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"The G3 was a pretty good phone and did significantly better than folks expected," said Soumen Ganguly, a consultant for Altman Vilandrie & Co. "But LG will need to follow up with a solid G4 and step up its marketing muscle to make a more significant dent in the US market."The G4 goes on sale in the coming weeks and is expected to be priced similar to the G3, or around $200 with a two-year contract and $600 without a contract. LG believes it will stand out from the crowd of me-too smartphones powered by Google's Android mobile operating system software.
"We like to make it very personalized," said Jung Hoon Lee, director in charge of the look of the G4, "The phone is not just a product, it's a life companion."I was among the first outsiders to see the G4 in production at the Pyeongtaek assembly plant, during a visit in mid-April, The facility iphone 8 screen protectors reviews is just a small part of the 640,000 square-meter LG Digital Park, an area roughly the size of Disneyland, It houses 10,000 employees, all working on mobile, television and in-dash automotive components, It's two weeks before the G4's unveiling, so many of the lines are devoted to producing the smartphone, The group goal for the day was nearly 15,000 units, and the line I walked had already produced 1,106 units within the first three hours, It takes 20 minutes for one smartphone to run through the process..
Below the assembly facility on a separate floor is an area devoted to quality assurance, where smartphones undergo torture tests simulating the rigors of everyday use. There are hundreds of test machines on the floor, poking, dropping and splashing liquid on various LG devices. Later that day, I returned to Seoul to LG's mobile offices in the Gasan district for a conversation with Ramchan Woo, the vice president in charge of the G4. Woo started working on the G4 more than a year ago, a few months before the launch of the G3. He opted to focus on just a few key features, employing leather as a material and improving the camera and display, rather than trying a radical new design. The G4 also incorporates a slight curve, taking its inspiration from LG's G Flex line of smartphones, which offers a curved display that conforms to the contours of your face. The G4 has a subtler curve.
Rival smartphone maker HTC made few dramatic changes iphone 8 screen protectors reviews to its latest One M9 smartphone in an effort to create a consistent look to its products, and LG is taking a similar approach with the G4 to maintain the core identity of the G line of smartphones "We're still building up the brand," Woo said, Employees from LG's mechanical technologies division have been working with leather for two and a half years, Some designers even visited factories to learn the different processes for tanning the leather..
While early prototypes of the G4 incorporated metal, wood and even fabric, Woo decided on leather after engineers figured out how to mass-produce the material to serve as the backing of the G4. He sees it as a counterpoint to the recent trend toward metal. "When you look at the iPhone, it's a very well-made machine," Woo said. "But we like to make something very warm -- something similar to fashion."LG's process of cutting and tanning the leather is exactly the same method used on luxury bags, although the company adds a special coating at the end that makes its more resistant to water, dust and minor scratches. It takes LG three months to get the leather ready for its phones. The process, known as vegetable tanning in which a hide is lathered with plant materials high in tannin such as tree barks, allows the G4's back to age and change over time with exposure to the oils in your skins and molecules in the air.
"It's almost like a fingerprint -- it's a very attractive point," Lee said, LG isn't the first to incorporate leather into its smartphones, Motorola Mobility offers leather as a premium option to its Moto X, and it too uses a vegetable tanning process for the back of the phone, But no other company has attempted to mass-produce so many smartphones with leather at once, It's unclear whether iphone 8 screen protectors reviews consumers will gravitate toward leather as they have toward metal and glass, Earlier LG smartphones used glass, but Woo said customer feedback was negative, Metal, meanwhile, can wreck havoc with radio signals and tends to get hot, With so many companies employing metal into their smartphones, Woo decided LG needed to find a new material that would give it a market advantage, "Our answer to metal is leather for making the product more premium," he said..
While Samsung and Apple have chosen to offer their smartphone with no removable battery or expandable memory card, the G4 keeps both attributes -- something Woo expects LG will loudly trumpet. Right after the G3 launched, LG's mobile team went to its sister company, LG Innotek, to work on a better camera module. LG Innotek is best known for supplying the camera module for Apple's iPhone. Though the G3 camera won praise, it suffered from the common camera phone problem of being unable to work well in poor light or indoors. Woo started the process of creating a new camera by asking a single question: what do I need in my smartphone camera to fully replace my digital SLR camera?.
The LG team came up with a F/1.8 aperture lens, which promises to capture more light even in dark settings and deliver sharper, more detailed nighttime photos, The company also improved the optical image stabilization, a feature that keeps the camera steady if your hands shake while holding the phone, LG added a second degree of stabilization, (All other smartphone OIS systems use one degree of stabilization.), It also bumped up the camera resolution to a 16-megapixel camera from the G3's 13 MP shooter, even as it improved the front-facing camera to iphone 8 screen protectors reviews 8 MP from 2 MP..