LG’s new G4 phones will have leather backs

The leather-covered LG G4 (left) next to an LG G3, Tuesday. LG is making smartphones with leather backs as it seeks to distinguish its phones from Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones.

LG is making smartphones with optional leather backs as it seeks to distinguish its phones from Apple’s iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones.

The message at Tuesday’s announcement of the new G4: We’re not like the others.

Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone market, with LG and other companies vying for third place with market shares of less than 5 percent each.

The G4 will have a choice of leather finishes, crafted for a better grip. By contrast, Apple and HTC use metal and Samsung uses glass. LG made a dig at Samsung, without naming it, by pointing out that glass can be marred with fingerprints.

LG will make phones with traditional backs, too — using metal or ceramic. Prices weren’t announced, though LG said the leather models will cost more in some markets.

LG also boasts a better camera with manual controls typically limited to full-bodied SLR cameras.

The G4 will debut around the world in the coming weeks. It is expected to reach the U.S. in early June.