LG's newest flagship phone the LG G4 is not only competing with top end devices from other manufacturers, it's battling against one of its own - the G Flex 2. Naturally this made us question which is the better smartphone. Read on to learn what we found out.
One of the biggest innovations the G Flex series has brought to the market is the flexible and curved display. While the first generation was criticized for its low resolution, the problem had been resolved by the release of the G Flex 2, which boasted full HD resolution.
The phone was also tougher so we shouldn't see a repeat of 'Bendgate'. But it's still important not to overdo it with Flex phones, excess force can still break the screens. Generally speaking though, the G Flex 2 can easily be carried in the back pocket of your jeans and can handle being sat on.
To protect the back side of the phone, LG gave it a self-healing coating which is able to resist most small, everyday scratches. Again, overdoing it - for example taking a key or a knife to the surface will leave lasting damage, it's not a foolproof system.
The Korean manufacturer took few risks with the design of their new phone, with the LG G4 looking like a mixture of the G Flex 2 and the G3. The slightly curved display is reminiscent of the G Flex 2. It doesn't bend as much but the display technology is quite different.
The phones both have the classic LG Rear Keys and a rounded back. Even the dimensions and weight of the two flagship smartphones are nearly identical, differing only by a matter of a few millimeters and grams here and there.
One immediately noticeable difference in the G4 is the new leather back cover. This doesn't come as standard and will set you back about $50. It does look good and provide a better grip on the phone but upgrading would be a largely aesthetic decision.
LG G4 vs LG G Flex 2 comparison: Display
The display of the LG G Flex 2 was a great step forward when compared to its predecessor and the 5.5-inch full HD POLED panel was worthy of a flagship smartphone. Black levels and colors are excellent while the contrast is high enough to read in direct sunlight.
But when compared with the Flex G4, the G Flex 2's display looks positively neanderthal. The IPS display of the LG Quantum G4 offers WQHD (1,440 x 2,560 pixels) meaning a huge 538 ppi - a massive leap from the G Flex 2's 403 ppi.
But that's not all, the Quantam display technology is superior to the color reproduction of the sRGB standard, making for a more natural color that's almost comparable to the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) standard. LG released the clip below just before the phone's launch to explain how it all worked.
When we tested it, the qHD display showed very bright and natural-looking colors. It was also able to handle viewing from different angles without losing clarity. The black levels on the G Flex 2 are still slightly better but brightness and color are both vastly superior in the new model.
LG G4 vs LG G Flex 2 comparison: Technical specifications
LG G Flex 2
Sorry, not yet available!
148.9 x 76.7 x 9.8 mm
149.1 x 75.3 x 7.1 mm
2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
5.1 - Lollipop
5.0.1 - Lollipop
2 GB 3 GB
16 GB 32 GB
Qualcomm Snapdragon 808
Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
Number of cores:
Max. clock speed:
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1
LG G4 vs LG G Flex 2 comparison: Performance
Measuring purely from the hard data, the LG G Flex 2 is nominally the more powerful of the two smartphones. But our test, run with AnTuTu, painted a different picture. The results showed the LG G4 Snapdragon 808 Hexa-core processor was just as good as the Snapdragon 810 in the LG Flex 2, while the throttling capabilities of the G4 are also not as large as those of its competitor.
In reality, this means the G4 can operate longer at its power limit than the Flex 2. For that reason, and because the Flex 2 sometimes overheats on longer games like Asphalt 8 or Real Racing 3, the G4 is the better choice for Android gamers who want to use their phone for extended periods of time.
LG G4 vs LG G Flex 2 comparison: Camera
This is one area where the decision is crystal clear. The LG G4 is without doubt a better choice for smartphone snappers. Both phones have a laser autofocus and an Optical Image Stabilizer but these have been fine tuned to a much greater degree in the G4. Furthermore, the sensor in the newer model is significantly larger and offers a much better array of colors.
The picture gallery below shows the potential of the camera on the G4 and the G Flex 2 respectively and demonstrate the clear difference between the two.
In terms of battery endurance, both phones are similar - after a normal day's use, you can expect to have about 30 percent left. Both phones support Quick Charge 2.0, meaning you can get a few more hours of use with just a few minutes charging.
Another big advantage of the G4 is its removable battery, something the G Flex 2 doesn't have - although both devices have a slot for a microSD card. Both batteries have a 3000 mAh capacity meaning that the lower resolution of the G Flex 2 should make it last slightly longer.
LG G4 vs LG G Flex 2 comparison: Conclusion
So, after all this, what is the better phone? There are obvious disadvantages to the G Flex 2 but it would be worth consideration if its price was significantly lower. Unfortunately this isn't the case - the second generation of the phone currently retails at about $60 cheaper than the new G4 (roughly $750 to $690), a pretty negligible saving in the context.
The only area in which the G Flex 2 has a real advantage is performance but even this is offset by the heat it generates and the subsequent throttling of the processor. It's in the display and the camera that the G4 holds its most significant advantage but it's generally a superior phone and, for the sake of $60, there's really no choice.