When I first heard about the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, I was totally excited and got to see first-hand some of the new performance improvements over at CES 2015.
Well, it’s been 3 months since CES and LG has finally released the LG G Flex 2 in South Korea. Without delay, I had to get one since I love getting high on Android. After using it for almost 2 weeks now, I think I can give you a full review, let’s go do this baby, UGH!
The coolest feature on the LG G Flex 2?
Without a doubt, if you are looking for the curviest smartphone in the world, it’s not the Note Edge nor the upcoming S6 Edge. The LG G Flex 2 comes with a 5.5” inch screen that’s fully curved from top to bottom. For me, it was definitely an eye-opening experience.
Now, the curved screen does help with viewing angles but the real kicker here is that the G Flex 2 is really easy to hold. In fact, the G Flex 2 is the easiest phone to hold for long hours with one hand as it naturally fits your hand.
While most bigger phablets like Note 4 leave you with a gap, thus you hold it the phone on the edges, the G Flex 2 allows more of your fingers to actually hold the phone like your index finger. This results in much firmer grip on your phone and if you tend to drop phones often, this may actually help greatly. This is also great for talking on your phone, the curved screen allows you to hear more easily when talking on the phone. Remember the old telephone? Yeah, it was curved for a reason.
The curved screen also reduces amount of glare on your phone as the curved screen. I noticed the curved screen on the G Flex 2 exaggerates your own shadow, thereby giving you less glare over flat screen devices. This may become very useful if you tend to be under the sunlight often.
Putting it in your pocket is also a breeze, the G Flex 2 conforms to the shape of your legs, the curviness makes your phone disappear, no more bulging phone in your skinny jeans.
And yeah, watching movies and playing games on the G Flex 2 is a lot of fun. The curved screen really get you immersed into whatever you are doing, that is in landscape mode.
My other favorite features include the easy-access home and volume buttons on the back of the phone just like the G3, I wish more phone manufacturers did this. It’s not rocket science but with the buttons in the back, it’s so much easier to turn your phone on and off, especially while walking. Wait, but you can also double-tap the screen to turn it on and off, which I find it very neat, these small features make the G Flex 2 an efficient phone to have.
G Flex 2 comes with self-healing back which may help from getting small scratches. But in reality, I found this did not work. In fact, I have more scratches than any other smartphone that I have tried. It’s not a huge deal though, you can get a cool circle case if you ever scratch it enough like me.
What’s inside the LG G Flex 2?
G Flex 2 comes with world’s first Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, 5.5” 1080P screen, and 13MP back camera with auto laser-focus and OIS.
The Snapgragon 810 inside the G Flex 2 operates with a quad-core 1.5Ghz for lower priority apps and a quad-core 2Ghz with 64-bit architecture for higher priority apps. The slower 4 cores will save you battery on apps that don’t need full performance while the faster 4 cores will allow you to run at full speed.
As some of you may well know, Google has released Lollipop, which has full 64-bit support. This means that all of your favorite apps are now running in full 64-bit if you use a 64-bit processor like the Snapdragon 810.
Since G Flex 2 ships with latest Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, you are fully able to take advantage of the performance improvements 64-bit provides. But in my experience, the performance boost is depended on the temperature.
While using my G Flex 2 at 70 degrees fahrenheit at home, the processor somewhat slowed down to a crawel when opening up multiple apps. I suspect this is due to Snapdragon 805’s overheating problems.
Now what’s interesting is that when I took the phone to Lake Tahoe where I am staying right now and the temperature is near freezing, I never notice the G Flex 2 slowing down ever. In fact, I was finally able to score higher than my Note 4 on Antutu with score of 55,000.
I mean, this isn’t the final U.S./international model, so I am sure it will improve but for right now, it seems LG may have only tested phone in South Korea where weather is fairly cold still. Now, if you don’t live in areas where it snows, the G Flex 2 poses a definite problem but I do think LG will fix the issue soon.
The 13MP camera is nearly identical to the one on the LG G3, which I touted as one of the best still cameras out there. Well, G Flex 2 is no slouch either, photos can be taken instantly thanks to its laser-focus. Sometimes the colors are off with certain lighting but in general, this camera is better than Sony camera used on the Nexus 6 and OnePlus One.
And yeah, 4K and 1080P video recording is pretty good too with OIS, it can certainly keep pace fine with its competition. It’s not as good as the Note 4 camera, which I think is the best smartphone camera out of all newest Androids but G Flex 2 comes close to that.
Although I haven’t noticed difference between my G3, supposedly the Qualcomm 810 processor also improves post processing of your photos and videos so in theory you have better photos/videos than the G3.
The quick charge on the G Flex 2 also works well for recharging your phone from 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes. It’s actually nearly identical to the quick charge feature on the Note 4 if you ask me and they are actually compatible. Without a removable battery, I was glad at least this option was available.
Battery life on the LG G Flex 2 is excellent, you can go pretty much all day without having to be a wall hugger. With a 3000mAh battery, it’s definitely the right size battery to last you all day long. Of course, if you are a power user who is on your phone 24/7, then you will still need a portable USB power bank or you probably do better with a Note 4 or anything with a removable battery.
What’s missing with LG G Flex 2?
Well, the performance of G Flex 2 falls well below its predecessor Snapdragon 805 on the Galaxy Note 4 unless you live in below average temperatures under 70 degrees fahrenheit. Since LG is the first to launch with the Snapdragon 810, they really had one chance to make it right. Well, they screwed up pretty badly, there are some software implementation issues so if you want to play safe, buy the phone after LG fixes it. I don’t blame them though, at least they were the first. I think it will be fixed eventually but I have no idea when.
Also, if you tend to use your phone while laying flat on the desk while at work, this may be the wrong device to do so as it will wobble if you try to do one-handed typing. Personally, I never do that but for some of you cubicle warriors, this could be a concern.
For now, I am satisfied with everything else on the LG G Flex 2. The 1080P curved screen is ergonomically easy to hold while giving you a great viewing experience in landscape mode. Also having 1080P screen instead of 1440P means your battery lasts a lot longer.
The micro-SD card slot is also great, you can easily expand your storage using 32, 64 or even 128GB micro-SD cards. I love having the freedom to move my data easily between phones and my computer and micro-SD card is simply the way to go. I give LG props on that. Right now, I am really hating Samsung for removing micro-SD and replaceable battery on the Galaxy S6. Well, I will have a review on that soon too when it’s out.