27
Oct
13

It's been rumored, it's been leaked, and now it's official – the LG G Flex is coming to South Korean carriers next month. The rest of the world? Maybe never. The G Flex is very much the phone that's been popping up online, with the top-to-bottom banana curve and big 6-inch OLED screen. There's a bit more detail about the inside post-announcement, though.

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The G Flex weighs in at 177g, which isn't bad for a 6-inch screen. That big screen is only 720p, though. Inside is a Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, a 3500mAh battery, and a 13MP camera. Near the camera you'll also see the rear control buttons, which is apparently LG's thing now. LG hasn't built a host of software features to take advantage of the curved form factor like Samsung has. Instead, the company is focusing on better ergonomics. There is, however, a new dual window mode and a few "theater curtain" UI interactions when dragging outward with two fingers on the lock screen and in the gallery.

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The rear cover is apparently also coated with some sort of self-repairing material. Minor scratches are somehow filled in over the course of several minutes (LG actually compares this to Wolverine from X-Men in the Korean PR). It's not entirely clear how this works – all the PR we have right now is in Korean and translated through Google.

It looks like this device is going head-to-head with the Galaxy Round in the Korean market. Perhaps we'll only see the descendants of the winner stateside. Full (confusingly translated) PR is below. Update: English PR obtained!

LG G Flex Stays Ahead of the Curve to Lead Evolution of Smartphones with Breakthrough Innovations

SEOUL, Oct. 29, 2013 — Setting a new milestone in the evolution of the smartphone, LG Electronics (LG) today officially took the wraps off the LG G Flex, a smartphone curved to follow the contour of the face, the first device to offer such a design in the smartphone market. The latest device in LG’s premium G Series, the G Flex incorporates proprietary innovations from other LG companies in the form of the display and battery that have never been seen before. The LG G Flex also boasts new user experience (UX) features that take advantage of the curved form factor.
“The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The LG G Flex with its distinctive design, innovative hardware and consumer-centric UX represents the most significant development in the smartphone space since smartphone became part of our regular vocabulary.”
Form + Function: Design that Understands Human Curves
The vertically curved design of the LG G Flex reduces the distance between one’s mouth to the microphone when the device is held against the ear, as traditional telephone handsets used to. The LG G Flex employs a curvature arc that is optimized for the average face, to deliver improved voice and sound quality. The curved form increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones. The curved design also offers a more reassuring grip and fits more comfortably in one’s back pocket. What’s more, in landscape mode, the display offers an IMAX-like experience, with the result being the most comfortable viewing angle for watching videos or playing games.
LG G Flex also features the Rear Key first introduced in the LG G2. Devoid of any buttons on the sides, there is less chance of accidentally powering off the phone and the convenience of using one’s index finger to adjust the volume when conversing is maintained.
Innovation Delivered Through Collaboration
The development of LG G Flex was only possible through the successful collaboration with sister companies LG Display and LG Chem. The 6-inch display found in the G Flex is the world’s largest Plastic OLED (POLED) display developed and mass produced specifically for smartphones. The ultra-thin, ultra-light flexible POLED display and curved OLED panel are built on plastic substrates instead of glass, giving LG G Flex its unique shape and durability. The POLED display is brighter and more precise thanks to the application of Real RGB, which contains all three sub-pixels — red, green and blue — in one pixel.
LG Chem developed the world’s first curved battery technology specifically for application in LG G Flex. The curved battery in the G Flex is designed with LG Chem’s patented Stack & Folding technology, which reduces the physical stress on the battery pack when in the curved form and provides better stability and performance. Despite its thin form, the LG G Flex battery has a capacity of 3,500mAh, enough power for more than a full day of use.
User-Centered Technologies
Among the several new technologies, the LG G Flex is the first smartphone to apply a “Self Healing” coating on the back cover. The elastic coating has the ability to recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive, keeping the G Flex looking newer longer.
Users of LG G Flex will have a wider selection in the ability to enjoy in various format of music — MP3, CD quality or 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback. UX features, such as KnockON, Guest Mode and Plug & Pop, which were positively received when first introduced in the LG G2, can also found in the LG G Flex. The LG G Flex also includes an array of new UX features:
- QTheater gives users quick access to photos, videos and YouTube right from the lock screen. By touching the screen and dragging outward along the curved surface with both fingers, the apps appear with the effect of theater curtains being drawn.
- Dual Window divides the wide 6-inch screen into two separate windows for more effective multitasking.
- Swing Lockscreen alters the image on the lockscreen depending on how the G Flex is held.
- Face Detection Indicator displays the LED on the Rear Key in green to confirm status of face detection and focus.
- Camera Timer flashes the Rear Key LED to indicate that the countdown has begun.
- Urgent Call Alert flashes the LED on the Rear Key in red when several consecutive calls from the same person go unanswered.
The LG Flex will be available in Korea starting in November through all three major local carriers. Availability in additional markets will be announced thereafter.
Key Specifications (Korean Version):
- Chipset: 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm? Snapdragon™ 800 (MSM 8974)
GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz
- Display: 6-inch HD (1280 x 720), Curved P-OLED (Real RGB)
- Memory: 2GB LP DDR3 RAM / 32GB eMMc
- Camera: Rear 13.0MP / Front 2.1MP
- Battery: 3,500mAh (embedded)
- Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
- Size: 160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 - 8.7mm
- Weight: 177g
- Network: LTE-A / LTE / HSPA+ / GSM
- Connectivity: BT 4.0 / USB 3.0 compatible / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC
- Color: Titan Silver
- Other: TDMB / Hi-Fi 24bit, 192kHz Playback

