LG G Flex 2 – REALLY HOT CURVES

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This Morning, a team from Twenty First Tech attended the launch event of the LG G Flex 2. It was a sizzling hot event at Koup de Tat, the top of MBS, as LG would have liked. After all, how else to market a hot curve. The LG G Flex 2 is marketed as having Hot Style, Hot Performance and Hot Solutions.

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Let’s put that claim to the test. But first, the specifications at a glance.

Specifications

LG G Flex 2
Display  5.5-inch Full HD Curved P-OLED (1080 x 1920 pixels / 403 ppi)
Camera 13.0 MP 1/3” sensor with Smart OIS+ and Laser Auto Focus / Front 2.1 MP
Video Recording 2160p/4K
Processing Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 processor with 2.0GHz 64-bit Octa-Core CPU
GPU Adreno 430
RAM 2GB DDR4 RAM
Storage 32GB, microSD card (up to 2TB)
Battery 3,000mAh (non-removable)
Other Gesture Shot, Gesture View, Glance View

Design and Build – Hot Style

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Obviously, the first thing one notices about the G Flex 2 is the curve. According to LG’s marketing manager this is how phones should be, because “the only reason why we have flat-screen phones is because of past technological limitations”. In the styling department at least, it seems that this limitation is no longer existent. The G Flex2 harmoniously incorporates a symphony of curves ranging from a radius of 400mm to 700mm across the front, back, sides and top-to-bottom edges. The dynamically curved layers is said to deliver a sleeker and more dynamic look.

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According to LG, this brings the microphone closer to the mouth, enabling better sound pickup compared to conventional smartphones which allow more ambient noise to enter through the microphone.

Aside from this marketing talk, the phone feels very solid to the touch, and very well built. In fact, the DuraGuard glass on the G Flex 2 is supposedly 20% more durable than normal. That, and the curved design which deflects impacts, should make this phone virtually indestructible. Otherwise, it feels a lot like the LG G3, with a faux metallic bezel that confers a sense of high quality materials.

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I like the feel of the lacquered back thanks to the self-healing coating, which unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to personally test. We are confident, however, that it will stand up to the claim of healing from the majority of scratches within 10 seconds. The original G Flex coating already worked well we do not see why it would be any different this time.  What we can say, however, is that the coating and pattern used on the back of the G Flex 2 adds a nice tinge of class and pizazz to the entire package.

Display

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The curvature of the slimmer 5.5-inch screen also supposedly enhances comfort for the eyes and grip. In our short time with the phone, we could not comment much about this. The resolution of the display however, also been increased to 1080p Full HD from the G Flex, which makes every UI detail appear sufficiently crisp and alive.

While it is not the Quad HD that appeared in the LG G3, I’d like to suggest that it is ok. As a G3 user, the drop to 1080p is obvious and jarring but I do agree that the contrast levels and deep blacks of the G Flex 2 are miles better than the G3. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the screen I saw on the G Flex 2 is among the best of the 1080p screens I’ve laid my eyes upon, with miles better brightness than the G3.

G Flex 2 (left) vs G3 (right)
G Flex 2 (left) vs G3 (right)

This is highly impressive considering curved screens are still in an incipient stage of development. Just last year, the best efforts from LG produced a rather mediocre POLED screen. So, this is a major accomplishment.

Hot Performance – Camera

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The LG G Flex 2’s camera is essentially the same unit that is on the LG G3, which is already known for delivering excellent photos that can rival those of the iPhone 6 and Note 4. This, coupled with the same laser auto focus and OIS+ that the LG G3 so effectively pioneered makes the camera a great choice.

Taking a We-fie
Taking a We-fie

One positive upshot, however, is that the gesture shot feature has been improved. This was first introduced in the LG G3 where a selfie could be taken with just a fist gesture. Previously, the range at which this worked was quite limited, which defeated the whole point of the feature (obviously targeted at selfie stick users). Now, the gesture is recognizable from up to 1.5 metres away, and we can testify that it at least works better than the G3’s. The addition of gesture view also makes it easy to check the last shot immediately after taking a photo or selfie, where just a tilt of the phone tells the phone that you want to preview the picture. This is simple, cool, and thoroughly useful, continuing the trend of practical, non-gimmicky improvements to software that LG has come to be known for in recent years.

This just doesn't stop looking hilarious though
This just doesn’t stop looking hilarious though

Hot Performance – Processor

While the smattering of Snapdragon 800 variants might have dulled you to how significant this particular upgrade is, the innards of the LG G Flex 2 is actually a pretty big deal. It is the first phone to be launched with the new Snapdragon 810 processor, which is the first 64-bit Octa-core processor from Qualcomm. It certainly promises to blitz the benchmarks. While reports of the 810 overheating have surfaced, we would not know for sure until we get our hands on more of such devices. Currently, all we can say is that the phone runs smooth as butter on the transition heavy Android 5.0.1

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Another welcome feature about the G Flex 2 is the RAM. While it has dropped to 2GB from the G3, it is DDR 4 and not DDR 3 RAM. What this essentially means is much faster RAM read speeds which is what RAM-heavy Android sorely needs.

In essence, you are going to get innards which blitz the rest of the competition for, quite possibly, the rest of 2015.

Hot Solutions – Battery

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With so much power, one could be concerned about the Battery. At 3,000mAh it isn’t exactly small, not by any measure. However, it is not particularly huge either with reports this year of some phones packing in 4,000mAh battery. Luckily, LG has included fast charging with this phone; 50% takes less than 40 minutes. It is worth noting that this is still rather impressive as one must remember that LG has to make a curved battery to make this phone work, so kudos to LG.

Hot Solutions – Connectivity

The fastest band currently available in Singapore. Cat 9 support is available though.
The fastest band currently available in Singapore. Cat 9 support is available though.

This is a mostly understated feature of the G Flex 2. While Samsung likes to flaunt its connectivity numbers, the G Flex 2 floors the competition. With support for Cat 9 LTE, it will give up to 450Mbps speeds on the go equivalent to downloading a full movie in about 17 seconds. Of course, this was cheekily pointed out to be ‘subject to carrier availability’. Still, what you have is a future-proof phone. Oh yea, did we mention that the microSD card is expandable to 2TB? Yea terabyte, not a typo. I find that hardly believable.

Availability and Conclusion

To wrap up then, the LG G Flex2 is shaping up to be a really hot product.

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Mr. Scott Jung, Managing Director of LG Electronics Singapore, describes it as, “Staying true to our philosophy of innovation for a better life, the G Flex2’s enhanced ergonomic design and practical software features serve to bring greater convenience to users.”

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#hotcurves

And indeed it has. The LG G Flex2 has made changes where it was needed most, bringing to the table a very powerful device that we are more than eager to review. Do check our review out when it arrives.

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The LG G Flex2 will be available for pre-order in Singapore from 27 February 2015 at SGD998 in M1, Singtel and Starhub. In other words, the typical launch price for any flagship these days. The device comes in two colors: Platinum Silver and Flamenco Red, and will be on sale in Singapore on 14 March 2015.

 

 

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