Notebookcheck

LG G4s Smartphone Review

Patrick Afschar Kaboli (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 09/12/2015

Yet another sibling. The current G4 family from LG already got a new member with the G4c. Now we get the next sibling. The LG G4s sits right between the top model and the compact version in terms of size and features. Still, the G4s cannot convince us completely, despite the good genes.

For the original German review, see here.

LG currently introduces a new smartphone sibling of its flagship model G4 every couple of weeks. After the recently reviewed G4c, a much less powerful and more compact version, the South Koreans now launch the G4s. The size is a bit bigger than the G4c, and LG also pumped up the features a bit. The price of the G4s is also between the two siblings. LG charges 400 Euros (~$452) for the 5.2-inch Android smartphone. It takes the design from the top model with the curved surfaces and parts of the camera equipment, where the G4 set the bar pretty high. The computing is handled by a modern octa-core from Qualcomm. The resolution of the IPS display is Full HD. This means the G4s clearly wants to be an upper mainstream device, and our review will show if this is a success. Rivals are other upper mainstream devices, which includes the similarly expensive yet much more powerful OnePlus 2, the much cheaper ZTE Blade V6 as well as the similarly equipped Sony Xperia M4 Aqua.

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LG G4s (G4 Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 405, Core: 550 MHz
Memory
1536 MB 
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive, multi-touch, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, , 3.2 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: microSD up to 64 GB, Sensors: A-GPS, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Digital compass
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.1, LTE/4G Cat.4 150/50 Mbit/s (800/1800/2600 MHz), UMTS (850/900/1900/2100 MHz), HSPA+ 42Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 142.7 x 72.6 ( = 0.39 x 5.62 x 2.86 in)
Battery
9 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3.85 V; 2300 mAh, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 15 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 14 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 380 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 380 h
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Webcam: Front: 5 MP, Full-HD; 8 MP, Full-HD
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Keyboard: virtual, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
140 g ( = 4.94 oz / 0.31 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
400 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

We cannot say a lot about the case of the LG G4s that we haven’t said in the review of the LG G4c. Without the optional leather cover, the haptics is not even close to the flagship G4, but there is still not a lot of criticism for the build quality or the stability. The back cover in an aluminum look can be removed and grants access to the replaceable battery, the SIM slot and the microSD slot. The slight diamond pattern also looks good, but the cover is not really scratch-resistant. The horizontal and vertical curvature also looks very good on the G4s and complements the good feeling when you hold it in your hand.

Both the dimensions and the weight of the G4s are right between its two siblings. A height of 9.9 millimeters is close to the G4, but not really thin due to the curved design. Length (142.7 mm) and width (72.6) are pretty compact, despite the 5.2-inch display. The weight is also comparatively low at 140 grams. Right now, the G4s is available in Metallic Grey and Ceramic White. A leather cover, similar to the bigger sibling, would definitely add a level of sophistication, but it will be probably reserved for the G4.

151.8 mm / 5.98 inch 74.9 mm / 2.95 inch 9.85 mm / 0.3878 inch 178 g0.3924 lbs145.5 mm / 5.73 inch 72.59 mm / 2.86 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 136 g0.2998 lbs142.7 mm / 5.62 inch 72.6 mm / 2.86 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 140 g0.3086 lbs142 mm / 5.59 inch 69.5 mm / 2.74 inch 6.8 mm / 0.2677 inch 120 g0.2646 lbs

Connectivity

The technical specifications of the LG G4s are also right between its two siblings. Calculations are handled by a pretty modern octa-core processor. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 was announced in February 2014 and is one of the first chips from the manufacturer with 64-bit support. It consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores that are clocked at up to 1.5 GHz in the LG G4s, while the reference design is clocked at 1.7 GHz. The SoC also includes the GPU Adreno 405 from the same manufacturer. Its Boost clock is 550 MHz. The Adreno 405 is an upper mainstream chip and should also be sufficient for all challenges in 2015 – including Full HD. The SoC is supported by 1.5 GB memory, which does not really suit the high-end claim.

This is also the case for the internal storage at just 8 GB, and you can only use 3.2 GB ex-works. A storage expansion is therefore pretty much a necessity. The G4s has a microSD slot that can be equipped with memory cards at up to 128 GB. Thanks to the support of apps like App2SD, it is also possible to transfer some apps to the SD card; but, unfortunately, it did not work with all apps, so the small internal storage can be a problem.

