G Flex

Features include a curved display, self-healing rear skin and back-mounted buttons 

We've had our fair share of looks at the then-unannounced G Flex, and now LG has made its curved phone official. Unlike the recently-revealed Samsung Galaxy Round, the G Flex is curved on the horizontal axis (think Galaxy Nexus) and seemingly more dramatically based on the pictures LG has released. Aside from the curve, the G Flex follows LG's design language found on its other "G series" devices, including the rear-mounted buttons we first saw on the LG G2.

In terms of specs, the G Flex has an OLED display, as we'd expect for such a curved panel, but is unfortunately only 720 x 1280 resolution — at 6-inches diagonally, that pegs the pixel density at 244 ppi. Inside, we're looking at a MSM8974 (Snapdragon 800) processor clocked at 2.26GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, 32GB of internal storage and Bluetooth 4.0. As expected, for now this is a South Korea-only affair. Also interesting, LG says the rear of the G Flex will feature a self-healing coating, designed to automatically fill small scratches in the finish.

As you'd expect the G Flex is running Android 4.2.2 with LG's own software customizations. LG seems to be crafting its software to take advantage — or at least be accommodating — of the curved screen, shifting elements on the screen based on how the phone moves. Beyond that, it isn't entirely known what new software features will be G Flex-specific. See the press release after the break.

G Flex

LG UNVEILS WORLD’S FIRST “REAL” CURVED SMARTPHONE

LG G Flex Stays Ahead of the Curve to Lead Evolution of Smartphones with Breakthrough Innovations

SEOUL, Oct. 29, 2013 — Setting a new milestone in the evolution of the smartphone, LG Electronics (LG) today officially took the wraps off the LG G Flex, a smartphone curved to follow the contour of the face, the first device to offer such a design in the smartphone market. The latest device in LG’s premium G Series, the G Flex incorporates proprietary innovations from other LG companies in the form of the display and battery that have never been seen before. The LG G Flex also boasts new user experience (UX) features that take advantage of the curved form factor.

“The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The LG G Flex with its distinctive design, innovative hardware and consumer-centric UX represents the most significant development in the smartphone space since smartphone became part of our regular vocabulary.”

Form + Function: Design that Understands Human Curves
The vertically curved design of the LG G Flex reduces the distance between one’s mouth to the microphone when the device is held against the ear, as traditional telephone handsets used to. The LG G Flex employs a curvature arc that is optimized for the average face, to deliver improved voice and sound quality. The curved form increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones. The curved design 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.

LG G Flex also features the Rear Key first introduced in the LG G2. Devoid of any buttons on the sides, there is less chance of accidentally powering off the phone and the convenience of using one’s index finger to adjust the volume when conversing is maintained.

Innovation Delivered Through Collaboration
The development of LG G Flex was only possible through the successful collaboration with sister companies LG Display and LG Chem. The 6-inch display found in the G Flex is the world’s largest Plastic OLED (POLED) display developed and mass produced specifically for smartphones. The ultra-thin, ultra-light flexible POLED display and curved OLED panel are built on plastic substrates instead of glass, giving LG G Flex its unique shape and durability. The POLED display is brighter and more precise thanks to the application of Real RGB, which contains all three sub-pixels — red, green and blue — in one pixel.

LG Chem developed the world’s first curved battery technology specifically for application in LG G Flex. The curved battery in the G Flex is designed with LG Chem’s patented Stack & Folding technology, which reduces the physical stress on the battery pack when in the curved form and provides better stability and performance. Despite its thin form, the LG G Flex battery has a capacity of 3,500mAh, enough power for more than a full day of use.

User-Centered Technologies
Among the several new technologies, the LG G Flex is the first smartphone to apply a “Self Healing” coating on the back cover. The elastic coating has the ability to recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive, keeping the G Flex looking newer longer.

Users of LG G Flex will have a wider selection in the ability to enjoy in various format of music — MP3, CD quality or 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback. UX features, such as KnockON, Guest Mode and Plug & Pop, which were positively received when first introduced in the LG G2, can also found in the LG G Flex. The LG G Flex also includes an array of new UX features:

- 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 LG Flex will be available in Korea starting in November through all three major local carriers. Availability in additional markets will be announced thereafter.

