Three months with the T-Mobile LG G4: Still the top Android smartphone, priced as low as new competitors

Even with the new lower priced Android announcements and rumored upcoming smartphones, the LG G4 remains a top choice for Android fans.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

It's easy to get caught up in the moment with a shiny new device, but the real test of whether or not a new phone is worth the price comes after extended usage as a daily driver.

It's now been over three months since I started using the LG G4, see my first impressions, and it has shared time with my T-Mobile SIM in the iPhone 6 Plus. With new phones launching soon it's time to consider whether or not any other Android phone can trump the LG G4 functionality and value.

LG G4 image, camera sample, and screenshot gallery

Using the LG G4 for three months

I crowned the LG G4 as the new king of the Android world in my full review and it has lived up to that title. The camera is fantastic, it never lags, the leather back has held up well and still feels amazing in the hand, call quality and signal strength are excellent, and video playback is very enjoyable.

The only con is that the battery does not last as long as my iPhone 6 Plus, but the Quick Charge 2.0 support helps alleviate my battery concerns on most days. I haven't yet purchased a second battery, but that is always an option since the LG G4 is one of the few devices with a removable battery.

The T-Mobile LG G4 recently saw a price drop and you can buy one now for just $480, which is an outstanding value when compared to most other flagship devices priced from $600 to $900.

Compared to the Moto X Style (Pure Edition)

Motorola recently announced the Moto X Style, Pure Edition in the US, available starting in September. Motorola did not provide pricing for the 32GB model, equivalent to the LG G4, but if its pricing model remains consistent it will likely be priced at $450. Thus, price will be about the same for the new Moto X and LG G4.

Both the Moto X Pure Edition and LG G4 use the Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, a microSD expansion card, a 3,000 mAh battery, and include fast charging capability. The Moto X has a slightly larger 5.7 inch display compared to the LG G4 5.5 inch display. The LG G4 battery is also removable.

While the new Moto X has a 21 megapixel camera compared to the LG G4 16 megapixel variant, LG's camera is proven to be the best available in any current smartphone while Motorola does not have a solid camera history. Motorola talked up the camera in its announcement so there is hope that it will be great, but that remains to be seen.

On paper, these two devices are nearly equal with the removable battery being the only major difference. I am interested in checking out the new Moto X, but given the LG G4 performance I won't be buying one without first getting some hands-on time.

Compared to ZTE Axon Pro and One Plus 2

Another couple of sub-$450 Android phones were recently announced to compete with the traditional Android flagships. I spent some time with the ZTE Axon Pro and while it is a solid performer, the LG G4 is a better phone that only costs $30 more on T-Mobile.

Again, the specs are similar between the LG G4 and ZTE Axon Pro, but the LG G4 camera blows away the Axon Pro. The 32GB internal storage limit on the Axon Pro also convinces me the LG G4 is the better buy.

OnePlus should be launching the OnePlus 2 soon for those who are able to get one of the limited invites. While OnePlus states the new phone is a 2016 flagship killer, the lack of NFC, use of a 1080p display, and lack of Quick Charge support make it even less than a 2015 flagship. The price is very attractive at $389 for a 4GB RAM/64GB storage device, but we'll have to see how it performs before making a final determination on whether or not it can compete with the LG G4.

Other likely Android contenders

It is highly likely that we will see a couple new Android smartphones from Samsung in a couple of days. Given Samsung's recent sales data and the latest pricing on high end Android phones it will be very interesting to see if Samsung is ready to compete down in the $450 to $550 price range or if it will stick with the $600 and higher price model.

Google is also likely to announce a new Nexus device this fall, with rumors indicating we may actually see two Nexus devices. One could be coming from LG and another from Huawei. I would be very interested in seeing a Nexus from LG with many of the same elements from the G4.

Even with the new device announcements and recent lower priced Android releases, the LG G4 remains a very attractive option for Android fans. The LG G4 will also be receiving the Android M upgrade so it will be a great device well into the future.

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