Pick up the LG G Flex for the first time, and it's tough to tell which is the cooler feature. For one thing, this phone is curved. Not just "Oh, the glass is curved against your face." But "Holy crap, the entire phone is curved."
But that's just half the story. Because what good is a curved phone that's rigid? That's just asking for trouble. No, the LG G Flex also bends. From the glass atop the display, to the display itself, to the all-new battery, this phone is meant to withstand up to 88 pounds of pressure in its most sensitive of areas, moving just enough to keep things from breaking while providing what LG believes to be the most ergonomic fit yet.
But you're not supposed to be able to bend your phone, right?
But, yeah. You can bend the LG G Flex. The curved LG G Flex. Shrug your shoulders all you want — LG predicts that some 40 percent of smartphones will be flexible by 2018.
We'll have much more on this new class of smartphone. But the big strokes are that this is a large phone — 6 inches in diagonal, but with a 720p display. It's got rear buttons like the LG G2, but these have some added functionality and a cooler design. The phone feels big — because it is — but it also feels ... different. Maybe that's in our heads. Maybe with with warped body comes warped thoughts.
But bending its the only trick this phone has up its sleeve. There's a thin coating on the glossy plastic that protects scratches. Actually, it fights back, healing the plastic should something nick it. We're not talking huge gouges — it's just a thin layer after all. But those annoying little marks should be a thing of the past with the G Flex. (The same can't be said about fingerprints, though.) Pretty neat trick.
The software's also slightly improved. The user interface looks more sophisticated that what we've seen from LG in the past (and it feels like we say that every year — improvement is a good thing). But it's tough to believe that the G Flex is running Android 4.2.2 at this point in the game — some 10 months after it was released. Here's to hoping for a quick KitKat update, perhaps.
One other thing you get a sense of when you pick up the G Flex — this guy deserves a pretty good look. What we have now is the Korean model, TV antenna and all. It's not officially coming to the U.S. yet. (And emphasis on yet.) So we've got some time. The flexible phone thing just might stick around.