LG G Flex 2 specs review


The LG G Flex 2 is the first big announcement to come out of CES 2015: after testing the waters with futuristic curved phones in 2014, LG has taken the experiment and concepts to reality with a well-thought out mass-market gadget, the G Flex 2.

After the gigantic, 6-inch original G Flex, LG has taken a more moderate approach and claims to have found the optimal size for the G Flex 2: it’s a 5.5” display.

The signature features include the same, 700R (700mm) curvature, plastic OLED display with a 1080p resolution, the new octa-ocre 64-bit Snapdragon 810 system chip, scratch self-healing back cover, and quick charge technology. What’s not to like? Before we officially approve those new features, let’s first explore them in more depth, though.

Design: a 5.5 incher with a twist


The LG G Flex boasted a unique feature - a self-healing back cover straight out of sci-fi books. The G Flex 2 perfects the concept by speeding up the healing process: it used to take some three minutes for minor scratches (and this only applies to minor ones) to disappear, and now the the self-healing effect is applied within 10 seconds. LG is still not giving away the secret sauce of the ‘self-healing polymer’, but we’ll be on the look for more details.


The more perceptible change in the G Flex has to do with its size: it drops screen size from 6 inches to 5.5, while increasing resolution from 720 x 1280-pixels to 1080 x 1920 pixels. This results in a noticeable change in the size and weight, as the bulky LG G Flex is succeeded by a much more pocket and hand-friendly G Flex 2. The new curved phone by LG is 2.96” wide (75.3cm), a huge change from the 3.21” (81.6cm)-wide original, and the change in height is even bigger: down to 5.87” from 6.32”.

LG has also added a lot of additional curves along the side of the phone making it fit more comfortably within the contours of the hand (LG claims it’s curved four-way, but that’s a rather fancy description that might be confusing). At its edge, the LG G Flex 2 measures just 0.27 inches, while at its thickest it goes up to 0.37”. It’s not a slim phone, but because of the curves, the thickness is much less of a real-life annoyance.

Finally, we should say that the photographs don't do it justice: the colors on the G Flex 2 look very stylish, and the 'flamenco red' version in particular is very eye-catchy.


Display: plastic OLED magic at work


For those with deeper interest in the tectonic developments moving the industry, it’s clear that the LG G Flex 2 is in many ways a vehicle for LG’s new curved screen technologies. Samsung, one of LG’s arch-rivals in the OLED display battle, is obviously going to follow up with a curved-screen phone as well in the near future.

But going back to the LG G Flex 2, we’re looking at technology that is essentially the same as last year. The 700mm (this number refers to the radius of the imaginary circle drawn to illustrate the G Flex 2’s arch) curve is also the same as in the G Flex, and as far as current information goes the bending tolerance is also the same, down to 400mm. LG is not afraid to put the phone into journalists back pockets and have them sit with it. Yes, the G Flex 2 survives this test.

The magical component at work here is plastic OLED (P-OLED). Most of you are probably aware of the fundamental difference between LCD and OLED display technology (LCD screens use a backlight that controls the brightness of the display as a whole, while OLEDs come with individually controlled pixels, and less elements as there is no requirement for a backlight), and to freshen up your mind you can look at the slideshow below. It also clearly shows the difference between traditional OLED displays (like the ones used in non-flexible devices, most notably Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series) and P-OLED. That difference lies in the replacement of the encapsulating glass substrate with plastic.



However, there is still protective glass on top of that whole construction. It’s not regular Corning Gorilla Glass, though, as LG takes a step further with its own enrichment process where it adds another chemical bath to make the glass 20 percent more durable. The curve also makes it impossible to have a full-on screen impact, which adds to the longevity of the display.

Finally, it’s worth saying a word of praise for LG for using a 1080p display rather than a Quad HD one. While we do suspect that it’s a decision made to better differentiate an upcoming LG G4 of sorts, but with pixel density of 401ppi, the G Flex 2 manages to have an outstanding level of sharpness, without unnecessarily taxing performance and battery life.

First to arrive on store shelves with Snapdragon 810, connectivity aplenty


The LG G Flex 2 is likely to be the first phone to come with the new Snapdragon 810 system chip. This is a notable event in the Android world that has been put in the somewhat shameful position of playing catch-up with Apple on this front: the G Flex 2 finally brings the dream of a fully 64-bit Android (the phone comes with Andorid 5.0 Lollipop) and a 64-bit chip.

The Snapdragon 810 version in the G Flex 2 in particular is an octa-core configuration with clock speeds reaching up to 2GHz. The chip also comes with 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM (for the 16GB version, and 3GB of RAM for the 32 gig model), a type of RAM with faster bandwidth that we’re only starting to see on flagships this year. Internal storage options are 16GB and 32GB with the option to expand on that via microSD cards of up to 128 gigs.

In terms of connectivity, most notable is the addition of support for carrier-aggregated LTE Category 6 boasting downlink speeds of as much as 300Gbps. You also have the standard connectivity set with dual-channel Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Smart Ready (Apt-X) 4.1, NFC, SlimPort, A-GPS / Glonass, and USB 2.0.

Android 5.0 Lollipop with LG’s custom UI on top


The LG G Flex 2 is one of many upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop devices, but being the first non-Google flagship announced with the operating system gives it a somewhat special position. Still, Android 5’s chops are masked with LG’s own user interface with pastel tones and signature animations. Some will like it, others won’t, and we tend to sympathize the latter. Initial impressions, however, do show that performance of that interface that we first saw in the LG G3 is much smoother, and that’s a great thing.

