Product Listing

LG G Flex2: Flexing ahead

By Ian Chee & Cookie Monster - 18 Feb 2015

Performance Benchmarks, Imaging, Battery Life & Conclusion

Performance benchmarks

The G Flex2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core (quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex A53 and quad-core 2.0GHz Cortex A57) processor with 2GB of RAM. We are certainly interested to see how the chipset fared, especially with certain reported concerns surrounding it.

For example, reports surfaced in December 2014 that Qualcomm was facing "hard-to-solve" issues on the 810 chipset. The rumors apparently forced Samsung to ditch the Snapdragon 810 and use its own Exynos processors on the upcoming GALAXY S6. It was later confirmed by Qualcomm that "a large customer's flagship device" would not use the Snapdragon 810 processor. LG initially said that there were no overheating issues with the processor, but reportedly admitted that there were some issues in the "initial batch". The issues were said to have been resolved.

For this review, we compared the G Flex2 against other flagship smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, OnePlus One, Samsung GALAXY Note 4, and Xiaomi Mi Note. We also added the original G Flex to see the differences in performance.

LG G Flex2 vs. The Competition
  LG G Flex2 LG G Flex Apple iPhone 6 Plus OnePlus One Samsung Galaxy Note 4 4G+ Xiaomi Mi Note
  LG G Flex2 LG G Flex Apple iPhone 6 Plus OnePlus One Samsung Galaxy Note 4 4G+ Xiaomi Mi Note
Operating system
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • iOS 8
  • Cyanogenmod 11S, based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat
  • Android 4.4.2 Jelly Bean with MIUI 6
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core (quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 2GHz Cortex-A57) processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.26GHz
  • Apple A8 64-bit dual-core 1.4GHz with M8 motion coprocessor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.5GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core 2.7GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.5GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 2GB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 3GB RAM
  • 3GB RAM
  • 3GB RAM
Display
  • 5.5-inch / 1920 x 1080 pixels (403 ppi) / P-OLED
  • 6-inch / 1280 x 720 resolution (245 ppi) P-OLED Display
  • 5.5-inch Retina HD / 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi) / IPS
  • 5.5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels / LTPS
  • 5.7-inch / 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (518 ppi) / Super AMOLED
  • 5.7-inch / 1920 x 1080 pixels (386 ppi) / 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Camera
  • Rear: 13-megapixel, laser autofocus, optical image stabilization, dual-LED flash
  • Front: 2.1-megapixel
  • Rear: 13MP / 8x digital zoom, multi-point AF (9 points), Sapphire Crystal Glass Lens
  • Front: 2.1MP
  • Rear: 8-megapixel iSight camera with autofocus, dual warm/cool LED flashes and optical image stabilization
  • Front: 2.2-megapixels FaceTime HD camera
  • Rear: 13 Megapixel Sony Exmor IMX214, f/2.0 aperture, RAW (DNG format) support
  • Front: 5-megapixel, f/2.0 aperture, 80-degrees wide angle lens
  • Rear: 16-megapixel with Smart OIS and LED flash
  • Front: 3.7-megapixel with f/1.9
  • Rear: 13MP w/ Sony sensor / F2.0 aperture / dual-LED flash / optical image stabilization
  • Front: 4MP / F2.0 aperture / 2μm pixel size
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Smart Ready (Apt-X), NFC, A-GPS/Glonass, 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP and LE, DLNA, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) (802.11n: 2.4 and 5 GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS & GLONASS, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • LTE Cat4, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 and 5GHz), NFC, Micro-USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, dual 4G LTE
Storage Type
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD expansion up to 2TB
  • 32GB internal storage
  • 16 / 64 / 128GB internal storage
  • 64GB Internal Storage
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 128GB
  • 16GB / 64GB
Battery
  • 3,000mAh
  • 3,500mAh
  • 2915mAh
  • 3,100mAh
  • 3,220mAh
  • 3,000mAh
Dimensions
  • 149.1 x 75.3 x 7.1-9.4 mm
  • 160.5mm x 81.6mm x 8.7mm
  • 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm
  • 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm
  • 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm
  • 155.1 x 77.6 x 6.95mm
Weight
  • 152g
  • 177g
  • 172g
  • 162g
  • 176g
  • 161g

 

Quadrant

Quadrant evaluates a device's CPU, memory, I/O, and 3D graphics performance. This is an obvious win for the G Flex2; it has the highest Quadrant score to date of 27,364, which is expected since it runs on the most powerful Snapdragon processor available in the market. Performance gain is about 10 percent compared to the Snapdragon 805 in the GALAXY Note 4.

 

3DMark (2013)

Originally developed as a PC gaming benchmarking tool, 3DMark now supports multiple platforms including Android. The Ice Storm benchmark is designed for smartphones, mobile devices and ARM architecture computers.

