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LG G Flex: Design and Self-healing Back

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



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LG G Flex: Design

There’s so much to cover on the tech and reasons behind the curved screen of the LG G Flex that it’s easy to forget about everything else. It’s far from the phone’s only notable design asset, though.

Like the LG G2, this is a phone with no physical soft keys on the front and zero controls on its edges. All the buttons are placed on the back, just below the camera lens.

LG G Flex 2

When we first used the G2, we found the rear controls hard to get on with. However, they’re fairly well implemented here and do make ergonomic sense given the huge size of the 6-inch G Flex.

Here’s the rub – your index finger has greater reach than your thumb. We found the three volume and power buttons easy to reach without stretching, where side-mounted controls would have to be placed half-way down the phone’s body to be remotely accessible.

The design of the buttons has had some thought put into them too. There’s clear, well-defined contouring to make blind use easy, and they all have a clear, clicky action so there’s no mistaking whether you’ve pressed one or not.

LG G Flex 10

In a smaller phone like the LG G2, we find side-mounted controls a lot easier than the rear ones used here. However, in a giant mobile like this, they mean LG hasn’t had to radically change where they sit (compared to the G2). It works, surprisingly enough.

There is still a learning curve to crawl over, but that’s only to be expected of something as muscle memory-related as a button you press up to dozens of times a day. You can also turn the phone on from standby by tapping the screen twice if you don't get on with the rear control.

Other parts of the G Flex’s hardware are placed in much more conventional locations. The microUSB socket sits on the bottom next to the headphone jack. The call and noise cancellation mics are on the bottom/top and the SIM tray is on the left edge. It’s a microSIM slot, not the tiny nanoSIM used by phones like the iPhone 5S and Motorola Moto X.

There is no memory card slot, and you have no access to the phone’s insides. However, the 32GB of internal storage (22.83GB accessible) is pretty generous and we’re not surprised LG doesn’t want people fiddling about with the curved battery inside the phone.LG G Flex 3

LG G Flex: Self-Healing Back

The G Flex’s other big talking point is a self-healing back panel. Instead of a normal plastic top layer, there is a thin layer of resin covered by a protective film that can make scratches invisible – or at least less visible - after a short period.

It is pretty effective at reducing the appearance of light scratches caused by coins and keys in your pocket. After a few minutes’ rest after being lightly abused with a few coins, there was no sign of any damage – despite the scratches being initially quite clear.

However, any serious scratches will cut through the protective layer entirely – there's no chance of healing such damage. And, by LG's own admission, the protection will start to lessen after a while.

LG G Flex

LG G Flex Pro Tip #1 - Don't do this

Like the curved screen, it’s a neat tech demo but hardly something we think is a killer unique selling point. And we’d argue that colour-saturated polycarbonate, as used in Nokia’s top Lumia phones like the Lumia 1020, may age better anyway.

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December 20, 2013, 11:46 am

It's all well and good having a curved screen, but not if we have to go back to plastic screen coverings like the ones we used to have with the old resistive technology. It took ages to move to glass, and then a good glass that won't scratch easily. Plastic scratches far too easily, so unless we're going to see Gorilla making curved glass to fit these soon (thus removing all the flexibility you like) I know I won't be having one.


December 21, 2013, 7:14 pm

"the world's first curved battery" - I know what you mean, but I think I'd describe a regular AA battery as curved given that it's a cylinder. However, Apple may have something to say about this claim also as they patented the curved battery back in the summer... http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

Prem Desai

December 23, 2013, 9:02 am

Is a curved screen what people really want?

From the specs alone, it would seem that this is of inferior quality to current glass based screens.

What I would really like is for manufacturers is to focus on practical things liks a battery that lasts a week and takes minutes to fully charge or a phone that is robust enough for daily use but doesn't need screen protectors and bulky cases.


January 9, 2014, 4:01 pm

this will go the same way as the "chin" did.


February 10, 2014, 5:48 pm

I suggest you actually read the article before posting comments like this. If you look at page 3, you'll clearly see that it does have Gorilla Glass. Corning have already made Gorilla Glass flexible enough to work on this phone.


February 11, 2014, 12:48 am

I bent one in the shop today and it made a terrifying creaking sound, it seemed like it was breaking. Seemed quite pointless

james douglas

April 28, 2014, 5:33 am

Well i bought one off ebay and now every one who has seen and used it wants one!
Dont care what people think i love it, its different, its bold and hey wait a minute thats me.
oh by the way battery life 3 days!!! with heavy use. makes my note 3 seem pathetic!

Daniel Lamb

May 25, 2014, 4:27 pm

you obviously didn't read the full article, as they state quite clearly that the phone DOES use Gorilla Glass, and it IS flexible. Make sure of your facts before you write smack dolt...

Micah Fletcher

June 23, 2014, 11:04 pm

Just bought two LG G Flex phones. One of the units has a defective front facing camera that causes the error "Cannot connect to camera" to be thrown when selecting camera switch icon. The only way to recover the rear camera function is to Factory Reset. (tried all other options force stop camera app, restart unit,...). Even after Factory Reset front camera does not work and throws error (requiring Factory Reset again).


November 13, 2014, 8:29 am

Iv had my G Flex since the end of this last summer 2014 and I absolutely love the thing!!! I have always personally favored and leaned toward the brand LG my reasoning being that of I have absolutely NEVER had any sort of kind of ANYsuch issue, no kind of problem absolutly nothing has ever occured with anything I have owned or even used of the brand LG! I have had accidentally drops or have had it slipped out of my hands or off a piece of furniture, it has landed on the screen on various surfaces such as pavement, cement, gravel (large & small & pee sized), sand, grass, carpet ect! I have yet had a scratch appear on my screen thank the lord, I try to keep it as safe as I possibly can so that nothing to horrendous does come about and happen cause forking out a hefty $200 or so deposit is insane, and not being guaranteed a brand new phone even having to pay that much is just flat out insanely ridiculous! If you pay for coverage and still have to pay a deductible of $200 you should absolutly be guaranteed a new phone not a phone that has been refurbished, cause no sooner than not there is going to be issues if not already have one two or 150! But yes my G Flex has absolutely been amazing I have had NO issues or problems my bettery has worked and still works amazingly and last depending how much I use my phone but can last up to 1.5-2 days, the shortest amount of time has been about 3-4 hours because of me using it non stop!
I hope people who have gotten it or that are thinking about getting it enjoy it and at least give it a.try cause it is a lot of fun and does wonders!! The video is absolutwly awesome as well I watch shows movies and recordings all the time and pictures are even more fun ont his thing I am in love with the thing!!! I wouldnt mind trying out the
LG G3 for my next phone or if somethng else cokes out along this line I would defintly not hold back!!!

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