On one side of the ring, we have the LG G Flex, a marvel of a device that showcases some new and innovative design qualities we have not seen commercialized on a large scale. Meanwhile there’s the Nokia Lumia 1520, the biggest and most high spec’d Windows Phone to come to market made more profound with its hard-to-beat on-contract price from the onset. Several valid reasons exist right now as to why consumers should pick either of them up, but there can only be one that can give us the practical and meaningful answers.
Overall, it is safe to say that both handsets borrow from past devices, so we would not say that they are dramatically different. Despite that, we will give the stylish look to the Lumia 1520, mainly due to its chic tapered design in conjunction with the various bright colored paint jobs it’s offered in.
Unconventional curved design
Then again, the G Flex is unique in itself for its unconventional curved design, giving it the ability to go back into shape after being flattened, and its self-healing rear casing. When it comes to the in-the-hand feel, we are going to give it to the LG G Flex because of its ergonomic and more comfortable feel. Honestly, it is tough which design we prefer more, seeing that they a handful of characteristics we like.
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.
Nokia Lumia 1520
To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.
What we have here are two 6-inch displays, one employing IPS-LCD technology, the other being OLED. Looking at strictly at their qualities, there’s no arguing we get a higher level of it with the 6-inch 1080p (368 ppi) IPS-LCD display of the Lumia 1520. Not only is it more detailed than the 6-inch 720p (245 ppi) P-OLED panel of the G Flex, but it also proves to be more visible in outdoor conditions.
Although it is being outclassed in the specs department, the G Flex’s flexible plastic OLED display is undeniably rare, one that’s able to flex accordingly without any worries in regards to it breaking or shattering. Yes, it is cool, impressive, and innovative, but we have come across some distracting elements, like some odd color banding and spottiness, that appear when the brightness is set at 50% or below.
Processor and features
As the first Windows Phone device with a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor, the Lumia 1520 possesses exactly the thing that caused us to mark down the HTC One Max in our recent review. That said, Windows Phone is not as taxing for a phone to run as Android, and it is questionable as to whether there is anything you can do with the Lumia 1520 that will prove truly taxing for it.
Feeding the processor and the giant screen is a potent 3,400mAh battery, which is one of the most powerful batteries is any smartphone device around. One of the issues many people initially complained about when phablets started appearing on the market was extremely poor battery life, so it is nice to see Nokia show commitment to getting this right on its first attempt. This battery is not going to keep the phone going for ever like Nokias of old, but it will keep it guzzling along smoothly for about a day. Also on board the 1520 is 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be supplemented with a 64GB microSD card and 7GB of free SkyDrive storage.