The USB 2.0 port at the bottom of the smartphone supports OTG and Slim-Port. This means it is possible to transfer HD content to the HDMI port of an external display with the corresponding adapter cable.

Left: no ports
Left: no ports
Right: small indentation for the removal of the cover
Right: small indentation for the removal of the cover
Top: 3.5 mm stereo jack, NC microphone
Top: 3.5 mm stereo jack, NC microphone
Bottom: USB, microphone
Bottom: USB, microphone

Software

Operating system of the LG G4s is Google’s Android 5.1.1, which is currently the latest version. This means the G4s also has an advantage over its two siblings, although they are also running Lollipop as well. LG’s own user interface LG UX 4.0 is obviously once again included, too. Except for the different OS version, the software equipment of our review unit does not differ from the LG G4c, so we recommend the review of the LG G4c for more information.

GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: outdoors

Communication & GPS 

There is no difference between the review unit and the smaller sibling G4c in respect of the wireless modules, either. Similar to the G4c, the G4s supports LTE Cat. 4 with transfer rates of up to 150 Mbps (downstream) and 50 Mbps (upstream) or 42 and 5.76 Mbps, respectively via UMTS. Absolutely up to date is the Wi-Fi module that supports the fast ac standard. The G4s can also use 5 GHz ac networks, but only 2.4 GHz networks for the standards 802.11 b/g/n – we cannot understand this decision. The range of the Wi-Fi signal, however, is very good, and the connection was stable even at a distance of 10 meters to the router and through two walls. Bluetooth 4.1 is available as well and has advantages when you use LTE in particular, because there will be less interferences compared to older Bluetooth standards.

The integrated A-GPS module finds a sufficient number of satellites within a couple of seconds outdoors. A satellite fix is even possible indoors when you are close to a window, where it takes around 30 seconds for the first location. We check the accuracy of the GPS sensor with a bicycle ride and compare it with a Garmin Edge 500 reference device. This device is specialized for bicycle rides and proved to be very accurate and reliable over the years. The test shows that the LG G4s likes to take the direct way instead of the actual turn. We pretty much hover across the river at the bridge section and do not even touch the bridge at all. All in all, the LG misses around 4% of the track, which is completely sufficient for the navigation with the car or the bicycle. But you might take the occasional wrong turn on narrow single trails.

LG G4s: complete
LG G4s: complete
LG G4s: forest section
LG G4s: forest section
LG G4s: bridge crossing
LG G4s: bridge crossing
Garmin Edge 500: complete
Garmin Edge 500: complete
Garmin Edge 500: forest section
Garmin Edge 500: forest section
Garmin Edge 500: bridge crossing
Garmin Edge 500: bridge crossing

Telephone & Voice Quality

The phone app does not differ from the other G4 siblings. The interface follows the LG style and leaves a fresh as well as simple impression. It supports handy features like contact groups as well as a one-hand mode. The handling is intuitive and should not be a problem for any user.

The voice of the caller was always perfectly audible via the earpiece and sounded very natural and clear. Our voice was not always that good on the other side since it was often accompanied by some background noise. Our voice also sounded a bit synthetic, which is probably a result of the ambient noise suppression that works pretty well. The hands-free function via internal speaker only works well in calm environments. The provided entry-level headset works a bit better, but it is not a real joy to make calls with it, either.

Cameras & Multimedia

The "mother" of the G4 family, the LG G4, is currently certainly one of the best camera smartphones on the market. The G4c could not really keep up with that performance, but the G4s gets some of the great features from the top model including the color spectrum sensor, the laser autofocus and the image stabilizer. The resolution of the G4s, however, is lower than the G4, but five megapixels at the front and eight for the main camera of the G4s are still decent. Both cameras can record Full HD videos.

The quality of the pictures is decent: Colors look vivid, and the sharpness is conveniently high as well. You can only notice the lower resolution when you zoom in. Bright areas are slightly overexposed by the sensor, whereas the illumination is slightly insufficient in darker situations. All in all, the G4s is once again between its siblings, but there is still a respectable distance to the flagship G4.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories

The box of the LG G4s includes a stereo in-ear headset with microphone and control element besides the usual stuff like a power adaptor, USB cable and a quick-start guide. The quality of the headset, however, is not very good, and it is certainly only a temporary replacement for a better product.

