LG says G4’s leather back is made from high-quality cow leather and takes 12 weeks to manufacture


LG G4 leather back manufacturing

After the world made a big hoopla over the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge finally using “premium” build materials, it’s clear consumers are looking for a little more luxury from their $700 smartphones. No doubt an idea sparked by Motorola’s leather backed Moto X (2nd Gen) options, LG is now following suit for the LG G4.

LG says they’re the first ones to slap leather on a smartphone in Korea and while we’ll just have to take them on their word for it, LG has spent a considerable amount of time and effort to deliver what they call a “sensible luxury.” It takes LG a total of 12 weeks from start to finish, 10 times longer than the production process of the normal rear cover which takes barely 4 days.

Made from only the top layer (epidermis) of high quality cow leather, the back features tiny 0.001 micrometer pores for breathability. The end result is a smooth, soft touch back that should feel unlike any other smartphone on the market, while still allowing heat to dissipate.

Whether or not this luxury option will resonate with consumers — and how much of an extra premium this will add to the phone’s price sticker — remains to be seen. Either way, if you opt for the leather backed LG G4, you can rest assured you’re not getting the cheap stuff.

[LG (Korean)]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. That’s alot of cows.

    1. Guessing they don’t kill the cow to make the leather, but rather it’s taking the skin from cows we’re already eating?

      1. The world may never know.

      2. One would hope so, could you imagine one cow farm that took the skin and left the meat, and a farm that took the meat and threw away the skin. Although sadly it would not surprise me one bit if that was an actual thing.

        1. Like all things in life, there’s some debate on the subject. Some say leather is a meat byproduct, while others feel it’s the other way around given how valuable cow skin has become. It’s complicated.

          1. I dont care how well you marinate and grill the most expensive cow hide….Ill still eat a good T Bone

        2. I live in a farming community and its not at all like that. Nothing is put to waste.

      3. That leather interior in your car Chris….it was once part of a cow.

      4. Bang on the money – and let me tell you, they were TASTY!

      5. Maybe. I remember a car manufacturer that raised special cows in padded pens so they couldn’t get scratched and mar the future leather they were destined to become.

        Of course, finding 6 sq ins of unmarred leather for a phone off the millions of cows killed for food, is a lot easier than finding the many sq yards of clear leather necessary for a $250,000 luxury car.

  2. I bet PETA is now actively planning their attack campaign against LG.

  3. BS.. that is nonsense to try to spread some info to justify a high price for the leather back version. Maybe 12 weeks from day the leather is skinned from the cow. But not 12 weeks of LG dealing it. No way.

    1. ^ This.

    2. Yeah, I think they include the leather manufacturing process. Anyway, who care ? This phone is a joke, flagship with sd808? Meh.

      1. then what do you want, sd 810 that overheats and requires throttling to keep it under control?

        1. SD 805 that will perform similar?

  4. Screw my newly adopted vegetarian ways, I may not eat it but I’ll sport it on my phone.

    1. “Don’t eat meat, wear meat.”

  5. I’m not impressed

  6. Countless man hours and some of the most rigorous test, LG happens to come up with the most disgusting looking phone of 2015. What a monstrosity.

    1. You must be high on dope. The G4 is not a monstrosity.. I’ve been hearing almost all positive expectations from users around the web. Many are looking forward to the G4…stop shooting your veins….

      1. You mad bro? I don’t care what feedback you’re getting around the Web, this thing is hideous to me.

        1. You mad bro? Is this2006?

          1. Is it?

        2. Yes I’m mad …very mad!!!! aaaarrrrgggghhh!!!!

          1. Good.

        3. I think it’s going to be a beast despite the 808..Are real world users really going to be able to tell the difference with everyday use? Highly unlikely.. Also the 5.5 screen is perfect.. If the camera is as good as they say and battery life is improved I’ll be picking this up over Sammy this time.. As for the leather back, who cares, It’s getting cased anyways..

          1. Good for you????. Now ask me if I care? It is still hideous, nothing you say or do can change that.

          2. Yes so hideous indeed… How can anyone stand to look at it wow! Like it or not this phone will sell like hot cakes.. So i don’t need to try and change anything.. The product will speak for itself.. “Ask me if I care” Haha what are you, in grade 3? First class douche nugget indeed..

          3. Depending on what you consider alot. Remember the g3 only manages to sell 7,000,000 while any galaxy sells like five times that amount. I’ll give lg 10,000,000 this time around because that’s the number they’re shooting for, says one lg executive. Those numbers are pathetic sir, when compares to numbers samsung and apple puts up with similar flagships.

