only ever meaningful relative to the whole system, so it’s pointless just quoting “f/1.8 lens” on its own, as it means nothing without knowing the specification of the system it’s attached to.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    Erm, yep. I wasn’t the one talking about megapixels, I was the one that kept trying to explain pretty much the same thing you just did.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    I bet SSK would go for the leather option.

    • danazar
    • 7 years ago

    Dude, this was my entire point. Talking about max aperture is meaningless without knowing the sensor size, and with a larger sensor a lower f-stop is sufficient to capture the same amount (or more) of total light. This is why it’s meaningless to talk about max aperture without knowing the sensor size. Which is what I originally said. You were the one saying megapixels, not sensor size, matters.

    However, for the purpose of examples between two sensor sizes, there are only two scenarios that matter:

    1) The focal length of each lens is optimized for the sensor size. In this case an f/1.8 lens on a tiny sensor will have a shorter focal length and smaller physical size and aperture, and lets in less total light than an f/8 lens on a 35mm sensor. The light intensity (light per area on the swnsit) is greater on the smaller lens/sensor, but the larger sensor and proportional lens will mean f/8 on the 35mm is physically larger and puts more total light on the sensor, even if the intensity per area is lower.

    1) Compare the different sensors under the same lens (which must be the lens for the larger sensor, as the smaller lens won’t cover the entire larger sensor at the proper focal length). In this case, take a 35mm lens and set it to f/1.8, and take a picture with the tiny sensor behind it. Put the same lens at the same focal length (because lenses are designed for a certain focal length), set it to f/8, but use a full 35mm sensor. Because it’s the same lens, when set to f/8 the aperture is PHYSICALLY smaller when shooting on the 35mm sensor, and has higher light intensity on the tiny sensor. However, the 35mm sensor still wins, because it’s capturing light over a much larger area; the tiny sensor, by virtue of being tiny, is just not capturing most of the light the lens is letting in. Even with lower intensity, the 35mm sensor captures more total light.

    This is why I said max f-stop doesn’t matter much without knowing physical sensor size. Lenses tend to be optimized to the sensor size, meaning that as a ratio, f-stop is useful for making rough comparisons, but knowing that larger sensors (and by proportion, larger physical lenses with physically larger apertures) will get better performance with a lower max f-stop, sensor size is part of the info you need. Get it now?

    • tipoo
    • 7 years ago

    Indeed, I would like to see some sustained gaming tests on both comparatively.

    • tipoo
    • 7 years ago

    Yeah It think you’re right, since after looking it up I saw the S810 can use whichever combination of cores, so this should be able to as well.

    • funko
    • 7 years ago

    Droid Turbo exceeds your screen requirement, and would match your battery requirement for moderate usage for the average user (but admittedly not power users who will game for hours, and use it as gps with max screen brightness for hours)

    • jessterman21
    • 7 years ago

    Going to say it again…

    Give me a half-inch thick plastic brick with a 4.7″ 720p screen and two-day battery life.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    I found a link re. changes in size and weight:

    [url<]http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/133704-lg-g4-vs-lg-g3-what-s-the-difference[/url<] It appears that the changes will be quite minimal, but sometimes that can make a difference. I have the G3 and find it very comfortable to hold, and really like the phone (first smartphone I've ever had enthusiasm for) so I hope they didn't screw up the G4.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    The article is poorly worded. The default back is a ceramic-painted plastic, and you’ll be able to get a leather back for an additional cost.

    [url<]http://www.androidcentral.com/lg-g4-hands-on[/url<]

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t, personally, because I carry insurance on every line. There’s a deductible of like $90 if I crack a screen, but Verizon will just ship me a replacement. That’s more than the cost of repairing glass, but I also don’t have to deal with device disassembly and waiting on a replacement screen from China. I think it’s a reasonable tradeoff, though I’ve never actually cracked the glass on a phone before.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    You don’t mind losing repairability?

    • Captain Ned
    • 7 years ago

    Verizon = CDMA. SIM card??

