As someone that's been interested with Android since the days of the Nexus One, I've managed to be pretty brand-agnostic when it comes to the devices and smartphones I own. I often say if it's good, it's good, regardless of its label. I've owned a number of HTC phones, I had a Samsung phone once, I've owned LG phones and I currently enjoy a Sony Xperia Z2 as my own, personal phone. This week, I got the chance to take a look at both the LG G Flex 2 and the LG G4. Two phones that I have been dying to get my hands on for a long time. The G Flex 2 was the best thing about CES 2015 in my eyes, as I love the curved display design, but could never use a 6-inch display like the original came with. As for the G4, well, it features an excellent camera and leather backs. Two things that sound like a dream come true in a smartphone for me.
After spending quite some time with these two devices, they share some very common DNA indeed, I've come to the conclusion that the G Flex 2 is an excellent advert for the G4. If you look at both the G Flex 2 and G4, it's clear that they are based off the same design. The microsUSB port, IR blaster and headphone ports are all in the same places and of course, there's the familiar LG arrangement of buttons too. The G Flex 2 feels great in my hands, and while the Snapdragon 810 inside, is somewhat unfortunate, I noticed little in the way of performance issues and found it to be quite snappy. The camera is pretty decent as well and overall it's a great phone, certainly more of a final product than the original G Flex was. The problem with the G Flex 2 though is that the G4 exists.
I really like the curved display on the G Flex 2, I like the way it displays lists and makes all those fancy effects that developers have been trying for years in launchers and apps seem like child's play. It's a real effect and everyday things like checking your email feels a little more fun. The G4 has a Quad HD display though, one that is a big improvement from last year's device and it's also curved just enough to notice it. Then there's the camera, the myriad of manual options and genuinely helpful inclusions, like laser autofocus that makes the overall camera experience so much better.
The G Flex 2 is a great phone, and the flexible OLED display is something I think will finally lead to new smartphone design, as it already seems to be starting to, in devices like the Galaxy S6 Edge. But I'm always left wanting more. There's just something about the G Flex 2 that feels lacking, and that's not because it's a bad phone, but because the G4 is an excellent phone. It's a shame these devices are six months apart and not a year or so because going from the G Flex 2 to the G4 is a glorious transition. You lose a little in the way of unique design, but you gain so, so much more.
In time, I can't see the need for a G Flex and a G series phone, these two are just too similar, and one is going to cannibalize sales of the other. Why have a G Flex 2 when the G4 is a much better overall device, and one which still has a slight curve to it? Hopefully, LG keeps trying out designs with flexible OLED and do so in devices that won't be overshadowed in six months time or so. It's a strange situation LG have created for their 2015 lineup, I want to love the G Flex 2, I really do, but the G4 is just too good a phone to think about purchasing a G Flex 2.