LG also claims the G Flex's 13-megapixel camera has an improved image sensor with larger pixels for "unsurpassed" pictures and videos. Our engineers are checking those claims in the lab, and we'll post their findings soon. In the meantime, here are my impressions of this unique and interesting smart phone.
The screen is dazzling. LG executives have implied that the wide, curved aspect of the G Flex's 6-inch flexible plastic organic light emitting diode (POLED) panel provides an immersive effect, like IMAX or Cinemascope. Sorry, guys, not quite. But it is easily among the sharpest (1280x720 resolution) and brightest displays I've seen on any phone. In fact, the preloaded video clip featuring a young girl traipsing through a forest of oversized vegetables looked almost three-dimensional. Text and other nongraphic elements within Web pages, Google Maps, and other apps are impressively crisp.
LG credits the display performance to a new screen technology called Real RGB, which essentially crams in one-third more pixels than on other displays. The display is about half as thick (0.44mm) as conventional OLED panels, which means less material between the pixels and your eyes. We'll have to see whether this thinner design affects display durability.
Tough skin. The word "flexible" seems to be an exaggeration when it comes to describing the G Flex. You have to push hard to get it to budge, and even then it barely moves. But it bounces back (even if you have to snap part of it back together), and that's more than other phones do (see our CES video below). More important, that kind of flexibility can spare you the potentially super-big headache of dealing with a broken phone, as well as costly extended warranties and insurance plans.
Also good is the phone's glossy, scratch-resistant case, which is covered with "self-healing" polymer paint. The case maintained its blemish-free luster bouncing around in my pocket, which it shared with keys and coins. It also recovered from an accidental drop on a flagstone walkway. (The case is not designed to survive intentional gouges with knives and other sharp objects.)
Immortal battery. After fully charging the G Flex on Friday night, I used it extensively (streaming media, viewing Web pages, social networking) on and off for at least 8 hours a day through the weekend. On Sunday evening, the battery indicator said it still had 35 percent of its charge remaining. That's pretty good. Part of the credit no doubt goes to the more efficient quad-core CPUs and wireless technologies now standard on most new phones. I'm sure the G Flex's giant 3,500mAh battery also had something to do with it.
Dual windows. LG phones have allowed you to keep several apps open on their large displays for several generations. But this latest enhancement allows you to drag and drop links and large files from one app to another. So now you can just drag a photo from the phone's gallery into an e-mail you're composing. Previously, only Samsung's late model Galaxy and Note phones allowed you to do this.