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LG Announces the G Flex, Calls It the First “REAL” Curved Smartphone

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Three weeks ago, Samsung announced the Galaxy Round as the first smartphone in the world to carry a curved display. After the announcement settled in, the world collectively agreed that the phone was created with one purpose only – for Samsung to say “we were here first.” The curve to the Galaxy Round makes little sense since it’s along the phone’s vertical axis, shows no benefit to a user, and really is nothing more than a race to the front of a new category, even if that category didn’t need to exist in the first place.

And then you have LG’s newly announce G Flex, which they took the wraps off this evening. It’s also one of the first in the world to feature a curved display, however, LG has made it clear that they think Samsung’s attempt shouldn’t even count. In LG’s press release for the G Flex, they have called it the world’s first “REAL” curved smartphone, touting all sorts of features that actually make sense and could provide some benefit, unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Round. 

With its curve at the horizontal axis coupled with a 6-inch HD POLED (plastic OLED) display, the G Flex offers better sound than any smartphone has before it, provides an “IMAX-like experience” when viewing video, meets the curve of the “average face” with precision, utilizes a curved 3,500mAh battery, and fits “comfortably” in one’s back pocket (who does that?). It also features LG’s new rear-placed home button, a feature that was first introduced with the G2.

If none of that won you over, maybe the “Self Healing” backside will do the trick. Yes, I just said “Self Healing.” According to the press release, there is a special coating on the back of the phone that can recover from daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks. I don’t know exactly how that should work, but I want to learn more.

In terms of specs, you are looking at a 6-inch HD (720p) POLED display, 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 3,500mAh battery, 13MP rear camera, LTE, and Android 4.2.2 all wrapped in a curved frame that is only 8.7mm thick.

The phone is coming to Korea in November and could land in other international markets later on.

This could still sound like a gimmick, but at least the phone offers some interesting ideas unlike the curved product out of Samsung’s camp. Thoughts?

Gallery

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Press Release

LG UNVEILS WORLD’S FIRST “REAL” CURVED SMARTPHONE

LG G Flex Stays Ahead of the Curve to Lead Evolution of Smartphones with Breakthrough Innovations

SEOUL, Oct. 29, 2013 — Setting a new milestone in the evolution of the smartphone, LG Electronics (LG) today officially took the wraps off the LG G Flex, a smartphone curved to follow the contour of the face, the first device to offer such a design in the smartphone market. The latest device in LG’s premium G Series, the G Flex incorporates proprietary innovations from other LG companies in the form of the display and battery that have never been seen before. The LG G Flex also boasts new user experience (UX) features that take advantage of the curved form factor.

“The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The LG G Flex with its distinctive design, innovative hardware and consumer-centric UX represents the most significant development in the smartphone space since smartphone became part of our regular vocabulary.”

Form + Function: Design that Understands Human Curves
The vertically curved design of the LG G Flex reduces the distance between one’s mouth to the microphone when the device is held against the ear, as traditional telephone handsets used to. The LG G Flex employs a curvature arc that is optimized for the average face, to deliver improved voice and sound quality. The curved form increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones. The curved design also offers a more reassuring grip and fits more comfortably in one’s back pocket. What’s more, in landscape mode, the display offers an IMAX-like experience, with the result being the most comfortable viewing angle for watching videos or playing games.

LG G Flex also features the Rear Key first introduced in the LG G2. Devoid of any buttons on the sides, there is less chance of accidentally powering off the phone and the convenience of using one’s index finger to adjust the volume when conversing is maintained.

Innovation Delivered Through Collaboration
The development of LG G Flex was only possible through the successful collaboration with sister companies LG Display and LG Chem. The 6-inch display found in the G Flex is the world’s largest Plastic OLED (POLED) display developed and mass produced specifically for smartphones. The ultra-thin, ultra-light flexible POLED display and curved OLED panel are built on plastic substrates instead of glass, giving LG G Flex its unique shape and durability. The POLED display is brighter and more precise thanks to the application of Real RGB, which contains all three sub-pixels — red, green and blue — in one pixel.