Warranty

LG grants a warranty of 24 months for the smartphone, but the accessories and the battery are only covered for six months.

Input Devices & Handling

Similar to the two G4 siblings, we did not have any issues with the capacitive touchscreen. It is precise up into the peripheral areas and executes inputs without a noticeable delay. The fingers can glide across the surface made of scratch-proof Corning Gorilla Glass 4 very conveniently and without a disturbing resistance. The control elements of the latest LG smartphone are obviously at the back once again. The handling works pretty well once you get used to the location, especially since the G4s can also be activated from standby via double tap on the display.

The virtual keyboard allows quick typing and also includes a permanent additional row with numbers. However, you cannot really see anything from the actual display content in landscape mode. You can easily split the keyboard with your fingers, which is very convenient.

The processor performance of the LG G4s is sufficient to ensure a smooth handling in every situation. At least we could not notice annoying stutters or even short periods where the picture froze.

Display

The display technology of the LG G4s has more in common with the smaller sibling G4c than the flagship. The latest member of the family uses a "normal" IPS panel instead of the quantum version from the G4. The Full HD resolution, however, is once again right between the two siblings and manages a comparatively high pixel density at 423 PPI.

Our measurement results show that the G4s is the worst member of the G4 family. A maximum luminance of 414 cd/m² is certainly not bad and completely sufficient for most scenarios, but both siblings show that it could be much brighter. The two rivals OnePlus 2 and Sony Xperia M2 Aqua have much brighter panels as well. The black value is much better in comparison – 0.38 cd/m² does not only surpass the two siblings, but the rival from Sony falls behind as well. Only the OnePlus 2 manages a better result. It also reaches a much higher contrast ratio, even though there is no criticism for the 1,082:1 of the G4s. The brightness distribution of 88%, however, is just average. The brightness drops at the upper right corner in particular, but the difference is still not visible to the human eye.

389
cd/m²
384
cd/m²
363
cd/m²
392
cd/m²
411
cd/m²
396
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
414
cd/m²
397
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 414 cd/m² Average: 392.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 411 cd/m²
Contrast: 1082:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.3 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 6.32 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
96% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 71% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.37
LG G4s
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 8 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 2
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 64 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade V6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
14%
-21%
-8%
Brightness middle
411
451
10%
336
-18%
547
33%
Brightness
392
446
14%
315
-20%
535
36%
Brightness Distribution
88
90
2%
81
-8%
92
5%
Black Level *
0.38
0.3
21%
0.39
-3%
0.81
-113%
Contrast
1082
1503
39%
862
-20%
675
-38%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.3
3.84
28%
8.29
-56%
5.77
-9%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.32
3.97
37%
8.57
-36%
5.87
7%
Gamma
2.37 93%
2.46 89%
1.96 112%
2.14 103%
CCT
7250 90%
7283 89%
8172 80%
7784 84%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
71
58.07
-18%
72.0875
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96
90.14
-6%
89.7
-7%
96.5753
1%

* ... smaller is better

Subjectively, we are pretty happy with the picture quality of the LG G4s. The high pixel density ensures a sharp presentation even with fine structures, and the low black value ensures that black content looks very rich. Pictures and videos in particular benefit from the high contrast ratio.

The colorimeter in combination with the CalMAN software still shows some weaknesses. Bright shades of gray have a slight tendency towards cyan and the color temperature is too low as well. The primary colors, however, are very close to their ideal values, and the average DeltaE deviation of 5.3 for the ColorChecker is decent as well. Medium saturation areas in particular are a problem in the saturation sweeps, but the overall performance of the G4s in the display section is still pretty good, and it can even beat its siblings in terms of color representation.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Colorspace sRGB
Colorspace sRGB
Colorspace AdobeRGB
Colorspace AdobeRGB
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker sRGB
ColorChecker sRGB

