Review: LG G Flex from AT&T

02/27/2014 7:25 PM

02/28/2014 4:30 AM

Few devices turn heads like the six-inch LG G Flex smartphone. Attractive, arguably fashionable, the G Flex is endowed with a curved flexible screen, some self-healing ability and a touch of interface magic.

Substance or style?
It is easy to dismiss the bowed screen of the device as a gimmick, but after spending time with our LG G Flex review unit from AT&T it became clear that the curved display is legitimate.

The large curved and flexible screen of the Android smartphone is seductive. The form factor mimics the curvature of larger panoramic screens and it seems to work, creating a more immersive visual experience right in your hands.

LG says the curve improves ergonomics. The shape supposedly makes it more comfortable in the hands and better for calls since it contours the face more so than the typical flat slab. It does rest more naturally in the palm, but some may find the difference too subtle to notice.

The 6-inch 720p display may disappoint specification geeks, but you don't notice it much unless it is next to a 1080p device like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. There is a slight blue cast, but glare is well controlled.

The flexible technology makes the device more durable. The G Flex can handle being pressed flat without breaking. It also as a self-healing back that can repair minor scratches.

Beyond the curve
The 13 megapixel camera is good, but not quite as good as the Galaxy Note 3. The G Flex can capture video with both the front and rear cameras simultaneously.

Maybe the most divisive aspect of the Flex is the rear-mounted power and volume buttons.

The G Flex comes with an LG skin over Android 4.2 that offers some cool features. Using KnockOn, the display can be turned on or off by tapping on the screen. There are several multitasking features that offer split screen and multiple floating window modes.

Other notables include the built-in QuickRemote IR blaster that's a cinch to set-up and excellent battery life.

The good
Curved display improves viewing
Glare well controlled
QuickRemote IR blaster
Excellent battery life
Neat UI touches

What could improve
Android 4.2 rather than 4.4
Only 720p display
Better loudspeaker
Unsure about the back-mounted buttons

The LG G Flex may not bring much in the way of state of the art hardware with groundbreaking specifications, but it does meld unique design with cool UI features.

On paper, the LG G Flex may be a tough sell next to the formidable Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but a hands-on experience at a brick and mortar might make the difference.


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