The more I thought about the new, curved LG phone (G Flex) the more I realized that such a design would only make sense when used in one place:
Rear jeans pocket.
Every where else?
I can’t see one single reason why a curved phone makes any sense at all.
When held to the face pretty much any smartphone–Androids and iPhones alike–feels comfortable enough. Both speakers fall where they need to. I’ve never heard anyone complain that they wished the bottom part of the handset curved right against their skin. Besides, almost everyone these days is using bluetooth accessories, speakerphones or headphones.
Now when the phone is placed into a front pocket, it will feel odd, protruding slightly outwards (cue the one-liners) or inward into the upper leg.
When placed flat on a solid surface (like I believe a lot of us do when eating) the phone will become an instant seesaw; not good for watching videos, reading emails.
As if to double down on the impractical, LG has seen fit with the G Flex to put the standard volume controls on the rear center. That’s exactly where you would not want them when the phone is mounted in a car dock… or resting on a flat surface… or charging in a cradle or Qi pad… or … (insert your pick here!)…
And if that’s not enough, we absolutely know that we don’t need a curved phone (or phablet) because:
Apple doesn’t make one.
That is that.
LG’s decidedly Tim Burton-esque inspired phone design is particularly worrisome if only for the fact that they are reportedly the company Google has chosen, again, to build the upcoming Nexus. The Nexus 5 should drop later this week. So should the next version of Android, 4.4 aka KitKat. Unfortunately, against the will of many an Android fan and prognosticator, Google appears not to have given a Sony, or a HTC, or a Lenovo (that could be good!) a shot at designing the updated Nexus. Sad that. The Nexus 4, made by LG, is a bit of a sorry story. A glass back that cracks easily. Dim screen. Woeful battery. It could never go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Samsung S4 or HTC One, both top notch Androids.
The G Flex is doomed to fail. But I’ve seen this scenario before. Because a research group inside the company deemed it useful, that a Korean market exists that will buy such a design–and in droves no less!–there’s no stopping the train. Escalating commitment: more marketing, more budget. And, ultimately, more commitment to the (bad) idea.