Key Specifications (Korean Version):

- Chipset: 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm? Snapdragon™ 800 (MSM 8974)
GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz
- Display: 6-inch HD (1280 x 720), Curved P-OLED (Real RGB)
- Memory: 2GB LP DDR3 RAM / 32GB eMMc
- Camera: Rear 13.0MP / Front 2.1MP
- Battery: 3,500mAh (embedded)
- Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
- Size: 160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 - 8.7mm
- Weight: 177g
- Network: LTE-A / LTE / HSPA+ / GSM
- Connectivity: BT 4.0 / USB 3.0 compatible / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC
- Color: Titan Silver
- Other: TDMB / Hi-Fi 24bit, 192kHz Playback 

 

Reader comments

LG officially releases the G Flex, a 6-inch curved OLED smartphone

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If they have to adapt their software to look normal on the screen, that sounds like a bad user experience with third party apps.

Adapting is not the correct word to use. Advantage is the correct one.

Apps will work like they always have since a screen is a screen. LG has updated some of its apps to take advantage of the curve.

If you put your phones in the back pocket, that curve will hug your ass cheek very nicely ;)
And people who think that this phone is just to show off, please start thinking :)
This way at least for me it is easier to reach edge of the screen of bigger phones, as I don't have gigantic palm and long fingers. I doubt that this is the way to go for all the phones, but I can see the market for it :)

It boggles my mind when I see people put their phone in their back pocket. ~$700 devices and they're going to sit on them...

I put mine in my back pocket all the time. If it breaks by a new one. Plain and simple.

Editor in chief of Futureproff.com

Great way to show off as the Editor in Chief for Futureproff by talking out of your behind. Because everyone has $700 of disposable income every time they break their phone by sitting on it. Good to know Futureproff pays so well.

I'd certainly read a tech blog where the editor-in-chief doesn't have a firm grasp of simple spelling.

Posted via Android Central App

WTF? Why the non-progressive thinking?
Why would we want this too pass,we should be hoping for it to evolve and become something better or more useful.
What if these things were to pave the way for some amazing devices!

Imagine a small square that unlocks a pull-out flexible 3D OLED screen, with just a simple fingerprint swipe.

Anything can happen, don't scoff at technological advancements! Everything is good for something else.

That's a flexible OLED screen though. This is a curved non-flexible OLED... Different tech. This should die here with the Galaxy round as well. Maybe it has other practical uses, but not here.

Posted via my Nexus 6 running 4.5 Lima Bean

Curved glass has been being made for centuries and we still don't have flexible windows. What makes you think this is a step in the direction of flexible screens (other than the name of course)?

Posted via Android Central App

We don't have flexible windows (generally). However, a smartphone isn't a window. Flexible phone screens are a concept because of breakability and portability. Windows aren't portable. They also don't have the same concerns over breakability. You can make the glass thicker, tempered or reinforced. That's not really feasible with a smartphone.
Whether flexible displays will become a thing or not, I don't know. But to compare them to windows is hugely flawed logic.

Fair enough. But you fail to point out how curved rigid glass makes flexible glass any more of a reality any time soon? My point was really just having curved glass does not bring you any closer to having flexible screens.

Posted via Android Central App

I agree with you coolbreeze78. I don't see the point of this. To me the real innovation in "flex screens" will be screens that can actually flex, not screens that are shaped to the phone and then fixed at that shape. A phone that is permanently curved doesn't help someone that keeps it in their pocket. Unless the feature really helps make the phone more pleasing to use and easier to use, then to me it is just a waste of time on the manufacturer's part. I don't see this taking off.

Why go with top tech specs and stop at the screen. Especially that its large @ 6" and the pixel dinsety is very low.

Posted from my HTC one via Android Central App

Yeah, idk why everyone tries to correct people with that little tidbit.. The end result is the same, it's curved. And being a former Nexus S owner, that curved screen was awesome. It was annoying to adjust back to a flat display on the Nexus 4.

The curved is absolutely the best way to go. If you haven't used one before (and I don't mean hold for 20 seconds), then you shouldn't be running your mouths.

I wish Nexus kept the curve going.. I'd be semi interested in this LG, but I like the Nexus family and want to support it. So, it's unlikely I'd ever get it. But I'm glad it was made.

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

Go on, you have my interest..

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My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

This isn't flexible. Just fixed curved. Samsung and LG are basically just testing the waters in South Korea with their new curved display phones. When we see truly flexible smartphones, then there will be a point.

1. You can eat your cereal out of it
2. You can place it on your belly while asleep
3. Can serve the purpose of an ultra pad
In a nutshell, it basically does nothing.

Sent from my SM-N900 using the S-Pen

Samsung and LG need to partner on a curved phone. They can call it the LGalaxy Bowl. It will be curved on both axes (yes, that is the proper plural of axis, I had to look it up because I couldn't decide between axii or axies, I was double wrong) and be the only cellphone you can eat your cereal out of.

