NEW YORK – LG promised its largest smartphone-promotion campaign yet to support the launch of its flagship G4, which packs DSLR camera capabilities, quantumdot- like IPS Quantum display, and leather-back option.
The Android 5.1 phone is also the industry’s first phone with hexacore processor, incorporating Qualcomm’s 64-bit 1.6GHz Snapdragon 808.
Pricing wasn’t disclosed during a launch event at 1 World Trade Center in Manhattan, but the 4G LTE phone with 5.5-inch display will be available in the U.S. in late May and early June through all four national carriers and U.S. Cellular, a Korea-based executive told TWICE. Sprint put June availability on its versions, including a version with black-leather back. U.S. Cellular announced availability sometime in June, and T-Mobile said it would offer the G4 in the spring.
The LG executive said the company “needs to spend more money on promotion” to ”continue growing market share” and, as a result, will promote the G4 more aggressively than previous G-series phones. Promotion will include the industry’s first global promotion enabling consumers worldwide to trial the device on an invite-only basis before it’s available. A total of 2,500 Wi-Fi-only trial versions will be available to U.S. consumers starting mid-May.
Camera: With upgraded camera features, said Juno Cho, president/CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications, the G4 represents “the closest we have come to emulating what we see with our naked eye.”
The main 16-megapixel camera, upgraded from the G3’s 13 megapixels, comes with f/1.8 aperture, which delivers 80 percent more light than the f/2.4 aperture on most phones, added Lee. The light is delivered to a 2.6-inch sensor, 40 percent larger than the G3 sensor, to deliver excellent pictures in low light, he said. Optical image stabilization (OIS) has been improved through such enhancements as z-axis stabilization to deliver faster focusing.
The world’s first color-spectrum sensor on a smartphone reads color frequencies emanating from an object to see colors as the picture taker sees them. The phone also features a separate IR sensor to detect objects. The combination enables the flash to adjust its color temperature and white balance to produce a natural result, Lee continued. The feature is particularly useful when taking pictures under overcast skies, he said.
As LG’s first phone with a fully manual camera mode, the G4 lets users select white balance, ISO, shutter speed and the like while simultaneously capturing jpg- and RAM-format images. The latter can be edited on a computer.
The front camera’s resolution grows to 8 megapixels from 2.1 and features an improved gesture shot , which lets users repeat a hand gesture to take four pictures two seconds apart.
Other camera features include laser autofocus for 0.276-second focusing and 0.6-second camera launching. Like before, it offers 4K video capture and 120fps 1080p slow-motion video capture and playback.
To store all those RAW images, the G4 combines 32GB of embedded memory with a MicroSD slot that supports current 200GB cards and will support 2TB cards when available.