The LG G4s cannot quite match the luminance of its two siblings, which is mainly noticeable outdoors. It is still no problem to see the display content if you avoid direct sunlight, but you will miss a brighter picture on really bright summer days, especially due to the glossy screen. This is, however, a common issue for almost every smartphone. The viewing-angle stability is convincing. The picture will only be slightly darker with a lower contrast from very flat angles, but this does not affect the good picture quality.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Similar to the other G4 models, LG once again decided to use an SoC from Qualcomm. The performance of the Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 is pretty much right between the 808 in the G4 and the 410 in the G4c. It consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores, where four cores can run at up to 1.5 GHz and the other ones at up to 1.0 GHz. This is supposed to realize both a high performance as well as long battery runtimes. Still, the performance should only be slightly higher compared to a similarly clocked quad-core. The GPU Adreno 405 is a good choice for the LG G4s and should not have any problems with titles from 2015. LG could have been more generous in terms of memory though. We think 2 GB instead of the installed 1.5 GB would have been better for the concept, especially since it would have been right in the middle between the G4 and G4c.

This is also exactly the position of the G4s in the benchmarks. All system tests see the G4s clearly behind its flagship sibling G4, but at the same time clearly ahead of the compact G4c. Within our comparison group, the similarly equipped OnePlus 2 has an uncatchable lead, but the LG G4s usually beats the rivals from ZTE and Sony, which are similarly powerful on paper. This means the performance of the LG G4s is convenient.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
2370 Points ∼3%
LG G4
2952 Points ∼4% +25%
LG G4c
1419 Points ∼2% -40%
OnePlus 2
4154 Points ∼5% +75%
ZTE Blade V6
1807 Points ∼2% -24%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
2103 Points ∼3% -11%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
638 Points ∼13%
LG G4
1022 Points ∼21% +60%
LG G4c
462 Points ∼9% -28%
OnePlus 2
1066 Points ∼22% +67%
ZTE Blade V6
626 Points ∼13% -2%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
539 Points ∼11% -16%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
30806 Points ∼31%
LG G4
49941 Points ∼50% +62%
LG G4c
21129 Points ∼21% -31%
OnePlus 2
58535 Points ∼59% +90%
ZTE Blade V6
28064 Points ∼28% -9%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
29770 Points ∼30% -3%
3DMark - 1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
7315 Points ∼3%
LG G4
18821 Points ∼8% +157%
LG G4c
4397 Points ∼2% -40%
OnePlus 2
22400 Points ∼9% +206%
ZTE Blade V6
5013 Points ∼2% -31%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
6680 Points ∼3% -9%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG G4s
5.5 fps ∼1%
LG G4
15 fps ∼3% +173%
LG G4c
1.7 fps ∼0% -69%
OnePlus 2
23 fps ∼4% +318%
ZTE Blade V6
2.8 fps ∼1% -49%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
5.4 fps ∼1% -2%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG G4s
5.8 fps ∼2%
LG G4
9.5 fps ∼3% +64%
LG G4c
4 fps ∼1% -31%
OnePlus 2
23 fps ∼6% +297%
ZTE Blade V6
5.8 fps ∼2% 0%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
10.4 fps ∼3% +79%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
LG G4s
3663 Points ∼19%
LG G4
4579 Points ∼23% +25%
LG G4c
3199 Points ∼16% -13%
OnePlus 2
4282 Points ∼22% +17%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
3236 Points ∼17% -12%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
LG G4s
2946 points ∼64%
LG G4
4118 points ∼90% +40%
LG G4c
3180 points ∼69% +8%
OnePlus 2
4325 points ∼94% +47%
ZTE Blade V6
3985 points ∼87% +35%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
4114 points ∼89% +40%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
LG G4s
5460 points ∼29%
LG G4
8940 points ∼47% +64%
LG G4c
4678 points ∼25% -14%
OnePlus 2
10472 points ∼56% +92%
ZTE Blade V6
4797 points ∼25% -12%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
3782 points ∼20% -31%

Legend

 
LG G4s Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4c Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade V6 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 8 GB eMMC Flash