LG Chem developed the world’s first curved battery technology specifically for application in LG G Flex. The curved battery in the G Flex is designed with LG Chem’s patented Stack & Folding technology, which reduces the physical stress on the battery pack when in the curved form and provides better stability and performance. Despite its thin form, the LG G Flex battery has a capacity of 3,500mAh, enough power for more than a full day of use.

User-Centered Technologies
Among the several new technologies, the LG G Flex is the first smartphone to apply a “Self Healing” coating on the back cover. The elastic coating has the ability to recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive, keeping the G Flex looking newer longer.

Users of LG G Flex will have a wider selection in the ability to enjoy in various format of music — MP3, CD quality or 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback. UX features, such as KnockON, Guest Mode and Plug & Pop, which were positively received when first introduced in the LG G2, can also found in the LG G Flex. The LG G Flex also includes an array of new UX features:

– QTheater gives users quick access to photos, videos and YouTube right from the lock screen. By touching the screen and dragging outward along the curved surface with both fingers, the apps appear with the effect of theater curtains being drawn.
– Dual Window divides the wide 6-inch screen into two separate windows for more effective multitasking.
– Swing Lockscreen alters the image on the lockscreen depending on how the G Flex is held.
– Face Detection Indicator displays the LED on the Rear Key in green to confirm status of face detection and focus.
– Camera Timer flashes the Rear Key LED to indicate that the countdown has begun.
– Urgent Call Alert flashes the LED on the Rear Key in red when several consecutive calls from the same person go unanswered.

The LG Flex will be available in Korea starting in November through all three major local carriers. Availability in additional markets will be announced thereafter.

Key Specifications (Korean Version):

– Chipset: 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm? Snapdragon™ 800 (MSM 8974) GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz
– Display: 6-inch HD (1280 x 720), Curved P-OLED (Real RGB)
– Memory: 2GB LP DDR3 RAM / 32GB eMMc
– Camera: Rear 13.0MP / Front 2.1MP
– Battery: 3,500mAh (embedded)
– Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
– Size: 160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 – 8.7mm
– Weight: 177g
– Network: LTE-A / LTE / HSPA+ / GSM
– Connectivity: BT 4.0 / USB 3.0 compatible / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC
– Color: Titan Silver
– Other: TDMB / Hi-Fi 24bit, 192kHz Playback

# # #

About LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company
The LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company is a global leader and innovator in mobile communications. With its breakthrough technologies and innovative designs, LG continues to establish a number of benchmarks in the smartphone market, while also helping create a better lifestyle for consumers by delivering a wholly enhanced smart-phone experience. As a leader in 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, LG continues its commitment to developing groundbreaking LTE technologies and fulfilling consumer demands with differentiated LTE devices of the highest quality, all of which are based on the company’s wealth of LTE patents and technical knowledge. For more information, please visit www.LG.com.

  • Aaron Clow

    Look at the first photo and then the last. Amazing how they get it to curve MORE when it’s facing to the right (the first photo it doesn’t look any more curved than a GNex). Or have they doctored the photos? Nhaaaa.

  • Aaron Clow

    The first “real” curved phone was the Galaxy Nexus… and it was awesome.

  • socalrailroader

    Curved phones, yuck.

  • chris_johns

    ah must be nice to have unlimited money to waste on promoting and producing useless products such as this….good job korea

  • Matthew Merrick

    TBCH I would be all over this thing, but for some godforsaken reason they gave it an only 720p Display >_<

  • terrorist96

    What I wanna know is how they managed to fit a 3500mAh battery in that phone. Having it curved should theoretically mean that there is less space, right?

  • rww

    I work in the auto industry and have a fair bit of experience with “self healing” paints. They all suffer the same problem: you can peel them with your fingernail. I hope LG worked through that little problem before launching…

  • cdurex

    where do we put this phone! ??

  • David Schendt

    Throw in a curved stylus and you have got yourself a deal!!!

  • Bruce

    for the girls with firm and round booty

  • Guest

    I’d hate to have that thing in my pocket when leaning up against an immovable object…snap

  • ddh819

    is it flexible?

  • Intellectua1

    Love this phone but I’m very skeptical of LG products, I also hate the back buttons on this phone they’re horrible..