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    and in this case, I’m OK with that sort of “thinning” technology. It’s when battery life suffers that I get annoyed.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I once had a blackberry with a leather back.
    Biggest mistake ever.

    (both the blackberry, and the leather back)

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    Glued is thinner.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    Yep, that’s the point I’m trying to make – take a look at the Lumia 808. It can have a sensor that size only because of that big camera-bulge out the back of the phone, which means a correspondingly large focal length, which means that it’s entirely possible that its f/2.4 lens lets in MORE light than the G4’s f/1.8

    Quite likely in fact. The Lumia is apparently 14mm deep… knock say 2mm off for screen thickness and casing… 12mm/2.4 = 5mm max aperture
    The G4 is just under 10mm thick, knock off the same 2mm… 8mm/1.8 = 4.44mm max aperture

    So in relative pure optical terms, the Lumia’s f/2.4 lens is “brighter” than the G4’s f/1.8 lens.

    As a far more definitive rule-of-thumb, if you want the best smartphone camera, you’d be much better off finding the *thickest* smartphone you can find, not the one with the best f-stop rating.

    • Zizy
    • 7 years ago

    Larger f-stop = larger outer lens, everything else being equal. Where everything else being equal is a huge assumption that is more often wrong than not. It tells nothing about sensor size.
    Two smartphones with biggest sensors are Lumias:
    Lumia 808: 1/1.2″, f/2.4
    Lumia 1020: 1/1.5″, f/2.2

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    Yep, that’s pretty much the only benefit to the notation… if they’re trying to obfuscate the true size of the sensor by hiding it behind a pre-digital imagined fudge-factor, you can safely assume it’s nothing to write home about.

    • Zizy
    • 7 years ago

    Eh, same as f-stop instead of NA 🙂 Relic of a past that unfortunately still lives.
    Same crap as those inches, various moronic ways to write date, timezones, daylight saving time, leap seconds and other stupidities.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    20% wider than what exactly? 20% wider than an f/2.0 rated lens on the SAME system… and ONLY the same system.

    You realise what I’m saying (and the ONLY thing I’m saying, incidentally… I’m not “complaining” about this phone or any other) is specifically that “f/1.8” doesn’t convey an actual size in any way… “f/1.8” could be 0.1mm 1mm, 2mm… absolutely anything. It doesn’t relay any actual real measurement on its own… it is ONLY meaningful relative to another piece of information.

    A higher f-stop measurement on a phone lens absolutely DOESN’T imply it has a larger sensor. All it implies is that it has a wider opening than if the same sensor has a lens with a lower ratio attached.

    This has been my point all along. “f/1.8” is only a useful comparison BETWEEN different phones IF those phones all use the same sensor and correspondingly the same focal length. Otherwise it tells us nothing about anything.

    • BabelHuber
    • 7 years ago

    This sounds like a worthy successor to my good old Samsung Galaxy S4. I’m not interested in the Apple-wannabe SGS6 with its miniscule battery and its lacking SD card slot (no Samsung, I won’t throw my SD cards away!)

    OTOH, my SGS4 runs Android 5.1 via Cyanogenmod and still works like a charm.

    The LG G4 surely has much better battery runtime and is faster, but the latter isn’t of much use for me, and the question is if I should upgrade just because of the battery runtime, which rarely is an issue (my SGS4 lasts a whole day, so what?)

    Perhaps phones have become good enough 2 years ago…

    • RdVi
    • 7 years ago

    The thing is just too big for me. Why did they make it larger than the G3 (which was already too big for me) without upping the screen size or battery capacity at all? Why make a phone larger if not for those two reasons?

    For me the G2 was perfect in size and still had a big enough 5.2″ screen. I’m not asking for some iPhone 5 here, ~5″ is fine, just work on the best screen to body ratio possible. They had it with the G2, this doesn’t interest me.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Well, if the G4 has a 20% wider aperture then it more than likely has a sensor that’s 20% larger. Your complaining about phone camera sensor size only relates to usable ISO levels. A max megapixel photo at high ISOs with a tiny diode is going to result in a junky photo that no amount of post-processing is going to be able to fix.

