Officially introduced by its manufacturer last October, the LG G Flex has caused a lot of ink to flow since then and it is rather normal since it is one of the first smartphones to embed a flexible and curved screen. And be careful because this is not just a technical demonstration. In reality, the bugger will be marketed from next February, exclusively at the operator Orange. In the meantime, LG has been kind enough to lend me a copy and you will therefore be able to discover, in preview, this terminal unlike any other.
Typically, my tests are split into two separate articles. A grip to start, and a complete assessment then, in the wake. This time things are going to be different. LG has yet to finalize the Flex overlay and the product is not yet ready. You will therefore have to be satisfied with a simple overview.
Recall of facts
Once is not customary, we will start with a little reminder of the facts. Some manufacturers have been working on flexible screens for some time, but it was not until the start of 2013 that they started producing them. There are currently two companies placed in this segment: Samsung, of course, and LG.
The latter presented his flexible screen a few weeks after the IFA and the latter had no difficulty in getting noticed. It must also be said that it is not more than 0.44 mm thick , for a weight not exceeding 7.2 grams . In addition, it can be bent within a radius of 700mm and, in addition, it has the good taste of being unbreakable. Rather practical, especially as our nomadic terminals are generally very fragile. A fall, a sidewalk and it's over.
The Flex incorporates a flexible screen, fixed on a curved structure.
On paper, the LG G Flex is very close to the manufacturer's latest flagship, and therefore to the G2 ( tested here ). Be careful, however, because it is not a trivial copy either. In reality, the Flex is much more imposing than the latter and it is positioned more in the phablet segment with its large 6-inch screen. However, in terms of design, the two terminals are very similar and they share, in addition, a good part of their technical sheet:
- 6 inch flexible OLED display.
- HD720p type definition, 720 × 1280.
- 245 ppi pixel density.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26 GHz.
- GPU Adreno 330.
- 2 GB of RAM.
- 32 GB of storage space, without micro SD card slot.
- 13 million pixel BSI sensor, with autofocus.
- Record videos in 1080p.
- Front camera of 2.1 million pixels.
- WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.0, aGPS, NFC.
- DLNA, Miracast.
- Accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity detector.
- Headphone jack, Micro USB 2.0 port.
- Non-removable 3500 mAh battery.
- Dimensions: 160.5 mm x 81.6 mm x 7.9 mm.
- Weight: 177 grams.
In terms of size, and as you will see in the video that follows, it far exceeds all the smartphones currently in my possession, namely the LG G2 , the Sony Xperia Z1 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 . However, it is more compact than a Sony Xperia ZU. Once out of its box, or rather its bubble wrap, it holds well in your hand without being annoying.
The curvature of the screen is not as sharp as you might think. I really thought it would be more shocking than that.
Design & Ergonomics
As mentioned above, the Flex looks a lot like the G2, aesthetically speaking. If you like the curves of the latter, then the rascal should please you very much. In terms of design, LG has opted for plastic, with a special coating on the back of the shell , a coating capable of repairing itself and therefore of removing the most superficial scratches.
Frankly, I left the forks and knives in my kitchen. I do want to keep good relations with LG. However, my colleagues seem to have been a little less careful than me. The terminal has three ugly scratches to the right, scratches that have not been sealed by this famous coating. It must be said that they seem quite deep. Otherwise, the back of the shell is gray, solid and without any texture effect.
LG has not integrated physical buttons under the screen of its terminal. The Flex is therefore all about the touch buttons and that's not a bad thing. At the top we will always find the speaker, accompanied by the ambient light sensor and by the front camera. On the left edge, we can get our hands on a hatch allowing access to the SIM card of the device while the Micro USB 2.0 port and the headphone jack are both located on the lower edge of the smartphone.
As on the LG G2, the power button and the two buttons dedicated to volume control are integrated into the back of the shell , in the extension of the sensor and its lens. Not everyone will necessarily agree with me, but the positioning of these buttons is not a simple flirtation. In use, they are much more accessible, especially in conversation.
In the end, we get a rather elegant terminal, and quite bulky. I regret the lack of texture on the back of the hull but it is probably this special coating that is to blame.
To be honest, the LG G Flex seemed to me more like a technical demonstration than a real marketable terminal and I was therefore very surprised when the manufacturer announced its intention to sell it. After all, a curved screen is still a curved screen, eh, and that's not exactly the most relevant selling point.
However, we must admit that there is a certain advantage to this type of screen: immersion . LG asked me not to show you its overlay since it is still under development, but that did not prevent me from snooping around a bit to see what it is in the stomach. And we have to admit that the videos are very slamming, it's a bit like stepping into them and I think the effect must be similar in games.
However, I prefer not to give my verdict now, and wait until next February to test the Flex again, in final version this time.