At CES 2015 our excitement was more or less centered on one device – an update to a curved phone that seem to address many of the issues we have with the original.
The time spend of testing this phone I’ve learned one thing about this iteration. It’s basically a few steps forward and one big step back. This is our full review of the LG G Flex 2.
The design of the LG G Flex 2 focuses one particular aspect – the screen. It is a curved screen and it doesn’t end there, there are a couple more high points when it comes to this phones aesthetics. The screen itself has been brought down from its original large size to an accessible 5.5 inches, and by doing so taking it into the playing field of the current flagship devices. LG kept their elegant and clean design used in the LG G3, and because of that there aren’t any buttons on either sides of the phone, so instead on the sides the buttons had been moved on the back of the G Flex 2. the volume rockers flanked the power button and the whole thing is under the camera optics. Having the buttons here has already helped the previous phones for LG but the curve makes it feel even more natural as index fingers easily rest on that area. The curve on the screen makes the entire phone perch a bit when lying on its face but the whole point of this phone is that you can flex it flat without much fear of anything breaking also the phone has it’s magical self-healing back, which is supposed to make superficial scratches disappear over time (be warned that this back is a fingerprint magnet). While on the topic of the back – it is a removable one, giving you accesses to the SIM and the Micro SD card slot. This phone was pretty well received in the original G Flex but now with the smaller 5.5 inches screen – it’s even easier to handle. Getting from side to side is not that difficult at all because of the thin bezels this phone screen have. The phone feels comfortable in hand because of that curved form factor. The G Flex 2 have a brushed look on the back, which goes from the button layout and spreads out adds to what is already a very attractive device. ( Update: You can Check the New from LG – the LG G4 by simply clicking here )
The 5.5 inch screen on the LG G Flex 2 brings a higher resolution than before to the quality standard of 1080p in this IPS screen with ppi of 403. The brightness is quite great even in broad daylight and the curve does make the experience that little bit more immersive. Seeing elements crawl along the curve is an effect that still hasn’t gone old. In real usage the effect is subtle enough that you wont notice that all the time. The in-house coding to the screen claims to have even more protection available compared to the Gorilla Glass but this is a thing that only time or endurance test can show, or maybe a drop test video? Nonetheless colors do tend to have an adequate saturation to them and this can be adjusted further in the settings. This 1080p keeps sharpness constant compared to the over smoothing that was present in the LG G3 QHD screen. All in all I had a very good time G Flex 2 screen, enjoying media on the screen large enough to do so but also for handling all other tasks – text reading, navigation, and games.
One of the surprises at the announcement of the LG G Flex 2 was what’s hiding inside it. The processor package found within is one of the first widely available phones to rock the Snapdragon 810 backed by Adreno 430 and up to 3gb of RAM. Everyone was expecting the performance to be off the charts and for the most part I can tell you that playing games and performing just about any other in app task is an absolute breeze even working with the dual window functionality works quite well. It’s also worthy to mentioning that issues with overheating when gaming for example were not observed in my testing. The phone did get a bit hot but I never noticed any slowdowns and certainly no shutdowns. Where I see problems in this phone are in the operating system or more or less in LG’s implementation of Lollipop. They have updated the phone and slapped it with their GUI, and let me tell you the results are uneven at best. Where the G flex 2 was supposed to be a showcase of the Snapdragon 810 – we get a choppy experience and even in the most basic of tasks within the GUI. Multitasking with the recent apps screen will have a routine stutter, and even when scrolling through various elements – like the home customization screen I noticed a lack of smoothness that many of us probably didn’t expected with this next generation processor. I even went so far as to install the Google Now launcher to see if things would change and indeed there was. The animations in it moved along a little smoother. (I will update the post as soon as possible with test results and comparisons of the performance)
Image Source: ANDROID AUTHORITY
The hardware on the LG G Flex 2 brings the essentials and not too much more which does tend to be a good thing. Removing the back cover gives you access to the micro SD card slot, which allows for expansion of the 16 or 32 gigabytes of on board storage and it should come as no surprise that the curved battery is not replaceable. All the connectivity options are available including NFC and Bluetooth and LTE. The call quality was pretty pretty standard – getting adequately load on the receiving end and no complaints on the other side. In the battery department there was mostly a standard performance with a 3000 mah power unit installed. The time spend with the G Flex 2 was sort of impressive – the phone brought me through a full day of work with few problems getting down to power critical levels before bedtime. I wont say that the LG G Flex 2 is an overachiever in the battery department not by any means but having the screencaps at 1080p resolution – something a little bit more conventional makes this even outperform the LG G3 which have quad HD resolution. ( Update: You can Check the New from LG – the LG G4 by simply clicking here )
Image Source: AndroidCentral
The Camera in the Lg G flex 2 had received a bit of an update in mostly speed, quality seems to still be on par with other high-end competitors. The app is in the usual LG minimalistic style interface which I tend to like. The interface requires you to tap the point of focus and once it’s focused you get your shot. This is due to the laser-guided focus that makes this one of the fastest camera to use in the market today. Other modes include a burst mode triggered by holding down the shutter button, panorama mode, dual shooting mode that uses both cameras in the same shot and HDR. The biggest update to the camera experience centers around the 2.1 front-facing shooter. You can quickly review the selfie you took by moving the phone downward in natural curve – the phone will automatically shows you the picture you took. I found that while there were good shots captured in broad daylight going indoors already showed a big change in the detail capture and even the color saturation. Subjects that were supposed to have very vivid colors tend to get washed out for example. As the scene loses lighting the pictures got noisier, making this less than ideal companion to have in lower light indoor situations – like let’s say a party.
As a conclusion
If you are already a veteran user of the GUI and some of its aspects like dual window really speaks to you, then you probably going to have a good time experience with the G Flex 2. What gets to me is that despite some of the aesthetic changes that did happened with this new version of the GUI – we didn’t get that many optimizations to really showcase this phone and the Snapdragon 810 inside its full potential. For me that’s the biggest bummer – the software section. So there you have it the LG G Flex 2 review. The updates to the phone design and the somewhat faster camera experience are quite nice to have but the day to day usage of this phone is too uneven to call this a true winner. I’m pretty sure that with few updates, this phone will surely shine. I will not go as far to say that this isn’t a worthy phone for daily usage but without some real optimizations in the software – it’s pretty clear to us that this phone goes a few steps forward but losses footing in where it counts the most. If you liked and enjoyed the review I’ll be waiting to hear from you in the comment section below.