After announcing it had successfully developed curved smartphone batteries, LG unveiled the G Flex handset in Korea earlier this month. The phone features an arched touch screen and rear control buttons, and is slated to come to the US next year.
The Flex's curve is continuous and subtle. It actually seemed to make the otherwise immense 6-inch OLED display a little easier to manage: the thin, curving form serves to minimize the extra-wide flatness that normally would follow a phone this size.
Like its name suggests, the Flex does indeed flex: an LG rep encouraged us to try, and we pressed the device down on the table face first, against every instinct not to. The handset was meant to survive being sat on, and during our brief time with it, it held up against the pressure.
The rear finish, which LG says is "self-healing," is derived from paint finishes in the automotive industry. Hydrogen in the finish is involved in the surface expanding over time after being scratched, sealing up any damage.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Round (left), the curve goes top-to-bottom. The curve works particularly well for videos: the HD display has a 1,280x720-pixel resolution and seemed particularly clear and glare-free.
As previously mentioned, the G Flex houses its key control buttons on its backside (and not along its edges), just like the G2. As such, it will feature the KnockOn functionality, which allows you to wake up the handset by tapping on the touch screen twice.
Additional new features to LG's Optimus 3.0 user interface include Q Theater. This lets you view photos and videos directly from the lock screen. There's also an urgent call alert, which flashes the LED notification light when you miss several calls in a row from the same number.
For shutterbugs, the Flex (right) is equipped with a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and is LTE enabled. Other features include 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, and NFC.