Android Curveball: LG G Flex Review - HotHardware

Android Curveball: LG G Flex Review

13 thumbs up

LG’s new G Flex smartphone is the “world’s first curved flexible smartphone” according to the company. We’ve seen smartphones that have curved bodies before, but this is the first smartphone to feature a display and battery that are curved as well. LG claims the curved design of the G Flex is optimized for the average face to provide better call and sound volume quality. For users who are going to put the phone in their back pocket, the curved shape of the phone also makes it fit more comfortably.

In addition to its curved form, there’s one other very noticeable feature of this smartphone, and that’s its large 6-inch display. If you set this phone next to any average-size smartphone, there’s no mistaking the G Flex offers a LOT of screen real estate. Another differentiating factor of the G Flex is its Rear Key and volume controls. In other words, there are no hardware buttons on the front of the device. The Rear Key and volume rocker are located below the camera on the back and are easily located by touch alone.

In an effort to take full advantage of the G Flex’s large display, LG is also including a number of unique software features with the device that are designed to give the user greater multitasking functionality. We’ll take a closer look at all of these features in the coming pages.

LG G Flex
Specifications & Features

Processor
Snapdragon 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Processor MSM8974
Memory
2GB RAM
32 GB (Up to 24 GB for User Memory)

Size & Weight
6.32 (H) x 3.21 (W) x 0.33 (D) inches
6.24 ounces

Display
6.0-inch Curved HD OLED Screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 (1280 x 720)
OS
Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
SIM Card Type
micro SIM
Network
Sprint Frequencies: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS
850/1900/2100, LTE Bands 25/26/41
Sprint Data Transmission: GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA+, WCDMA, LTE
Connectivity
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Miracast
SmartShare Beam

A-GPS
Software Features
Dual Window, Slide Aside, QSlide, QuickMemo, KnockON, Quick Translator, On-Call Notes, Polaris Viewer 5, QuickTheater, QuickRemote, VuTalk, Guest Mode, & more
Camera
13 Megapixel Rear-Facing Autofocus Camera with LED Flash
2.1 Megapixel Front-Facing Camera
Battery
3,500 mAh
Talk Time: Up to 29 Hours

Price
Sprint $149.99 - $179.99 with discounts and contract
AT&T $149.99 - $199.99 with discounts and contract
T-Mobile $672 full retail price

 

We’re testing the Sprint version of the G Flex in this review. But LG has also teamed up with AT&T and T-Mobile to offer the device. Before we dive into the full hands-on review, take a close look at the specifications above.
 

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Thats a really low resolution for a screen that size. I've just got a Lumia 1520 (6" 1080 resolution) and its significantly nicer to use its screen than the 1320 which has the same size and resolution as this LG phone's 720. Its AMOLED which is nice, but forget having nice bright backgrounds and still keeping your battery life and outdoor visibility.

I suppose having such a lower resolution helps with battery life and performance, but having buttons on the rear of the device just comes across as LG thinking they had to do something different for the sake of it, not any practical purpose for the majority of users.

 

Oh, and no NFC?  While not a dealbreaker, its something thats becoming more useful and a stupid omission in any modern phone/tablet.

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I still don't understand why a "fixed battery" would constantly end up in the con category! No SD card slot I understand even though having a sd slot is a BIG no no for me there are people out there who use it or need it while for me it will also be an empty slot just gathering dust and pocket lint. But the battery? What % of smart phones actually have remove able batteries?! And out of those that do how many people actually buy and carry spare batteries?! I would bet my savings account that a very insignificant amount of people around actually buy and use spare batteries. A fixed battery means a more solid construction, no back plate to worry about popping off or losing, and I imagine that all these phones with ANSI water and dust resistance are easier to design even though the new S5 has those features with a removable battery.

If you are going to carry around a spare battery for your phone here are millions of options for external battery packs ranging from the size of a smartphone battery to the size of desktop harddrives and it wouldn't even require turning off your phone to swap out.

Can we have a poll here on HH asking whether people prefer a fixed or remove able battery? The results might help a fixed battery stay out of the con column.

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I'm on the road at client's offices and in the field all day. I carry two or three spare batteries and use them. I can't be tethered to a wall charger. So for me a fixed battery is a deal breaker.

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It's not just about having the ability to swap out when dead. Not having a removable battery means taking the phone in for repair, should the battery need to be replaced.

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And the battery needs replacing when?? The vast majority update our phones far far before any battery issues become apparent.

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I'd have to agree with MCaddick here. Really, the only time you need access to the battery is for a hard reset beyond what buttons or a software switch can deliver. You want to be able to pull the power source completely, just in case. Other than that, the advantage of a replaceable battery is pretty marginal these days.

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An interesting-looking phone and I want to see it in person! The lack of an SD card and non-replaceable battery would kill the deal for me, though. My wife and I keep our phones for a long time (purchase outright w/no-contract) so it's important that we can replace a weak or faulty battery.

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Wait no NFC? Hmmm, well the device is interesting. Seen videos of people laying them on a hard surface and pressing them flat. Interesting that the internals can withstand something like that. But the no SD card is probably what would kill me the most. I'd like to see this up close though. But I couldn't see me picking one up for my next phone

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Yup ive seen it all now. Curveball me to the face someone

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I'm just glad to see handset manufacturers pushing different designs than just a sheet of glass. We are in need of some different form factors in mobility

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