A curved design makes this a unique smartphone, but is it good?
There have a lot of smartphones available nowadays that only a few manage to stand out. Whether it’s on the design or on the features by now I just see all of them as one design but that may seem to change with the LG G Flex. With the current advancements in display technology manufacturers are now able to make curved displays that they say would give a more ‘immersive’ experience to the viewer, but I didn’t expect they would put it on a smartphone. That’s where the G Flex name comes from – since this the company’s first smartphone to feature a curved display. I must commend the looks and design of this particular smartphone, but is it good enough? Let’s find out.
The curved screen is certainly the main selling point of the LG G Flex. It supports as massive 6-inch display – yes it looks massive and border on the Phablet territory even if LG still calls this a smartphone (really, all these screen sizes are overwhelming at times). The OLED display is certainly good I must admit, though I wish they’d bumped up the resolution to full HD since it only supports 720 x 1280 pixels.
The curved display also means that all components inside the LG G Flex’s are also curved, including the battery. An engineering feat I must admit, and it’s highly flexible too. You can press down on the curved display without any problems.
It also features the volume and power controls at the back, which was first introduced in the LG G2. Additionally, the rear of the LG G Flex features a ‘self-healing back’. It works just like it sounds: any scratches it gains easily erases overtime. This works on most surface scratches though I doubt it can withstand deep scratches.
Specifications and software
The LG G Flex features a decent set of components, including a Snapdragon Quad-core processor, 32 GB of storage, a 13 megapixel camera and runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. I initially bummed when I saw that it is still running on Jelly Bean, but just as I was writing this review I got a system update that upgraded the OS to the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat version. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC are present.
Like all other Android smartphones, LG has also customized the interface of the G Flex with their own icon sets and apps. It comes pre-loaded with LG SmartWorld which is the company’s own app store, which can give further recommendations about apps and other games you can enjoy on the smartphone. The Google Play store is still present as the default go to place for apps, making it even more confusing as to where you should get your apps. LG and other manufacturers have started this trend, providing their own app stores in their smartphones. I know their intentions are good, but I’d rather have one universal app store like Google Play to handle all app downloads and updates.
The LG G Flex works well as a smartphone – calls were clear and decent and the curved screen made it easier to use the smartphone even if it’s pressed against my face. It’s easier to text on the LG G Flex thanks to the larger screen. Though the problem with big screen smartphones is that you would normally need two hand operates it. LG thankfully rectifies this problem with the one-handed operation mode that places the functions near one side of the device so you can access them all with one hand.
Even if the Snapdragon 800 processor is a bit dated compared to the ones found on the recent smartphones, the performance was still fast and fluid. Apps launch and load quickly and I didn’t encounter any freeze-ups when using it. It actually felt snappier after upgrading the system software to KitKat.
The camera on the LG G Flex is just like the one found on the G2 released last year. You have 13 megapixels at the back and a 2.1 megapixel front facing one. LG has loaded the camera software with useful tools to make your images good, but even if placing them all at auto would warrant decent images. I just wish they have included a dedicated shutter key on the phone, considering how big it is. Images shot at daytime were the best but night shots were a letdown. You can also shoot 4K on the LG G Flex, but quality isn’t the best.
The 3500 mAh battery on the LG G Flex works wonders. It gave about 700 hours of standby time and a decent 15 hours of talk time – translate that on everyday usage and you have a smartphone that can last a full day after a full charge.
With a current market price of 1799 AED, the LG G Flex is more affordable compared to when it was first introduced last year probably due to the release of the G3. Still, the display is something that’s worth seeing but between this and the LG G3, I’d suggest you get the G3 instead.