LG officially announces its curved smartphone, the G Flex


We have for a while now known that LG was making a curved smartphone thanks to leak after leak in the past few weeks and its own admission earlier on that we’ll see the said device before November. It came to pass. And its the LG G Flex not the LG Z as was earlier speculated.

Announced for the Korean market with no specifics like a particular launch date (save for just a month – November) and whether it will be available elsewhere, the LG G Flex sounds more like a prototype device than something that will be mass produced for any market. The specs are just what we expected and the form factor is a little different from what we saw in Samsung’s own cuved smartphone, the Galaxy Round. Instead of curving from side to side, LG’s G F;ex curves from top to bottom creating an arc that resembles a bow when the device is held in portrait mode. Is that the best implementation of a curved smartphone? Only time will tell. However, as per LG’s recent design language for its smartphones, this should be the best they could come up with and could as well be more ergonomic since the buttons like power and volume are at the back of the device as is the case with the LG G2 and not on the sideways like in the Galaxy Round. Also, being that huge (at 6 inches) the top-bottom curve reduces the distance from the earpiece to the mouthpiece when the device is used for making calls. On a desk, when the phone rocks, it makes much more sense when it is from one tip to the other than from side to side, I can imagine.

Add-ons? Yes, LG set out to beat Samsung on the much that they can do with all that curved screen real estate. The G Flex has features like:

  • QTheater gives users quick access to photos, videos and YouTube right from the lock screen. By touching the screen and dragging outward along the curved surface with both fingers, the apps appear with the effect of theater curtains being drawn.
  • Dual Window:  divides the wide 6-inch screen into two separate windows for more effective multitasking.
  • Swing Lockscreen: alters the image on the lockscreen depending on how the G Flex is held.
  • Face Detection Indicator: displays the LED on the Rear Key in green to confirm status of face detection and focus.
  • Camera Timer: flashes the Rear Key LED to indicate that the countdown has begun.
  • Urgent Call Alert: flashes the LED on the Rear Key in red when several consecutive calls from the same person go unanswered.

The specs of the device are as follows:

  • Measures 160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 – 8.7mm
  • Weighs in at 177g
  • A quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM 8974) chip clocked at 2.26 GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz
  • 6-inch HD (1280 x 720), Curved P-OLED (Real RGB)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • 13 megapixel camera at the back and a 2.1 megapixel shooter on the front
  • A 3500 mAh non-removable battery (that is curved) supplied by LG Chem
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Network: LTE-A / LTE / HSPA+ / GSM
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 / USB 3.0 compatible / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC
  • Colour: Titan Silver
  • High quality audio playback (just like the G2) – 24bit, 192kHz

There are a few things to note about the LG G Flex:

  1. The display is a 720p not a 1080p like the Galaxy Round’s
  2. It has a “self-healing” back cover. What does that mean? It has an elastic coating at the back that has “the ability to recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive”.
  3. LG says that the curved form (top to bottom) increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones. It goes ahead to add that “it also offers a more reassuring grip and fits more comfortably in one’s back pocket. What’s more, in landscape mode, the display offers an IMAX-like experience, with the result being the most comfortable viewing angle for watching videos or playing games.”
  4. It has a P-OLED display i.e a Plastic OLED. At 6 inches, LG touts it to be a world first.
  5. There’s a curious sentence in LG’s press release: Availability in additional markets will be announced thereafter. So will we see this device outside Korea or not?