LG G Flex Takes On Samsung In Curved Smartphone Battle

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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LG says its G Flex is world’s first “real” curved smartphone

LG has unveiled what it calls the world’s first “real” curved smartphone, the LG G Flex, in a dig against its fellow Korean rival Samsung, which launched the curved Samsung Galaxy Round earlier this month.

The LG G Flex is curved vertically, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Round is curved horizontally, and uses a display created by sister company LG Display, which recently announced it was to start mass producing an “unbreakable” six inch OLED screen built on plastic substrates instead of glass a few weeks ago.

LG says this design reduces the distance between the mouth and microphone when held against the ear, improving voice and sound quality for the user. It promises to be optimised for the average user’s face, offer a more reassuring grip and fit more comfortably in the back pocket, where it will be protected from wear-and-tear scratches by a ‘self-healing’ elastic coated cover.

LG G Flex

LG G Flex (3)LG says the curved design allows for a number of user experience options, such as dual window multitasking, while it is all powered by what is described as the world’s first curved battery. This uses LG Chem’s technology to reduce the stress placed on the ultra-thin battery when it is curved, and LG promises users will get a full day’s use out of it.

“The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,” Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Mobile. “The LG G Flex with its distinctive design, innovative hardware and consumer-centric UX represents the most significant development in the smartphone space since smartphone became part of our regular vocabulary.”

The handset runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and uses a 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. It has 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 13.1 megapixel camera, coupled with a 2.1 megapixel front-facing lens.

LG has been enjoying a mobile renaissance recently, increasing its market share thanks to the Google-branded LG Nexus 4 and the recently launched LG G2. It hopes to establish itself as a leader in curved screen technology, but Samsung also holds ambitions in the flexible display market, which is estimated to be worth more than $10 billion by 2019.

Earlier this year, the South Korean offices of Samsung were reportedly raided by police amid allegations that OLED technology from LG had made its way into its rival possession through partners, while the previous July, six LG Display employees were reportedly charged over theft of OLED technology from Samsung, although LG contends that the information was widely known and wasn’t considered to contain trade secrets.

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LG G Flex

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LG G Flex