    Which is why I thought perhaps you were referring to instances where the sensor itself was completely saturated, which would result in a photo that would simply be nothing but white noise.

    So phone companies focusing on f-stops probably isn’t hype like you were suspecting. A wider f-stop on a phone will almost invariably mean that phone has a larger sensor.

    • Bonusbartus
    • 7 years ago

    all of the above..
    more useless features, more ppi than I can see with my microscope, sooo thin that it breaks when you look at it. BTW why do they glue the digitizers to the LCD these days? with my old desire Z I could just replace the digitizer when it broke… now you have to replace the entire display assemlby for every scratch/dead digitizer/crack..
    plus, I really hate that they killed qwerty keyboards on smartphones

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    If I see another phone with yet more useless “apparently cool features” crammed into it, then I’ll never buy it for that reason alone.

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve been using LG phones for years. I insist on something from our advanced Korean brothers and sisters (as opposed to some Chinese brand or, worse yet, an Apple), but would rather not have anything to do with Samsung ever again.

    • mczak
    • 7 years ago

    That would be something like 30% slower. But the S810 loses ~40% of the graphics score for sustained loads after some minutes (of course, that would depend on cooling, this was with the HTC M9), so assuming the S808 doesn’t throttle that much (and it really shouldn’t imho, these 40% are sort of a record) it could be quite close still for actual gaming. We’ll see…

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    The 1/x” notation does come off as stupid, particularly given that the notation does not hold up as sensor size increases. Of course, one can reasonably assume that if a sensor’s size is measured with such notation, it’s going to be small ;).

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    ^This. I don’t understand why this is hard.

    f-stop is relative brightness; whether you’re shooting with the smartphone given or a large format 8×10 camera, an f/1.8 aperture will still result in the same shutter speed and ISO (film speed) exposure combinations.

    Thus, a lens with a wider aperture means faster shutter speeds or lower ISO speeds, or some combination of the two, and generally speaking means that sharper images are possible*.

    *not accounting for differences in optics or depth of field, which in the case of a fixed-lens, fixed-aperture high-end smartphone camera with a small sensor shouldn’t be differentiating factors.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    Sensors in modern smartphones cannot be as large are those in even point’n’shoot cameras, unless they’ve managed to break the rules of refraction… this is quite simply because modern smartphones are almost never thicker than 10mm, usually as little a 7mm… and that physically isn’t deep enough to bend light onto a large sensor effectively. Typical point’n’shoot cameras have usually tended to be nearer 20mm deep, and the better ones have motorised extending lens arrays, so can get anything up to 5x deeper focal lengths than any phone.

    There’s only so much that sensor technology can achieve… it’s still limited by the physical restraints of an optical system.

    I wasn’t being negative about this phone anyway. I’m truly astounded how good top-end smartphone cameras actually are these days… far beyond what I’d have thought possible in such a tiny space. I was just pointing out that selling smartphone cameras simply on the notion that “more f-stops = more light!” is pandering to a general misunderstanding, rather than actually providing information that would give an accurate idea of the true capabilities.

    In this particular case, this quite probably is one of the best smartphone cameras to date. That fact isn’t actually established just by quoting the lens f-stop though, and in a different case, doing so could easily be misleading. It would be a piece of cake for a manufacturer to release an “f/1.0 camera!!!” with a tiny sensor that was a complete heap of rubbish if they wanted to mislead people.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    I didn’t go incorrectly with anything. I’m pointing out that aperture f-stop alone doesn’t convey any meaningful information when there’s no accompanying information about the focal length it’s a ratio of, and that focal length is roughly dictated by how large the sensor is.

    You talking about “f-stop” on its own is a bit of a misunderstanding. “f-stop” is just a scale of relative light increase/decrease used to measure changes in various settings relative to other settings.
    Sure, you can adjust the ISO sensitivity in f-stops, and you can also adjust the aperture in f-stops, and the effect of both combine to give an overall exposure level. ISO f-stops are arbitrary, but standardized sensitivity levels and are usually fairly comperable between sensors for that reason.
    I’m very much not talking about them, trust me.

