Following reports that Samsung will release a flexible-display smartphone by the end of October, domestic rival LG is rumored to be launching its own curved smartphone next month. In accordance with the South Korean tech maker’s decision to drop the Optimus branding from its flagship handsets – opting for a simple “G” line – the new phablet will allegedly be named the LG G Flex.
Anonymous sources provided The Wall Street Journal with a sketch of the G Flex prototype. It is said to sport a 6-inch OLED display that curves slightly from top to bottom, reminiscent of the Galaxy Nexus but with a more profound concave shape. Samsung, on the other hand, is expected to show off a smartphone that is curved from side-to-side, similar to the Youm prototype that the company brought to the CES expo last January.
“Sales for the new curved phones are unlikely to be significant, and they might come with a hefty price tag. But Samsung and LG are using them to demonstrate progress in developing manufacturing technology that could spawn more wearable gadgets,” said WSJ. “LG has used OLEDs in its products before, but the Flex signals a new push into the technology, which is expected to be used increasingly by electronics makers betting on wearable devices.”
LG’s G Flex will likely be equipped with similar components to the LG G2, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 1080p resolution and LTE Advanced connectivity. Digital Trends points out that, at present, LTE Advanced is only available in South Korea – signaling that the G Flex may be a domestic exclusive or, just as likely, “a prototype to test market reaction.”
Although there have been recent advances in curved display technology – including both Samsung and LG-produced curved televisions – a flexible display does not equate to a flexible device.
“The flexible display will merely allow LG to mold it to a rigid device in ways that aren’t possible using normal methods,” said Phandroid.
Until internal components like batteries and CPUs can be designed to bend, flexible display technology will be nothing more than an expensive, albeit potentially more ergonomic, gimmick.