With the LG G4 review, our design commentary was mostly targeted towards the G4’s standard polycarbonate back cover. But recently we received some leather back covers from LG designed for the G4.

As far as I can tell, these leather back covers come in two distinct types of textures. Most of the available colors have a relatively stiff and coarse texture to them, but others have a softer, finer texture. However, both back covers use similar processes, namely vegetable tanning with a coating applied over the tanned full-grain leather to keep the leather stain resistant, which is cut down to 0.45mm thick. The whole process is said to take 12 weeks.

Subjectively, the leather covers are actually surprising in terms of how they improve the look and feel of the G4. The stitching on these back covers is probably somewhat controversial as it doesn’t serve much purpose, but it does help somewhat with gripping the phone and the stitching is actually real thread, which is at least somewhat surprising given that we’ve seen phones with fake stitching patterns on the back cover before. If you’re looking for a good way to improve the in-hand feel of the G4 and add some personalization in the process ala Motomaker, these back covers aren’t a bad way to accomplish that.

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  • Aritra Ghatak - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    What do you people do with the left over review units??
  • Marricks - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    Leather back covers are ridiculously wasteful. Phones are such ephemeral items and some poor animal gave part of its body to be the pack of your phone, which is just going to be thrown away in two years! :(
    It's a sad nascent trend that I hope disappears very quickly.
  • Flunk - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    Leather is made out of the skins of cows that were killed for their meat, they're not going out and killing extra cows and throwing away the rest of the cow. Quite often the bones are used as well, there are quite a few culinary and industrial uses for cow bones.

    Anyway, it's not that wasteful, certainly no more wasteful than the designer handbag industry.
  • Marricks - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    The leather hand bag industry isn't just starting up, and this isn't an article about that, hence why I am not complaining about it.

    Also, your argument doesn't make much sense, leather isn't a by product, its a major economic force in the cow industry, they get a lot of money and financial incentive form it. It's not like they have a bunch of free leather they're off loading on to the world. That viewpoint neglects to consider the real economics of the industry.
  • sailorman23 - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    The cows leather is a byproduct of beef for food. Cows aren't killed for their hides these days. It would be wasteful NOT to use the leather.
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    Stop with your facts and logic, you'll just confuse them.
  • III-V - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    I fix phones for a living... the leather-backed G4s are going to be fun. Going to have to really put that thing far off to the side where it can't get scuffed up on all the broken glass that's lying around...
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - link

    Yeah don't clean that glass up or nothin'. Did I mention this is an easily removable cover?? Maybe, you know, put a bucket or large bowl next to the broken glass pile to stick the removable cover in. That way it doesn't get rubbed up and down the foot-high pile of glass a dozen times during the repair process. Which, frankly I can only imagine involves lots of thrashing around and rubbing the leather cover up and down a three-foot high pile of acid-drenched razor sharp glass shards.
  • III-V - Monday, August 24, 2015 - link

    Well, someone seems a bit ignorant of the ins and outs of phone repair shops...
  • sailorman23 - Monday, August 17, 2015 - link

    I have the T-Mobile version and got it with the free extra leather back promo. The standard brown leather back is very nice soft fine grain (like shoe leather) and the color is conservative and classy. I got the light blue version for the free one, definitely a different feel. It is soft but more bumpy so feels rougher in the hand. The fine grain is more comfortable, the larger grain feels more durable. Both are a huge difference from a plastic back and work fine with the wireless charging aftermarket sticker. My only wish would have been a metal bezel instead of the plastic one. It really would have knocked the premium feel up a notch.

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