Flex appeal? LG enters curved smartphone race with Android phablet

Flex appeal? LG enters curved smartphone race with Android phablet

Summary: LG has followed Samsung in debuting a curved-screen handset. How does the Jelly Bean phablet measure up?

TOPICS: Smartphones
The LG G Flex. Image: LG

LG has become the latest smartphone maker to decide what the world really needs is a curved mobile.

The company revealed the G Flex on Monday, following in the footsteps of rival Samsung, which launched its own curved-screen device earlier this month.

Why the decision to do away with traditional flat design? According to LG, the curve means better sound quality, as the handset "reduces the distance between one's mouth to the microphone" using a "curvature arc that is optimised for the average face". Apparently, it also "offers a more reassuring grip" as well as wider viewing angles.

Alas, for those with average faces who have always sought extra reassurance in how they hold their mobiles, the G Flex has only been confirmed for release in South Korea. While LG has said that it will announce more markets in future, there's no word yet on where those might be.  

Aside from its curviness, what does the G Flex have to offer? The phablet has a six-inch, 1280x720p Plastic OLED screen, a 3,500mAh battery, a 13-megapixel front facing camera and 2.1 megapixel rear-facing equivalent.

Under the bonnet, there's Qualcomm's 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and a 450MHz Adreno 330 GPU. When it comes to memory, there's 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage.

It runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and has LTE-A connectivity for good measure — all wrapped up in a 177g package.

The G Flex will go on sale in November.

Further reading

Topic: Smartphones

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  • It's, um, curved the wrong way...

    This phone is curved the wrong way for me. I don't spend much time at all actually holding a smartphone up to my face on a phone call, but the phone does spend a lot of time in my pocket. With the thing curved this way it will naturally slip sideways. Not so good.
    • That's what I thought...

      ...but it will also improve movies/games in widescreen. I think it should curve in both planes, in sort of a shallow bowl shape.
  • Reverse front and rear.

    13-megapixel rear facing camera and 2.1 megapixel front-facing equivalent.
    Grayson Peddie
  • dump the back buttons

    I own a LG G2, since launch day. LG really needs to dump the back buttons. Though they are not a complete disaster, after owning the phone for a while I can say that the back buttons DO cause problems. 1) In a dock/phone holder, like in my car, I cannot turn the screen off, or adjust the volumes. Lame. 2) With the volume keys adjacent to the screen off, I always am attempting to push the correct button. It is a constant pain. How they think it is a good idea is beyond me. Clearly no one at LG actually uses the phone. This could be the greatest phone on the market, but it fails due to this one goofy design flaw.
  • The name is misleading also.

    I pulled up the article because the name "Flex" led me unsure whether it really flexed (and I know there are LAB prototypes of screens that do so, but I had not heard whether any real PRODUCTS had come out using that technology. Answer: not yet). Apparently, this phone does NOT "flex," it only has a rigid shape that was curved at the factory, like the handset of a traditional corded desk phone. It could legitimately be called "curve" or even "banana" but not "flex." The other features do not add to its appeal either; I agree with the last poster that I would not want physical buttons on the back of a device that I use flat on a surface (or as flat as possible, in this case).
  • wont stay put

    I quite often use my phone on a table with one finger while say eating or drinking, and this curved back would mean it just spins about if i was trying to swipe horizontally
  • Poor Design

    Someone hasn't thought through the design flaws in this model. Cases are going to be non-existent. Angling to remove glare from lights is going to be a pain. Scrolling will be awkward. But some people will still buy it just because it's different.