LAS VEGAS—It's hour one of day one of CES, and we already have a contender for the best phone of the show: the gorgeously refined LG G Flex 2.
Last year's LG G Flex was a very large phone that seemed to be a showcase for curved display technology. The G Flex 2, on the other hand, is a great-looking, well-sized phablet that uses its curve to improve its screen quality and make it a little more rugged. With the latest specs and a really lovely screen, it's one to watch. I spent an hour with the phone and really liked it.
The G Flex 2's most obvious upgrade is its screen, going from a somewhat dim 6-inch, 720p panel to a very bright, clear 5.5-inch, 1080p OLED. LG Mobile's head of smartphone planning, Dr. Ramchan Woo, said that LG Display's curved screen technology had significantly advanced in the past year, making it possible to create denser, brighter OLEDs with a 20 percent tougher Gorilla Glass covering.
The phone's "self-healing" plastic back has also been improved, Dr. Woo said, speeding up its scratch removal time from 3 minutes to a mere 10 seconds. LG can also now produce self-healing plastics in various colors, picking gray and a striking deep red for the new phone.
With the smaller size and brighter screen, the phone literally snaps into focus. LG is well-known for its nearly bezel-less devices, and the G Flex 2 is 5.87 by 2.96 inches - noticeably narrower than the iPhone 6 Plus$199.00 at Verizon, which has the same size and resolution screen. Its curved, tapering body makes it much easier to hold, too, although the self-healing back is a bit slippery.
That's so important to me: you're getting the maximum screen size with the minimum width. Held next to a Samsung Galaxy Note 4$0.00 at Amazon, the G Flex 2 felt lighter, friendlier, easier to hold, more organic and less rigid.
LG pulls off the width trick in part by moving the power and volume buttons to the back, of course. They've been doing this for a few years now, since the G2. It's still devisive. As with other LG flagships, you can wake up the phone by tapping on the screen in a pattern LG calls a "knock code."