Tech and Trends:- This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been a major event for the tech industry, but one which is strangely devoid of major announcements from smartphone manufacturers.
This is apparently because most of the big name brands are waiting until MWC 2015 in February to unveil their latest and greatest devices.
The good news is that it has given South Korean firm LG the chance to put its G Flex 2 handset in the spotlight uncontested at CES 2015, while also reminding the media about the shortcomings of its phablet competitors.
The G Flex 2 is a follow-up to LG’s first phone with a curved, concave display. It boasts a 5.5 inch 1080p panel that is intended to be more robust than most other models on the market because it is actually flexible by design.
By contrast the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, which launched in September of 2014, was initially criticised because users found that this flat phone would become bent surprisingly easily when left in a user’s pocket for extended periods, or when subjected to pressure by bare hands.
The G Flex 2 not only has a form factor that is bent straight out of the box, but also benefits from a self-healing coating on the battery cover that means any abrasions that occur will eventually fade, rather than leaving their mark for good.
Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge, which has a flexible screen that folds over one side of the handset, the G Flex 2 will not require any special interface or software adjustments to account for its curved display. Although no doubt software testing from services like www.bugfinders.com will help app developers to make the most of the powerful hardware beneath the surface of LG’s device.
It features the new Snapdragon 810 chipset from Qualcomm, including an octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz and backed up by 2GB of next-gen RAM. And while the original G Flex was a six inch monster, this smaller 5.5 inch sequel is a bit more pocket-friendly and actually matches the iPhone 6 Plus exactly when it comes to screen area and resolution.
The G Flex 2 may be a step forwards in terms of smartphone design and durability, especially when compared to the fragility of Apple’s devices. But the ultimate rigidity of its frame, necessitated by inflexible internal components, means that it remains a few steps away from being truly bendable.
LG, Samsung and other major manufacturers are working on screens and components that can bend, flex and be wrapped up in circles. And a recent patent awarded to Apple shows that it too is thinking about how to deploy this technology in the future.
Not only will this make mobiles more hard-wearing, but it also opens up new avenues for the interface. Phones that can detect when they are being squeezed and flexed will be able to respond to a new array of user commands.