          4. Obviously apple and Samsung sell more product.. They are after all the two top contenders.. For me, and I think most hardcore android fans though, it is not about sales.. It is about a phone that arrives with quality features that appease consumers and are tailored to what they want, or need.. I.e removable battery, SD card, good camera and so forth.. The fact that Samsung has neglected some of this could have a dramatic positive impact for lg.. Listen to the consumer and sales will follow.

          5. All that Ying yang Internet talk means nothing interms of sales. The s6 and edge is the phones that is selling like “hotcakes”, to the tune of almost double that of the s5, so I think samsung have made the right choice to Fargo such options. The s6 and edge is beautiful! sir this is 2015 not 2009. SD card and removable batteries are overrated! In the case of samsung, you loose some and you gain plenty. The g4 will not sell a 1/4 of what the s6 does, with removable battery, SD card and all.

            Ps: you’re the one who brought up sales. (The g4 will sell like hotcakes) We will see.

          6. Yang yang Internet talk hey?? Umm, plenty of people would like to maintain SD and removable battery options.. Especially considering the fact that reviews of the s6 (especially edge) battery life are less than stellar.. Yes it is indeed 2015 so why are we still on average battery life with glass backs.. Many do not want this . Many don’t even want a home button.. It is a valid argument.. Also yes, I did bring up sales.. But you took it out of context.. I meant sales as compared to lg last handset the g3..They will out do that and become more relevant in the grand scheme.. You are still droning on about figures and numbers in comparison to Apple and Samsung.. NO the g4 will not have those types of sales.. I think they themselves realize that even… But this handset will be somthing worth taking a look at, and great for people who want other options.

            Get over it dude!!

      1. How to blame him…

  7. If that elaborate leather back accounts for 50% of the phone price. I prefer a cheap plastic back to have a phone at 50% of its current price.

    1. It’ll be an option, not the default.

      1. They really say they’re the first in Korea to do leather phones??? Am I just dumb, or is the author of this article, because clearly to my knowledge, Samsung is a Korean company, in Korea, which made a leather back Galaxy S5 and or Note3?!???

        1. I don’t think Samsung uses true leather.

        2. You may refer to S view cover for S5 and note 3, it’s faux-leather. I’ve own a S5;)

        3. Samsung uses soft touch plastic simulating the feel of leather — not actual leather. Not even the stitching is real on their phone, it’s plastic molded.

  8. This is a great idea – love the fact that you can change out the back, so unlike the Moto X you aren’t committing yourself to leather for ever. Watching with interest….

  9. I guess there will be no sales in India.

    1. So true xD

    2. There will be regular plastic backed versions at a cheaper price.

  10. Hopefully they’re not planning on selling too many of these things.

    1. LG is quoted as having a goal of selling more than 10 million G4’s this year. That’s a lot of cows.

      1. Well… Hopefully they make use of those cows; someone gets the skin, others gets the liver, etc.

        I know… dark, but there’s no other way to think about it. ._.

  11. I wonder how many vegans will be using this

  12. So my Moto x leather is a cheap cow….

  13. ‘After the world made a big hoopla over the Samsung Galaxy S6
    and S6 Edge finally using “premium” build materials, it’s clear
    consumers are looking for a little more luxury from their $700

    Eh, I’ll settle for 32gb of internal storage, a good camera, and battery life that lasts all day. This is apparently too much to ask for on a phone smaller than 5.5″, so I guess I’ll take what I can get.

  14. oops ! now will Indians use it ? To Indian Hindus cow is form of God and we already have beef banned in two states . haryana and maharashtra. Wonder how this is going to affect the sentiments of LG’s customers

  15. 12 weeks to manufacture and it looks hideous.
    LG, Samsung and premium build materials aren’t words that should be used in the same sentence I’m afraid.

    1. I am sure there is non-leather back type of case if you prefer.

      1. I think I’ll pass.

  16. Maybe this process is why the urbane costs around $349.

  17. Leather is a luxury material no doubt. But build to the phone is not practical. Leather is not weather proof. If it touches liquid, it takes a long time to dry. If not dry properly, it will smell and can’t be removed easily. Then the phone has to keep out of wetness.

  18. I’ll stick with my wood backed Moto X. Ebony finish and gold accents — by far my favorite looking Android phone to date.

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