Curved as well as comfortable

Last year LG tried something new. The company announced the creation of the G Flex, which had a unique 6-inch curved screen. However, this phone was an experiment of sorts and it had more shortcomings than expected. The phone’s 720p screen pales in comparison to its rivals, the phone is larger than it needs to be and it’s priced too high.

After knowing the complaints of the users, the company decided to go back to the drawing board and this year LG launched an upgraded version G Flex2. This phone is smaller than its previous variant and has a 1080p display. Apart from this, many other improvements have been made in the handset. For example, self-healing coating has been used in the back part of the phone. Gorilla Glass screen protection is much better in this handset. Additionally, the G Flex2 is the first smartphone to use Qualcomm’s latest and greatest octa-core 64-bit SoC, the Snapdragon 810 processor. Is the LG G Flex2 a better curvy version? Let us know.

Look and Design
Like the older version, the design of G Flex2 is also very unique and the credit for this goes to the curvy style. During the review, we found that after seeing this phone, people were forced to turn around, that is, the handset did the job of arousing curiosity. Especially the flamingo red colored handset, which we received for review. By the way, the phone is also available in silver color. Compared to the old version, G Flex2 is more light, slim, compact, it can be used with a single hand. However, this does not mean that this phone is more suited to operate with one hand.

LG has used self-healing coating (G Flex also had this feature) in the back of the phone, which means that after getting scratched on the body, it heals automatically. Due to the slim texture of this coating, we lost the grip of this phone many times. LG claims that the self-healing feature works in just 10 seconds. If scratched at room temperature, it will recover in 10 seconds. This is much less than the G Flex’s 3 minute rating. We also tried scratching the back of the phone and it improved very soon, but the claim of 10 seconds is no less than an exaggeration.

By applying pressure on the rear side of the phone, the G Flex2 bent and returned to its original shape faster than the previous variant. Like the LG G2, G3 and G Flex, the power button in the G Flex2 is also located between the volume control buttons on the rear side. The texture pattern of the volume buttons is quite different from that of the power button, which makes them easy to identify. Tactile feedback is also quite good. The primary camera is built on top of it. Along with this, there is dual LED flash and laser autofocus window.

The front part of the phone has a 700mm radius curvature, while the rear side has a 650mm radius curvature due to the grip. The G Flex 2 has a 5.5-inch screen and the company has provided onscreen buttons to navigate through the operating system. The earpiece, LED indicator, front camera and ambient light sensor are located above the display.

Specifications and Software
Powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor has been used in the phone. Along with this, there is also support for four ARM Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz and four Cortex-A57 cores at 2GHz. Adreno 430 GPU is also part of the SoC. The G Flex2 model available in India comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. According to the company, the storage can be expanded up to 2TB via microSD card. There is no need to get too excited about this feature, because only microSD cards up to 128 GB are available in the market.

The phone has a variety of sensors, such as an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a proximity sensor, and a compass. The biggest drawback of this phone is the lack of support for 4G networks available on the 2300MHz band. For this reason most 4G networks in India cannot be accessed through this phone. In terms of connectivity, support for Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.1 with aptX and Infrared LG is available in the phone. LG has used a 13-megapixel rear camera. It comes with optical image stabilization. Support for laser autofocus and dual LED flash is also available for the primary camera. When you turn the phone over, you will find that there is a 2.1 megapixel camera on the front part of the phone. To provide a compact body, it was LG’s compulsion to reduce the size and capacity of the battery. The G Flex 2 has a 3000mAh battery, whereas in the previous variant it was 3500mAh. The resolution of the phone’s 5.5-inch P-OLED panel is 1080p. The screen of the latest handset is more crisp and vibrant compared to the G Flex. Due to the curve of the screen, the content gets a 3D look to some extent. The experience of watching videos, reading long articles and playing games on the curved screen is great. This is the real advantage of having a curved screen. The viewing angles are also excellent and there is less reflection on the phone even in sunlight.

The G Flex 2 runs on Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and LG has used its custom UI on top of it. The custom UI is very clean and has a flat look, but it doesn’t resemble Android Lollipop in any way. LG has kept unwanted bloatware to a minimum, which is great. A software feature called Glance allows users to view the status bar and recent notifications by swiping down from the top of the screen even when the phone is locked. KnockCode (customized code to unlock the phone) and KnockOn (tapping the screen twice to activate), features that LG had already launched on its phones, are also available on this handset.

camera
Surprising everyone, LG has removed many features from the default camera app, now only three modes are available – Auto, Panorama and Dual. Through the Dual Mode app, users can create picture-in-picture images by using both cameras at once, but it is not innovative.

The 13-megapixel camera captures photos with detail and natural colours. It focuses on the subject very quickly. However, it is possible that some people may not see the images as colorful as they would like. We noticed noticeable barrel distortion around the edges, which was very disappointing. The HDR mode does a great job of preventing images from being overexposed in bright light.

In low light, the rear camera works well. We took some detailed shots, but the camera failed to reduce noise. OIS works to help. The OIS system comes in handy to prevent shaky videos from being shot. The quality of the 4K video we shot was excellent, but sadly the camera limits clip length to 5 minutes. The quality of selfies taken with the 2.1-megapixel front camera was average. However, you can make your photo more beautiful through these built-in beauty modes.

performance
In light of the controversies, we were excited to test the Snapdragon 810 SoC. We also found that it has a heating problem. The phone gets hot while performing even the slightest difficult task. Even while taking photos, the upper part of the rear side of the phone gets hot. Additionally, simple tasks like swiping down the notifications shade down sometimes run intermittently during processor throttling. There is no scope for such deficiency in any flagship device.

We have the benchmark scores for those interested, but don’t rely on these figures alone to judge what the G Flex 2 is capable of. The handset scored 49,882 and 29,223 respectively in AnTuTu and Quadrant tests, which is impressive. Living up to expectations, the phone achieved a score of 17,358 in 3DMark Ice Storm’s Basic test.

The G Flex2 played our video test files with ease. The sound quality on the loudspeaker appeared to be low. The earphones provided with the phone provide good sound and you will not need to replace it. The voice quality was quite good even during phone calls and the phone managed to maintain connection in congested networks. In the battery test, the phone lasted for 8 hours and 6 minutes, which is less than the performance of the G Flex. Perhaps, the company’s decision to use smaller batteries is wrong. Even during normal use, we found that the battery life was not very good.

our decision
LG’s attempt to make a curved smartphone for common users seems to be failing, this time because of the processor’s performance. It is not that due to this shortcoming the phone will not find users, but knowing that the price of this phone is around Rs 50,000, such small shortcomings hurt more.

G Flex2 can be purchased for its uniqueness. Practically speaking, if you’re willing to spend that much, we’d suggest checking out the iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6. We would suggest buying the second version of Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge because it is a more stable product.

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