It looks like LG and Samsung are at it again. Both companies were vying for our attention at CES 2013 with simultaneous "world's first" curved OLED television announcements. LG consistently led in the race to the consumer space, and looked liked being first to move the screen format onto smartphones with the announcement earlier this month of its plans to mass produce flexible OLED phone displays. Samsung had other ideas, however, and the Galaxy Round was launched just a few days later. LG has now caught up with the forthcoming release of its slightly larger G Flex smartphone, featuring a curved display that follows the contour of the face.
Arcing the G Flex smartphone's display vertically brings the microphone closer to a user's mouth when held against the ear, which, according to LG, increases the volume at the mic by 3 dB (when compared to typical flat-screened phones). The company is also making similar IMAX-like immersive landscape video viewing claims to those which accompanied the release of the curved televisions.
The G Flex sports a 6-inch, 1280 x 720 resolution P-OLED display, which sees the display and panel built on plastic substrates instead of glass. Real RGB technology has been incorporated – where red, green and blue subpixels are all contained in one pixel – for a brighter and more precise onscreen image.
A 2.26 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor runs the show, with a 450 MHz Adreno 330 GPU, 2 GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 32 GB of eMMC storage (with a microSD slot for expansion) making up the supporting cast. The device tips the scales at 6.2 oz (177 g), and its 3,500 mAh curved battery, which was developed by sister company LG Chem, is reported to provide more than a full day's use.
The 6.3 x 3.2 x 0.31 - 0.34 in (160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 - 8.7 mm) device features a 13 megapixel camera with LED flash at the back and a front-facing 2.1 MP webcam. The LED pulses to indicate face detection or timer countdown. The rear-key design first seen in the G2 has also been included, with a power button in the middle of a volume rocker, and the company has applied a special scratch-resistant coating on the back to help keep the device looking like new for longer.
The latest member of LG's G smartphone family runs Android 4.2.2, and features a refreshed UX that has a function called Q Theater which gives users access to content direct from the lock screen, and allows the display to be divided into two separate windows for multi-tasking.
The smartphone is LTE-capable, packs Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, and features NFC technology. It is also capable of Hi-Fi quality 24-bit/192 kHz audio playback.
The LG G Flex starts its journey into the back pockets of consumers in Korea next month, before being rolled out to other markets.