This is also the case for the web performance, where the G4s is once again clearly behind the flagship devices G4 and OnePlus 2, but the other comparison devices are more or less clearly beaten. The subjective browsing experience supports the benchmarks results.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
3436 Points ∼7%
LG G4
7832 (min: 6791) Points ∼15% +128%
LG G4c
3085 Points ∼6% -10%
OnePlus 2
6955 Points ∼13% +102%
ZTE Blade V6
2978 Points ∼6% -13%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
3215 Points ∼6% -6%
Browsermark - 2.1 (sort by value)
LG G4s
1468 points ∼5%
LG G4
1931 points ∼6% +32%
OnePlus 2
2111 points ∼7% +44%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
934 ms * ∼10%
LG G4
719 ms * ∼8% +23%
LG G4c
1036 ms * ∼11% -11%
OnePlus 2
739.6 ms * ∼8% +21%
ZTE Blade V6
1692 ms * ∼19% -81%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
1676.1 ms * ∼18% -79%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
13281 ms * ∼22%
LG G4
4770.8 ms * ∼8% +64%
LG G4c
14663.8 ms * ∼25% -10%
OnePlus 2
6585.3 ms * ∼11% +50%
ZTE Blade V6
25141.4 ms * ∼42% -89%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
18847.3 ms * ∼32% -42%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
LG G4s
56 Points ∼7%
LG G4
82 Points ∼10% +46%
LG G4c
49 Points ∼6% -12%
OnePlus 2
80 Points ∼10% +43%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
48 Points ∼6% -14%

Legend

 
LG G4s Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4c Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade V6 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 8 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

The situation changes a bit when we evaluate the performance of the internal storage. The LG G4s once again follows the internal hierarchy. The comparison devices from the other manufacturers, however, are faster than the review unit. All in all, the results are satisfactory, no more and no less.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
LG G4s
3 MB/s ∼1%
LG G4
15 MB/s ∼6% +400%
LG G4c
1.3 MB/s ∼1% -57%
OnePlus 2
13.94 MB/s ∼5% +365%
ZTE Blade V6
3.66 MB/s ∼1% +22%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
3.91 MB/s ∼2% +30%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
LG G4s
13 MB/s ∼6%
LG G4
31.5 MB/s ∼14% +142%
LG G4c
10.49 MB/s ∼5% -19%
OnePlus 2
21.87 MB/s ∼10% +68%
ZTE Blade V6
27.08 MB/s ∼12% +108%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
9.76 MB/s ∼4% -25%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
LG G4s
39 MB/s ∼7%
LG G4
153 MB/s ∼26% +292%
LG G4c
7.49 MB/s ∼1% -81%
OnePlus 2
125.51 MB/s ∼21% +222%
ZTE Blade V6
37.37 MB/s ∼6% -4%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
28.81 MB/s ∼5% -26%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
LG G4s
137 MB/s ∼8%
LG G4
251 MB/s ∼14% +83%
LG G4c
112.94 MB/s ∼6% -18%
OnePlus 2
234.21 MB/s ∼13% +71%
ZTE Blade V6
269.31 MB/s ∼15% +97%
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
130.02 MB/s ∼7% -5%

Legend

 
LG G4s Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G4c Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade V6 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 8 GB eMMC Flash

Games

Qualcomm's Adreno 405 is certainly not a high-end GPU. The expected performance is roughly on par with the slightly older Adreno 320, which was once the most powerful GPU from the manufacturer. Still, the Adreno 405 has no problems with current 3D titles. Games like Modern Combat 5 or Asphalt 8 run smoothly at the highest settings. Simpler titles like Angry Birds 2 or Temple Run 2 are therefore obviously no challenge for the GPU.

Gaming on the LG G4s was a very enjoyable experience because the position sensor worked well but was not too sensitive, and the touchscreen has good gliding capabilities.

Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2
Modern Combat 5
Modern Combat 5

Emissions

Temperature

The LG G4s is already noticeably warm while idling. All the measured temperatures are still okay, but up to 35.2 °C while idling surpasses the average result. We can see another increase under load, but many other smartphones are warmer in this scenario. Up to 40.1 °C for the G4s is actually quite cool. The temperatures of the power adaptor are not critical, either.

This also applies for the behavior of the LG G4 s in the GFXBench 3.0 Battery Test. It repeats the T-Rex test thirty times and protocols the temperatures, the performance as well as the clocks. Both the performance and the clocks fluctuate right away, but this does not really affect the overall performance. We can only see a performance drop in the last run, but it will immediately recover. Throttling is therefore hardly a problem for the G4s.

You should, however, consider that the G4s – similar to its siblings – dims the brightness quite early when the temperatures of the components are getting higher. This is annoying and should finally be stopped by the manufacturer.

