Keeping in mind that LG G Flex launched back in 2013, we know that this review is pretty late. Still, since our friends over at Bytes offered us a review unit so we couldn’t resist considering the fact that the LG G Flex 2 is rumored to make an appearance in a month or so. LG G Flex is a pretty decent device with a lot of phablet features similar to those of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. Since LG G Flex still costs a good 42,000/- PKR (~420 USD) hence you can buy a used one for only 26,000/- PKR (~260 USD) from Bytes.
As usual, before diving deep into the LG G Flex review, let’s have a look at it’s basic specifications.
- Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Dimensions: 160.5 x 81.6 x 8.7 mm, Weight: 177 g
- 6.0-inch (720 x 1280 px) P-OLED display, ~245 ppi pixel density
- 2.26 GHz (Krait 400) Quad-Core CPU
- 32 GB Internal Storage, 2 GB RAM
- 13MP camera with LED Flash
- 2.1MP Front-cam
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, AGPS/GPS, Bluetooth v4.0
- Li-Po 3500 mAh battery
LG G Flex’s design is rather simple but impressive. Flexible curved screen is probably the spotlight stealing feature. However, the curve certainly does not mean that the device is totally flexible or folds-up. Though, by applying a tad amount of pressure, you can flatten the handset to some extent without breaking it.
Although, arc of the device is quite noticeable but it still feels comfortable in the hand. I personally liked the curve because it made the microphone closer to the mouth, which resulted in better sound quality during calls.
LG G Flex has a plastic body with a brushed metal look on the back. There’s no metal on the G Flex, but that should not come as a surprise since the curve requires the frame to be flexible. Glossy finish however makes the device a bit slippery and hence demands a certain degree of caution while handling.
Another special feature of the G Flex’s back cover is that it is coated with a self-healing coating. This means that many minor scuffs or scratches would disappear with time but deep cuts won’t heal anytime soon.
LG G Flex has the same design convention that it adopted for the LG G2 by placing the power button and volume rocker on the back. Buttons are placed, right under the device camera, where your index finger would probably be in a vertical configuration. I found them appropriate for this device as it makes it a bit easier to operate one-handed.
Volume rocker has small silver dots that make them easy to find, while the power button is in the center. On the G Flex, the power button also acts as a notification LED.
Front of the device is also very clean with speaker grill, proximity and light sensors near the top. LG logo is placed near the bottom where you would conventionally find the hardware keys. LG G Flex has no hardware keys since on-screen keys are present.
Sides of the device look pretty clean since volume and power keys are located on the back. Right side of the G Flex is plain whereas the left side of the device has microSIM tray slot breaking up the plastic frame. The microUSB port and 3.5 mm headphone jack are present at the bottom. Two microphones can also be seen at the top and bottom of the G Flex.
LG G Flex has a 6.0-inch curved plastic OLED display. It is a 720P display with a pixel density of about 245 ppi. Although 720P might not seem much as compared to other 1080P devices in the market but still it manages to stand out from the competition. Images and videos on the G Flex aren’t as sharp as the 1080P displays but they can still WOW you time to time.
Viewing angles on the G Flex are good as well. Although the screen does seem a tad bit dim when seen at an angle but still the viewing experience is pleasant and doesn’t hurt your eyes. Have a look at the two images below, taken from a regular and a ~45 degree viewing angles.
LG G Flex is backed by the processing power of a Quad-Core 2.26 Ghz (Krait 400), Snapdragon 800 CPU. It also has 2 Gigs of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU to go along with it. I found G Flex to be really smooth in day-to-day usage. Although i had a bunch of apps installed, most of which ran in the background and were connected to internet, G Flex still never halted and was able to handle them quite easily.
We did run AnTuTu Benchmark on the G Flex and interestingly, despite being an year old, it still came fourth just below OnePlus One and above HTC One (M8), Huawei Mate 7 and others. Here’s a screenshot of the AnTuTu benchmark so that you can see for yourself.
Gaming experience on the G Flex is nothing less. All the graphic intensive games such as Asphalt 8 or FIFA 15 ran smooth enough for a pleasant experience.
Camera & Video
LG G Flex, on the back, has a 13 MP camera with a LED flash and a 2.1 MP front-facing camera for selfies. Camera result isn’t anything extraordinary and sometimes results in dull colors. Close-ups can sometimes lack sharp focus and the pictures might feel blurry with soft edges. Same goes for the indoor pictures which can have a considerable amount of noise. This is mainly due to the fact that G Flex doesn’t have an OIS module.
Interface & Functionality
LG G Flex comes with Android v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) but is upgradeable to v4.4.2 (Kit Kat). If you’re expecting to buy a device that would be upgradeable to Android v5.0 (Lollipop) anytime soon, well LG isn’t exactly known for timely updates. LG G Flex’s software isn’t your stock Android. It comes with LG’s own customization which utilizes the large screen real estate and makes its one-handed operations easy.
To make your one-handed operations easy, you can configure the device to show a few things compressed to the right or the left. These few things include your dial pad, LG keyboard and the front touch buttons. Depending on whether your left or right handed, once you’ve configured these options you can easily use your device with a single hand. Don’t forget that G Flex still weighs a good 177 g which can be difficult to hold with one-hand, for long periods of time.
Another good feature of the G Flex is its Dual Screen mode. Dual Screen mode is similar in functionality to Samsung’s Multi Window feature. You hold down the back button for a while and a pop-up appears. From this pop-up you can choose which apps to open in which half of the screen. Later on you can also resize these apps and move data from one app into another with a simple drag and drop. For example, you can drag an image from the gallery and drop it into the messaging app to attach it to an MMS.
For a more detailed look at the LG G Flex’s interface and functionality you can have a look at the LG G Flex software tour below. A gallery or LG G Flex screenshots is right after it as well.
LG G Flex has a humongous battery of 3500mAh with which I was pretty satisfied. I was easily able to make the device last two days with normal usage i.e. a few calls, reasonable amount of texts, few app downloads over WiFi and a little bit of gaming. Under heavy usage such as a constant 4G connection, a few calls, lots of texts, casual gaming and music streaming, G Flex easily survived for little over a day.
One thing that some of you might find annoying is that LG G Flex takes a considerable amount of time for charging. Connected to a normal adapter it would take on average 3.5 hours to charge. If you’re used to charging your device through your computer’s USB port, well, than G Flex would take a lot longer to charge.
LG G Flex Review Wrap-up
LG G Flex is a good phablet with a unique curved and to some extent flexible design. Although the G Flex excels in performance and battery life, unfortunately it also lacks in display and camera quality. Still, these are not the reasons which should stop your from buying one but it’s price is. Putting all the gimmicks aside, i think that the G Flex costs much more than it’s competition but if a curved display phablet is what you want, than by all means go for the LG G Flex.
What do you think of the LG G Flex and our LG G Flex review? Don be shy! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.