The LG G Flex is an Android phablet developed and manufactured by LG. First unveiled by the company on October 27, 2013 for a release in South Korea, and carrying similarities to its G2 model, the smartphone is the company’s first to incorporate a flexible display, along with a “self-healing” rear cover which can repair minor abrasions on its own.
The G Flex was met with mixed reviews by critics, who characterized the device as a proof of concept for early adopters rather than a device targeted towards the mass market. While the G Flex was praised for its durability, performance and the visibility of its screen, it was panned for being too similar in hardware, software, and design to the G2, having a relatively lower screen resolution in comparison to other recent smartphones, and presenting no compelling justification for the curved display in relation to the device’s high price.
The G Flex’s physical design resembles that of the LG G2, consisting of a polycarbonate shell with a curvature of 700 millimetres (28 in), with volume and power buttons located on the rear of the device directly below the camera—the power button also contains an LED lamp which can be used as a notification light. The rear casing of the G Flex carries a “brushed metal” look and features a “self-healing” coating which can repair minor scratches and abrasions made to it. LG claimed that the curved design would be more “natural” when held to the head for conducting phone calls, and would reduce the level of glare on the display. While the phone can withstand being bent—having been being bent a hundred times with 88 pounds (40 kg) of pressure during internal testing without any permanent damage to its form, LG chose to maintain a level of rigidity to the G Flex’s design in order to ensure a “premium” feel. The G Flex’s internal hardware is almost identical to the G2, with a 2.26 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2 GB of RAM, support for LTE or LTE Advanced networks where available, 32 GB of internal storage, and an infrared emitter. Unlike the G2, however, the G Flex’s display is a 6-inch (15 cm), 720p, flexible OLED display coated with Gorilla Glass, and it also incorporates a non-removable 3500 mAh battery specifically optimized for the G Flex’s curved form factor.
The G Flex ships with Android 4.2.2 “Jelly Bean” with a similar user interface and software to the G2, with the addition of a “dual-window” split-screen multitasking mode, and alongside the G2’s existing optimization options for one-handed use, the ability to slide all of the on-screen navigation keys to one side of the screen. Aside from the lack of optical image stabilization (which was excluded because it would make the image sensor too tall for the device’s body), the G Flex’s 13-megapixel camera is similar to the G2, with the addition of a new “Face Tracking” shooting mode to assist users in taking photos containing themselves “Selfies” with the rear-facing camera, which automatically focuses on the user’s face, and uses the power button’s notification LED as a status light