As smartphones are becoming more stabilized on their insides as far as processing power, displays and battery life is concerned, there are some companies that are trying to do innovate and new ways for you to enjoy your mobile experience. Last year Samsung came out of nowhere with the Galaxy Round which was and still is a Korean only exclusive at this point. Their device has a curve that goes left to right. Surprisingly a little after that LG unveiled its own version that goes up and down and has been titled the LG G Flex. One thing it has over its competitors is that has decided to come stateside for us to all get a piece of it. Will the LG G Flex bend to your liking?
Hardware & Display
Taking a cue from one of my favorite smartphones of 2013, the LG G2, it mirrors the same design and build with all the buttons placed on the back near the camera leaving the front nice and clean. The size of the display comes in 6″ and is of P-OLED 720p with 245ppi. I’d have to say in some cases the screen looks good and others it can come out looking grainy at times. This attribute to the large display screen and not using say a 1080p display.
Along with the display the whole body has a curve or flex to it. When placing in landscape mode it allows you immerse yourself into viewing content for say Netflix or even the occasional YouTube videos. I also found it slightly better with playing some games like the bundled snowboarding game SSX. On the back of the device it has a special coating which is used to have a “healing factor” when it takes some decent scratches and looks to work once it builds up some heat. Or you can just continue to rub and buffer it to build up some traction. I have applied some light scratches to it over time and see they have faded. I cant imagine this doing great with deep dish cuts though. You can as well press down on the phone’s backside and it will flatten and go back into its original position. I do like how they moved the audio speaker on the bottom like it was on the G2 and moved it to the backside. Audio was much better to my ears listening to it.
Just like its little brother the LG G2, the LG G Flex is a beast in the performance department. This I think is usually in part to it running with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Chip, alongside 2GB RAM. Memory wise it has built-in 32GB of storage which you shouldn’t be able to go through for a while but then again that’s all depending on the type of user you are.
And if you are wary of the phone dying at any point, its 3,500mAh battery will keep you chugging for a while. I can’t remember how often I charged this phone while using it, and this is the only area where I can see the 720p display assist with giving longer battery life to my knowledge. T-Mobile 4G LTE service has been steady while testing out the G Flex. Speed Tests showing around 30Mbps in some parts of Manhattan more towards 14th st, and around 12-15Mbps other spots. Uploads were good as well pushing from 9-15Mbps. If you want to see how T-Mobile’s coverage area is your location check HERE.
As I said earlier when it mirrors the LG G2 in just about every way, unfortunately it does with the software as well. The operating system being used on the G Flex is Android Jelly Bean 4.2, which has 2 major OS updates behind with 4.4 and even 4.3 versions already out. With a phone coming out in 2014, I’d expect it with at least one of the two. Other than that, its LG’s Optimus 3.0 UI and while it has a ton of features which seem to mirror Samsung’s at times. It doesn’t ever seem to boggle down the phone which has been a favorite part of using LG’s devices in the past few months. I tested out the Split View feature which is basically “Multi-Window” and it works good but needs to support more apps.
When I first started using the camera I didn’t think it was as good as the LG G2 even thought it has a 13MP shooter in the back and 2.1MP in the front. I love that camera with its OIS feature so of course I had adapted to it. Other than that, the LG G Flex does take some decent picture in regular lighting and even some low light shots. You can check out some of the images for yourself below as well as hit my Flickr folder link below with the 50+ additional shots I had taken.
Various Camera Shots with the LG G Flex The camera does record gorgeous 4K/UHD resolution which can be viewed on the huge 6″ display(Not in 4K unfortunately). Of course uploading to YouTube you wont get the full feel of it either, unless you are at home with a 4K/UHD display which a lot of us don’t have. Recording in 4K is nice though, just have to remember the memory it can eat up. This 39 second video alone was 142MBs. http://youtu.be/jrbuwSLthBM
Flex Your Wallet?
The LG G Flex has a hate it or love it feel to it. The 720p screen can be frowned upon, as well as the not so much use with the curved display. I would have liked to see more software capabilities to utilize the screen more. Also the phone being 6″ wont cater to everyone. The good things about the LG G Flex is its like a huge LG G2. It runs smooth, you have a ton of screen real estate, and it doesn’t feel bad in the hand thanks to the curve. Battery life is also extraordinary and goes a long way. In the end it’s all about if you like huge phablet phones and you want a flexible lifestyle to occupy that. The LG G Flex is available for $0 down and $28/mth or full retail of $672 on T-Mobile’s network. It is available on AT&T and Sprint as well.