If you can’t decide which curved smartphones to get then read our in-depth review here.
South Korea is playing host to the latest round in the ongoing slugfest between Samsung and LG, as both have brought their newest design innovations to market in the same month.
The Round and the Flex are both new takes on phone design, incorporating a curve that is meant to be more ergonomic and easier to hold, carry and use.
Beyond the attempt at a new design concept, there are the usual head to head battles with hardware and performance. Now that both are on the market, we can actually line up everything head to head and see who comes out ahead; the flex or the curve.
Obviously, the form factor is the elephant in the room and begs to be compared. However, it’s important to set a level playing field by checking out what is under the hood, before checking out the exterior. The tale of the tape actually makes this a close fight. Both the Flex and the Round offer comparable specs, give or take a bit.
While there is a lot in common between these two under the hood, there are some differences. Both are running Snapdragon 800 processors, with the Round clocking in just slightly faster; plus, 50% more ram than the Flex. Samsung and LG have leveled things out with 32GB of internal storage and 13 megapixel cameras (2MP or 2.1MP for front-facing cameras). The Flex is pushing a stronger battery, but drops the ball by making it embedded; the Round is a little lighter – but you can replace the battery easily.
One of the biggest downfalls for the LG G Flex is that it comes up way short on external storage. A huge benefit Android has held over iOS devices is allowing for external storage and not keeping your phone locked down. The Galaxy Round supports up to 64GB of external memory, while the Flex does not support any external memory at all; which could be a sticking point for some consumers.
What of the main event? You have to compare the screens and the curved design of the Flex and the Round for usability and handling. The new Samsung Galaxy Round is the smaller of the two at 5.7 inches and curves from edge to edge, horizontally. As you would expect, the Round stays rigid in its curve. The Flex, however, at 6 inches curves vertically, and in a surprising twist; the curved design will actually flex and flatten out with pressure without breaking. Even the battery for the Flex is designed to be flexible and bend. Pretty cool trick, and might save a curved phone from an accident when sitting down; but is it enough?
In the end, a lot of it will come down to personal preference; it will just depend on what you are comfortable with in your normal phone tasks. The vertical curve of the Flex has given some an odd visual effect when viewing videos or pictures, one that isn’t quite so pronounced on the Round. Engadget did have nice things to say about the G Flex. On the other hand, if you are using your phone as a phone; the horizontal curve of the Round is much more comfortable to use.
Samsung Galaxy Round Curved smartphone
LG G Flex Scratch Test & Knife Demo on video below
Both smartphones will be available at at&t sometime this year and will be priced at $300 or above unless there are coupons available at launch. Our final analysis makes it hard to dispute the Samsung Galaxy Round as the winner for this battle. With more RAM, processing power and the inclusion of external storage support wins the day pretty handily; along with it’s easier to grip size and lighter weight. As for aesthetics, it’s mostly going to be personal preference; but most early feedback is pointing towards the Round. It will be interesting to see what this design shake-up does long-term; if anything. Even if the curved phone is just a fad, it gives consumers a very cool chance to see how these two rivals tackle the same goal.
Andy Griffin writes for a number of coupon and gadget blogs. He loves to share shopping tips on smartphones and tablets.