LG G Flex review: Ahead of the curve

GSMArena team, 13 December 2013.

Tags: LG, Android

Synthetic benchmarks

LG G Flex, like most of the latest flagships, is powered by the Snapdragon 800 chipset. The four Krait 400 cores tick at 2.27GHz, the graphics are handled by Adreno 330 chip and the amount of available RAM is 2GB.

We test the single-core performance with the BenchmarkPi. The LG G Flex did excellently and joined its G2 sibling and the Galaxy Note 3 phablet on the top spot.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • LG G Flex
    99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    99
  • LG G2
    99
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    115
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    115
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    130
  • HTC One Max
    131
  • Oppo N1
    131
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    132
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • HTC Butterfly S
    135
  • LG Nexus 5
    146
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    166
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • HTC One mini
    293
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • Meizu MX3
    307
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Nexus 4
    431

Linpack is putting all four Krait 400 cores to a test and the LG G Flex produced another chart-toping score.

Linpack

Higher is better

  • LG G Flex
    1102
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    1081
  • LG G2
    1054
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1034
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    1004
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    818
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    791
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One Max
    723
  • Oppo N1
    688
  • HTC Butterfly S
    669
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    413
  • LG Nexus 5
    393
  • HTC One mini
    320
  • Meizu MX3
    289
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Nexus 4
    213.5
  • HTC One X+
    177.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X
    160.9
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    141.5

The next benchmark we ran is the GeekBench 3. It evaluates CPU and memory performance but the G Flex, just like the G2, failed to deliver impressive performance and fell short of the Sony and Samsung latest flagships.

Geekbench 3

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    2937
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2670
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2638
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    2561
  • LG Nexus 5
    2453
  • LG G Flex
    2254
  • LG G2
    2243
  • HTC One
    1972
  • HTC One Max
    1899
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1869
  • LG Optimus G
    1623
  • Meizu MX3
    1579
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1315
  • LG Nexus 4
    1288
  • HTC Butterfly
    1257
  • Oppo N1
    1207
  • Oppo R819
    1047
  • HTC One mini
    887

Quadrant and AnTuTu assess the overall device performance. Here LG G Flex once again was flying high, producing two first place scores, just a whisker better than Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2. The lower 720p display resolution is what probably helped it here.

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • LG G Flex
    20521
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    20388
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    20052
  • LG G2
    19815
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    18177
  • HTC Butterfly S
    13130
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    12446
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One Max
    11914
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    11346
  • LG Nexus 5
    8844
  • Oppo N1
    8099
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    7153
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • Meizu MX3
    6116
  • HTC One mini
    6048
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Nexus 4
    4567

AnTuTu 4

Higher is better

  • LG G Flex
    35831
  • LG G2
    35444
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    31109
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    30850
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    29185
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    27613
  • Oppo N1
    26598
  • HTC One
    26389
  • HTC One Max
    26348
  • LG Nexus 5
    25097
  • Meizu MX3
    24391
  • LG Nexus 4
    17006

It's time to test the Adreno 330 graphics performance. Since the LG G Flex is using a 720p display we expect it to behave noticeably better than the rest of the Snapdragon 800 smartphones running on 1080p resolution.

We ran the GFXBenchmark on 1080p off-screen resolution in order to test the raw power of the Adreno 330. Unsurprisingly, it turned out just as powerful as the Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2's graphics chips.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    68
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    60
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    60
  • Oppo N1
    58.8
  • LG G Flex
    58
  • LG Nexus 5
    57
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    56
  • LG G2
    54
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    43
  • HTC Butterfly S
    42
  • Meizu MX3
    42
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    41
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    41
  • HTC One Max
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Oppo Find 5
    32
  • Google Nexus 4
    32
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • LG Optimus G
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • HTC One mini
    15
  • HTC One X
    11

GLBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    26
  • LG Nexus 5
    23
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    23
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    23
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    23
  • LG G Flex
    22
  • LG G2
    22
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    17.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    17.1
  • Apple iPad 4
    16.8
  • HTC Butterfly S
    16
  • Oppo N1
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    16
  • HTC One Max
    14
  • Google Nexus 10
    13.9
  • LG Optimus G
    13.9
  • Sony Xperia Z
    13.5
  • Meizu MX3
    13
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
    13
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    12.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    6.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    6.3
  • HTC One mini
    5.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    4.9

Epic Citadel however runs at the native resolution and allowed the G Flex to do a lot better than the 1080p S800-powered rivals.

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Meizu MX3
    58.8
  • Oppo N1
    58.8
  • LG G Flex
    56
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    54.9
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    54.9
  • LG G2
    51
  • LG Nexus 5
    49.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    47.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    37.2
  • HTC One
    35.6
  • HTC One Max
    34.9
  • HTC Butterfly
    29.6

The JavaScript performance of the LG G Flex browser is excellent although not quite the best we have seen.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 5s
    403
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    587
  • Apple iPhone 5
    694
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    704
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    750
  • LG Nexus 5
    827
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    845
  • LG G2
    908
  • LG G Flex
    911
  • Oppo N1
    1012
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    1046
  • Meizu MX3
    1085
  • HTC One
    1174
  • HTC One Max
    1295
  • LG Optimus G
    1293
  • HTC One mini
    1375
  • LG Nexus 4
    1379
  • HTC Butterfly
    1397
  • Oppo R819
    1423

LG G Flex wasn't exactly a failure on the compound BrowserMark 2 test, but didn't quite match its direct rivals either.