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Gus70

    Remember when curved CRT was bad? Nearly flat CRTs were really expensive. Then we all appreciated the flat LCD. Now we are going back to curved? Doesn't make sense.

    • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

      It's kind of a different situation. With the curved CRT it wasn't a handheld device and it was usually farther away from the holder's face. This might be different. We'll just have to see. I know the screen wasn't curved, just the glass, but I liked the curve on my Galaxy Nexus.

      • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

        I liked the curve too, but the Galaxy Nexus didn't break when you sat down... These are not flexible - they're rigid and curved.

        • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

          I know they aren't flexible. I don't like that they are using "Flex" as the name for this. Kind of misleading.

          • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

            It's really frustrating. I hope they have a bunch of refurbished units to push out to all the users who 'flex' their device.

    • zanzee

      curved inward vs outward is the a big difference as well this is meant to sit in your hand and would make cradling it much nicer.

    • Tuấn Ankh

      I think it's different though. The curved CRT is curved the other way, so the light rays go everywhere. This curved display has the light rays going toward a point (which will look a lot easier to your eyes comparing to that old curved CRT). That may make a big difference.
      Still, I agree that it doesn't make sense to go back to curved display. I guess this is just like the Galaxy Round: a test device. Better forms of curved phones may come next year or later than that.
      Also, I guess Samsung and LG are going toward curved phones because they cannot use screen size as a gimmick anymore. Phones got bigger and bigger, and maybe they know they cannot sell well if they push the size further (Samsung tested with the Galaxy Mega).

      * I'm buying the Mega 6.3 anyway.

      • Matthew Merrick

        Curious, why the Mega, and not the Z Ultra?

        • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

          I would assume the price, since it is a dramatic difference.

        • Tuấn Ankh

          I prefer the round design. The Ultra is too squarish.
          I also like Samsung software and gimmicks. xD
          Being cheaper is probably the most important thing though. The Mega is not worth anything more than $500.

          • Michael J Carroll

            Dual-core vs Quad-core doesn't bother you at all?

          • Tuấn Ankh

            I would love to have quad core. But well, I've watched pretty much all the Mega 6.3 reviews on Youtube, and I believe it will be okay for me. Though I gotta use it for a while to tell how good or how bad it is.

      • Gilles LeBlanc

        I was forced to buy mega 6.3 instead of Z Ultra cause it went carrier exclusive in canada. I can afford any phone but 6.5 inches in landscape mode is gonna change your life man. And the battery life, jumping jesus dude once I debloated I can do a day of heavy use and still have 50% battery at bedtime and its plenty fast. Battery efficiency is probably why they used the same snapdragon 400 in S4 mini. Screen DPI dosnt matter cause you hold it tablet distance. Im convinced samsung over engineered this thing withought concidering price it just ended up cheaper. By the way galaxy round looks allot like mega 6.3. Im happy I got stuck with this wah better then Note 2 and it has a flashlight. Your right about z ultra size youll see that 6.5 is the limit and trimed bezel and rounded off is an argonomical must.

        • Tuấn Ankh

          There is one thing off-topic but I have to say: I'm only 5 feet 5. lol

          • Gilles LeBlanc

            Lucky you, least you dont have to worry about burning a patch of hair off by low lights. Or constantly hitting your head on stuff ect. And I dont care what people say more tall dosnt mean more girls im proof. Enjoy your phone :-) If a billion people can handle Mega in places like Hong Kong so can you.

  • arathkone

    There was some talk a number of years back about healing plastics that fix up small scratches. I never actually thought it would make it to a consumer product!

