LG finally introduced its first curved display smartphone in India, the G Flex, at an event in New Delhi. Indian consumers
will have to wait till next year to get their hands on the device, as the
G Flex will be available in India only in February 2014
We got a chance to play with the LG G Flex at the event however, and sum up our first impressions below.
we first held the G Flex in our hands, we were definitely a bit taken aback by
its ergonomic curved design, which definitely is the device's USP. The G
Flex is curved on its horizontal axis which gives the device's top and
bottom edges a curl shape.
The biggest perceived advantage of the G Flex's curve in our
limited period usage, is while talking on the device - the
design definitely better hugs your face, much like an old landline phone. In
terms of gripping, the curve also helps to comfortably hold the device, but the rear
is made of plastic, so it can also slip out during long usage.
When compared to some of its close competitors like HTC One Max and the
Galaxy Mega 6.3, the G Flex (160.5x81.6x8.7mm) is better to hold and
move around thanks to the curve design.
Next big thing which is very much noticeable in the G
Flex is its size, the 6-inch display does puts it in the phablet
category and does looks like a large device in hands. Notably, we were unable to easily
use the G Flex with one hand, as we found it difficult to stretch
our thumb across the device. When talking about phablets, we still
believe that Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 (151.2x79.2x8.3mm) and Sony's
Xperia Z Ultra (179.4x92.2x6.5mm) were better in terms of daily usage
because of a more lightweight and sleeker profile.
At the event, we were
told that the G Flex can actually 'flex' until it's totally flat, and
one of the company representatives even claimed that the South Korean
manufacturer has tested the flexibility of the G Flex up to 100 times
with about 40 kilograms of weight putting on the device without damaging
the G Flex's screen. Let's say in the case, when accidentally sitting
on the G Flex.
While we couldn't test it with 40 kilograms of weight,
we did press the curve of the G Flex, and it did stretch to be
flat. While the display didn't crack, it's not really advisable to do this on a
closely on the lines of LG's current flagship smartphone, the LG G2, G
Flex also features rear physical keys for power and volume controls. LG
has equipped the LED light on the rear power key which comes handy for
notifications and while taking a selfie. The keys are metallic and offer
good tactile feedback, very much like the LG G2. The volume-up button
also doubles up as a shortcut key to launch the Quickmemo app on long
press and the volume-down button acts as a camera shortcut key on long
press when the phone is locked.
The G Flex also includes a number
of ports around the edges including the 3.5mm audio jack and the
charging port that sits at the bottom panel, while the micro-SIM card slot sits at the left panel of the G Flex. The rear panel includes the
primary 13-megapixel camera with an LED flash, which is accompanied by an IR
It would be unfair to end the design part without talking
about G Flex's self-healing back that has been creating a buzz
worldwide. When we wanted to test the self-healing capability of the G Flex, we
were sure we needed a scratchy material; unfortunately we didn't carry a
knife so we tried our key chain to rub the rear panel and gave it a
surface level scratch which was very much visible initially. After
some time, we noticed that the scratches were reduced but not completely
eliminated. While looking the G Flex from a certain angle, it looked
that the scratches were gone, although it was pretty much noticeable.
However, we must confess we were impressed and believe that the G Flex
can easily handle day-to-day bruises.
Coming to the hardware of
the G Flex, it is powered by a quad-core 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974)
processor with an Adreno 330 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. The G Flex easily
handled multitasking with ease, and the apps opened and closed
instantaneously. Performance wise, the G Flex fared well in our limited
The G Flex sports a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a
2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. During our usage, the camera app
opened instantly and did click at good speed without any shutter lag.
The G Flex is powered by a 3,500mAh battery and weighs 177 grams. The LG
G Flex comes with 32GB inbuilt storage, which is non-expandable.
LG G Flex runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which is a disappointment as
we expected LG to ship Android 4.3, the most recent iteration of the OS
with the phone. However, with LG finally revealing plans for rolling out
the Android 4.4 KitKat update
for the flagship smartphone, the G2, we expect
that the G Flex will also get the KitKat treatment soon.
On the software
department, the G Flex borrows many things from the G2. The company has
added the same LG G2 UI layer on top of the G Flex, majorly changing the
look and feel of the interface and enabling users to customise the
phone according to their liking.
The LG G Flex also features the
KnockON, which is LG's version of double tap to unlock and even lock the
smartphone. In our limited testing, we found that at times while trying
to unlock the phone it didn't register our taps. In fact, it was
annoying at times.
Other features on the G Flex include Slide Aside
which is a way to multitask by moving between three apps at once via a
three-finger swipe gesture; Guest mode, which allows you to create a
guest mode with pre-selected apps for times when your friends or family
want to use your phone; Dual Window, which divides the screen into two
panels for multitasking and QuickTheatre that gives direct access to
gallery, videos and YouTube icons.
You can expect more detailed observations and testing when we review the LG G Flex.