  • manilaboy1vic

    way too much rocker.

  • el oso borracho

    Curved on that axis is worthless. Can’t put that in a pocket or use it on a flat surface. Curved on the “samsung axis” makes sense – easier 1-handed access across a wide phone, comfortable pocket fit, only slight wobble on flat surface. This is just retarded.

  • flascrnwrtr

    Wait… Wait… Wait…. Nope, couldn’t get myself to even remotely care about this phone.

  • Timothy Sternig

    LOL @ Samsung and LG arguing about who designed the most pointless and ugliest phone first. They’re both ugly as sin and really don’t offer any benefits. I don’t see why anyone would want a curved display…

  • BobbyG

    I love the curve in my GNex, so have no problem with this product

  • Bigwavedave25

    “self healing back”… I wonder if it is similar to the cutting mats we have at work (and at any art supply store)? They do have a nice feel to them and would stand up well to run of the mill nicks… deep scratches, not so much even for the mats.

  • morgan boyle

    I put my phone in my back pocket all the time.

  • googlyeyedfrog

    it’s a gimmick. not interested

  • Daistaar

    In other curved news, Galaxy Round commercial anyone?

    http://www.sammobile.com/2013/10/27/samsung-galaxy-round-official-tvc/

  • Raven65

    Do NOT want a curved display. It’s an answer to a question nobody asked.

  • tu3218

    Until sit down with it in your back pocket and crackkkk. I honestly see no point in these curved phones at all. Unless they magically change the way we use phones in a good way, there is no point imo.

    • Daistaar

      Why would it crack if it’s plastic?

      • tu3218

        Last time I checked plastic can still break. Yeah it’s somewhat pliable but can still crack with pressure. Hell, I was cleaning my plastic back on my S3 with an alcohol wipe and got a pressure crack.

        • Daistaar

          You got a pressure crack, with an alcohol wipe? You’re either the Hulk or I’m calling shenanigans lol. Also, fiber glass is plastic and an insanely hard material to crack. I’d imagine you have to fall on it to crack it as opposed to sit on it. I think the pressure would be distributed in a way to not crack it assuming the groove is contoured with your “groove”. Now if you sit on a hard chair maybe… (Can’t really say)…

          • Merc300kls

            SO plastic is indestructible…. yeah, sure- ok.

          • Daistaar

            Looking through my previous comments and I don’t see where I wrote that? Can you tell me where I said that. Now I did say that Fiber glass, a plastic, is significantly more durable than glass. I see that up there. Plastic is significantly more load-bearing than glass which is what I mentioned.

  • jbdan

    Articles popping up a little earlier than normal today….Is something coming we’ve been waiting to hear?!?! Could you not sleep either :]

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    so if I drop this thing from a really high place, will it come back to me

    • Yukon Cornelius

      Just in time for the holidays! Bumbles bounce!

  • Godzilla

    There is little actual point to these phones accept to simply be “different.”

  • fallsgable

    I believe this phone comes with Dildroid pre-installed!

  • M C

    And so the no longer rigid phone battle begins, while I don’t see too much credit in these 1st ones out of the gate. Hopefully the potential will lie in their 3rd or 4th generation.

  • fallsgable

    First the displays were “PENTILE”….now, they’re “POLED”!
    All this innuendo, and phallic talk is making me laugh….
    the phone DOES sound interesting though, and curving the phone THIS way, does in fact make sense from a usability perspective….
    I’d try it out….I’d be a Beta Testes!

  • Ant

    It’s 8:40am do you know where your Nexus 5 is?

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      ON the Truck

  • Hugh Hansen

    Rear home button? Power button, right?

  • Ryan Stewart

    Its cool as a display of the possible but I don’t think a curved cell phone works. Its not as pocketable and it looks like it would be less comfortable to type on.

  • RaptorOO7

    So a brand new phone with an OS that is about to be two releases old. Typical LG, always lagging behind everyone else. How exactly is the sound better than say the HTC One with the FFS?

  • hoodieNation

    Sweet, I always wanted a phone that doubled as a codpiece.

