LG G Flex Review
Controls and features, that’s what is plentiful and in abundance with the LG G Flex’s camera app, which yet again takes from the LG G2. From its superb set of shooting modes, to modifying certain controls, there’s a lot that hardcore shutterbugs will appreciate with the experience. Best of all, they’ve taken the art of snapping a selfie to another level with its enhanced Face Detection Indicator feature. Instead of getting crummy looking selfies with the front-facing camera, we can use the rear one to take centered images, which is done when the LED notification light in the power button light up green to indicate face detection is active.
Now let’s talk about the hardware at the center of it all, a 13-megapixel auto-focus camera. Unlike the module in the LG G2, the one here lacks optical image stabilization. Without that in its arsenal, it adversely affects the overall quality of its shots, seeing that details are generally softer.
For general 4” x 6” printouts, the photos it produces suffice, but if you intend on blowing them up, they just won’t cut it. Considering that it was a pretty cloudy day, the exposure seems balanced enough to still draw out some details in our shots – without hiding them due to under exposure. Colors are nice and pleasant, which is most notable for the vibrancy it casts into the shots.
As expected, the quality takes a bit of a dip under lower lighting situations – though, as a whole, they’re bright due to the longer exposure. However, details become very grainy looking, to the point of making them appear speckled. Well, we’re thankful that noise is minimized, but yet again, the lack of optical image stabilization results in some blurriness sometimes. Thankfully, the LED flash is able to compensate things by producing a potent amount of lighting.
In the end, its performance is nothing more than average after looking at the results. Did we expect better? Absolutely! But we suppose that LG’s flagship will continue to take the top honor at this point.
LG is now 2 for 2, but giving the LG G Flex the awesome ability of shooting 1080p videos at 60 FPS – in addition to the usual 30 FPS. Whereas its still image quality is underwhelming at times, its video recording performance is much better. Yes, that silky smooth 60 FPS capture rate helps in giving it very pleasing visuals, but it’s able to maintain a certain level of crispness with its quality. When the conditions are right, like when there’s a sufficient amount of lighting, details are pretty good looking, colors appear very natural in tone, continuous auto-focus locks in right away, and audio recording is clear sounding for the most part. There’s an 8x digital zoom that’s available too, but it becomes very pixilated at the longest zoom level.
Unfortunately, the same likeable results don’t extend into its low lighting performance. First and foremost, its capture rate drops to 27 FPS – giving it a choppier look when compared to its 60 FPS rate. Additionally, it’s simply just too under exposed, which results in a very dark and dim composition.
We're not in love with the built-in music player, as it doesn't show all the tabs at the top of the page at the same time. There are tabs letting you sort music in various ways, like albums, artists, genres and so on, using them is not very convenient. Other than that, the visual design of the music player is quite simplistic and likable.
Like the G2, the G Flex features 24bit, 192 kHz Hi-Fi sound playback, giving us support for premium quality files – albeit, we suspect that most people would barely be able to distinguish it from the standard 16 bit / 44.1 kHz format.
Again, LG notes that due to the curve design of the handset, the audio emanating from its internal speaker is amplified due to the separation from the surface it’s laid flat on. And rightfully so, we notice the stronger and more potent punch it’s able to deliver.
The QuadBeat 2 earphones that arrive with the LG G Flex are capable of playing some very high-quality sound. The problem is that their form-factor, which requires you to stick them deep in your ears, makes them uncomfortable to use. We'd rather use something like Apple's EarPods, which have a much more convenient design that doesn't require you to make love with your ears in order to get some decent bass.
Do we even need to say that the LG G Flex is an outstanding device to watch video on? Yep, the 6-inch screen is simply amazing for the purpose. No matter if it's locally-stored or streamed video, the G Flex makes things come to life with that enormous screen, and your eyes will forever be thankful for this. Come to think of it, we can’t help but compare it to the experience we get from watching a move in an IMAX theater. Then again, it’s not really the same, despite the fact that we also have a curved screen at our disposal. Regardless, there’s no questioning that the experience is nothing short of superb.