Home Icon

Exclusive: Australia’s first LG G Flex review

By Leigh D. Stark | 5:28 pm 22/01/2014

Australia’s first curved smartphone is here, hugging your face better than any phone before it. But is LG’s G Flex a game changer and worth your dime and time?


Announced last year and shown to Australian journalists for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas only recently, LG is earlier than we expected bringing the G Flex to market, the world’s first readily available curved smartphone in places like America and Australia.

Aussies are lucky to see it faster than most countries, with the handset reaching Harvey Norman stores in February.

That's not your eyes playing tricks: it really is a curved phone.

Design-wise, it’s a world first because of what it includes, and that’s a curved plastic OLED screen, sized to 6 inches, and supporting the High Definition resolution of 1280×720. With a resolution of 720p in this sized screen, LG has provided a pixel clarity of roughly 245 pixels per inch.

That curved screen also means the electronics have to be moved around to accommodate the slightly unusual and unorthodox screen, and results in an equally curved body with a curved battery inside.

The electronics inside, though, are all very familiar, with a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26GHz, paired with 2GB RAM, the Adreno 330 graphics chip, and 32GB of storage, with no way to upgrade it thanks to the omission of a microSD slot.

Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean” is the operating system of choice here, running with LG’s overlay, while the connections match the LG G2 also, with Category 4 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with support for LE, Near-Field Communication, infrared, GPS, DLNA, and a microUSB port for charging and moving data to and from the handset.

Even the cameras are spot on close, with a 13 megapixel camera on the back and a 5 megapixel up front. Both cameras will shoot Full HD 1080p video, but only the rear camera will record at Ultra HD, if needed.

The back is cased in plastic with a special elastic-based paint on the back, and like the G2, the controls are located on the back, with the volume up, power button, and volume down button just sitting below the rear camera, which itself is flanked on each side an infrared port and the LED flash.

All the regular soft buttons aren’t on the hardware itself, and are based in software, able to be switched around in location by the user inside the operating system.

Ports are also limited (just like the buttons) with a microUSB at the bottom next to a 3.5mm headset jack.

The battery is rated for 3500mAh and isn’t removable, and the support SIM card style is microSIM with a tray on one side.

Why a curve?

With smartphones being flat for so long, you might be wondering why LG is doing a curved phone.

The first reason is one of marketing, and with the company preparing more curved TVs for this year, not to mention cutting the price of last year’s curved OLED TV, it makes sense for LG to align its values with curved screen technology and introduce this on a phone.

From an entertainment point of view, a curved screen will draw you in more, creating an immersive experience as the display wraps around your view, which is one of the reasons why its exists on new TVs, and helps to make this handset an interesting premise.

But there’s more to it than that, and much of the message you need to know about curved screens comes from their durability.

For example, you can already guess that a curved phone probably sits more nicely in the pocket as the body conforms with your leg, and is useful if you hold it up to your head when it fits the shape of your face better than your traditional flat handset, but did you know that the curved display is also likely to be more resistant to a drop?

When phones hit the ground, if they land on a corner, the glass tries to bend, and when it has no wriggle room, it generally breaks, shattering and creating so many of those broken smartphone screens we see around the place. And people still continue to use these, despite the fact that they’re running their fingers over what is essentially broken glass.

But in the G Flex, LG is using a plastic screen, curved in the handset and able to take a degree of pressure, flexing as it does so, hence the name. If dropped, this screen will likely have more wriggle room, and rather than completely shattering in the moment, will quickly warp and do less damage overall, if any at all.

It can even take some sitting on, and if you push hard from the top of the phone, the screen will flex and not shatter. Try doing that with your regular flat glass phone.

Yes, the G Flex will flatten if you apply pressure. No, the screen doesn't snap. Pretty neat trick, LG.


The first of its kind, the G Flex is a product unlike any other, at least for the moment, bringing the idea of a curved phone to the masses well ahead of when we expected. To make this happen, much of the design has come from another handset LG is known for, the G2, and LG has basically enlarged it and thrown in a bigger screen.

In the hands, the curved handset doesn’t feel dramatically different from the G2, and seeing as they’re based on the same design, we’re not at all surprised.

Rather than have traditional buttons on the sides or top, LG has relocated these to the back, placing them just under the camera lens, with the power button sitting in the middle of a volume up and volume down button.

Just like on the G2, it’s an interesting idea, though it can take some getting used to, as your forefinger is pushed against power and volume buttons, while the rest of your hand cradles the sides of the handset. It’s not uncomfortable, though if you have bigger hands, you’ll likely find the 6 inch size easier to deal with.

Pages: 1 2 3

Price (RRP)


Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Neat concept; LG overlay is easier to adapt to, especially if you're a new user; High performance from the CPU and memory; Excellent 4G performance; Camera shoots 4K Ultra HD; Decent battery life; Comfier than you might expect;

Product Cons

Screen may be curved, but it's also 720p, and not the 1080p we expect out of high-end phones; No expandable memory; Elastic polymer paint won't fix all scratches, so don't expect it to; LG keyboard still isn't great; Big size may not work for everyone;




Value for money


Ease of Use


Latest reviews

  • Review: Nokia Lumia 830

    Now that Microsoft Devices owns the "Nokia" name, there aren't likely to be many Nokia phones to come out, replaced with Microsoft's badge in the months to come. So…
  • Review: Jawbone Up Move

    Summer's nearly here, and if you need a gadget to help kickstart the whole fitness thing, we're looking at Jawbone's $69 Up Move.
  • Review: LG G Watch R

    Smartwatches started off square, but now they're finally taking on a more watch-like design, with circles back in. Motorola got their first, but LG's is totally circular with no…
  • One of the best phones around: Sony's Xperia Z3 reviewed

    Sony has been improving its smartphones so much that it’s impossible not to see the electronics superpower as a serious competitor to Apple and Samsung, and here we are…
  • Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 reviewed

    Now that we've seen Apple do its first take on the whole big phone thing, it's time to see Samsung make its Note phablet better than ever.
  • Review: Pendo Pad 8

    You’ve seen cheap Android tablets, now brace yourself for the onslaught of cheap Windows tablets, starting with the Pendo Pad 8, a Windows 8.1 computer in an 8 inch…
  • Review: Sonos Boost

    As more players enter the multi-room audio market, Player One -- Sonos -- is ready with a fix for people suffering from buffer and WiFi problems. If this is…
  • Review: Marshall Monitor headphones

    If you’ve ever played in a rock band in your teens, or even if you do now, you know the “Marshall” name. It’s a brand that practically screams rock,…
  • Thinking thin: Apple’s iPad Air 2 reviewed

    A new year means a new iPad, and here we are with another model ready for consumers to take home. Is the latest iteration Apple's best, and does it…
  • Aldi's $279 Bauhn Sphere smartphone reviewed

    Remember when you had to go to a phone store to buy a phone? No more, with phones available everywhere, and Aldi is getting on that with the Sphere,…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More