Android Curveball: LG G Flex Review - HotHardware

Android Curveball: LG G Flex Review

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In addition to the standard features and functions we’ve come to expect on a smartphone, LG has included a number of extra features, apps, and functionality. Let’s take a closer look at some of these extras.

LG’s dual window mode lets you divide the screen into two separate windows for multi-tasking. Given that the G Flex has a large 6-inch screen, this multitasking functionality is an ideal add-on. Press and hold the Back button to enable Dual Window and select the applications you want to use with this feature. Initially, the windows will be split 50/50 but you can resize as you see fit.

   

LG G Flex applications

If you have the Slide Aside Multitasking feature enabled, you can also use a three-finger swipe to save running apps to the left or bring them back to the display. Slide Aside can hold up to three applications. When using Slide Aside, you’ll see a small indicator in the upper left corner of the screen that tells you how many apps are open. When multiple apps are open and you use three fingers and slide to the right, you’ll have an option to close open apps by swiping up or pressing the X button.

We saw LG’s QSlide functionality on the Optimus G Pro, and we were pleased to see it again on the G Flex. This feature lets you have multiple apps open at the same time, similar to how you would in Windows on a desktop or laptop computer. With the G Flex, we’re seeing even more QSlide compatible apps than before; now this functionality is available with Videos, Phone, Messaging, Calendar, Email, Memo, Voice Mate, File Manager, and Calculator. You can move QSlide apps around the screen and resize them. You can also adjust the transparency of these apps.

Another handy app that is making its return on the G Flex is QuickMemo. This app lets you capture screen shots, write on any screen, create memos, and share images you've created. You can easily access QuickMemo by dragging your finger down from the top of the screen and selecting QuickMemo.

   

DualWindow and QSlide

LG also includes an Urgent Call Alert feature that will make the front indicator LED and the Rear Key flash red if you’ve missed several consecutive calls from the same person. This can be especially useful if you’re in a meeting and can’t answer your phone but want to know at a glance if a call is urgent.

Using Guest Mode, you can set different lock patterns for owner and guest modes. When you unlock the phone under Guest Mode, only applications and content that has been pre-approved by the owner will be visible. Guest Mode can be enabled using the Settings menu after you’ve selected Pattern for Screen Lock. If you have coworkers or kids who regularly use your phone, Guest Mode is a great way to keep them out of certain areas and important documents while still letting them play games and enjoy content on your phone.

Users can quickly turn the G Flex screen on and off by tapping on the screen twice. This is particularly useful if you have the phone sitting on your desk and want to look at something without having to pick up the phone, hit the Rear Key, and set the phone back down. There is a slight delay in powering the screen on using this Knock feature but it works well overall. You can turn off the screen in the same manner by double-tapping the screen in the status bar, an empty area of the Home screen, or from the Lock screen.

   

Guest Mode, Slide Aside, and Translate features

QuickRemote can control a variety of IR devices including fans, televisions, DVD players, and more. You can customize QuickRemote by mapping buttons from a remote to the application. Answer Me is a feature found on the G Flex that lets you answer phone calls simply by placing the phone to your ear.

A launch bar is located at the base of all home screens. You can customize this launch bar to your liking. It can hold up to seven icons, though one of these icons must be the Apps icon. You can also group apps on the launch bar into a folder. You’ll find the Back, Home, and Menu keys below the launch bar.

From the lock screen, you can add links to a number of different applications making it quick and easy to open what you want directly from the lock screen. If you hold the phone in landscape mode, you can touch the screen and drag outward with both thumbs to open QuickTheater, an app that offers one-touch access to photos, videos, and YouTube.
 

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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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