|+ Unique design||- Gimmicky curved screen|
|+ Powerful||- Display is only 720p|
|+ Long battery life||- Ludicrously expensive|
|+ Good battery life|
"The LG G Flex is a powerful, eye catching phone, with great battery life and a number of innovative features, but its stand out feature (the curved screen) doesn’t really add much and it’s cripplingly expensive."
If LG wanted to stand out it’s certainly done that with the G Flex. It’s the first widely available phone with a curved screen and it retains the unusual backside button placements of the LG G2. It’s also impressively powerful, but so is most of its competition and it carries a wallet bleeding £690 price tag. So will it be able to stand out or is it destined to become an over-priced curiosity? Read on to find out.
You might as well sum up the design of the LG G Flex with ‘curved display’, because that’s about all anyone’s going to notice. Having said that it’s not an extreme curve, it’s actually quite subtle, though still noticeable.
It looks good, though mostly just because it’s not something you see every day, but the benefits are minimal. It feels nice when on the phone as it wraps around the curvature of your face and because it’s flexible it’s theoretically more resilient to being sat on and other mishaps but as the glass itself isn’t actually any harder than other phones it’s still pretty fragile.
The back of the phone is a glossy but fairly plain plastic. It does nothing to visually stand out but then it doesn’t really have to because everyone will be fixated on the curves. What it does do is self-heal, thanks to a special coating. In real terms that means that small scratches will gradually disappear over a day or two, but when we say small we really mean small. A major gash or dent will prove too much for it.
The back of the phone is also home to the buttons, which is another curious design decision, one which LG started with the G2. We’d argue that having buttons on the back looks a little ugly, but it perhaps slightly improves the usability, because your fingers more naturally lie over the buttons than they would if the buttons were on the side.
The G Flex feels solid and well built, but despite only being 8.7mm thick it actually feels chunkier than that, probably due to its curved design.
Overall the design of the phone is pretty good, with a number of fairly unique features, but we can’t help but feel that the self-healing and even the curved display are a bit of a gimmick.
At 6 inches the LG G Flex is very much in phablet territory, though it actually seems slightly smaller than its peers as some of that real estate curves upwards. That also makes it a little more pocket friendly than a flat 6 inch screen would be.
The bad news is that the display itself isn’t all that great. It’s 720 x 1280 with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch, which to be honest is a little bit mid-range and it shows. It’s acceptable enough but put it side by side with an HTC One or Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and you can really see the difference.
LG claims that lowering the resolution was necessary in order to curve the screen, in which case we’d actually rather the screen was flat and higher resolution, but then there are plenty of phones which already offer that.
Unfortunately as well as being lower resolution than we’d like the screen is also slightly grainy. It’s a minor issue but one which is always noticeable.
With a 2.26GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM the LG G Flex really rockets along. It’s not quite as slick as say the Galaxy Note 3, but it definitely feels like a top of the range handset. In fact short of occasional hiccups when playing high end games there really aren’t any performance problems at all, as the phone responds to every swipe, tap and pinch the instant you do it.
The LG G Flex runs Android 4.2.2 and although LG has skinned it with its own interface it’s not a million miles away from stock in either look or features. That’s probably for the best, as stock Android is slick, clean and intuitive and that all carries over to the G Flex.
What LG has added is mostly beneficial too. There’s a ‘Knock On’ feature for example, which lets you turn on the screen by double tapping it rather than having to reach for a button, while the notifications screen also gives you access to a wealth of toggles, from Wi-Fi to brightness. Stock Android gives you some but the G Flex gives you far more, meaning you can control more aspects of the phone without having to dive into the settings screen.
The LG G Flex comes with 32GB of storage. There’s no microSD card slot but for most people 32GB should be plenty.
It supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and even infrared, so in terms of connectivity options the G Flex ticks every box you could hope for.
It has a 13 megapixel camera which produces good, natural images. It also has a 2.1 megapixel front facing camera and can shoot 1080p video at 60fps. All in all it’s one of the better smartphone snappers around.
The battery life on the LG G Flex is a revelation. It has a massive 3500 mAh juice pack inside and that’s enough to keep it going for two to three days with moderate use and over a day even when used heavily. The curves might be the most obvious feature of the G Flex but the battery life is the most important one.
The LG G Flex is, for the most part, a fantastic phone. It’s tremendously powerful, has a battery that lasts for days, a slick, innovative interface and a good camera. But the screen isn’t as high resolution as we’d like and we just can’t shake the feeling that the curved display is more of a gimmick than something that’s genuinely useful. The biggest problem though is that £690 SIM free price tag. That’s £200 more than most top end phones and it doesn’t fare much better on contract, but there’s nothing here to justify it. If you’re over flat screens then go for it but everyone else should wait for a price cut.
Dimensions : 160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 - 8.7mm
Screen size: 6-inch HD (1280 x 720), Curved P-OLED (Real RGB)
Screen Resolution: 1280*720 pixels
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 245ppi
Processor: Quad-core 2.26 Ghz processor
Battery capacity : 3500 mAH battery
Onboard Memory: 32GB (microSD support)
Camera : 13 mega-pixel camera (2.1 mega-pixel front-facing)
Operating system: Android Jelly Bean (4.3)
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE : Yes/Yes/Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/Yes
Colours : Titan Silver
Launch Date: Out now
Price : £690
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