    I’m talking specifically about aperture. The aperture has absolutely nothing to do with diode saturation or anything silicon-based. It’s a measure of the physical hole in the center of the mechanical iris behind the lens that dictates how much light can enter.

    The definition of an aperture in f-stops is a completely unrelated measurement to ISO sensitivity, and it’s defined specifically as a ratio between the physical width of the aperture, and the physical depth between the lens and the sensor surface.

    The point I am making is simply that seeing as lens aperture stated in f-stops is DEFINED as a ratio… eg – what f/2.0 specifically means in this context is:
    [focal length in mm]/2.0 mm
    – it is inherantly meaningless if you aren’t told what the focal length is, or given an indicator of what it might be, by being told, for example, the exact sensor size.

    Saying a lens is “f/2.0” without any other information could mean a 10mm physical aperture, or a 1mm physical aperture… they could both be “f/2.0” in a given context, yet the first would allow 100x more light in than the second.

    • TO11MTM
    • 7 years ago

    Well… I agree to an extent, but it’s not as rosy as you’re portraying it IMHO.

    Image sensors on phones are (within the last couple years) starting to get into the range of what you’d get on a regular P&S Camera. All but the cheapest P&S tend towards 1/2.5″-1/2.3″ sensor sizes and have for some time. We’re now starting to get sensors around that size in smartphones.

    • jcamel24
    • 7 years ago

    If any lines are limited, transfer your upgrade to that line and get the contract price. Then just slap your SIM card in! That’s what I did on my G2

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Well, we’re getting into areas that I wouldn’t really know without seeing the specs on the sensor but f/1.8 isn’t much wider than an f/2.0 stop. You’re assuming that the diode is going to reach its saturation point which is a pretty big assumption on your part. If you had said that high ISOs on tiny sensors is useless then you’d have no disagreement from me. However, you didn’t state that, you went incorrectly with the f-stop. Having a larger stop only lets more light into the sensor cabin and would only be pointless if the sensor had a very low saturation point. Even then it doesn’t even have to do with size because sensitivity is adjusted via ISO.

    So yeah, I think you’re wrong here.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    No dude, the f-stop is a ratio of focal length to aperture size and the sensor sizes aren’t as small as you’re making them out to be. I see what you’re saying about aperture to sensor size but most sensors, especially for higher end smartphones have a pretty decently sized diode in there, plus the f-stop affects the intensity of light, not the absolute amount of light that enters. Remember that light refracts around the aperture so all outside light is thoroughly dispersed in the chamber that houses the sensor. Having wider stops are better for low light settings than cranking up the ISO because high ISOs introduce noise and require longer exposure times. So I think you’re complaint about wider stops being hype is wrong.

    Megapixel values do however have a direct correlation to the sensor size. A CMOS sensor has a set sensitivity threshold and that directly correlates to how many pixels are created from how many photons of light. To get a high megapixel value from a small sensor requires heavy post processing interpolation, which is why megapixel numbers are meaningless on most digital cameras when it comes to image fidelity. So yes, a bigger sensor is better if you want more pixel level detail but I think you’re underestimating how large modern smartphone photodiodes exactly are. Sensors on high end phones are probably 2-4x larger than what you’d find in an older point-and-shoot. Sure, you might not get the night-vision level sensor of whatever latest α sensor is available but a smartphone camera is for taking photos of moments, not creeping around in the dark.

    [i<]At any rate[/i<]... the two of you are being unnecessarily negative -- more f-stops with more manual settings means more control over your photo in non-ideal conditions (You also left out fast moving targets as a non-ideal situation in addition to low light). Like I was saying, having a phone with a good camera is a lot more convenient than carrying around both a point-and-shoot and phone separately. Catch my drift? 😉

    • Captain Ned
    • 7 years ago

    Since I’d be upgrading from a Droid 2 Global purchased in June 2011, I doubt I’d see the difference.

    EDIT: Have to pay full price to keep the grandfathered VZW unlimited data. Given our data usage and the supposed street price, if I can keep it going for 2 years I’ll break even on what I’d need to pay for additional data given our (a/k/a the 17yo’s) usage patterns.

