Earlier this month in Korea, LG launched the G Flex, a quad-core smartphone that features an arched touch screen and rear control buttons. The device was announced after LG revealed it had successfully developed curved smartphone batteries.
Design and Display
The curve is not immense; it is more like a continuous, gentle bend. It actually seemed to make the otherwise large 6-inch OLED display a little easier to manage. The thin, curving form served to minimize the extra-wide flatness that normally would follow a phone this size. It hugs the face nicely, and LG claims the curvature helps amplify audio in and out when making calls. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Round, the curve goes top-to-bottom. The G Flex is equipped with a 6-inch curved OLED screen.
The curve also worked particularly well for videos: the HD display has a 1,280x720-pixel resolution and seemed particularly clear and glare-free, which matches what CNET TV editor David Katzmaier says holds true for larger curved-display OLED televisions.
Weirdly, the Flex does not indeed flex; an LG rep encouraged us to try, and we pressed the device down on the table face-first, against every instinct not to. It held up against the pressure, and is meant to survive being sat on.
The rear finish, which LG says is "self-healing," is derived from paint finishes in the automotive industry. Hydrogen in the finish is involved in the surface expanding over time after being scratched, sealing up any damage.
The handset includes an aforementioned contoured battery. According to LG, the 3,500mAh battery uses patented technology that takes advantage of its unique shape to perform more reliably. Powering the device is a 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor (the same blazing fast CPU that is seen in the Nexus 5 and the LG G2 flagship) and a 450MHz Adreno 330 GPU for ultrasmooth gameplay. For shutterbugs, the phone is equipped with a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and is LTE-enabled. Other features include 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and NFC.
Additional news feature
Additional new features to LG's Optimus 3.0 user interface include Q Theater. This lets you view photos and videos directly from the lock screen. There is also an urgent call alert, which flashes the LED notification light when you miss several calls in a row from the same number, and swing lock screen, which changes the lock screen image depending on how you hold the phone.
Though contoured handsets have been around for years, the design has never reached mass appeal. Now with Samsung and LG both releasing new curved smartphones, however, it looks like a renewed interest is reemerging. In and of itself, the G Flex sports impressive specifications regardless of the curved screen.