Camera and Media: 13MP, OIS+


The LG G Flex 2 does not offer much novelty in the camera: it uses a 13-megapixel main camera with optical image staiblization (OIS+) with laser auto-focus, or what seems like basically the same camera hardware as in the G3. That, however, is not a bad thing at all. The G3 has one of our favorite cameras of any 2014 flagship, with fast focusing and pleasing colors.

When it comes to media, we’d like to point out the positive effect on outdoor viewing that comes with a curved screen. The reason for this is that there are less reflections (the curve blocks a lot of them), so it’s much easier to use the device outdoors, be it to show a couple of images or share a funny YouTube video when you’re out.

Battery: fast charged


One of the most transformative innovations of 2014 was Qualcomm’s QuickCharge on real flagships. Smartphone makers have come up with different names for fast charging tech, some have also improved it, but at the core it is all a Snapdragon feature. LG is also finally joining this game with G Flex 2 and we’re happy to hear the news: the 3000mAh (non user-removable) battery supports high-speed charging that will get you from 0 to 50 percent in about 40 minutes. This type of charging requires the charger in the box connected to a wall plug.

Once again, it’s worth mentioning that expectations for the battery life of the LG G Flex 2 are much brighter than those for most other flagships. The reason for this lies in the less taxing 1080p screen resolution, while others have to cope with a more pixel-heavy Quad HD resolutions.


Expectations


The LG G Flex 2 was not unexpected. In fact, rumors about it have been around since last summer, but the handset did catch us a bit off guard with how likable it is.

It looks stylish (the ‘flamenco ‘red’ version is particularly quite the looker), the curve feels like a subtle yet meaningful innovation (but it will take a bit of getting used to), and the self-healing is reassuring, even if real-life practicality of the technology is limited to minor scratches. Technically, the LG G Flex 2 is practically impeccable: the latest Snapdragon 810 system chip, all 64-bit with Android 5.0 Lollipop, a reliable camera, fast charging.

Oh, and unlike many other devices, the LG G Flex 2 will actually arrive in meaningful volumes on AT&T and Sprint.

And while we usually don’t like stressing marketing lines, this time, we feel like LG’s own description of the G Flex 2 sounds justified: “something different in the sea of sameness.”

Related phones

G Flex 2
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18h 3G talk time)

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9 Comments

1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

LG has a track record for being the first at something... Very innovative company with a lot of brilliant ideas. I want to see them do well. This hands down is my favorite handset from them. It took a back seat in the specs department to bring forward a neat design... As I stated on another post, as of early 2015, specs don't matter much anymore considering any and everything has whoopass performance. Anything else is sad nitpicking of the excessive kind...

2. JMartin22

Posts: 2371; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

It's likely to suffer really bad burn in with those onscreen buttons, unless they dramatically improve the quality phosphors used in this screen panel.

4. egbtmagus

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

You guys continue to be wrong on the specs. The Flex offers 3GB of Ram on the 32GB Storage Version, Just like the G3 offered.

5. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

at PA, there were a power bank and car charger that support Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 too. You guys really need to go to Qualcomm web page to learn about the Quick Charge technology.

6. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

There is little doubt in my mind that this will be an improved phone over the Flex in every way. The specs will be better. The materials will be better. The screen resolution will be much better. And LG should see some demand for the fun colors. However even though I like the idea of dropping the screen size to a more conventional 5.5" which will make it easier to sell to the general public, they lost at least one loyal consumer. My wife LOVES her Flex. Just adores it and chose it over the Note 3 without a regret in the world. But to expect her to move down from the 6" screen after becoming used to it just won't happen. There are only 2 areas my wife will not bend on (get it?) when she buys a phone- screen size and camera performance. She will not own anything but a 6" big boned phone. She will be very bummed she has to move away from the Flex, but move on she will.

7. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That's the way I am... I could never go back to anything smaller that 5.7"... You get used to it & anything else is puny! +1

8. stinky

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

I do agree with you snowgator. I currently own a flex. And I use to own a note 2. When I changed from a note 2 to my flex there was not comparison. The display size is what really sold me. I could never go back to a smaller display. It me it would be a dinky tiny little baby size phone. I just won't do it. All tho lg has placed a few upgrades, those are not enough for me to justify buying one. The reduced size of the display. The lower battery size and now the say quick charging in 45 minutes? I bought a nexus 6. It is the latest and greatest. Took it back after 10 days because it would not hold a charge for very long. It even has a quick charge too. 15 minutes to get 6 hours of use. It also lagged alot. So when lg states quick charging in 45 minutes that is slow. Also look at the specs on the Flex 2 and the G3. They are really close. To me it would have made more sence to call the flex 2 the G3 curve. And then upgrade the flex with the 6 inch display. Just like your wife. I will move on. And move on I will.

9. stinky

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

egbtmagus, I listened to the unveiling and what was stated was not all areas will get the 32gb with the 3 gigs of ram. So if you are from the US you might not get it. But it will have expandable sd slot.

10. chart2006

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

My wife has the LG G Pro and I had the LG G2 of which we both really enjoy our phones. In fact I'm interested in the G4 when it arrives as an upgrade however what I'm more concerned about is the display. Both our phones have the issue of the digitizer being quite noticeable in sunlight and is very distracting. On my G2 it was noticeable at almost any angle and light source. I've never experienced this with any other phones so I hope with the new P-OLED design LG corrected this problem as well. Victor by chance did you happen to see it with the Flex 2?

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