For years, the basic smartphone form factor hasn’t changed much: a rectangular slab of plastic, glass and metal. As , some people have found that rectangle becomes a bit cumbersome to use as a phone and all the flat glass leads to a lot of glare. Enter the G Flex from LG. Canada’s first curved smartphone, the G Flex ups the display size to 6 inches and offers the high contrast ratio and deep blacks that only OLED can. Thanks to its innovative curved design, the G Flex feels much more natural to use as a phone than much smaller traditionally shaped smartphones, while the curved display reduces annoying screen glare. The G Flex offers even more technological breakthroughs than its unique form factor and it’s coming soon to Best Buy.

Advantages of OLED

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology is ideal for portable electronics and especially smartphones —where lightness, thinness and brightness are highly valued. OLED doesn’t require a backlight, which helps reduce power use, make a device thinner than ever and offers brightness, contrast and viewing angles that LCD can’t match. LG has chosen P-OLED, a flexible version of this display technology, for the G Flex. The end result is the first curved smartphone to be offered in the Canadian market.

Technical Specs

  • Quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU at 2.26 GHz
  • 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 6-inch HD (1280 x 720) curved P-OLED display
  • 32 GB storage
  • 13 MP rear camera, 2.1 MP front camera
  • “Self-healing” back cover
  • 3,500 mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • 177g
  • Available in Titan Silver
  • Pre-loaded with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Rogers exclusive at launch

Big Doesn’t Have to Mean Awkward

The G Flex is not a small smartphone. In fact, its 6-inch display places it well into phablet territory —or it would if not for the curved form factor. Most phablets are simply too awkward to be used a phone. A large flat rectangle with a speaker on one end and microphone on the other simply doesn’t conform all that well to the shape of the human head and the user usually either can’t hear well, or their voice is faint.

The LG G flex solves these issues with a curve that places the microphone and speaker in their ideal positions. This smartphone is designed to work well as a phone, despite its size, with improved sound and voice quality. And that curve doesn’t just make the mechanics and ergonomics of talking on the phone better, it looks much more natural, despite the big size.

The curved display also makes for a better viewing experience, with fewer annoying reflections. This is the same principle behind the new generation of curved OLED TV sets.

Self Healing Back and Flexibility

The G Flex has another big trick up its sleeve: a self-healing back. The bane of smartphones carried in pockets and purses, scratched up back panels quickly make a shiny new device look old and worn. LG uses a special coating on the G Flex back panel that slowly flows to fill in any scratches or nicks in the surface.

And the “flex” part of the name? With that self-healing back panel, a specially constructed battery and the plastic OLED display, the G Flex itself can bend and snap back to its original shape.

And the Rest

This is all very cool, very high tech stuff, but LG makes sure the G Flex isn’t just a showcase for space age materials. LG’s UX includes features like QTheatre and Dual Window that take full advantage of the hardware and it runs Android 4.2.2 (with an update to KitKat due to arrive in the spring).

If you want a new premium smartphone with a big screen that’s as good for talking as it is for viewing —and is about as durable as you can get— then keep an eye out at Best Buy for the LG G Flex.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.