BrowserMark 2

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3549
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3041
  • Apple iPhone 5
    2825
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    2799
  • Oppo N1
    2769
  • LG Nexus 5
    2745
  • LG G2
    2718
  • LG Optimus G
    2555
  • LG G Flex
    2500
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2438
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2419
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2398
  • HTC Butterfly S
    2378
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    2338
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2314
  • HTC One
    2262
  • HTC One Max
    2243
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
    2170
  • HTC One mini
    2164
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2107
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2093
  • Meizu MX3
    1832
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1801
  • Oppo Find 5
    1797
  • Nexus 4
    1794
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    1774
  • Google Nexus 10
    1773
  • HTC Butterfly
    1475
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1247

We put the LG G Flex through Vellamo and it bounced back to the top of our chart.

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • LG G Flex
    2977
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    2944
  • LG G2
    2908
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2904
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    2853
  • HTC Butterfly S
    2592
  • HTC One Max
    2523
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • HTC One mini
    2252
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2060
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    2056
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2019
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    1936
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Oppo Find 5
    1658
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • Meizu MX3
    1619
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Nexus 4
    1310

Just like the rest of the S800 gang the LG G Flex offers blazing fast performance and smooth user experience. Thanks to the lower-res display the G Flex feels even faster than the competition on some occassions. It is one of the fastest smartphones on the market with lag-free Android experience and will disappoint no one.

Google Now and Q Voice assistants

Google Now integrates with your Google account and if allowed, it can access your daily routine, internet searches and email to give you information more relevant to you.

It provides traffic information to your work or home, knows the scores of sports teams you follow and gives you the weather forecast for your location.

LG G Flex
Launching Google Now or Q Voice

The latest version of Google Now (November 2013) will allow you to have short dialogues with the app AI when you are conducting searches. In these dialogues, Google Now should be able to understand when you referring to your search term by an indirect pronoun instead of using its full name. It will also answer back when there are several options for action.

Google Now gives you short overview of information it believes is relevant to you right now in the form of cards. Going to work in the morning? Google Now knows this and lets you know there's a big traffic jam on your usual way to the office, so it offers you a re-route.

It can interpret a lot of things from your search history as well. If you've been searching for, let's say, your favorite football team, Google Now will prepare a card showing you the next match the team is playing and will provide you score updates once the game begins.

LG G Flex LG G Flex LG G Flex LG G Flex
Google Now

Google Now, if you allow it, can scan your email for upcoming flights, deliveries or restaurant reservations and let you know when they are due. There are also numerous kinds of cards like birthdays (yours and those of your contacts) and what distance you've walked in a particular month. The last one could definitely feel creepy for some users, but it's easily turned off from the Google Now settings menu

Google has also integrated Voice Actions into Now. They can handle stuff like sending messages (SMS or email), initiating a voice call, asking for directions, taking a note or opening a site. Google Now can also launch apps, check and manage your calendar and look for nearby places of interest and stuff like movie openings in theaters.

Google has added lots of more customization on Google Now in Android 4.4 KitKat. You can now set your default transportation method, you favorite sports teams, company stocks you are following, places you are interested to visit and more. Once you add items you want to keep an eye on Google Now will do this instead of you. It will automatically inform you for various changes, news and updates.

LG G Flex LG G Flex LG G Flex
Customizing Google Now behavior

The More section of the customization will update automatically with topics you can choose from once you've start using Google Now search capabilities.

You can now set reminders straight from Google Now's UI. Just hit the bottom left icon (the palm with a stretched index finger). There you can add reminders or just check all the past, ongoing or upcoming reminders.

LG G Flex LG G Flex
Adding a reminder

One big advantage of Google Now is that the voice typing functionality doesn't require an internet connection to work. You can enter text by speaking anywhere you can use the on-screen keyboard - be it the Messaging app or a note taking app - without the need for a data connection as long as you have pre-downloaded the needed language packs (and those only take about 20-25MB of your storage per pack).

Making voice typing available offline also made it faster as it's not dependent on your connection. What's even more impressive is that the transition hasn't cost it anything in terms of accuracy.

Q Voice is LG's answer to Apple's Siri and Samsung's S-Voice. Q Voice can be used to initiate a call, dictate text, play music, launch apps, change a setting, make memos, add a reminder, schedule an event, set an alarm or timer, check the weather, do a search on the internet, look for local listings (e.g. nearby restaurants) and even get an answer to a question.

The Voice Mate does duplicate parts of Google Now, but being less search focused it tries to do more on the actual phone and it has some added features. The problem with Voice Mate is that it works only in Korean for now (but support for more languages should be on the way), it is not nearly as fast or as accurate in recognizing your speech input as Now.

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