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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?

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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

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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.