Have you been eyeing LG's latest flagship handset since it was announced last month? Well, it's set to arrive in the US next week. T-Mobile began selling the G4 online today, for $0 down and $25/month for two years or $599.76 if you're looking to part with a lump sum. The pink-hued carrier is looking to lure early adopters with an extra that'll make good use of that microSD card slot. If you opt in "while supplies last," you can expect a free 128GB card for free. And T-Mobile's the spot to grab that dapper brown leather rear cover. The LG G4 won't go on sale in stores until June 3rd, so nabbing one now means yours will ship before the phone hits retail. Not a fan of T-Mobile? Fret not.
If you thought Microsoft's app deal with Samsung was surprising... well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Windows maker has reached agreements to bundle its apps and services on Android tablets from 20 companies. Most of these firms are small regional brands, but there are a few global powerhouses that include LG (which will include Microsoft on an unnamed future device) and Sony (starting with the Xperia Z4 Tablet). Yes, this probably means getting the Office suite and other apps you might not use much, if at all. However, it's evident that Microsoft doesn't mind -- it'd rather make its services as ubiquitous as possible than send you straight into Google's arms.
T-Mobile on Tuesday announced that it’ll start taking LG G4 preorders on May 27th and revealed that early buyers will not only have their G4 shipped to their doors before the device’s June 3rd launch, but they’ll also get a special gift.
Over the past month we've been hearing plenty of rumors that Google might release two different Nexus handsets in stores in 2015, and now a website with a solid track record on Android leaks has confirmed that two new Nexus devices are indeed coming this year.
If you were disappointed that your only choice for a new, official Google phone last year was the gargantuan Nexus 6, you'll be glad to hear that 2015 could be very different. Android Policesources have elaborated on previous rumors with word that both LG and Huawei are working on Nexus handsets this year. The LG device, nicknamed Angler, would have a 5.2-inch screen and might borrow the G4's six-core Snapdragon 808 processor -- effectively, it'd be a modernized Nexus 5. Huawei's phone, Bullhead, would pack a bigger 5.7-inch display and could step up to a Snapdragon 810 chip. Think of it as a not-so-ungainly Nexus 6.
So this is the bendy version of the LG G3. At least, it is in my head anyway, because as a big LG G3 user, the LG G Flex2 looks initially nothing more than a kinky version of the G3. However, inside the G Flex2 there are some slightly uprated specifications. This has a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core CPU, so you’re getting a quad-core 1.5GHz unit sat next to a quad-core 2GHz unit. Other than that though, there’s actually a slight dip in the screen resolution. The G3, which I will be comparing this device to a lot in this review, has a 1440×2560 pixel screen at around 538 ppi, whereas this has a 1080×1920 pixel screen at around 403 ppi. The curved screen here also means you’re looking at a P-OLED capacitive screen instead of the True HD-IPS + LCD on the G3. You also lose a tiny bit in the screen-to-body ratio on the G Flex2, with a tad more border present at the bottom of the display.
Everywhere else, things remain roughly the same. It’s a 5.5″ screen, Android 5.0.1, a 13 megapixel laser-focus rear camera, 2.1 megapixel front shooter, 2GB RAM (in this Vodafone version) and 16GB of on-board storage. The microSD card is still there, as is Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, GPS and 4G connectivity. Hmm.. I’m really struggling for differences here. Umm.. it’s 3 grams heavier than the LG G3, like that makes any difference. Errr.. Oh, and you can’t take the battery out.
I’ll confess right here that this review is going to jump around a bit. You can forget the usual pattern of my reviews, because I’ve kinda fallen in love with LG kit of late and that G3 has been my “driver” every day for the past year. This bendy G Flex2 is going to come under some serious analysis.
We would at this point mention that earlier model, the G Flex. Remember that? It definitely turned heads, but it was a bit big, a bit too curved and had some strange screen bleed issues. Here, I can happily tell you, there’s none of that. They’ve got the curve just right and the screen is really nice – no ghosting or strange blending going on at all. The only bit where it does fall down it in direct sunlight. That plastic OLED screen just doesn’t get as bright as the G3 or any other smartphone, which results in you diving into the shadows to see the screen properly. I cranked everything up but still I could only just see the display in bright sunlight.
That said, the screen, especially when you hold it in landscape mode, gave a very nice immersive experience. It was almost like that “Supermarionation” logo on Thunderbirds..
Sliding your finger around (I use the Google keyboard with the swipe feature rather than the supplied LG keyboard) was a little weird to begin with, but after a short while I quite enjoyed the experience of moving my finger around a curved surface. It felt a bit more natural in a way.
The CPU performance definitely showed through. Web pages popped up with lightning speed and apps installed and ran briskly. It was a marked improvement on my daily G3 experience.
Right. If you want the “quick” hit, here’s a hands-on video, complete with a large amount of “umm” and “err” …
The curvature of the handset is just about right, although it does rock when you hit the top and bottom of the screen if it’s on the desk. Up front, the display does indeed have a larger “chin” area at the bottom of the screen and also at the top. This meant that my thumb couldn’t quite reach the top of the screen, whereas it could on the G3. The front section also houses the selfie camera with a “beautify” mode (increase this lots if you’ve had plenty of beer) and it worked well in low light.
There’s also the earpiece and proximity / light sensors. There’s on-screen capacitive buttons but, like other “G” handsets from LG, there’s no real buttons on the handset apart from those on the rear. More on them in a moment.
The top section comes to a dangerously thin point with the IR blaster a secondary microphone for cutting out background noise on calls.
