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LG G4 Rumors: Leather Backs, Sharper 16-MP Camera and More

The LG G4 is looking more and more like an anti-Galaxy S6. Instead of a sealed glass-and-metal design, the larger G4 will likely sport a removable back that gives you access to the replaceable battery and microSD Card slot. Plus, the G4 will reportedly let you swap in different back covers - including leather. Add in a quad HD display and improved camera and you have a pretty formidable flagship.

Here's what we've learned so far about LG's next smartphone.

Swappable Back with Leather Cover Options

Based on a leaked microsite for the LG G4 (reported on by Android Police), the G4 will give smartphone shoppers all sorts of options for the back cover. The site showed six real leather backs in multitude of colors - including blue and yellow - plus three plastic backs with a raised diamond pattern. The leather back has stitching that goes right down the center.

The Galaxy S6 comes in three colors, but you can't customize the design after the fact (unless you give it a case). It seems like LG is taking a page from the Moto X's playbook here.

A Smarter QHD Display

LG leaked this one on its own - the company announced that it has made a new QHD LCD display for its smartphones, which will likely debut with the G4. The new display will still be 5.5 inches, 2560 x 1440-pixels like the G3, but it show a "quantum jump" in important features including color gamut, brightness, contrast ratio and touch function. LG claims the display will achieve 120 percent on the color gamut scale, a dramatic increase from the 93.4 percent achieved by the G3 in our testing, and it will be 30 percent brighter.

LG also claims that these new upgrades to the display won't consume more power, which will be an important feature to test. Hopefully the G4's battery life will be the same or better than the G3, which clocked in 7 hours and 12 minutes in our battery test.

Bigger, Better Camera

LG Innotek announced it will indeed make a better camera that will debut with the G4. In a press release from the company, it describes the camera as having a f/1.8 lens, which puts it ahead of the f/1.9 lens on the new Samsung Galaxy S6. LG claims the new camera will receive 80 percent more light than the LG G3's camera, allowing it to take sharper, richer photos and better low light images. The new camera will apparently shoot at 16-megapixels, making it the first leap in resolution that LG has taken since the launch of the G2 in 2013.

We enjoyed the crisp and vibrant photos taken with the G3's 13-MP camera, and we loved its laser feature that uses a beam of light to quickly measure the distance between your device and your subject, ensuring faster, more accurate photos. That laser feature combined with these camera improvements could make the G4 a formidable photography competitor for the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6.

MORE: Best Smartphones On the Market Now

Curved, Phablet Design

One of the earliest rumors of the LG G4 came from @OnLeaks, which showed a rendering of the supposed smartphone featuring a sleek body and slightly curved back. The design looks similar, yet not as dramatic as the curved LG G Flex 2, and if true it would almost act as a middle man between LG's curved and normal smartphone lines.

Recently, however, even newer rumors show the G4 sporting a larger than life design. The French website NoWhereElse published leaked images and specs for the G4, which show that slight curve but in a much bigger device. The information suggests the smartphone could measure between 5.3 and 5.7 inches diagonally and have a 2560 x 1440-pixel or 2880 x 1620-pixel display. While the design doesn't stray far from last year's G3, those are some noticeable differences that would pit the phablet-sized G3 against Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 and Apple's iPhone 6 Plus.

Beefier Specs

It looks like the LG G4 will have a lot of power with the addition of an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor. That would be an upgrade from the G3's Snapdragon 801 processor, and better than the Galaxy Note 4's Snapdragon 805 processor.

The LG G3 performed well in our benchmarks compared to the smartphone category average, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 consistently beat it in our benchmark tests. The upgrade to a more powerful Snapdragon 810 processor would likely help the new G4 perform even better than most of its competition.

We haven't heard much about the battery in the G4, but rumor has it that it will come with 3GB of RAM like the LG G3.

Release Date

While LG the release date isn't yet known, press did receive invites for April 28 and 29 (due to different time zones) for LG G4 events in New York, London, Paris, Seoul, Singapore and Istanbul. In the invite came the tagline "see the great, feel the great" over a stitched leather background.

Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.

Valentina Palladino

Valentina is Commerce Editor at Engadget and has covered consumer electronics for a number of publications including Tom's Guide, Wired, Laptop Mag and Ars Technica, with a particular focus on wearables, PCs and other mobile tech. 

  • uberchemist
    Wow, a BATTERY with 3 GB of RAM?!
  • Benjamin Nelson
    Thought the benchmarks for this phone was showing the 808 not the 810 on board possibly due to the overheating issues on the 810. Hopefully that's some smoke and mirrors or a version that's headed elsewhere than stateside.
  • TheZander
    Yeah, I had really high hopes for the M9, but it turned out to be at best a side-grade from the M8 and at worst a significant downgrade in several key categories. Testing indicates the 810 might be partially to blame. I'm really hoping they don't have the same issues the M9 has, as I really think we need serious competitors to keep Apple and Samsung honest.