If you had a dollar for every time a phone maker promised premium features in a mid-range handset, you’d be able to afford a much nicer phone.
But that’s not stopping LG, whose mid-tier G4 Beat claims to be “an exceptional phone without the exceptional price.” We don’t know what price is, mind you, but LG is making good on bringing at least some features of its flagship G4 to the budget set.
Most noteworthy is the rear camera, which is only 8 megapixels but uses laser auto-focus to quickly line up crisp shots. The G4 Beat also has a color spectrum sensor, which measures the RGB and infrared values of ambient light and tries to fine-tune the colors of each photo accordingly. On the software side, the camera offers manual controls for shutter speed, ISO, exposure, and white balance. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera includes a Gesture Interval Shot feature that snaps four selfies in a row with a hand signal.
The phone’s design is similar to LG’s flagships, with a rear-mounted button for controlling power and volume. The display measures 5.2 inches with 1080p resolution, and there’s a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon 615 processor that’s quickly becoming the CPU du jour in mid-range handsets. (As we noted in our Alcatel Idol 3 review, the octa-core processor is competent, but not as impressive as it sounds.) On the downside, LG is skimping on storage and RAM, with 8 GB of the former and 1.5 GB of the latter.
The LG G4 Beat will hit several Europe and Latin America markets later this month, including France, Germany, and Brazil. A global launch will follow in markets such as Canada, India, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, and Turkey will follow. There’s no word on U.S. availability.
Why this matters: LG is talking a big game, but the competition for mid-range supremacy is getting fiercer, with surprisingly phones in the $250 to $300 range such as the Idol 3 and OnePlus One. It really is possible to get a high-quality phone for mid-range prices; the question is whether LG will be the one to deliver.