We played with LG’s latest bendy baby in Las Vegas for CES 2015 and have to admit, gimmick or no, it’s a highly desirable curvy slab of smartphone.
We weren’t massively sold on last year’s LG G Flex, one of the world’s first ‘flexible’ smartphones, despite the great battery life and abundance of awesome LG features. To be honest, the curvy nature of it felt like a pointless gimmick and it wasn’t actually that flexible despite its monicker. In fact, you could only really flatten it out, and why would you want to do that when the curved design is the USP?
Well, the LG G Flex 2 launched yesterday which came as a bit of a surprise, even though LG has stated how it’s concentrating on flexible tech in 2015 – we thought we might be seeing bendy tablets and TVs before we saw another Flex phone. And when we played with the G Flex 2 at CES 2015, we have to admit that the fact that it’s a gimmicky handset, which seems like a ‘look what we can do’ piece of tester tech instead of a genuinely useful slip of innovation, slipped from our minds a little.
With its reduced form factor, the 5.5-inch G Flex 2 fits much more comfortably in the hand than the original G Flex, which makes it all the more desirable. The body itself is similar to an LG G3 after you accidentally sit on it, with a subtle curve as opposed to a harsh bend. Once again it feels like a total gimmick, but at least it’s easy to handle and doesn’t poke your tender areas when you slip it into your pocket (not advisable when seven-foot Vegas bouncers are keeping tabs on you).
One thing’s for sure; LG has totally nailed comfort, making potentially bulky handsets surprisingly slender and easy to manage.
The finish is a little plasticky sadly, as these pics will hopefully convey. While the G3 had a sleek metallic finish that made you forget the body was plastic, the G Flex 2 has a shiny, fingerprint-loving glossy build that isn’t quite as loveable. Still, it’s not an ugly handset by any means and it’s good to see the rear-mounted power and volume buttons make a welcome return. They’re just as user-friendly in this incarnation, slipping right beneath your fingers as you handle the phone.
The Full HD screen is a significant improvement over last year’s 720p effort too, throwing out some gloriously sharp and bright visuals. We’re surprised that LG didn’t go full Quad HD for the G Flex 2, but it’s good to see that the display is super-tough, happily shrugging off all kinds of knocks. And that shiny rear can apparently heal itself more efficiently than last year’s G Flex, although we didn’t get a chance to test that out (those bouncers again).
Thanks to the Snapdragon 810 processor, we also encountered zero slowdown or other performance issues when whizzing around LG’s touched-up Android Lollipop interface, which as usual is packed with features including effortless multi-tasking.
One new feature is the cool and nifty glimpse screen gesture; just pull down from the top of the phone screen when it’s hibernating and you’ll get a glance of the time as well as any waiting notifications. In practice, it doesn’t quite work every time and it isn’t as handy as the likes of Nokia’s glance screen, where a quick look at your phone (from the right angle) reveals the same information. Still, it’s a nice addition and genuinely handy, like most of LG’s features.
The 13-megapixel camera appears to be just as flexible and capable as the LG G3’s, handling tricky lighting conditions without trouble. The Optical Image Stabilisation should also help with shaky cam footage although we only had a couple of minutes to test this out. Selfie fans will once again love the 2.1-megapixel front facer of course, complete with fist-pump hand gesture shutter control. Nice.
The LG G Flex 2 should it the UK in the next month or two and we’ll bring you a full review when we get our mitts on this curvy handset.