After launching one of the first curved screen smartphones, LG is back with a second generation in the form of the G Flex 2. We've taken a look at the new banana phone at CES 2015 so here's our LG G Flex 2 hands-on review. See also: The best smartphones.
The originalG Flex was an interesting idea. We had seen curved displays used in other products such as TVs but not a smartphone. Its convex design was ergonomic (and made far more sense than Samsung's Galaxy Curve which curved side-to-side). However, there were various elements which let the device down such as its size with a huge 6in screen which was only 720p.
LG hasn't given up on the idea though and seems to have taken the feedback on-board with this new model which is refined and much more desirable. It will be available exclusively at Vodafone for the first six weeks. It's due to tip up in Korea at the end of January and we'll let you know as soon as we have UK price and release date information (we expect February).
LG G Flex 2 review: Design and build
In general, the phone looks the same as the original G Flex but it's smaller and lighter which is exactly what we hoped would be the case – it's 7.1 mm at the thinnest point and 152 g. It feels lovely in the hand and the curve of the phone does match the contour of your face like a traditional home phone. The G Flex 2 comes in Platinum Silver or Flamenco Red with the latter looking particularly stunning.
Furthermore on the design side is an improved version of the self-healing coating which graces the rear cover. This was introduced with the original G Flex but now takes seconds to perform its magic rather than minutes. LG's demonstration at CES with wire brushes was certainly impressive.
LG G Flex 2 review: Hardware and specs
As we mentioned the phone is smaller and uses a 5.5in screen which matches that of the LG G3. The firm says this is the sweet spot between and decent amount of real estate and usability. As with the G3, the G Flex 2 doesn't feel like a phone with that screen size. LG has consistently impressed in the way with thin bezels. The bump in resolution to Full HD is much needed and the P-OLED display is now nice and crisp although a little way behind Quad HD.
So LG has addressed two of the main problems but has continued to make improvements on the hardware front. It's the first phone we've seen with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor which is 64-bit, 2 GHz and Octa-core and accompanied by an Adreno 430 GPU. Like the G3, it comes with either 2- or 3 GB of RAM and 16- or 32 GB of internal storage. There's also a microSD card slot which states it can take a whopping 2TB in the spec sheet which is by far the highest we've ever seen.
On the power front, there is a decent sized 3000 mAh battery which LG says can be charged from 0 to 50 percent in just 40 minutes.
It's good news to see the same 13 Mp rear camera which is found in the G3 which we know is a class act with OIS (optical image stabilisation), dual-tone LED flash and a laser auto focus. At the front is a more standard 2.1 Mp selfie camera.
There's a strong line-up of wireless tech with 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart Ready (Apt-X) 4.1, NFC, SlimPort, GPS and 4G LTE.
LG G Flex 2 review: Software
It's predictable but good to see Android 5.0 Lollipop (the latest version) pre-loaded out of the box. The interface is essentially the same that of the LG G3 with the firm's own UX. A nice new feature is called Glance View and allows you can quickly see key information such as the time and notifications when the screen is off with a downwards swipe.
Android 5.0 Lollipop combined with the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 makes for smooth performance but we'll test this, along with battery life and other areas, more thoroughly when we get a review sample.
It's great to see LG come back with a follow-up to the original G Flex which look and feels better and comes with a ton of improvements. Its the first exciting smartphone of the year and likely to be the best we see at CES 2015.