They should work with Sony too, so it will be waterproof and will be able to stand the washing machine after you use it as a bowl LOL

And pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis -> pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

I'm far more curious about the self healing back than I am the curved display.

Posted via Android Central App

I wonder if it's going to be a real leather type back or the rubbery texture like a zagg invisible shield. Both can heal light scratches pretty well. I can't imagine that's it's polycarbonate as it does nothing to prevent or heal scratches.

I wouldn't count it out, just yet. Eventually, we may see devices with flexible displays. The curved display is simply following the progression of screen technology, to test how received these devices are with the general public.

You can't (shouldn't?) fault LG or Samsung for, at least, trying something new, ya know?

You can fault them if it is a bad idea. Flexible phones could be great. Curved phones won't be. They will be a fad, but they won't catch on.

Why fault them on a test product? Its not like LG did this to their main G series phone or Samsung did it to a Galaxy S. Then you can be mad.

Posted via Android Central App

Flexible is one thing, boomerang is another

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My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

I rather see a high end slider with a good five row keyboard than this.

I bought an EVO 3D on clearance, great price. Guess how many times I used the 3D camera. Once.

Guess how many times I have looked at the example 3D pics that came with the phone. No more than four times.

The only way I'd consider LG new curved phone is if it went on clearance real cheap.

Looks like a Chinese kid's homework. They (Samsung and LG) are yet to explain the purpose and benefits of a curved screen display.

Sent from my SM-N900 using the S-Pen

Are you referring to that 3 decibel nonsense?

We have had flat phones all along and many of us actually use them as phones with zero problems hearing or being heard by the other party.

Some of us even have to keep our volumes turned down to avoid getting our eardrums blasted.

If they wanted to improve sound they could have made software adjustments.

As for IMAX, I can't speak to that as every theater I've been in was flat just like my TV and laptop. Theaters, my TV, and laptop all look great to me. How many people do they think are going to crowd around this phone for viewing angles to matter more than a traditional high end screen already provides?

Curvature of the back pocket? I guess Kim Kardashian would appreciate that more than I would.

Anyway, no hate for the device...just thinking it's more marketing fluff than actual innovation.

Why does a smartphone need to be flat?

Because that's the easiest/cheapest way to build them. That's the only reason.

At least they put a big battery in it. The curve seems trendy, but 720p confirms gimmick status. Why are people putting headphone ports on the bottom? I've never had one there, does it help in any way?

Awesome A C

I like the headphone jack on the bottom. For one if you need to charge while using the headphone jack at the same time they are both on the bottom instead of one coming out of both ends. I norm only do this in my truck and it would be a pain if the headphone jack was on top.

Supposedly the port on the bottom makes it a bit more user friendly. Think about how you put your phone in your pocket. Generally upside down. And when you pull it out it is facing correctly. With the headphone jack on the bottom it makes that easier to accomplish.

I get the principal, personally I just don't care as long as it isn't on the side

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My S-Pen went through hell to deliver this important message to you

What are the advantages of a curved screen?

I get the flexible screen which might be "unbreakable" and even doesn't need any glass, but why make it curved?

also, am i the only one who thinks the first picture make it look a lot curvier than it actually is, and even too much?

There are no advantages of this fixed flexible display which using fixed and fexible in the same sentence sounds odd. The technology is fantastic and quite enjoy reading about the advances in the tech industry, however i dont think this will ever be released to the masses.

Having that flexible display in place of the Corning Gorilla glass meaning you then have a screen that is unbreakable sounds great to me. Who knows where or how this tech will be devoloped further but i for one is interested.

Just not in this form, dont see the point and going by previous comments i am not the only one.

Posted via Android Central App

This display is less likely to get broke. The curved screen introduces new technology and curves to your face, but ultimately it introduces new possibilities. The thing I can't find information on is how resistant to scratches the display is. Fine maybe it is hard to crack or break but for me the challenges are small scratches.

Yay! Like smart watches, this is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist!

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about the design. Part of me is thinking that it'll be great for when I put it in my back pocket and another part of me is thinking this is horrible for when I forget it's in my pocket and sit down. If I feel it break as I sit down I will cry for weeks on end.

now for all you lady's with no booty can just buy this new Phone..one for each cheek with (Insta Butt) brought to you by LG G Flex. "Batteries not included, cracked screens due to sitting down not covered, have a nice day"

U kno what's exciting.!? It doesn't look like every other phone out there. So what if its a 'fad' or 'pointless'. Its something new and different from the rest. Options and variety are what make the world go round. So what its not flexible... Its finally something slightly different from every other phone out there! And the self healing back is worth +1000 on its own... Thank u LG for thinking outside of the box.