    Someday I’ll need to introduce her to the concept of limited data. Probably one of my many failings as a parent so far.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    if voice controls impress you, WAIT TILL YOU SEE WINDOWS PHONE 7!

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    Agreed.

    Here’s an explanation to explain why this is, even though (or especially because) many photography forums will say f-stop is f-stop, regardless of sensor size.

    Two lensors with the same f-stop will let in the same light intensity. (This is where the f-stop = f-stop saying comes from).

    Two lensors with the same physical aperture diameter will let in the same amount of light.

    So if we have two systems, A and B, both with the same f-stop, but camera B has a sensor that’s twice as large, both sensors will receive the same intensity of light, but camera B will gather twice as much [i<]total[/i<] light as camera A (same intensity x twice the area). Carrying on, if camera A and B both have the same pixel pitch (ie camera B has twice as many megapixels as camera A), then the SNR for both cameras will be essentially identical, but camera B will have twice the resolution. However, if instead camera A and B have the same resolution (ie camera B has pixels that are twice as big as camera A), then camera B will have a one-stop SNR advantage over camera A, because even though the light intensity is the same between the two cameras (same f-stop), camera B will capture twice as much light per pixel since its pixels are twice as large as A.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    The camera improvements still get me interested, and I’d like a bigger screen that my 5-incher. But, yeah, I was just messing with you cuz I read your forum post the other day 😉

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    It bugs me that they still persist with that nonsense ‘1/x”‘ notation for small sensors rather than just giving exact mm dimensions. I seem to recall the closest thing to an official definition was something like – it represents the (theoretical in digital cameras) diameter of the focus chamber around the “film”, so it approximately works out to the diagonal size of the sensor, plus around-about 33% extra, as plucked out of the air by the camera maker. So a 1/2.6″ would maybe approximately be a 6x4mm sensor.

    Assuming all mobile manufacturers work to roughly the same made up numbers in this regard, then yep, an f/1.8 lens on a 1/2.6″ sensor may indeed be a very decent mobile camera, compared to the competition.

    • hansmuff
    • 7 years ago

    I do. And other people, I swear. Your apparent dislike doesn’t matter.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    No, I don’t mean megapixels.

    Aperture rated in f-stops doesn’t specify an absolute intake of light in any way. It’s defined as a ratio between the width of the aperature and the focal length (distance between the lens and the sensor). That doesn’t specifically reference sensor size, but it’s basically implicit, as a larger sensor will require a longer and longer focal length to converge without the lens causing horrendous distortion, vignetting, aberations, etc… It’s pretty much a given that larger sensors mean longer focal lengths.

    So by the same logic, larger sensors quite literally mean larger apertures… f/2.0 on an SLR represents a MUCH larger physical opening than f/2.0 on a smartphone (just look at a lens, the hole in a f/2.0 SLR lens could fit a smartphone’s entire camera module through it!)… so f/2.0 on one camera might physically let in vastly more light than on another, pretty much entirely dictated by the size of the sensor the system has been built around.

    f/1.8 on one smartphone is close enough to f/2.0 on another, that even a slight difference in sensor size and the resulting difference in focal-length might mean that the f/1.8 lens is actually letting in LESS light than the f/2.0

    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    LG actually makes some very reasonable phones, so I’m gonna have to minus for that.

    With that in mind, the only phones I’ve been excited about recently are Motorola. Their voice control beats everyone hands down (that includes the iPhone 6, which I use because work pays for it), and the ability to give the phone voice commands hands free when driving and get information I need, or directions, or hold an SMS conversation, zero button presses, makes me miss my Droid MAXX and wish for the current Droid Turbo.

    • fade2blac
    • 7 years ago

    A 1/2.6” sensor would be nearly 15% larger than the average 1/3″ sensor used in many flagship smartphones. This works out to a rather small pixel size of 1.1 microns. As a comparison, this is essentially the same resolution and sensor size as the camera used in a Note 4 which arguably has a very good camera as far as phones are concerned. The Note 4 camera however, has an f2.2 compared to the G4 f/1.8 so it may well do better in low light/short exposure conditions.

