Hands-on with the AT&T LG G Flex2: What's the point with the LG G4 coming soon?

LG announced the G Flex2 at CES and many thought it was quite compelling. However, the LG G4 is launching soon so Matt Miller isn't sure why we need a flexible display model.

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Last year I took a look at the unique LG G Flex and thought it had some compelling features. The LG G Flex2 improves in many ways, but it may be a tougher sell given the upcoming release of the new LG G4.

The LG G Flex2 was a hit at CES back in January, but a lot has changed since then. The most compelling Android phone right now is the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, but early thoughts on the LG G4 indicate it will be an even better smartphone.

Check out the CNET LG G Flex2 review with an 8.3 rating.

LG G Flex2 vs LG G Flex

The first question I asked upon receiving an AT&T model to evaluate was what the differences were between the G Flex and the G Flex2. Here's a list of the key differences:

  • Processor: The G Flex2 has a Snapdragon 810 processor, improving on the 800 in the G Flex.
  • Display: The G Flex2 moves from a 720P display to a 1080p variant in a slightly smaller 5.5 inch size. Pixel density improves from 245 ppi to 401.
  • Camera: Both phones have 13 megapixel rear cameras, but the G Flex2 adds OIS and a dual LED flash.
  • Memory: The G Flex2 adds a microSD card slot with support up to 2TB.
  • Size: The LG G Flex2 is 11.4 mm shorter, 6.3 mm narrower, 0.7 mm thicker, and 25 grams lighter.

The decrease in size was immediately felt when I unboxed the LG G Flex2. Rather than feeling like it should compete in the phablet market, the G Flex2 feels comparable to other mainstream smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or iPhone 6.

Hardware

LG adds colorful, vibrant images to its lock screens and when I first turned on the LG G Flex2 the color splash image showed off the new display resolution. The screen looks fantastic and is a pleasure to use for movies, reading text, capturing images, and more.

I don't fully understand the curved banana form factor and the whole flex part seems to be more of a gimmick than anything. It looks interesting and it does form around your face a bit better, but I just don't get it.

While the LG G Flex2 feels good in the hand, I'm not a fan of the super glossy back cover. It is self-healing so that minor scratches go away within a few seconds, but I still prefer a soft touch back.

I did not like the first generation back button design, but LG has now perfected the design so that the buttons are easy to find with your finger and control the device.

The battery is not removable and has a slightly smaller 3000 mAh capacity compared to the LG G Flex. The G Flex2 supports quick charging with a compatible charger so you can get up to 50 percent in about 40 minutes. This is important since I didn't find the battery to be that impressive or get me through a full day of normal use.

You can add additional storage capacity using the microSD card slot, which is handy for storing content you capture with the camera.

The 13 megapixel camera performs well and is quick to shoot photos. I understand the LG G4 camera is even better, which again makes me question the need for the G Flex2.

Software

LG's software remains mostly the same and comes out of the box running Android Lollipop. There are several handy utilities and custom functions provided by LG. I didn't find the UI too intrusive and liked that there are plenty of customization options available.

I continue to be disappointed by Android phones provided by US wireless carriers as they are loaded with excessive bloatware. This AT&T model is rather ridiculous with more than a dozen AT&T-branded apps and utilities that cannot be uninstalled.

Final thoughts

I understand people often carry their phones in their back pocket and that the Apple iPhone 6 raised awareness about the possibility of your phone bending. The LG G Flex2 alleviates this concern with its flexible display and battery. If you are concerned about bending your phone in your pocket, then the G Flex2 may be perfect for you.

With the LG G4 launching soon, those who want the best LG phone may have a hard time selecting the LG G Flex2. The camera in the G Flex2 is good, but doesn't stack up to the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge.

The LG G Flex2 is available now on AT&T for $708.99 with no contract, $299.99 with a 2-year contract, and as low as $23.64/month with AT&T Next 24. At this price, I have a really hard time even considering this device. I recommend you first take a look at the LG G4 before considering the G Flex2.

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