I’ve got my hands on the LG G Flex 2. Now the LG G Flex 2 is one of the few smartphones currently in the market to feature a curved display. The most popular being the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. But unlike those two devices, the G Flex 2 does things a little bit differently as it has a curved display that’s curved around the horizontal axis and this does a few different things.
First of all, it doesn’t sit flat on a table. It sort of creates a bowl shape when it’s sitting on its back but it does fit the natural curve of your hand and it really does feel great when you’re holding the device. You also have better access to the rear-facing buttons, which LG is kind of famous for. All the volume controls and the power button are all located on the back below the 13MP camera sensor as well as the laser autofocus sensor and even the dual LED flash. In fact, there’s not a lot going on around the LG G Flex 2. There’s nothing on the left hand side for example and there’s nothing on the right hand side. There’s an IR blaster located on the top and a microUSB charging port down below on the bottom along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The front is home to a 5.5-inch 1080p curved POLED, which I will definitely touch more here in a moment. The front of the device looks very similar to the LG G3, although it is a tad bit taller.
Now I mentioned that it really does fit well in the hand but LG has decided to put this glossy reflective, self-healing back panel coating on the plastic back cover and I really have mixed feelings on it. It looks really good when there’s no fingerprints and when it’s nice and clean. I don’t like the way it feels. It feels very slimy and there’s no denying the fact that it feels like plastic because it is made of plastic. The good news though is that it can heal against small scratches and you can remove the back cover and have access to a microSD card slot and SIM card slot. But you cannot change or swap out the battery with the LG G Flex 2, unfortunately. So I would say it’s worth it having a plastic back cover to be able to swap out the battery but since you can’t do that, I would have liked to have seen a more premium build material.
The display is one of my favorite aspects of this device because it not only looks good, it’s also proof that you don’t need a QHD display in a flagship smartphone. In fact, unless I hold it next to a QHD display, I cannot tell the difference. And when I hold it, say next to the LG G3 which has a 2K resolution display, I still prefer the LG G Flex 2 because I love the deep blacks it is able to produce with the OLED technology. The colors are just very warm but they’re not overly vibrant. The whites don’t give off any yellow tint to them, which is always one thing that I look for and test for specifically.
Overall, it’s a very solid display. It’s not the best out there but it’s far from the worst and it really does help conserve power and prolong the battery life with the OLED technology, along with the less number of pixels. Also, the slight curve of the display makes scrolling through lists a lot fun actually and yes, you can notice the curve. It does alter the depth and make everything appear slightly 3D. One more thing that would make it most noticeable is in watching videos but I found it more noticeable when scrolling down the notification panel or looking through my music for example. I mean watching videos on this display looks great but I don’t think it’s because of the curve that much as it is just the display itself. There’s not much of a noticeable difference, especially when compared to a traditional flat display. But the curve is cool, it’s futuristic and that’s about it.
The G Flex 2 is also running the latest and greatest Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 810 Octa-Core processor paired with 3GB of RAM. And I’m really split on this as well because it’s fast. I can feel that there’s some serious power underneath of the hood as the multi-tasking overview tab opens up quickly and I can switch between apps with little problems at all. The apps in general just open up very fast. There are also some visually stunning elements, thanks to Android 5.0 Lollipop which does not only look pretty but helps the device run better than if it were running Android KitKat.
But I’m really not much of a fan of the software of LG on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop. I don’t think it looks particularly bad but it doesn’t run particularly well. LG has not only changed the app drawer, they’ve also changed how the notification panel looks, how the settings drawer looks, how the 3 navigation buttons look. The software navigation icons, for example, are enlarged. And they’ve even changed the lock screen.
Now I found a really annoying bug that hopefully will be fixed in a future update. But right now, you can’t interact with the notifications on the lock screen like you can with just about any other Android device. Usually you double tap the notification or swipe one way to open it up. But every time you did it on the LG G Flex 2, it prompts you to swipe to unlock the device. And swiping from left to right on the notification just dismisses them so that was pretty annoying. There was no way you can open up the notification from the lock screen. The good news is that this is Android and many of the aesthetics can be altered with a launcher so you know, if you don’t like how something looks, you will most likely be able to change it.