For an in-depth understanding of 3DMark for Android, do head over to our article, "3DMark - Android Device GPU Performance Review." In a nutshell, it is an OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark test that uses fixed off-screen rendering to run two graphics tests designed to stress the GPU performance of your device and a physics test to stress its CPU performance. The benchmark consists of three test portfolios: Standard (720p resolution rendering), Extreme (1080p resolution rendering with higher quality textures and post-processing effects), and Unlimited (disabled v-sync, display scaling and other OS factors that make it ideal for chipset comparison).

Since all the recent flagship smartphones max out the scores for the Standard and Extreme tests, we will only be looking at the scores for Ice Storm Unlimited. The G Flex2 also scores a massive win over its rivals in this benchmark with 14% performance boost over the Snapdragon 805-powered GALAXY Note 4.

 

SunSpider JavaScript

SunSpider JavaScript helps measure the browsing performance of a device when processing JavaScript. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. Surprisingly, the G Flex did not perform as well as we've expected. While it is ahead of the OnePlus One and Samsung GALAXY Note 4, it lags slightly behind the Xiaomi Mi Note. It is likely that LG requires a little more work on software optimization, or that is due to the newer Android 5.0 (Lollipop) operating system.

 

Despite being slightly slower than the Mi Note in SunSpider, the overall user experience on the G Flex2 is snappy and smooth.

 

Battery performance

Our standard battery test for mobile phones includes the following parameters:

  • Looping a 800 x 480-pixel video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

 

A higher resolution display coupled with a smaller battery resulted in the G Flex2 lasting an hour (10%) shorter than its predecessor at slightly below 10 hours (to be exact, it's nine hours and 47 minutes). It holds its own against the iPhone 6 Plus and OnePlus One, while the GALAXY Note 4 still maintains the lead with its more power-efficient Super AMOLED display as seen in the Power Consumption chart. The G Flex2 also falls short of the standard set by the Mi Note, which lasted about 7% longer despite having a 5.7-inch Full HD display and the same battery capacity. Overall, power efficiency on the G Flex2 is considered quite good as it is lower than most of its phones in its category.

 

Portability

We measured the portability of a device by calculating its battery life to (weight x volume) ratio. As the lightest and one of the more compact 5.5-inch phones in this comparison, the G Flex2 naturally edges out most of the competition except Samsung and Xiaomi, which were higher due to better battery mileage. 

 

On a sidenote, the G Flex2 also comes with Fast Charge, a feature that is fast becoming a standard among Android flagship smartphones such as the Mi Note, GALAXY Note 4 and Oppo's smartphones. LG claims that the G Flex2 can be charged from 0% to 50% in under 40 minutes.

Feeling curious, we put its claims to the test by draining the phone to 0% and juicing it up via the bundled charger. The battery took the same time (40 minutes) to hit 40%, which is actually quite respectable. To put this into context, the GALAXY Note 4 took 30 minutes to hit close to 40% for its battery. The champ is still the Oppo Find 7 with a record of 82% in 37 minutes.

 

Camera performance

The G Flex2 seems to use the same imaging hardware as the G3, which includes a 13-megapixel rear camera sensor with optical image stabilization plus (OIS+) and laser autofocus. OIS+ and laser autofocus were introduced on the G Pro 2 and G3 respectively. Here's a quick recap of each feature:

  • OIS+: the addition of digital imaging stabilization such as modified automatic exposure, noise reduction, frame per second functions and frame selection algorithm to compensate shaky hands.
  • Laser autofocus: it is the same technology used in radar guns used by traffic police to track vehicles' speeds, which in the context of a phone, helps capture a moment faster and clearer. 

On a bright, sunny day, the LG G Flex2 is capable of taking good photos with good amount of details and accurate color reproduction. 

When it comes to indoor lighting, image artifacts are a tad more apparent and photos are less sharp.

 

Conclusion

There are several aspects of the G Flex2 that we like over its predecessor, such as the higher resolution display, a more compact form factor, the addition of a memory card slot that supports up to 2TB, smooth navigation, good imaging performance, and very decent battery life. For a gen 2 product, this is quite a long list of improvements, and LG should be commended for that.

That said, the curved form factor is still very much dependent on users' preference as it offers nothing more than a natural handling experience at this point. Of course, with a one-of-a-kind curved smartphone that flexes at the same time, it'll definitely raise your hipster quotient by a few notches. Still, if performance is what you want, you won't go wrong with a phone that sports the latest and fastest Qualcomm processor that even supports future LTE Cat 9 speeds at up to 450Mbps. All these are enough to futureproof your investment for a long while.

As of yet, there is no news of when the LG G Flex2 is coming to Malaysia. By the time it does, you should have plenty of time to consider whether this curved smartphone running the latest Lollipop operating system on the most powerful Snapdragon processor is your cup of tea and if it is, it may be a good idea to hold on to the contents of your red packets for a bit.