LG G4c review: The LG G4 mini that makes too many compromises

There's no official LG G4 mini, but this mid-range phone is the closest you'll find to one. Cheaper and smaller than the flagship Android phone, but neither cheap- nor compact enough to turn heads, the LG G4c is something of a disappointment. Find out what is and what's not to like in our LG G4c review. Also see: LG G4 review and LG G5 release date, price and specs rumours.

LG G4C review: What it is, why it matters

The LG G4c is a cut-down version of the excellent LG G4. It is a smaller, more affordable phone from LG, with a 5in display and a quad-core chip. With an RRP of £229 (and currently £209.99 SIM-free at Amazon) it's not a cheap phone, but it sits nicely in the middle ranks of modern Android phones. It runs Android Lollipop. Also see: Best smartphones and best Android phones of 2015.

LG G4C review: Build and design

LG G4c review: The LG G4 mini that makes too many compromises

The LG G4C revels in a minimalist chic. It has a nicely curved design that makes it look sleek and expensive. The removable diamond-patterned back helps here, with LG branding stamped clearly and stylishly. It feels robust and built to last, and that diamond patterning reduces the impact of scratches.

At 136g the LG G4C is a fairly standard weight; lighter, smaller and cheaper than the LG G4. Measuring 139.7 x 69.8 x 10.2 mm it is slim without being super-slim, but it feels good in the hand.

The volume controls and home button are on the back, which does take a bit of getting used to if you haven't used the LG G3 or LG G4. But they are responsive and we grew to like this touch. Also see: LG G3 vs LG G4.

Overall there is not a lot of wow factor, but as it's the cheaper version of the LG G4 we guess this is not the purpose of this particular model. It is good enough in this respect.

LG G4C review: Display

According to LG you are closer from finger to display than on other phones. We're not sure why that's a benefit, but hey: we'll mention it anyway. In use the display feels perfectly responsive.

Indeed, the overall display quality is good - very bright and clear. It is not as good as that found on the LG G4, obviously, but no display is.

Specs fans may like to know that it is an IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, with 16M colors. Packed into those 5 inches are 720 x 1280 pixels, which makes for a middle-of-the-road 294 ppi pixel density.

LG G4C review: Storage

Onboard is 8GB of storage, which is not enough in our view. But the LG G4C has a microSD card slot, with which you can add up to 128 GB. Also see: How to add storage to Android.

LG G4C review: Performance

LG G4c review: The LG G4 mini that makes too many compromises

You get a quad-core Cortex-A53 chip, clocked at 1.3 GHz. This is paired with a single gigabyte of RAM. So far so standard for a mid-range, mid-2015 phone.

Connectivity is standard too, so there were no problems there. You get Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot. The LG G4C uses Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE, apt-X, and there is GPS, and NFC. The LG G4C uses microUSB v2.0 to connect and charge.

In general use we would say that the LG G4C is most certainly not as powerful as the LG G4, which would make us reconsider buying it. Of course it is a lot cheaper, but it isn't cheap. And we found the LG G4C to be a bit sluggish when moving between apps, which is frustrating.

This is born out by poor synthetic benchmark performance. In the Geekbench 3 test we got a mediocre average score of 1450. GPU performance was similarly meh, with the GFXBench Manhatten offscreen test turning in a paltry score of 1.7fps. You can compare that performance to all the phones we've recently tested in our article What's the fastest smartphone 2015.

Here endeth the bad news. It is not a performer.

LG G4C review: Battery life

On a brighter note, at least new the LG G4C's battery is better than most. We found that if could last a whole day with heavy use. (And we mean heavy use: I have been at home all day with my five-month-old daughter. Your phone gets some action.)

LG G4C review: Camera

LG G4c review: The LG G4 mini that makes too many compromises

Up front there is a 5 megapixel camera for selfies, around the back is an 8 megapixel snapper for shutterbugs. It is very middle-ground. In use we found nothing that stands out particularly, but the camera is at least reasonable considering its price. It is fit for purpose. Also see: Best phone camera 2015.

One nice is touch is the function that makes you able to flip between front and back camera with just a swipe.

Read next: Best new phones coming in 2015.

LG G4c: Specs

  • 139.7 x 69.8 x 10.2 mm
  • 136 g
  • IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 5.0 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410
  • Quad-core 1.2/1.3 GHz Cortex-A53
  • microSD, up to 128 GB
  • 8 GB, 1 GB RAM
  • 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • 5 MP
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE, apt-X
  • Li-Ion 2540 mAh battery
  • 139.7 x 69.8 x 10.2 mm
  • 136 g
  • IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 5.0 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
  • Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410
  • Quad-core 1.2/1.3 GHz Cortex-A53
  • microSD, up to 128 GB
  • 8 GB, 1 GB RAM
  • 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • 5 MP
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE, apt-X
  • Li-Ion 2540 mAh battery

OUR VERDICT

Overall we are disappointed with the LG G4C. It is neither cheap enough to be truly budget, nor good enough to stand out in a crowded middle of the Android phone market. Battery life is great, performance poor.

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