The LG G Flex 2 also does feature a 13MP camera sensor with a laser autofocus sensor to help it take faster and more accurate pictures and there is also a dual LED flash. But the sensor itself is the same sensor found on the LG G3 and it’s still very capable of capturing some amazing shots. If you remember last year, the LG G3 had one of the top five camera sensors of the year. So it’s not a bad thing to see it on the LG G Flex 2. It’s capable of capturing some very detailed images with good dynamic range and depth of field. If you’re coming from the LG G Flex, the camera will be hugely improved. If you’re familiar with the LG G3 or you are using the LG G3, then you will find a very similar experience. I will note that the 4K video footage is good but moving it can be slightly blurry, something that a lot of you guys pointed out in my test footage.
The LG G Flex 2 also has a 3000 mAh battery, which is significantly smaller than the 3500 mAh battery found on the original G Flex. And yes, the battery life just isn’t quite as good. You will not be able to get 2 days of use with this device but you will be able to get through a single day with moderate to heavy usage.
As for the speaker on the G Flex 2, it’s located on the back and it’s decent. You can get by but it’s nothing special and it definitely does not compare to front-facing speakers.
Now what’s really cool about the LG G Flex 2 is that it’s a very durable device. It’s made of plastic, meaning it can indeed flex. So whether you’re carrying it around in your pocket or you accidentally sit on it or whatever, it will flex and bend and you won’t have to worry about it, unlike some other devices out there that when they bend, they bend and stay bent.
So to sum up the LG G Flex 2, yes it is better than the original LG G Flex but not in every single way. For example, the battery is smaller and the display and overall size of the device is smaller than the original LG G Flex, making it just more manageable and easier to use for a majority of people. It also features a higher resolution display. It’s a 1080p display panel as opposed to the 720p panel. It also has a faster processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa-Core processor and it has some newer software, Android 5.0 Lollipop to be specific, which does in its own offer a ton of new features and enhancements over previous versions of Android. And also it has a microSD card slot, which is great for when you want to expand the storage and I know that’s very popular and huge for a lot of you guys.
With that said, I would have liked to have seen LG do more with the G Flex 2. For example, I want them to get rid of this plastic slimy back cover that they’ve been kind of slapping on most of their smartphones for the last couple of years. I think it’s time to go and get rid of that because it just doesn’t feel very good in the hand and it kind of makes it look cheap. Granted it does make this device actually flex, but I would much rather have a more premium build material.
I also want them to do more with the software. It’s running Android 5.0 Lollipop, like I mentioned. But the custom LG skin on top of Android 5.0 is just pretty stale and it needs to be optimized or at least better optimized with the Snapdragon processor because right now it’s kind of all over the place. I get some performance hiccups here and there, some stuttering, sometimes it displays them fast but other times, not so much.
I would have also liked to have seen the battery swappable. Now I mentioned earlier in the video that you can in fact remove the back cover. But you can’t swap out the battery, which to me doesn’t really make sense. I feel like if you have a removable back cover, you should be able to swap in an extra battery or replace the battery to put in a new one. But that’s not the case here so that’s kind of a disappointment. The curved display itself, I think it’s really cool and futuristic, kind of unique. But it really doesn’t add too much.
Now we don’t have all the prices available just yet for the G Flex 2. I do know that Sprint is selling it for $500 off-contract give or take and about $200 on-contract, which I think is a very fair price for this device actually. If the price is much higher than $500-$600 off-contract universally throughout all the carriers here in the US, then it’s going to be kind of hard to recommend this device especially now that Samsung is coming out with the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge. And even HTC with the ONE M9. I think it’s going to be hard for this guy to compete and get some attention among those other big manufacturers. But once again, if the price is low and if you guys don’t mind the kind of slimy plastic back cover, then I definitely recommend this device and it could very well be your next phone.
If you guys want to buy the Korean model early like I did for whatever reason, I’ll leave a link to the ValueBasket.com listing down below the description bar if you guys want to check it out. I think they offer some of the most competitive pricing available once again for the Korean model.