    • f0d
    • 7 years ago

    same
    although honestly i was never excited about phones, as long as it can play music watch video and allow me to view webpages it was good enough

    • llisandro
    • 7 years ago

    ditto. for the first time in my life I have a phone (and a laptop) where I’m completely satisfied and really don’t feel the upgrade itch at all. I no longer worry about battery life. I don’t plan to upgrade until something breaks.

    iphone 6/MBP, coming from a Nexus 4 and an i7 Toshiba R830 with an SSD, fwiw.

    • Captain Ned
    • 7 years ago

    Sensor size on the G4 is 1/2.6″. No idea where this rates in current smartphone sensors.

    [url<]http://www.gsmarena.com/lg_g4-6901.php[/url<]

    • TheEmrys
    • 7 years ago

    Not for brightness. The aperture will let in a ton of light. No one cares about shallow depth of field with a smartphone. But for low light, this is awesome.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    Not just that. they’ve peaked. slightly faster soc? slightly faster camera? slightly higher ppi screen? when was the last time you saw a feature you thought “wow! that’s really cool!!”?

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 7 years ago

    Honestly, I’m in the same boat as him.

    • danazar
    • 7 years ago

    No, I’m pretty sure he meant aperture. He’s referring to how wide it can open at the widest. An f/1.8 aperture is pretty wide, as the article notes, possibly the widest aperture on a smartphone today. Other smartphones, even ones with wide apertures, have a maximum f/1.9 or f/2.2 aperture, something like that.

    But aperture means little without physical sensor size. If you have an f/8 lens on a full-frame 35mm camera, and an f/1.8 lens on the kind of tiny sensors embedded in most smartphones or cheap point-and-shoots, the f/8 lens still wins. Why? With the f/8 lens you’re getting less light falling on each square millimeter of surface, but you’re capturing light over MANY more square millimeters of surface area because you have a larger physical sensor.

    This is why smartphones still take awful pictures in low light, and why the G4 probably will too. Even with a wide-open lens, if you use a tiny sensor, you just can’t collect enough light to take a sharp picture. In sunlight, where there’s plenty of light, it’s not so much an issue, but go indoors or wait for sunset, and suddenly sensor size matters a lot more than a slightly better aperture.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    I guess with WP being a burning platform of sorts, your interest has, um, gone up in smoke.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    who gets excited about phones anymore, nevermind an LG?

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    You mean [b<]megapixels[/b<] means nothing without knowing the sensor size. The aperture is a mechanical control and finer levels along with manual user control means it can be adjusted for less than ideal conditions. Besides, I'm pretty sure phones like these are for people like me who used to carry around a point-and-shoot along with a smartphone. Having one device is much more convenient than carrying around two.

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    I can’t speak specifically, but I have not seen a SoC in the last year or more that was stuck with clustering. They all have access to all the cores all the time–unless they chose to shut them down.

    I agree with nico1982, 2+4 makes a lot of sense. High demand workloads tend to be poorly threaded and low demand stuff tends to happen all at once or be time sensitive–you don’t want to SMP it because of latency issues.

    I would also add that the A53 cores are so freaking small, it would probably be more work to break down the hard core that ARM and the foundry provide in a nice optimized form for the tiny little area improvement you could get.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    I know f-stop has become the new be-all-and-end-all tech-spec in the world of smartphones, but as a tech site, it might be a good idea to not be buying into the aperture hype alone.

    Aperture alone means pretty much nothing without knowing what size sensor it’s paired with, and ideally what the general performance of that sensor is in the first place.

    You could slap an f/1.0 lens onto a 1mm sensor, and it’d be a heap of rubbish, while an f/8 aperture will still leave any smartphone standing when paired with an APS-C sensor.

    If the iPhone, Galaxy S4 and G4 all share the same sensor, then it might be a specification worth mentioning.

    • tipoo
    • 7 years ago

    That makes sense. Is this like the new Exynos, in that you could use the A53s and A57s at the same time? Or is it just cluster based?

