Do we have a good one for you today – the new LG G Flex 2 goes up against the newest revamp of the Xiaomi Mi4…the FDD-LTE model. Both smartphones offer up a solid build quality and feel great in your hand. The Xiaomi Mi4 uses a full metal frame and trim with a plastic back, while the LG G Flex 2 has a curved body, battery and display with an improved self-healing back. The young Xiaomi has already overtaken Samsung as the number one brand of smartphones in China, so they will soon be a force to be reckoned with in the US when they start marketing a smartphone with all US 4G LTE channels.
These two devices do not have very much in common – they both come with 16GB of internal storage, but only the G Flex 2 has room for expansion, although Xiaomi does promise a 64GB version is coming soon. Both main cameras use a 13MP sensor and a dual LED flash, but then they part their ways. The batteries are almost identical in size and they both have the usual suspects of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, an FM Radio and IR Blaster – both LG and Xiaomi also make HDTVs.
Please look over the detailed Specifications Comparison below – click on 'View Full Comparison' at the bottom to get the full details – and see exactly where the LG G Flex 2 and the Xiaomi Mi4 differ. We will then look at each individual device and determine some pros and cons to help see if we can pick which one of these smartphones deserves to win this competition.
LG G Flex 2
The new LG G Flex 2 is a terrific upgrade from the original – LG actually listened to their customers (what a novel idea) and the second generation is a much better smartphone. They kept the curved display, of course, but they shrunk it from 6-inches to a more palatable 5.5-inch, improve the self-healing back and upped all of the specs, from display to processor.
When LG shortened the 6-inch display to 5.5-inches, it seemed to make the device easier to hold and store in ones' back pocket. Most importantly, LG took the resolution from an HD to a Full HD (FHD) giving the new G Flex 2, 1920 x 1080 pixels and 403 pixels-per-inch (PPI)…close to the 441 PPI on the Xiaomi Mi4. LG also grabbed the most advanced 64-bit processor they could find, using the newest Snapdragon 810 octa-core clocked at 2GHz and 1.5GHz – two steps up from the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 found in the Mi4. LG only put in 2GB of RAM compared to the 3GB in the Mi4, but both devices offer 16GB of internal storage, however, the G Flex 2 notches it up a bit to include a microSD card slot to expand that memory to a theoretical 2TB.
While the main cameras use the same sized sensor at 13MP – the G Flex 2 adds their Laser autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash and OIS+, whereas the Xiaomi Mi4 uses the standard autofocus and no OIS, although it does have a dual LED flash. The G Flex 2 has a 2.1MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chatting, but the Mi4 blows that meager size away with its huge 8MP FFC – almost unheard of at this point. The 3000mAh battery of the G Flex 2 is slightly smaller than the 3080mAh in the Mi4, although both should get you through an entire day…and both batteries are non-removable.
Besides the usual features we listed in the introduction, the LG G Flex 2 does add Dolby Mobile for better sound and Quick Charge 2.0 (courtesy of Qualcomm's 810). The G Flex 2 is running Android 5.0.1 Lollipop out-of-the box with LG's UI running over top. It will be available on AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular at this point and will cost you approximately $300 on a two-year contract and $650 or so off-contract. It should be available sometime in March.
Xiaomi Mi4 FDD-LTE
The Xiaomi Mi4 we are comparing today, is the new FDD-LTE model that works using LTE Bands 1 (2100MHz) and 3 (1800MHz). As of today, it is available only in a white, 16GB model, but according to their website, they will eventually release a black model and a 64GB model – and neither model will have room for additional storage. The full-metal body and trim give the Mi4 a solid feel and makes for a premium looking device, even with its plastic back. The Mi4 is comfortable in your hand and a pleasure to use.
The Xiaomi Mi4 has a popular 5-inch FHD IPS LCD display with a resolution that matches that of the G Flex 2 at 1920 x 1080 pixels and a higher, 441 PPI, due to the smaller display. Xiaomi chose the proven 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, clocked at 2.5GHz with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage – this is drop off from the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core found in the G Flex 2 and its room for expansion of the internal memory. The Mi4 uses a 3080mAh battery, right on par with the 3000mAh used in the G Flex 2.
The main camera on the Xiaomi Mi4 has the same 13MP sized sensor as the G Flex 2, and then adds a dual-LED flash and Autofocus – the G Flex 2 ups the ante with their Laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash and OIS+. In the FFC camera department, the Mi4 kicks a little shutterbug with an 8MP sensor for great social media selfies and video chatting.
When it comes to other extra features – beside the usual Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, IR Blaster, microUSB port and FM Radio that both devices possess, the Xiaomi Mi4 does have a bottom mounted speaker, rather than on its back. This is the new FDD-LTE device, so please check with Xiaomi's website and your carrier to make sure that you can use 4G LTE in your country. The Xiaomi Mi4 is running Android 4.4.2 KitKat with MIUI 5 on top. Pricing is all off-contract via online ordering – approximately $470 for 16GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
This one was not too tough to determine – the Xiaomi Mi4 FDD-LTE device is a great start, but 16GB of memory with no room to expand, just doesn't cut it…although, the 64GB model would definitely help the situation. But when you look at spec-by-spec, the G Flex 2 just has the Mi4 beat – the G Flex 2 has a larger display of the OLED variety, better processor (64-bit/better graphics/better battery management), more internal storage options, more advanced camera (Laser Autofocus, OIS+, dual-tone LED flash), Dolby Mobile, Quick Charge 2.0, and it is running the latest Android 5.0.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. It works on all major US networks and is available as a subsidy on a two-year contract or you can stretch the full price out over 2 years.
The Xiaomi Mi4 is a terrific device that will run you about $470 off-contract – a couple hundred dollars less than the LG G Flex 2 – however, after examining the specs and devices, I think a G Flex 2 on a $300 two-year contract would be a more satisfying device/experience than a $470 Mi4.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which device you would prefer and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.