If you thought that everyone had fired their last salvo of 2013 when it comes to high-end smartphones, think again: if you follow Ubergizmo, you knew that the LG G Flex was coming, but now we had a chance to play with one and there are several things that may surprise you: first of all, this is a large display phone with a 6” diagonal. However, it remains relatively small compared to the Lumia 1520 and the HTC One Max. Let’s take a closer look:
G Flex: Specifications OverviewLet’s push this aside quickly. The LG G Flex uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip (2.26GHz) paired with 2GB of RAM. From the looks of it, 32GB will be the standard minimum storage capacity and there’s a micro-SD slot in case you need more. This means that you can easily get to 96GB of storage without breaking the bank. At the moment, the OS is Android 4.2.2, although this may change by the time it is available in our market.
In the back, there is a 13 Megapixel camera, and while we haven’t been able to run a full test, we hope that the camera module is similar to the LG G2 (from the photos that we took, the quality is comparable). Since there’s room in the phone, LG has integrated a 3500mAh battery, which should compensate for the larger OLED display. This particular phone is a Korean version, so it comes equipped with LTE-Advance and again, this may not be the case in all markets. At the moment, only Korea has large-scale deployments of LTE-A with peak speeds beyond 100Mbps.
The superb OLED display is the main novelty (LG is typically known for its LCD IPS displays) and the main technological driver behind the fact that this smartphone can “flex” (just a little!). That’s right, it’s not just “curved”, but it can actually be bended to an extent. The curvature of the phone is elegant and reminds me of an earlier Nexus phone. To make this possible, LG has a curved battery as well – while the Samsung Galaxy Round has a flat battery, which makes it harder to have a curve from end to end.
LG was pitching a few benefits from the curved design: it’s a natural shape for voice calls, and the slight proximity to your mouth could yield a gain of 3 decibels. When watching videos, the curvature makes the experience more “immersive” says LG, which also builds a curved OLED TV for the same reason. I’m not 100% convinced by this argument, but given the quality of LG’s display, it’s fair to say that movies will look awesome regardless of the curvature.
Finally, the “flex” may help this smartphone be slightly more resistant to shocks. Having some flexibility could allow the absorption of impact energy. We didn’t try to drop one, but trust me, those videos will pop on the web soon enough. At 177g, it is the lightest 6”+ smartphone that we have seen to date, easily surpassing the HTC One Max (217g) and the Lumia 1520 (209g) which are also equipped with 6” displays.
The LG Flex is first and foremost a great design exercise that is made possible by LG’s new OLED display. The most important benefit from being flexible is that it can survive situations where other phones screens would crack. I know of someone who put it in the back pocket and set pretty hard on it, without damaging it… however keep in mind that this is not pitched by LG as a “rugged” phone. It just happen to be pretty tough.
The LG G Flex is the most compact 6” high-end Android smartphone, so you should be able to get all the benefits of a large battery and display, without all the bulk associated with this category of devices. In the end, this is the most important element of the equation in my opinion.
What do you think?