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LG pulls 0.1 ahead of Samsung in eternal war of numbers

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The new f/1.8 camera in the upcoming G4 smartphone will have a tiny advantage over Samsung's Galaxy S6

The unending battle for numerical supremacy between Korea's two foremost electronics makers continues today with the news that LG's next flagship phone will beat Samsung's by the smallest of margins. The upcoming G4, which is three weeks away from its official launch, will feature a lens with an f/1.8 aperture, making it that little bit wider than the f/1.9 lens on Samsung's impressive Galaxy S6. The smaller the F number, the more light that a camera can take in with any one shot, allowing the photographer to shoot at a faster shutter speed and thus capture more challenging photos without unsightly motion blur. That's the technical premise, but in the world of cameraphones, wide apertures haven't always been guarantees of great imagery, as evidenced by the f/2.0 lens on the maligned HTC One M8 camera.

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LG won't be the first to offer a smartphone with an f/1.8 camera, having been beaten to the feat by Acer, Lenovo, and others. Nonetheless, imaging has been a strength for LG at least since 2013's G2, and the most recent G3 and G Flex 2 have extended what's growing into a fine pedigree for the Korean company. Judging from today's teaser, the focus with the G4 appears to be on low-light photography, which will definitely benefit from the large aperture. Whether it will be better than Samsung's superb new smartphones, though, will be a matter to be settled by practical experience rather than numerical comparison.

LG is starting to ramp up its teaser campaign for the G4, and has posted another video highlighting the new phone's user interface. It promises to be simpler to use, yet smarter in predicting user behavior. Having introduced a stripped-down Simple Mode for the camera in its previous iteration, LG UX 4.0 will now add a Manual Mode that "makes you into a professional photographer." There are also custom ringtones for individual contacts, a bulletin board aggregating all important information, and an updated calendar app. Check out the video below for an early look.

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