NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last year's LG G3 handset was a terrific phone -- and this year's G4 is even better. But, as good as it is, the question remains whether it's good enough to compete with other improved flagship models like Samsung's (SSNLF) Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, HTC's One M9, the upcoming third-generation Lenovo/Motorola X and Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 6.
The new G4, announced last month and first made available in its Korean home market, will finally be available in North America beginning this week. It's a premium phone made to compete with all the other big-deal Android smartphones.
The updated design features a great-looking, 5.5-inch, quad HD (2560 by 1440 pixels) IPS touchscreen, a 64-bit, 1.8 GHz Qualcomm (QCOM) Snapdragon 808 processor, 3 GB of memory, a 16 MP camera (with a fast, f/1.8 lens) on back, an 8 MP camera up front, the latest versions of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity. The G4 runs on Google's (GOOG) Android 5.1 operating system, codenamed Lollipop.
On the outside, LG offers an array of back panels with six different colors (including black, gold and ceramic white), as well as different materials, such as hand-stitched leather. The leather back is beautiful, but I wonder how it will hold up after a few months of constant handling and use. There are plastic back covers too.