LG mocks Samsung with world's first 'real' curved phone with self-healing back cover

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LG today created a rather interesting ripple in the already turbulent sea of smartphones with what it claims to be the world’s first ‘real’ curved smartphone, taking a dig at compatriot rival Samsung, which recently took the covers off the Galaxy Round, a curved smartphone.

Of course, rumours about the LG’s G Flex were clear and abundant before the launch, but with its latest unveiling today, close on the heels of the Samsung Galaxy Round’s unveiling earlier this month, LG has made crystal its intentions of competing with its South Korean rival in every domain, category and market.

The Samsung Round does indeed have a curved glass screen and at 5.7-inches, it is fairly big to fit an average person’s face (on the side), but LG says its G Flex is the first device to offer complete compatibility with your face.

“LG today officially took the wraps off the LG G Flex, a smartphone curved to follow the contour of the face, the first device to offer such a design in the smartphone market,” the firm said in a media statement we received.

With its latest device, the Korean company has gone ahead and added ‘smart’ to the smartphone, with features like ‘Urgent Call Alert’, which flashes the LED on the phone’s Rear Key in red when several consecutive calls from the same person go unanswered. Now that’s something we’d call cool.


But what we found the most intriguing feature is the self-healing back cover, a la X-Men Wolverine! LG says its back cover “has the ability to recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive, keeping the G Flex looking newer longer”.

That’s something that we’re really keen to see although the South Korean major hasn’t yet announced availability for markets outside its home base, where it will be available in a couple of weeks.

LG maintains that, with its new, vertically curved design, the G Flex improves upon the traditional handset design by reducing the distance between one’s mouth to the microphone when the device is held against the ear.

“The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,” claimed Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. The G Flex employs a curvature arc that is optimised for the average face, the firm says.

How will it work for those with face contours that are slightly different than the average face remains to be seen – we’ll let you know when we review the device as and when it is made available.



Nevertheless, LG says the curved form increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones, which means that you could speak softly and still be heard clearly on the other end.

Emirates 24|7 did our research (okay, Google Search), and found that for every doubling of acoustical energy, there is a 3dB increase. This implies that the “improved form” will mean that you could speak half as loud as you do now on the phone and still be heard as clearly, or speak as loud as today and be heard much louder.

Of course, the curved design also offers “a more reassuring grip” besides the fact that it “fits more comfortably in one’s back pocket”, says LG.

We’re not too sure about the latter claim – it tends to assume that the size of one’s face matches the size of one’s backside, which is a rather ridiculous assumption to make, if you ask us.

Here are the specs as mentioned in the LG statement:

Form + Function: Design that Understands Human Curves LG G Flex also features the Rear Key first introduced in the LG G2. Devoid of any buttons on the sides, there is less chance of accidentally powering off the phone and the convenience of using one’s index finger to adjust the volume when conversing is maintained.

Innovation Delivered Through Collaboration The development of LG G Flex was only possible through the successful collaboration with sister companies LG Display and LG Chem. The 6-inch display found in the G Flex is the world’s largest Plastic OLED (POLED) display developed and mass produced specifically for smartphones.

The ultra-thin, ultra-light flexible POLED display and curved OLED panel are built on plastic substrates instead of glass, giving LG G Flex its unique shape and durability. The POLED display is brighter and more precise thanks to the application of Real RGB, which contains all three sub-pixels — red, green and blue — in one pixel.

LG Chem developed the world’s first curved battery technology specifically for application in LG G Flex. The curved battery in the G Flex is designed with LG Chem’s patented Stack & Folding technology, which reduces the physical stress on the battery pack when in the curved form and provides better stability and performance. Despite its thin form, the LG G Flex battery has a capacity of 3,500mAh, enough power for more than a full day of use.

User-Centred Technologies

Among the several new technologies, the LG G Flex is the first smartphone to apply a “Self-Healing” coating on the back cover. The elastic coating has the ability to recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive, keeping the G Flex looking newer longer.

Users of LG G Flex will have a wider selection in the ability to enjoy in various format of music — MP3, CD quality or 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback.

UX features, such as KnockON, Guest Mode and Plug & Pop, which were positively received when first introduced in the LG G2, can also found in the LG G Flex. The LG G Flex also includes an array of new UX features:

• QTheater gives users quick access to photos, videos and YouTube right from the lock screen. By touching the screen and dragging outward along the curved surface with both fingers, the apps appear with the effect of theatre curtains being drawn.

• Dual Window divides the wide 6-inch screen into two separate windows for more effective multitasking.

• Swing Lockscreen alters the image on the lockscreen depending on how the G Flex is held.

• Face Detection Indicator displays the LED on the Rear Key in green to confirm status of face detection and focus.

• Camera Timer flashes the Rear Key LED to indicate that the countdown has begun.

• Urgent Call Alert flashes the LED on the Rear Key in red when several consecutive calls from the same person go unanswered.

Key Specifications (Korean Version):

- Chipset: 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm? Snapdragon 800 (MSM 8974)

- GPU: Adreno 330, 450MHz

- Display: 6-inch HD (1280 x 720), Curved P-OLED (Real RGB)

- Memory: 2GB LP DDR3 RAM / 32GB eMMc

- Camera: Rear 13.0MP / Front 2.1MP

- Battery: 3,500mAh (embedded)

- Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2

- Size: 160.5 x 81.6 x 7.9 - 8.7mm

- Weight: 177g

- Network: LTE-A / LTE / HSPA+ / GSM

- Connectivity: BT 4.0 / USB 3.0 compatible / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC

- Color: Titan Silver

- Other: TDMB / Hi-Fi 24bit, 192kHz Playback

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