  • Razma

    im confused, wasn’t the gnex like touted as having a curved display? Why is Samsung claiming the Round as the first one when they’re the ones who made the gnex

    • George Fayad

      gnex is curved glass over a flat display.

  • jedi105

    Fail…. this is the dumbest thing I have seen in phone technology yet. Yes, it might curve to the natural form of your face (um, not sure how many people actually use their phone as a …you know…phone) but typing on it while holding it is going to be a PITA and it wont feel good in your pocket, front or back. making any kind of accessory for this is going to be hell for manufacturers (lets see what Otter Box comes up with). I see no reason for this phone to actually exist other than to show off the curved display. Its actually funny because if you remember CRT Tv’s had curved displays for the longest time and then suddenly they had a “flat” CRT TV (Sony Wega I think) which was all the rage. Total waste of development dollars in my opinion.

    • In 1999 I had a 21″ Sony Trinitron monitor with the flat display for my desktop and I was the envy of all my friends.

  • yummy

    Coming to a theater near you

  • It really is a unique handset of LG Ever. I quite like this handset because designs strangely and configuration is very stable. But frankly, the screen 6 inches seems a bit too hard

  • happyhappyhappy

    Is that a G Flex in your pocket or are you just happy…

    • Ben Murphy

      Neither…. ‘pulls out actual banana’

  • Bruce Wayne

    Does it here two led’s on the back for flash?

  • Bruce Wayne

    Can I wirelessly charge it?

  • Josh Jones

    did you say 3500Mah battery? HALLELUJAH PRAISE DEH LORD! A size i can have confidence in.

  • Chris

    eh

  • Bill Hill

    “(1280 x 720)” – serial??!?

  • trixnkix637

    #MyReactionToCurvedPhones

    • blackmagick20

      God…that takes me back to my childhood! I love that Ren & Stimpy!

      • socalrailroader

        That was in your childhood? You must be pretty young lol

  • William Kister

    What kind of cases oe holsters will be made for it? LOL

  • guest_10

    “Fits comfortably in One’s back pocket” hmm what if someone sat on it?

  • Anthony Gomulka

    Don’t step on it!

    • Tim242

      Yeah, so much for the “flex”

      • Aardvark99

        Dont worry, it’s self healing!!

    • hoodieNation

      Or any other phone.

      • Anthony Gomulka

        I’ve stepped on my galaxy nexus several times in socks. Didn’t hurt it at all.

        • hoodieNation

          I dropped my OG Droid on gravel and slipped and stepped on it. The little tank took it like a champ. This thing looks look like it’ll break in your pocket.

  • Zacisblack

    They ruined this possibly awesome device with a 6″ 720p screen? I can’t even stand 720p on the Note 2.

    • trixnkix637

      you’re eyes can’t tell the difference between 720p and 1080p on a phone. More to it, the 720p is better for battery life.

      • Octotron

        I can definitely tell the difference between 720p on the Note 2 and 1080p on the Note 3 / S4. I promise you, it makes a difference.

      • LionStone

        Coming from a DNA, the difference in battery life is negligible, I’ll take the 1080p.

  • Joshua Hoffman

    Has anyone thought of how awkward its going to be to take photo with this thing? I’ve seen so many comments about pockets but pictures? Won’t they be a little to the left? Given you’re holding it in landscape? I’m sure it wouldn’t be that big of a difference but just a little observation.

    • Tim242

      Maybe it will show more of their good side : /

  • “fits “comfortably” in one’s back pocket (who does that?). ” every girl wearing jeans ever.

    • “meets the curve of the ‘average face'”
      but does it meet the curve of the “average ass?”

      • HarvesterX

        It’s a very slick way of insinuating that our faces look like our asses. It matched the curve of the face. OK. It also matches the curve of our ass. OK, therefore ass curvature = face curvature.. Thanks a lot LG..

        Lol, actually this looks kind of useful and cool compared to Samsung’s desperate attempts to “out first” Apple on everything.

    • Chris

      my phone is always in my front pocket and I don’t wear skinny jeans. (what sane guy does?)

