Android Curveball: LG G Flex Review
The LG G Flex has a large, 6-inch curved plastic OLED display that sports a resolution of 1280 x 720. By using a plastic OLED instead of a glass OLED, LG was able to make the panel bendable, thinner, lighter, and not easily breakable. To improve the image quality and clarity, LG used a Real RGB Stripe Pixel structure instead of a Pentile method. In comparison to screens with a Pentile OLED, the G Flex’s Real RGB stripe of sub-pixels is able to produce brighter and more accurate images with better color expression and a more genuine white color.
In real life, the G Flex’s display looks good. However, when placed next to the HTC One Max (which supports 1920 x 1080) with both screens at 100% brightness, the One Max’s higher resolution display offers a very noticeable difference in clarity and crispness of text.
The G Flex has a 700R (700mm radius) curvature that was selected after consumer research and testing. Interestingly enough, when holding the G Flex to our ear, it did feel slightly more comfortable than holding the similarly sized HTC One Max. When holding the HTC One Max in your hand, you get a feel that you’re holding a very sturdy, oversized smartphone. When holding the G Flex, the curved design and plastic body gives it a softer feel than the One Max. We preferred the feel of the G Flex in hand over the One Max since the G Flex didn’t make us feel like we were holding a monster-sized smartphone.
LG includes a durable coating on the back cover of the G Flex to help make the device more scratch-resistant from the everyday nicks of life that would normally occur while the phone is in a person’s pocket. Keep in mind however, that this coating is not designed for intentional scratching. This cover is smooth and doesn’t provide a lot of grip when you’re handling the phone.
In order to enable the curved design of the G Flex, LG developed a 3,500mAh curved battery. This battery is designed using LG Chem’s Stack & Folding technology. In order to offer stability and prevent distortion, LG embedded this battery. LG Chem also applied its SRS (Safety Reinforcing Separator) technology to help ensure battery stability and durability.
Initially, we had mixed feelings about the placement of the Rear Power Key. Although it can be very easy and convenient to use while holding the phone, it can be easy to push the Rear Key accidentally and turn off the display. While holding the G Flex to our ear, we found ourselves resting our index finger on the Rear Key. As long as you’re careful not to push this key while talking, there shouldn’t be any issue. While pinching the phone between our shoulder and ear, we pushed the Rear Key a few times, however.
After a spending a few days with the G Flex, we had become accustomed to using the Rear Key and our accidental presses were much less frequent. In fact, after a few days of use we actually grew to like the Rear Key placement in many situations.
The placement of the volume rocker on the back of the G Flex makes it very easy to adjust during a call. By long-pressing the volume up key, you can launch QuickMemo. A long press of the volume down key will launch the camera. When using the camera app, the settings menu gives you the option to control the zoom or shutter using the volume keys. By default, the volume keys will control zoom.
Above the display, you’ll notice the front-facing camera, proximity sensor, and notification LED in the upper left corner. When the screen is on, you’ll see an app launcher at the base of the Home screens as well as Back, Home, and Menu keys at the bottom of the display. On the back of the G Flex, you’ll find the 13 megapixel camera. An IR LED is located to the left of the camera and a flash is located to the right of the camera. Below the camera you’ll see the Power/Lock button which is surrounded by the volume keys. A speaker is located in the bottom right corner of the back of the phone.
The lower edge of the phone houses the microUSB charging port, microphone, and 3.5mm headset jack. On the left edge of the phone, you’ll find the micro SIM card tray.