    • nico1982
    • 7 years ago

    According to Huawei, the A53 is over twice as efficient as the A57: over 0.6 the performance at less than 0.3 the power consumption. It is in the presentation slides for their Kirin 930, an 8 core A53. You want to keep the A57 idle as long as you can, so having more A53 – which aren’t that much slower – makes sense.
    IIRC, ARM themselves commented on multiple occasion that an asymmetrical might be a better choice in real world usage scenarios.

    • hansmuff
    • 7 years ago

    I really like this phone on paper. When will actual review samples be available to the various web sites that do reviews?

    • tsk
    • 7 years ago

    On android 5.0 from snapdragon 800 to 810 and exynos 7420 you can’t really feel much of a difference in snappiness of the phone. This is also true for windows phone.
    iOS on the other hand feels like it’s gotten heavier to run since v 7.0.

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    No, that’s the volume and power buttons. My wife hates her G2 because of them.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Ah, good to know. The better camera controls is what makes this phone stand out from any other though, IMO.

    • tipoo
    • 7 years ago

    Any word on if the S808 throttles nearly as much as the 810? Two A57s and four A53s sounds fine by me, in fact I wonder about the benefit of so many low power cores. I wonder if two and two wouldn’t be nearly as good.

    And how much is the downgrade from the Adreno 430 to the 418?
    Edit: Anandtechs numbers: “In our preliminary tests with the demo device, we see GFXBench Manhattan offscreen go down from 22.7fps to 15fps and T-Rex from 49fps down to 35fps when comparing the G4 to the HTC M9, which sports a FHD screen as opposed to the QHD one we find in the LG device.”

    Pretty big drop.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    I just got the G3 in late December and love it. I’m not a hardcore smartphone person who lives and dies for their phone. Nevertheless, this thing has been a joy. The 1440 screen is awesome for old eyes like mine, it makes text so easy to read. IMHO, I think the 5.5″ screen is the largest practical size for a smart phone for most people, at least guys with at least average-size hands. It is extremely easy to hold and a total please to look at. The G3 does not have a print reader. Also, note that for a high-res screen, the G3 gets excellent battery life, and I suspect the G4 will as well. Plus, it was great to just take off the back and insert a 32G micro-drive. So I have 64G of storage on my phone. The 3g of ram really keeps things running smoothly. And, no, I don’t work for LG. 🙂

    If he G4 is an improved version of the G3, then it should be awesome and a potent contender to other brands. Also, note th at

    • culotso
    • 7 years ago

    Neither the G nor the G2 had a fingerprint reader (pretty sure not on the G3 either). I don’t think that’s something that LG in general offers. Samsung always loads ’em with whizbang sensor stuff like that. LG? Not.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    I think it has a fingerprint reader on the back like the previous LG G phones.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Oh man, the camera on the LG G4 is [i<]almost[/i<] full featured enough. It reminds me of my old Canon G9 (no relation to LG) which had [i<]some[/i<] manual controls but removed enough user control to be kind of annoying. The LG G4 is a good looking phone though and if nothing else, if this phone marks the beginning of a trend of smartphones having cameras with a lot more manual controls, I'll be ecstatic.

    • GasBandit
    • 7 years ago

    Jeez, already? I just got the G3 when it came out last August. Pretty good phone, except of course it’s hobbled by verizon bullsqueeze and if you ask me, a 1440p screen this size is really a waste.

    • Captain Ned
    • 7 years ago

    And available on Verizon. Will wait to see if Qualcomm issues crop up before jumping.

    EDIT: Replaceable battery and SD slot go a long way to making this work for me.

    • Vergil
    • 7 years ago

    Uncle Sam got their 14nm out first.

    OT: Will the G4 have any biometric sensors?

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    I think this looks really slick. I just hope the Snapdragon 808 with only two Cortex A57s don’t run as hot and throttle as hard as the HTC One M9 allegedly does with the 810. A bad year for Qualcomm almost certainly means a bad year for Android (Samsung excepted).

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