LG G Flex 30 Day Challenge: The Conclusion

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| March 20, 2014

A month ago, I decided to tackle a phone that didn't seem to be on a lot of people's radar. A phone that, while announced in late 2013, took until early 2014 to make an appearance here in our neck of the woods. A phone that, in all honesty, is probably too big to actually be considered *a phone*. But hey, it's got a curved display, so that should make everything okay, right?

Some people like big displays on their mobile devices, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. There's certainly no denying that big screens have obviously become one of the most requested features on devices from consumers, seeing as how they keep buying the handsets that boast the larger displays. So, if everyone else is making phones with big displays, and LG's already got one out there that's raking in its own share of attention, then what's left to draw some of those fans into an entirely different fold?

How does LG make things exciting again?

I imagine that "being one of the first," is probably more in tune with what LG was thinking with the G Flex, and not so much "how to make the industry exciting again," so they probably get credit for the former, much sooner than they'd ever get a nod for the latter. The G Flex does indeed fit the bill as one of the first smartphones available for consumer purchase that boasts a curved display, but unfortunately this isn't one feature that can make the rest of the device really stand out on its own.

One month ago I picked the G Flex for my 30-day Challenge device because I genuinely thought it was interesting. It looked interested in all of the marketing pictures, and LG hyped up the device so well that I couldn't help but want to get my hands on it and try it out. The six-inch display, while way too big for my personal standards of a phone, was said to usher in an IMAX-like experience thanks to the curve, and that tugged at all the right heart strings in my particular case.

I can safely say now, since Day 8 of this whole 30-day event, the display has done nothing to really interest me. Some folks called the curved display a gimmick, and while I can't even really say it's a gimmick, I certainly lost all interest in it pretty quickly. It does boast a 720p resolution, and that's all well and good, but I have no idea how LG can feel comfortable marketing an "IMAX-like experience" when we're obviously nowhere in that league. Or, even in the same park, really. Just because the G Flex's display is curved doesn't offer an IMAX-like experience, LG. This is just silly.

(Realistically, I never thought this was going to be the case, obviously, but the display honestly doesn't provide anything above and beyond other displays on the market. In fact, it pales in comparison to others, like the HTC One's, or even the Galaxy S 4's.)

The camera, which saw its own dissection on the tenth day of the challenge, hasn't necessarily improved since then, either. It's still just relatively good, with no exceptional qualities, other than the speed of its activation from the lock screen or the home screen. The controls aren't terrible. The images the camera takes aren't terrible. But, again, nothing here really stands out, either. The camera is just as middling as other parts of the device.

The battery, and the way the phone feels in the hand (thanks to its thin profile and lightweight design), are the only standout features, as far as I'm concerned. The battery really is impressive, and it can easily last a couple of days without a charge as long as the usage isn't too terribly stressful. Even with heavy usage, a full day (and then some) isn't completely out of the ordinary for the G Flex.

The G Flex, despite having a curved display and being one of the first of its kind on the market, is an exceptionally unexceptional device. The display, for me, is just too big for me to want to use for extended periods of time. The buttons on the back of the handset grew more tiresome than useful with more usage. While features like knock-on are great, they're simply worthwhile because finding the power button on the back of the phone can prove to be far more annoying than it needs to be.

To be perfectly frank, I'm happy that this 30 Day Challenge is complete, because I want to put the G Flex down and not pick it up again unless I absolutely have to. I'm ready to step away from the device, and focus on something else entirely.

Products mentioned