      • Reginald Jefferson

        None. Chicks however…

      • Ever been to NYC? lol

      • blackmagick20

        The fish can only grow to the size of the tank…

      • Cory_S

        I’ve been putting mine in my back pocket more and more recently… I never have to worry about change or keys rubbing against it.

        • Andy Stetson

          Same camp. I don’t see this phone working in the front pocket that well. But honestlyl, neither does my G2. And that’s why it goes in the back. And i honestly don’t mind.

        • Chris

          I always put my phone in my right pocket and my wallet and keys in my left lol.

      • Butters619

        I rock skinny jeans (not skin tight), but I’m also skinny, so I just call them jeans.

      • Droid Ronin

        I always have my keys in one front pocket and my wallet in the other. Phone goes in the back pocket. Seems like it’s not that rare an occurrence for us. 😛

      • SaltySwampNutz

        Is that bulge in your pocket a G Flex or are you just happy to see me, no women will every say.

      • HarvesterX

        Sometimes I do.. Depending on where I’m going. When I do, I have multiple chains attached (one awesome Misfits one with skulls on it as well) wrapped around, one regular one on the right side and the longer Misfits one attached to my left side belt loop and wrapping across to my left side where the other chain is attached on the loop there. Granted not very often but whenever I do its never a problem with the women..

    • michael arazan

      Now women can keep this phone in their bra, curved for her pleasure, I mean form fitting to her body

    • I’ve always wondered how they sit down… then I realized they only put it there when they’re walking to make their ass look better

  • Bryan Moross

    Self standing. Dock not required.

  • New_Guy

    6″ is too damn big for a phone. I don’t care how curved the screen is.

    • Tim242

      Your problem is that you are thinking of these devices too much as phones. Devices have become small tablets, with a phone app.

      • trixnkix637

        ^Essentially this. Android as an OS has pretty much taken care of my need for a laptop. Although I want a Chromebook just because.

        • Droidzilla

          Do it; you won’t regret it.

      • New_Guy

        Or…I simply have a real tablet and have no need for a 6″ phone sticking out of my pocket…

        • Tim242

          A real tablet makes less sense. At least a 6″ phone is portable enough to fit in yyour pocket.

          • Evan Knofsky

            Honestly a Nexus 7 fits fine in my pocket, you can fit a lot in jean pockets.

          • New_Guy

            You could also cuss out your boss, but just because you could do it doesn’t make it a good idea..

          • Tim242

            It may fit…but not comfortably. I tried one.

          • New_Guy

            Hmm let’s see, a 10.1″ tablet with an attachable keyboard or a 6″ phone…yeah I’ll keep the tablet.

            Besides, I already have a Note 2 and I’m telling you 6″ is too damn big .

          • Tim242

            A tablet with a keyboard does not replace a laptop It is still a non portable in between device.

          • New_Guy

            Considering I’ve used mine to complete my MBA, write my book, conduct public speaking events, and organize interdivisional competition at my job, I’d have to seriously beg to differ.

            Couple that with the fact that anything I absolutely need to use my desktop for I can access remotely from the tablet via Jump and my laptop has been collecting dust for months. In fact, I accidently unpluged it, the battery died, and I had no idea for weeks.

  • Ben Udkow

    The thought of this thing rocking back and forth on the desk bothers me so much. I can’t stand it when phones don’t lie flat…

    • trixnkix637

      You could always flip it on its face….

    • whoa

      Just set on side no kick stand required I think

  • iNomNomAwesome

    “the G Flex offers better sound than any smartphone has before it”
    Anyone wanna explain how? I find that hard to believe unless you tell me it has front-facing speakers like the HTC One.

    • IMAX.
      That is all.

      • iNomNomAwesome

        “What’s more, in landscape mode, the display offers an IMAX-like experience, with the result being the most comfortable viewing angle for watching videos or playing games.”
        Doesn’t say anything about that improving the sound. The only thing they say about the sound is “the curved form increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones.”
        While that may be true, it’s still hard to believe that that would be better than front-facing speakers.

        • I was just poking fun at the buzzword. I was as lost as you for anything backing up that claim.
          The curved screen probably produces better acoustics, like you mentioned. Though, I’m not sure if that guarantees better sound quality overall.