  • Calvin Argueta

    I read a rumor somewhere in the interwebz that this was the phone holding up the Nexus 5. Becasue Lg wanted to release this phone before the N5 killed the market.

    • Tim242

      It's only being released in one country...

    • http://mobilerpg.net/ MobileRPG

      Flex technology is just a test object now

  • Mado

    That second last paragraph is damn poetic.

    • Brian Utne

      LOL "Fingers facing the sky near the moon covering the sun eclipse phenomenon appears, facing the sea is ruffled" I read that and started crying from the beauty.

  • Michael J Carroll

    I have rear buttons now. Rear buttons are *cool*

  • tehsusenoh

    Self repairing back, eh? Like the cutting boards?

  • TY
    • mgamerz

      Drug dealers are going to loe this phone. It makes crack!

    • Michael Ta

      it's kinda like a self healing cutting mat i guess?!?

  • Stacey Liu

    I'm liking that lock screen clock. It looks like BobClock D3 with a thinner font.

  • nevetsg

    It would have to fit sideways in your pocket otherwise it would hurt your leg...

  • Tim242

    This reminds me to add bananas to my grocery list.

  • deltatux

    I honestly don't understand this curved screen fascination, seems very odd to use. I smell a new fad like stereoscopic 3D cameras and phone displays...

    • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

      It's kinda nice on my Galaxy Nexus. It fits my face better when I actually make a call. Which is like once a month but still it's not curved nearly as much as this LG phone.

  • Angus Marshall

    "hands, faces and places, such as smart phones often smacking down considering the harmony of the curved, ergonomic design..."

    Priceless :)

  • Angus Marshall

    "Fingers facing the sky near the moon covering the sun eclipse phenomenon appears, facing the sea is ruffled. days and nights even if you change..."

    It's sheer poetry.

  • Tsereo

    Did LG really have to make the new UI's battery icon green? It's not a big deal and I don't mean to complain, but aren't they already known to copy Samsung? Why make it more obvious by adding Sammy's signature TouchWiz green battery?

  • uunnzz

    LOL! More gimmicks. This time from LG instead of Samsung. It's like these companies take turns wasting time and energy on creating and selling useless garbage and people just eat it up. Self healing back cover will probably work for a minor scratches and dings but will not hold up to normal use or drops. The curved design is a joke. Google did this with their Nexus S and it wasn't as magical as they are trying to make it out to be. Definitely not anything special and definitely not "ergonomic". It's just another gimmick. How about something new and innovative? Something that is actually useful like optimizing PCB, die, chip, bus layouts to increase efficiency. How about focusing on not only making your device faster but optimizing the software and the hardware to work to together efficiently to save battery power? So far I am not impressed. -_-

    • gargamel

      when was the last time that you invented something useful? Innovation is moving step by step with ideas that at first may look silly. I guess you were one of the people that said that the original iPad was a joke and just a "big iPod"...

      BTW, the efficiencies that you mentioned are actually done by Apple. You should try an iPhone...

      • szabox

        mmhhh.... step-by-step! it sounds nice, but, i think, actually, this small step "inventing" is about give the people some "eye-candy" for hundred of dollars and not entirely about real inventing....

      • blootz

        nice burn

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
  • CrazyPaladin

    Wow self repairing materials? Didn't know they're already mass-product that thing

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    Self healing back?!
    Yeah science!

  • Arpit

    Just think how you will feel when you put a phone like this in your jeans pocket

  • http://www.ebog.me/ ebog

    It really is a good phone. I always believed in the configuration of a smart phone from LG, but never enjoy because of its design. But with this phone is different, it's really very beautiful, and unique design. LG has very real progress in improving the design of his.

  • WHO?

    I dont know why i was think curved glass meant less bezel. Would hate to have it in my back pocket and sit on it.

  • Hugh Johnson

    Self-repairing back panel, the phone is permanently curved, and the physical buttons are awkwardly place on that beautiful self-repairing back panel. LG is really a revolutionary company that will completely change the phone market forever! No wonder people are stealing 20,000 of thier phones!

  • gargamel

    A curved screen like this can also be used for 3D display with no special glasses...

    • Guest

      You need extra large pockets to put it in sideways.

  • Frank

    Won't this break in your pocket?

    • dulala

      put it in back pocket, it should fit your ass

  • hairyback

    I think the samsungs curve is far more practical. At least that will fit nicely against your leg in your pocket. With this thing you may as well have a thick phone and give us a better battery

  • Stefano Lovecchio

    6 inches?
    Nope.

    • Patrick Bateman

      thats what she told me :(

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