LG unveils curved, flexible smartphone to better fit your body


SAN FRANCISCO -- At a special press event this week, LG took the wraps off the LG G Flex smartphone.

The bendable, flexible phone runs on Android and went on sale in South Korea only 10 days ago. Company executives said there’s no word yet on when it will be available in the United States.

But in showing off the phone, LG execs seemed eager to talk about how it’s the beginning of thinking differently about designing gadgets, particularly as the era of wearable computing dawns.


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Experimenting with the curved shape was, in part, an exercise in thinking about how such gadgets fit the contours of the human body.

“When you look at you, there’s nothing flat about you,” said Dr. Ramchan Woo, head of LG’s mobile product planning division. “Everything is curved. And that’s why we wanted to make a curved phone.”

Curved, it most certainly is. Woo said the company worked through hundreds of prototypes to get the arc of the bend just right.

In addition to making a more natural fit when you put it in your back pocket, or place it against your cheek to talk, Woo said the curve makes it easier to grasp while you are typing.

And the company believes the 6-inch curved screen, when held about a foot from the face, will replicate the viewing experience of watching content on one of its curved 55-inch TV displays.

As for flexibility, well, it’s kinda, sorta flexible. Placed face down on a hard surface, the phone can take about 88 pounds of pressure about 100 times; it gives slightly and doesn’t lose its shape.

But what was intriguing was a demo unit in which the display was separated from the phone. The display is a super-thin film, about the width of a piece of paper than can roll up into a tube. It provided a glimpse of just how flexible displays could become one day.

At the moment, the multi-touch sensors still sit in the phone, so the display doesn’t work without the phone. Yet.

Woo wouldn’t discuss future plans for using the flexible screen on other devices.

But he insisted that the LG G Flex was just the beginning of a flexible revolution.


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