LG G Flex
Wrapping up my LG booth visit was a trip to the G Flex table. The curved smart phone was already announced in late 2013, but this was the first time LG has given an official hands-on to a massive amount of people. The prospect of a curved phone is intriguing, but in reality is it practical? The answer is yes and no.
The LG Flex has a lot of cool tech-demo features: a curved screen and battery, a “self-healing” back plate, volume and power buttons on the back of the phone and a very bright OLED display. However, there doesn’t seem to be a huge need for theses features quite yet. LG claims the curvature of the screen “immerses” the user in the content on the display: a panoramic viewing experience; two apps can run simultaneously due to Dual Window mode; a pinch-out in landscape opens a quick video player. All these are nice, but can be done on the software side or at least with a similar sized OLED screen. LG also says the curve helps the phone feel more ergonomic in the hand, something that I can admit lived up to the hype; the phone felt great in my hand and against my face, however since it was tethered to the table, I could not test the feel of it in my pocket–something users will surely want to test before a purchase.
The self-healing back plate sounded cool, but when anything more than a finger nail or some loose change scratches it (such as keys) the plate will not fully be restored. For those light blemishes though, I’m told the phone back will self-heal completely within about two hours. And for those wondering, yes the phone can actually go flat if pressed hard enough against a flat surface, although this is not recommended to be done for more than a short time and not often.
The volume rocker and power button are located on the upper back of the phone, right underneath the camera. This placement seemed a bit wonky to me and I constantly pressed the camera lens instead of the actual buttons. LG claims this is more intuitive, but I just found it strange and could see myself getting very frustrated over time with extend use.
Other specs on the G Flex include a 6-inch 720p display, a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 3500mAh battery. For those that do want the G Flex, it will be available in quarter 1 of 2014, with no pricing announced at this time.
In my opinion, the G Flex is a fine phone for someone who drops their phone a lot or possibly a person who wants the latest in technology, but I can’t see a normal person wanting or needing this device. It is a very impressive demo, but in the real world I’m just not convinced we’re ready for curved phones.
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All photographs by Maria Hedrick Photography for cychron.com