LG G Flex2 review: A new angle

It’s been more than a year since we saw the introduction of the original LG G Flex. When LG announced the second generation this January we had already assumed that LG had decided to ditch the entire concept. Was it reports of iPhone 6 Plus bending in people’s pockets that re-kindled the LG Flex affair over at LG HQ? Bad joke? Well, unlike us, LG are in no mood for joking. Their phone has stellar specs.

The LG G Flex2 is one of the best sequels we’ve seen. Most people must recall the original – after all it was the first of its kind – but it was seen by few and owned by fewer still.

Instantly recognizable, but tough sell nonetheless, the original LG G Flex didn’t do that well in the market in spite of – or exactly because, it did have two features from the future. A curved, flexible screen and the self-healing coating at the rear.

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LG G Flex2 official pictures

Were they just gimmicks to trick you into buying another flagship-wannabe? The immersive P-OLED display was great for watching movies and games, but LG missed an opportunity to make it an inherent part of how you interact with the device. The self-healing finish of the battery cover had a point but still a long way to go to living up to the marketing promises. Both added to a pretty steep price tag and we still wouldn’t call them gimmicks.

Anyway, LG is giving the Flex another try and doing it properly this time. The new LG G Flex2 brings a better display, allegedly better self-healing rear coating, the best chipset there is, an improved camera, an impressive connectivity package, the latest Android and a rich software bundle. The display was trimmed down to 5.5″, but promoted to Full HD resolution for a clearly superior pixel density of 403ppi.

The G Flex2 is the first device we’re about to test with a Snapdragon 810 chipset inside. The 13MP camera was treated to optical image stabilization and laser autofocus. That shouldn’t have been too hard, pretty much what the LG G3 had a while back. But these are still welcome.

Key features

  • Curved design build around a curved display, self-healing coating on the back panel
  • 5.5″ 16M-color 1080p curved P-OLED capacitive touchscreen with Dura Guard Glass (Gorilla Glass 3 enhanced in-house by LG)
  • Android OS v5.0.1 Lollipop with Optimus UI
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset with a 64-bit octa-core processor – 2.0GHz quad-core Cortex-A57GHz and 1.5GHz quad-core Cortex-A53; Adreno 430 GPU;
  • 2 or 3 GB of RAM depending on storage configuration
  • 13MP rear camera, laser-assisted auto-focus, optical image stabilization, two-tone LED flash
  • 2160p/1080p video recording @ 30fps, 720p@120fps
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • LTE Cat. 6; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS/GLONASS receiver; Bluetooth v4.1; NFC; IR port; FM Radio; SlimPort
  • 16 or 32GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot up to 128GB
  • Dual-window split-screen view
  • microUSB 2.0 port with USB host and MHL 2.0, Fast Charging
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 3,000 mAh battery

Main disadvantages

  • Rather pricey (sans carrier subsidies) that misses features such as stereo speakers, wireless charging, or an enhanced resistance to liquids or dust
  • The 16GB model comes with 2GB of RAM
  • Non-removable battery

Again, just like the last generation, the curved phone profile doesn’t mean the phone is flexible in any way. Just on the contrary, it’s quite sturdy and well built. The self-healing layer on the back of the phone is still unmatched and it has been improved in this version with even faster healing times.

We really disapprove how LG is treating its base 16GB models with less RAM and presumably with lesser user experience. Perhaps not everybody will feel the difference, but it’s surely there. Our main concern though is the Snapdragon 810 chip itself.

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LG G Flex2 live pictures

Latest reports point to serious overheating issues. The latest we heard is Samsung will be ditching Snapdragon 810 in favor of its own Exynos platform for the upcoming Galaxy S6 even though Qualcomm promised an improved Snapdragon 810 chip is on the way. But if indeed an updated hardware is coming, what about the early adopters who opt for the LG G Flex? Watch out for the benchmark chapter in this review and hope for the best is all we can do at this point.

We also have our doubts about battery life too. The original G Flex was a battery champ, but this one has twice the number of pixels to light up, yet it has 85% of the capacity.

Well, that’s a lot of questions looking to get answers. Before you know it, the LG G Flex2 will be out of the box and we’ll start answering them one after the other.

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