If you are already LG user you will be familiar with the rear button setup. Here we have the familiar volume up / down and action button assembly. You can wake the device with this key or double-tap the screen thanks to the LG “Knock on” system. I particularly like this and it really does stop you using any buttons apart from those volume controls.
The rear camera is also here, and it comes complete with flash and the laser to quickly focus shots. This worked brilliantly and I’ll confess that images worked just as well here as they do on the G3. You’ll find that the standard “widescreen” shots are 10 megapixels, and if you want the full 13 megapixel you’ll have to put up with square 4:3 images, which probably isn’t ideal but I found 10 megapixel to be fair enough.
Down at the bottom is where you’ll find the 3.5 mm audio port, the microphone and the microUSB power slot, which is also where you can also plug in your PC if you wish.
A quick and fresh OS interface is present on the G Flex2. There was slightly less “LG-ness” on this one, and I couldn’t see the LG Health app (for tracking fitness etc) taking up a whole screen on here, but it is still available and there is an LG Smart World application for recommending apps.
Unlocking the phone can either be done through a normal unlock screen or via the LG Knock Code. Either way it’s a beautiful experience and you can overlay your local weather conditions on here so you can tell if it’s going to rain or snow without having to unlock.
The usual Android apps are on here (Calendar, Calculator, an FM radio, a phone and messaging app that’ll guess which contact you’re trying to contact from your key presses and a memo / music and gallery system) plus there’s all the Google goodness – YouTube, Maps, Google+, Hangouts, Drive etc. There’s also a homescreen system that we’re all familiar with, allowing you to drag apps around, create shortcuts, add widgets and folders. You can also reorganise the icons on your quick-start bar on the bottom to suit.
Vodafone have also added a “Discover” widget which gives quick details on battery, internal memory and SD card status. By the way, I found that the battery lasted all day, even with my insane usage, so I’m guessing that the screen didn’t hammer the battery quite as much as normal screens.
As usual with Android, anything you don’t like you can change. Apps are plentiful and available through the Google Play store. You can also change the backgrounds, ringtones, lock screen and pretty much everything else to your preference.
As a comparison, here’s a look at the benchmarks of both the LG G3 and the LG G Flex2.
First, the G3…
Secondly, the G Flex2…
As I mentioned in the video there’s a range of camera options and the laser focus is incredibly quick at snapping shots. You also get a timed photo, voice-activated shot, panorama, dual-image and a video mode that’ll let you snap pictures as you film. Overall it performed well, including low-light shots. Here’s a few examples.
By the way, these are all in HDR mode and that shot of the helmet is for another upcoming review :)
The positives of this handset is that it stood out and the curvature of the device was pretty much spot on. As the old Goldilocks story goes, it wasn’t too much, wasn’t too little – juuuuuust right. It was speedy too, but I struggled to see why (other than the fact it’s curved) you’d buy this over an LG G3 or the newer G4.
The G Flex2 is available on Vodafone for nothing on bundles costing £40 or more per month. To be honest, it’s hitting a premium price-point here and sits next to my LG G3 on the same network for free on £26 per month plans. I’ve gotta be straight with you, it’s hard for me not to recommend the cheaper G3 – even though the newer G4 is now out.
If you want to stand out though and have that curve and a faster processor with a tad better battery life, this is a beautiful looking thing. It’s well designed, feels good in the hand and has a more natural and ergonomic feel to it than every other handset on the market.
The leather-bound smartphone you never knew you wanted begins shipping this week. LG announced on its website on Monday that the G4 will roll out to consumers in key markets in the coming days, including Hong Kong, Turkey and Russia, with rollouts coming to the rest of Europe, North America and other territories throughout the month of June.
It's been a while since we took time out to list our favorite smartphones, which means we've had to make more than a few updates to our buyer's guide. Big players like LG, HTC, Samsung and Motorola have unleashed a flurry of updates to their previous lines, and in most cases the devices are better for it. The G Flex2 has restored our confidence in LG's curvacious form factor, piling on strong internals and improved specs. Samsung stepped up its game for the with the gorgeous Galaxy S6, while HTC built on the success of its One line to bring us the M9. Motorola added LTE to the Moto E for 2015 and partnered with Google to launch the super-sized Nexus 6. There are plenty of options for all budgets and power requirements, so cruise through the gallery or head over to our buyer's guide for help picking out your next daily driver.%Gallery-slideshow287542%
LG is super-excited about the leather used in making its G4 (judging by the video below), and hopes you are too as it goes on sale this week. We certainly liked the new flagship, especially the screen, f/1.8 camera and battery life, though we found the style on the non-leather model a bit dull. It ticks the spec boxes too, with expandable memory, a 5.5-inch quad HD "quantum" display and a 64-bit Snapdragon 808 six-core CPU. Unfortunately for US denizens, the G4 begins its rollout in Hong Kong, then hits Turkey, Russia and Singapore before arriving stateside. LG still hasn't confirmed the price, but it's rumored to be around $600 -- about the same as Samsung's non-curvy Galaxy S6.
There are only a few companies out there with as much experience making Android Wear watches as LG. After all, the platform's only been part of the public consciousness for a year and yet this Korean giant has already made three of them. Its first sequel -- the G Watch R -- was a marked improvement over its dull, plastic predecessor, but the progress isn't quite as clear with the new Watch Urbane. Sure, it's running a fresh version of the Wear operating system, with some neat new features that haven't yet trickled down to the rest of Google's wearable ecosystem. Hell, it's even got a look that's meant to rival the Patek Philippes in your collection. All that said, after over a week of testing, I still couldn't help but want more out of the Urbane, and you probably will too.%Gallery-slideshow286704%