        • Maybe has something to do with the curve reflecting higher frequcies. Kinda like if you set your phone in a bowl.

  • JRUIV

    Curved display smartphones were inevitable I suppose.

    • Tim242

      But WHYYYYYY?

  • bose301s

    Are people forgetting the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus? Both were curved albeit just the glass and not display panel and to a much lesser degree, but they were curved none the less.

    • New_Guy

      I was thinking the same thing. Samsung should have stuck with this same form factor as the Galaxy round is ugly as sin.

  • Icehunter

    I wish it was yellow, cause then: Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring ring…bananaphone!

    • Craig P

      It’s no bologna!

      • BobButtons

        It ain’t a phony!

    • pookietookie

      It’s a phone with “a peel”.

    • Joey Funk

      im sure there will be banana cases for it, that said, i want this phone now

  • Derin Richardson

    Self-healing…

    Wolverine phone? Sort of curved like a claw too…

    X-men: Days of Future Past tie-in somehow with this?

    • michael arazan

      There is a company that has made self healing skin for military vehicles, especially tankers. You can fire full clips into the structure and it will seal itself and close the gaps in milliseconds from when the bullet punctures the skin. In under a minute the outer holes are gone, and the material has sealed itself up. And without any evidence of the vehicle ever being struck.

      • blackmagick20

        That’s pretty sweet. After reading this, I did some research…thanks for making me learn something today!

    • O.o

      Well now if the phone DOESN’T make a *schnikt* noise and have claws of doom I deem it a flop.

  • MikeSaver

    IMAX like video on a 6 inch display

    • michael arazan

      and 720p resolution.

      IMAX, including IMAX HD and OMNIMAX: approximately 10,000×7000 (7000 lines) resolution. It is about 70 Mpix, which is currently highest resolution single sensor digital cinema camera

  • Morbid138

    Can’t believe these phones that barely get leaked or get attention get officially introduced, yet the NEXUS 5 is still in the dark. Hurry up Google, shits getting old man…

    • capecodcarl

      You just need to be patient. The phone will be released eventually since the Nexus 4 is not being stocked anymore and we have all the information about it already coming through the FCC certification process.

      The Nexus 4 was released on November 13th, 2012 and the Galaxy Nexus on November 17th, 2011 (both the third week in November), while the Nexus S was released December 22, 2010 and the Nexus One on January 5th, 2010.

      Given that, the most likely release date is sometime during the third week in November this year. If I were to guess it would be November 12th.

      • Bukinater

        How is november 12th the third week?

        • capecodcarl

          November 1st and 2nd are the first week this year, 3-9 is the second, 10-16 is the third. I didn’t mean first full week, but if you want to go that way, then it’ll be released during the second full week just like the last two Nexus phones were. That’s just my opinion though, I guess we’ll see.

          People seem to have this hope that the November 1st rumor is true, but Google would’ve had to send out press announcements by now, or at the least by Tuesday so the press could arrange travel to the event.

  • rthvk

    Stabbing Galaxy Round 😛

    Also gotta appreciate Kellex for posting at this time! #DLforlife

    • 🙂

    • carluverdrm2004

      Agreed, it was like 1 am on the East Coast!

  • Big_EZ

    It’s to long to fit landscape in your pocket, and the curve will make it uncomfortable upright in your pocket.

  • blahblahblah

    Ugliest device ever.

  • terry12s

    Well, I actually disagree with the axis that the curve should be upon. Myself, I think Samsung got it right when thinking the way sound waves travel. Just my opinion…

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      But why do you think that?

  • Ryan

    I want to see more info on the self healing. That would be awesome. And POLED!!?? awesome I like the G2 display this i am sure will be even better

    • I, too. Hope it’s not just a ruckus to catch the attention of mobile consumers.

  • Julian Coronado

    If that “Self Healing” back works like it says it will then I’m all in!

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Late and a Sunday. Didn’t expect to see this news from you guys until tomorrow though It’s appreciated.

    Everytime I see the side view of this phone I’m thinking GNEX. It looks nice though and after having hands on time with the G2 the back buttons feel pretty good and may be even a better idea on the curved design.