Max. Load
 38.7 °C
102 F
34.9 °C
95 F
33 °C
91 F
 
 40.1 °C
104 F
36.4 °C
98 F
36.2 °C
97 F
 
 38.3 °C
101 F
35.7 °C
96 F
35.3 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 40.1 °C = 104 F
Average: 36.5 °C = 98 F
32.4 °C
90 F
35.6 °C
96 F
39 °C
102 F
32.6 °C
91 F
35.8 °C
96 F
37.9 °C
100 F
34.1 °C
93 F
36.7 °C
98 F
37.9 °C
100 F
Maximum: 39 °C = 102 F
Average: 35.8 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  46.2 °C = 115 F | Room Temperature 22.8 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.5 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.1 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 32.7 °C / 91 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Similar to its siblings, the position of the mono speaker of the LG G4s is pretty unfavorable at the lower part of the back, so it is often covered by the hand. This is unfortunate, since the sound of the small module is quite good. The performance of the G4s is once again between its siblings G4 and G4c. The latest device from LG obviously also lacks dynamics and power, especially in the deep range. The maximum volume, however, is conveniently high and there are no annoying distortions. It is certainly sufficient for games or video playback.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

At just 8.9 Wh, the battery capacity of the LG G4s (lithium-ion) is lower than its smaller sibling G4c. In combination with the more powerful processor, we can only expect shorter battery runtimes compared to the G4c. Another factor is that the G4s already consumes quite a lot of power at the minimum brightness. The review unit is not very frugal under maximum load, either.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.4 / 1.6 / 1.7 Watt
Load midlight 5.2 / 5.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

We can see the negative effects on the stamina, because the determined runtimes are even worse than expected. All the comparison devices manage much longer runtimes in all scenarios, and the two siblings perform better as well. Particularly disappointing is the result in the Wi-Fi test at a display brightness of 150 cd/m², where the G4s only lasts four-and-a-half hours. Another uninspiring, but at least better result is the runtime of seven hours during video playback. The G4s probably won’t last a full day – a secondary battery might not be a bad idea.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
11h 17min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Android 5.1.1)
4h 34min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 58min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 47min
LG G4s
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 8 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 2
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 64 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade V6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
35%
28%
36%
H.264
418
580
39%
424
1%
518
24%
WiFi v1.3
274
356
30%
400
46%
420
53%
Load
167
229
37%
230
38%
221
32%

Pros

+ good features
+ fast SoC
+ decent cameras
+ usable speaker
+ convenient display

Cons

- poor battery runtimes
- no dual-band Wi-Fi
- mediocre GPS module

Verdict

In review: LG G4s
In review: LG G4s

LG further expands its lineup around the current flagship G4 and the G4s is already the second sibling. Contrary to the G4c it is not a radically slimmed-down version, but still a powerful upper mainstream version with the corresponding specs. The Snapdragon 615 provides sufficient performance, and even current games are no problem for the SoC. The memory is a bit meager at just 1.5 GB and does not really suit the premium claim. The IPS display is pretty good in general, but a slightly higher luminance would have been nice – especially when you look at the two siblings.

This can also be said about the case, because there is not much criticism. Still, the leather cover of the top model is pretty appealing and would also improve the tactile impression of the G4s – we would also take it as an optional accessory. It is no surprise that the camera of the top model G4 is out of reach, but you can also take nice pictures with the G4s. Only the lighting should be sufficient. The speaker is no highlight, but the sound is actually decent. There is also not much criticism for the features. So, is it a great offer?

Not without restrictions: Probably the biggest issue of the otherwise really convenient LG G4s is its poor stamina. The combination of the rather small battery and the high consumption even results in bad idle runtimes. It is good that the battery can be replaced, because it is pretty much a necessity. We would have also liked to see dual-band Wi-Fi and a slightly more precise GPS module.

LG does a pretty good job with the G4s and can copy a lot of the glamour from the top model into the less expensive upper mainstream segment. The poor battery runtimes, however, affect the good impression significantly.

LG G4s - 09/08/2015 v4(old)
Patrick Afschar Kaboli

Chassis
80%
Keyboard
69 / 75 → 92%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
48 / 60 → 80%
Weight
93%
Battery
89%
Display
84%
Games Performance
57 / 63 → 90%
Application Performance
35 / 70 → 50%
Temperature
87%
Noise
100%
Audio
64 / 91 → 70%
Camera
69%
Average
74%
83%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > LG G4s Smartphone Review
Patrick Afschar Kaboli, 2015-09-12 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.