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LG G Flex Vs. Samsung Galaxy Round - Beyond the Curve

The LG G Flex and the Samsung Galaxy Round are amongst the first phones to sport a flexible display. This Buzzle article takes a look at how these devices compare against each other.
LG G Flex vs. Samsung Galaxy Round
Flexing round!
The Samsung Galaxy Round only features a flexible display, while the rest of the body is rigid. The entire LG G Flex phone is flexible to an extent.
Curves surely seem to be back! We are talking about the new design trend that seems to be quite a rage amongst phone makers these days. Samsung was the first to introduce flexible display, with LG right on their heels with their very own flexible device, the G Flex.

Both phones bring in their own design language, with Samsung opting to go with a curve along the breadth of the phone, while LG flexed their arm to give their device a curve along its length. Both devices have a few tricks up their sleeve, although the practicality of these phones themselves, are still a matter of debate. Whatever be the case, these devices surely get quite a few heads turning, and also pack some really powerful hardware. Here's a look at each of these devices, and their good and not-so-good features.

Image Source:
lgnewsroom.com
samsungmobilepress.com


SAMSUNG
Galaxy Round
samsung ground
Operating System
Android OS, v4.3
(Jelly Bean)
Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.3 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
3 GB RAM
Storage
32 GB
Screen
5.7"
Super Flexible AMOLED
Resolution
1080 x 1920 pixels
(~386 ppi)
Primary Camera
13 MP
4128 x 3096 pixels
Secondary Camera
2 MP
1080p @ 30fps
Battery
Li-ion 2,800 mAh
LG
G Flex
lg g flex
Operating System
Android OS, v4.2.2
(Jelly Bean)
Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
CPU
Quad-core
2.26 GHz Krait 400
GPU
Adreno 330
Memory
2 GB RAM
Storage
32 GB
Screen
6.0"
Curved P-OLED
Resolution
720 x 1280 pixels
(~245 ppi)
Primary Camera
13 MP
4128 x 3096 pixels
Secondary Camera
2.1 MP
1080p @ 30fps
Battery
Li-Po 3,500 mAh


Design and Construction


Samsung Galaxy Round

samsung galaxy round

The Samsung Galaxy Round closely resembles its sibling, the Galaxy Note 3. In fact, essentially, it has the same hardware and software as on the Note 3, albeit a curved design. The phone also retains the faux leather back as its twin. The phone is fairly large, and definitely not pocketable. However, the company claims that the curve helps it fit snugly into your pocket (provided of course, you have XXL size custom-made pockets!).

Only the screen of the device is flexible, while the rest of the body is rigid.
The phone has dimensions of 151.1 x 79.6 x 7.9 mm, and is surprisingly light for its large frame, weighing in at just 154 g. The front is mainly occupied by the large 5.7-inch screen. Just above the screen is the earpiece grill which sits at the center, with the sensors and the the secondary camera for video calling to the right. Below the screen is the standard Samsung key placement―the hardware home button at the center flanked by the capacitive back and menu buttons to its sides. To the right of the device is the solitary power/lock key, and to the left is the volume rocker. A plastic strip with a chrome paint job goes around the side of the Round. At the top of the phone sit the 3.5 mm audio jack, the IR blaster, and the secondary noise cancellation microphone. At the bottom is the mic and the proprietary Micro USB port, which supports USB 3.0. The back of the phone is where the 13 MP camera is located, just below which is the LED flash. The speaker, hidden under a metal grill, can also be found towards the bottom, at the back. The back itself is removable and provides access to the battery, the Micro SIM slot, and the hot-swappable Micro SD card slot.

samsung galaxy round top
The curved design helps the large phone sit comfortably in the hand, which is further aided by the light-weight construction, although one-handed operation is almost totally impossible. The faux leather back and the chrome painted rim give the phone a premium look.

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LG G Flex

lg g flex

lg g flex side
The LG G Flex is a blown up LG G2 fitted with a flexible screen and body. The phone curves along its length, like the crescent moon. Unlike its nearest rival, the Samsung Galaxy Round, this phone can actually flex quite a bit and retain its shape. The phone does not fit comfortably in the front pockets, but makes itself extremely comfortable in the back pocket of your jeans. The phone is rather difficult to operate with one hand. Its concave design makes it perfect for making phone calls as the phone curves along the natural shape of your face.

The entire phone is flexible and is rather tough.
The phone is rather large and has dimensions of 160.5 x 81.6 x 8.7 mm, and weighs in at 177 g. The front of the phone is occupied by the large screen, with a recessed gap for the earpiece, to the left of which are the sensors and the secondary camera. The phone does not have any keys below the screen, and uses Android's on-screen navigation keys. The sides of the phone are completely bare, except for the Micro SIM card slot to the left, which is flush with the surface. The top is where the secondary mic for noise cancellation and the IR blaster are located. The bottom houses the main microphone, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and the microUSB port. The back is where you find the only hardware keys on the device. Just like on the G2, they sit just below the camera, with an LED flash by its side. The power button is slightly raised, while the volume buttons slope down from its top towards the bottom. The keys have a fantastic tactile feel and can be operated without actually turning the phone around. The back panel also sports a revolutionary self-healing coating. This coating helps fade off minor scratches that the phone might be subjected to.

The phone is surprisingly durable and can retain its original shape even after flattened out. The back too is rather sturdy and has a wonderful self-healing coating, that the company relates to Wolverine from the X-Men series! Although the phone is rather tall, the curve helps make the device look much smaller than its roughly 6-inch height.

