In their ongoing smartphone rivalry, South Korean tech vendors LG and Samsung are kicking up the dust. Monday's announcement of the LG Electronics G Flex smartphone places LG in direct competition with its smartphone rival Samsung. Both seek to be considered the greatest vendors on earth for curved phones.
The LG announcement headlined its G Flex as the world’s first “real” curved smartphone. That is bound to rankle loyalists at Samsung, which has already announced its Galaxy Round as the world's first curved display smartphone.
News of the curved G Flex follows lots of chatter about it in recent weeks. Is this a me-too attempt to catch up with Samsung, which beat LG to the punch earlier in October? LG says the only thing the curved phones have in common is that they were both unveiled in October.
LG is trumpeting numerous distinctions, thanks to its collaboration with sister companies LG Display and LG Chem for tech innovations. Samsung launched its curved Galaxy Round earlier this month with a display curved side to side. The LG model has a vertically curved display.
"The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company.
The phone design "understands" human curves, said a company statement, with a curvature optimized for the average face. This is not just for user comfort; LG said its curved form can also translate into improved voice and sound quality. "The curved form increases the sound level by 3dB compared to typical flat smartphones," according to LG.
Color, Battery Highlights
The new smartphone uses LG Display's flexible OLED (organic light emitting diode) panel, a thin and light display built on plastic substrates rather than glass.
The screen uses "Real RGB," which stands for red, green and blue subpixels, in a color model where the lights are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad color array. The benefit is ample brightness and accuracy. In landscape mode, the display offers an "IMAX-like experience" with a comfortable viewing angle for watching videos or playing games.
LG’s announcement also highlights the company’s curved battery technology that is part of the G Flex phone. The curved battery works thanks to LG Chem's patented Stack & Folding technology, which reduces the physical stress on the battery pack in the curved form. According to LG, the G Flex battery has enough power for more than a full day of use.
LG Electronics' new entry will compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Round on the same turf -- South Korea. The Galaxy Round will appear in “luxury brown” while the G Flex will come in “titan silver.” Both are initially available in that part of the world only. The G Flex, with a six-inch display, and running Android 4.2.2, will arrive in South Korea next month. Availability in additional markets, said LG, will be announced thereafter. Pricing details were not discussed.