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LG G Flex 2 Hands-on, Initial Impressions from the CES 2015 Floor [Photos, Video]



LG G Flex 2 Hands-on Curve

So much did we hear about the bendgate around the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, right? LG has its already bent (or curved?) smartphone in the market since an year. The G Flex, now has got a successor with the LG G Flex 2 having some brilliant specs under the hood, and a size that now makes more sense. Everything about the G Flex 2 was already out in the wild, and it looked interesting already, making the G Flex 2 a perfect flagship and not a weird device for the rare buyers.

Before we jump in to share our views for the little time we spent with the G Flex 2, here’s how it differs from its predecessor G Flex.

It is actually smaller than the G Flex, with a 5.5-inch screen and matching the company’s 2014 flagship LG G3, although it isn’t a 2K display but a 1080p one, that is some good upgrade from the 720p display on the 6-inch screen of G Flex. This is much more comfortable to hold, thanks to the size. But at the same time, it isn’t as easy in the hand for those who haven’t checked out the G Flex in the past, as the curvature is much deeper. Still, for a device with this curved chassis, LG has done a commendable job trying to keep the aesthetics and comfort well matched up.

The display on the front is said to be stronger than a standard Gorilla Glass 3 screen, by about 20 percent. LG explains it – the Gorilla Glass 3 is given some chemical treatment for the extra strength and flexibility, when compared to the glass in G Flex.

Innovation much, the self healing technology in the G Flex 2 takes just under 10 seconds to remove any scratches, and that is insane. It took about three minutes for the same in the G Flex, but now, you’ll see the scratches disappearing in just a few seconds. The back cover is quite flexible, and removable. But let’s be frank here. We deliberately tried to scratch the back (and more as the demo guy asked us to do so) with some extra pressure, and some marks that formed on the back of the body stayed there. No self healing for that, and that was something we saw even on the LG G Flex last year.

With the camera, it is surely improved. The addition of OIS+ and Laser autofocus are going to enhance the capture speed and quality, but we won’t say this is one of the best. Far more disappointing, due to the fact that this is one of the early launches in 2015 and the capture quality is something comparable to 2014 smartphone cameras. Still, too early to take a final call but the camera app is fast in focusing, capturing and processing.

Smart Keyboard, Smart Notice, Gesture Shot and such features are some improvements to the interface, which has LG’s own UI over Android 5.0 Lollipop OS. Glance view is another neat addition, where swiping down from the top on the turned-off screen shows up notifications and time at a glance. But, the Active display on Moto X is what I would still prefer, especially with the sensors picking up a hand wave over the display to present the list of notifications.

The performance cannot be judged already, but it was as swift as a device could be, with the Snapdragon 810 SoC, and the G Flex2 claiming to be the first official Snapdragon 810 smartphone, should at least lead the charts of benchmark results. There are to variants, one with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage and other with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, while the MicroSD card slot can allow storage expansion to 2TB, as if we were thinking to have something above 128GB for a card.

What to expect from here?

The G Flex 2 will surely hold a place in the best launches of the year, but a pricey device with a unique flexible body won’t really attract customers as it all comes down to the final price. The numbers didn’t good look for the G Flex last year, and only if LG prices the successor with some aggression (which is unlikely), we might see the device contributing to the market share of the South Korean smartphone giant.

Although the LG G Flex2 looks much more promising than its 2014 counterpart, we can’t think of a reason other than the Snapdragon 810 processor for recommending this over the LG G4, that might be coming in a couple months from now. And with LG suggesting that this flexible device will be priced more than the G4 flagship, it becomes much more obvious to wait and watch until the G4 gets official.

The pricing is expected to be $300 on contract and well above $650 off contract, but mind you, these are our speculations based on last year’s pricing, and LG has not officially hinted about the prices. The G Flex2 might launch through a couple carriers, and AT&T has already announced its partnership at the Developers Summit at the CES 2015.

[Inputs by Amit Bhawani]

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