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Hardware and Storage


Samsung Galaxy Round

The phone packs a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, with a quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 CPU. It also has an incredible 3 GB of RAM to handle complex multitasking.
Micro SD card expansion is a blessing.
It has 16 GB of internal storage, which can further be expanded by another 64 GB via Micro SD card. This is, by far, one of the most advanced hardware found on any mobile device currently in the market, although the 3 GB of RAM is almost an overkill. The phone is incredibly fast and can handle even the most complex of operations without breaking a sweat. Micro SD card expansion is always welcome, as the roughly 12 GB of user accessible phone storage can fill up real fast.

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LG G Flex

At the heart of the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with a quad-core Krait 400 CPU clocking in at 2.26 GHz. Multitasking is handled by the 2 GB of RAM on the phone.
32 GB of internal storage should please most users.
The phone has 32 GB of internal storage. However it does not have a Micro SD card slot. The LG G Flex is no slack when it comes to hardware performance. Powered by the top of the line Snapdragon 800 processor, the phone is blazing fast. It also handles multitasking like a pro. The phone has about 24 GB of user-accessible memory which should suffice for most users. Power users, however, would rue the fact that LG decided to yet again leave out the Micro SD card slot on their premium device.

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Graphics and Display


Samsung Galaxy Round

Typical AMOLED with deep blacks and great contrasts.
The Round has a 5.7-inch Full HD Super Flexible AMOLED display. It has a pixel density of 386 ppi, which makes text crisp and clear. It also has great contrasts and deep black levels. The curved screen helps keep glare away and has great viewing angles. Sunglight legibility too is good. Images and videos seem to come to life on the fantastic screen thanks to the Adreno 330 GPU ticking inside it.

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LG G Flex

The curved display helps cut down on glare.
Sporting a huge 6-inch curved P-OLED capacitive touchscreen, the G Flex is an attention grabber. The display is rather good in spite of a lowly 245 ppi pixel density. The screen has wide viewing angles thanks to the curved screen, which helps keep the glare down. Sunlight legibility, sadly, is not one of its strengths. The Adreno 330 GPU churns out smooth graphics rather effortlessly on the 720p display. The phone supports Dolby mobile sound enhancement, which along with the large screen, should make for a superior video viewing experience on the phone.

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Camera and Optics


Samsung Galaxy Round

The Note 3's camera finds its way onto the phone.
The phone has the same 13 MP shooter found on the Galaxy Note 3, and shoots images at a maximum resolution of 4128 x 3096 pixels. The video recorder, however, skips the 4k recording in favor of videos at 1080p@60fps. This is complemented by a plethora of camera options, which makes this a great camera phone. The secondary 2 MP camera can also shoot in Full HD@30fps.

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LG G Flex

On board is the same camera as on the LG G2.
Armed with the same 13 MP camera as that found on the G2, the G Flex captures images at a maximum resolution of 4160 x 3120 pixels. It also shoots amazing videos at 1080p@60fps, which is further aided by the OIS on board. The camera features a lot of options including HDR. The volume down button doubles up as a hardware camera shutter key, clicking on which (from the lock screen) launches the camera app. The front-facing 2.1 MP camera is also rather handy especially for self portraits, and records videos at 1080p@30fps.

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Software and Customizations


Samsung Galaxy Round

The phone comes with the goodness of TouchWiz Nature UX 2.5.
The Round runs on Anroid v 4.3 Jelly Bean, and has TouchWiz Nature UX 2.5 on top. It also has the same Smart Gestures as its other Galaxy siblings. All in all, if you are coming from a Samsung device, you will feel right at home with this phone. All features work like a charm with no noticeable lag, thanks to the blazing fast processor on board.

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LG G Flex

Knock-On is a fantastic feature found on the phone.
The G Flex runs on Android v4.2.2 Jelly Bean. LG runs its own custom skin on top of the device. The phone retains the same feature set found on the G2, including the KnockOn feature we've so come to love. LG matches Samsung blow for blow in this department, although the implementation isn't quite as nice as that by the latter. The powerful hardware on board ensures that there are no lags of any sort while you use this device.

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Battery life


Samsung Galaxy Round

One day of moderate usage on a single charge.
The phone has a Li-ion 2,800 mAh battery. The talk time on this device is about 16 hours, while it delivers a standby time of up to 330 hours on 3G. This should be just enough juice to power you through a day of moderate use on a single charge.

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LG G Flex

At least one day of heavy usage on a single charge.
The G Flex has a generous Li-Po 3,500 mAh battery under its hood. Although official specs are not available just yet, this should easily power you through at least a day of heavy usage on a single charge. The (comparatively) low resolution display and the power-efficient processor make for hours and hours of watching movies and listening to music on your phone.

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The Good


Samsung Galaxy Round

samsung galaxy round screen
The phone has a great Super Flexible AMOLED screen.
Solid construction
Great software tweaks
User-removable battery
Micro SD card expansion

LG G Flex
lg g flex back
The back of the LG G2 features a revolutionary self-healing coating.
The first true flexible phone
Aesthetic design
Great camera with OIS
Fantastic battery life


The Not-So-Good


Samsung Galaxy Round

All plastic body
Inconvenient for making calls
Not flexible
Sub-par battery life

LG G Flex

All plastic body
Large and clunky
Awkward hardware buttons placement
Sub-par display

Buzz Score
Samsung
Galaxy Round
LG
G Flex

Flexible screens are still in their infancy, and the hardware that encases it has a long way to go before it can be taken seriously. You can read more about flexible displays here. Both these devices have some real good features, but seem more like early prototypes rather than finished products. Although it can be safely said that these phones are definitely not meant to be flagship devices, instead serve as mediums for the two Korean giants to try to outclass the other. What remains to be seen though, is which of these phones manages to make it past the curve and emerge victorious. Cheers.

Disclaimer: Prices mentioned are subject to change according to offers and location.
Which of these do you think is a better phone?
LG G Flex
Samsung Galaxy Round
Neither - they are both too gimmicky!
By
Published: December 7, 2013
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