Curved smartphones are beginning to invade the techosphere. The Samsung Galaxy Round has already made its debut in South Korea and now LG has officially revealed the G Flex, which features some radical curves of its own.
While the Galaxy Round's screen curved horizontally, the LG G Flex has gone for a vertical bend, and it's certainly intriguing. But is there more to the G Flex than its zany design?
We saw LG's flexible plastic OLED screen shown off at SID Display Week earlier this year, and the LG G Flex features a 6in 720p Plastic OLED (POLED) display –the largest of its kind that's developed specifically for smartphones. It might not have the high ppi count of rivals like the 1080p HTC One Max, but then again, that doesn't have a curved screen, does it?
The ultra-thin and light curved panel is built on flexible plastic substrates as opposed to rigid glass, making that magical curve possible, but despite this, the G Flex itself isn't bendable – it's a rigid device.
And that's the way all curved smartphones will be, until flexible tech trickles down to more of the inner components like the camera modules, processors and battery.
LG has however started to tackle that last component. The G Flex features a generous 3,500mAh curved battery which utilises patented Stack and Folding technology which reduces physical stress places on the battery pack created by the curved design.
The G Flex has also taken a leaf out of the LG G2's design book my moving the power and volume buttons to the back. But that's not the only thing that its backside boasts.
LG has coated the rear of the G Flex with an elastic 'self healing' coating, meaning that it's able to repair itself from small scratches picked up throughout the day. While we can't speak for how well this technology works, we can't wait to take it for a spin. Our drawing pins are ready and waiting...
UPDATE 5.11: There's now a video of it actually flexing! Somebody has apparently got hold of a prototype model and is bending it in a not-dissimilar way to Beckham.
Snapdragon 800 ahoy?
This is more than powerful enough to handle the demands of Android running on a 720p screen and multitasking, gaming and general Android navigation should be slicker than an oil-covered ice rink.
LG has of course skinned Android in its own image, and while purists will be disappointed, it does bring with it some interesting features like Dual Window for simultaneous app multitasking and Swing Lockscreen which alters the lock screen image depending on how the G Flex is held.
The G Flex also features a 13MP camera, though there's no mention of optical image stabilisation on the spec sheet. The G2's camera is excellent and it's low-light performance is formidable, thanks to its image stabilisation, so we're hoping the G Flex lives up to most of the imaging standards set by its smaller, flatter brother.
Price and release date
The G Flex will land on three carriers in South Korea in November for an as-of-yet undisclosed price. Availability in additional markets will be "announced thereafter", giving us a sliver of hope of a Malaysian release date.
Update 08/11/13: LG has confirmed that the G Flex will be hitting South Korean shelves on 12 November for 999,900 Korean Won, or a pricey RM2992. Interestingly, LG also confirmed that the G Flex would be available on Orange France in December, suggesting that it will land in the rest of Europe, including the UK, in the near future. Thanks LG. Now we have to write our letter to Santa all over again...