Comfortable as well as being curved

Last year LG tried something new. The company announced the creation of the G Flex, which had a unique 6-inch curved screen. The phone’s 720p screen is weak compared to its rivals, the phone is oversized and it also costs more.

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

look and design
Like the older version, the G Flex2 also has a unique design thanks to its curvy styling. During the review, we found that after seeing this phone, people were forced to turn around, that is, the handset worked to awaken curiosity. Especially the handset with Flamingo Red color, which we got for review. By the way, the phone is also available in Silver color. Compared to the old version, the 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 for one-handed operation.

LG has used a self-healing coating (the G Flex also had this feature) on the back of the phone, which means it automatically heals after scratches on the body. 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 there is a scratch on the room temperature, then it will recover in 10 seconds. This is well below G Flex’s rating of 3 minutes. We also scratched the back of the phone and it improved very soon, but the claim of 10 seconds is nothing short of an exaggeration.

Applying pressure to the rear side of the phone caused the G Flex2 to bend and return to its original shape much faster than the previous variant. Like the LG G2, G3 and G Flex, the power button on the G Flex2 is 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 pretty good. The primary camera is built on top of it. It is accompanied by 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 the operating system. The earpiece, LED indicator, front camera and ambient light sensor are placed above the display.

Specifications and software
Powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor has been used in the phone. With this, there is also support for four ARM Cortex-A53 cores 1.5GHz and four Cortex-A57 cores 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, as only microSD cards up to 128 GB are available in the market.

The phone has a variety of sensors, such as an accelerometer, gyroscope, 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, the phone has support for Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.1 with aptX and Infrared LG. 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. On turning the phone over, you will find that the front part of the phone has a 2.1 megapixel camera. LG was compelled to reduce the size and capacity of the battery due to the compact body. The G Flex 2 packs a 3000mAh battery, compared to 3500mAh in the previous variant. The phone’s 5.5-inch P-OLED panel has a resolution of 1080p. The screen of the latest handset is more crisp and vibrant as compared to the G Flex. Due to the curve of the screen, the content gets a somewhat 3D look. The experience of watching videos, reading long articles and playing games on the curved screen is great. That’s the real advantage of having a curved screen. 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 looks flat, but it’s not like Android Lollipop in any way. LG has kept unwanted bloatware down, 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 (tap the screen twice to activate), features that LG had already launched on their phones, are also available on this handset.

camera
To everyone’s surprise, 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 using both the cameras at once, but it is not innovative.

The 13-megapixel camera captures pictures with detail and the natural colors shine through. It focuses on the subject very fast. However, it is possible that some people may not see the pictures as colorful as they want. We could clearly see barrel distortion around the edges, which was very disappointing. HDR mode does a great job of protecting the image from overexposure to bright light.

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

performance
In the wake of the controversies, we were excited to test the Snapdragon 810 SoC. We also found that it has 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. In addition, simple tasks like swiping down the notifications shade during processor throttling sometimes run intermittently. Such a deficiency is not likely to happen in a flagship device.

For those interested, we’ve got scores from the benchmarks, but don’t just rely on these stats to gauge the G Flex 2’s potential. The handset scored 49,882 and 29,223 respectively in AnTuTu and Quadrant tests, which is excellent. Living up to the expectation, the phone achieved a score of 17,358 in 3DMark Ice Storm’s Basic test.

The G Flex2 played our video test files very smoothly. The sound quality was poor on the loudspeaker. The earphones provided with the phone make good sound and you will not need to replace it. The sound quality was quite good even during phone calls and the phone managed to maintain the connection in the congested network. 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 a smaller battery 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 the reason has been – the performance of the processor. It is not that the phone will not get users due to this deficiency, but knowing that the price of this phone is around Rs. 50,000, such minor shortcomings are felt more.

The G Flex2 can be bought for its uniqueness. In practical terms, if you’re willing to spend that much, we’d suggest checking out the iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 as well. We would suggest buying the Galaxy S6 Edge, the second version of the Galaxy S6 as it is a more stable product.

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