LG G Flex2 runs on the latest Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and includes the latest proprietary Optimus launcher. The latest Android build features brand new Material design, as well as a new ART runtime, while the new Optimus software package improves on well-known apps and integrates well with the Lollipop's Material design.
Here's a quick video of the user interface in action:
The lockscreen hasn't seen much change since the Jelly Bean came around - by default, it features a clock with five shortcuts across the bottom. You also have the ability to add widgets by swiping to the right, and you can also double tap to wake the device at any time. You can enable more secure locking routines, including pattern, pin, password, or LG's own Knock Code that uses a series of taps to wake the device and unlock the screen.
There is one new feature, which allows you to peek at the lockscreen and reveals the clock and missed notifications. Just swipe down from anywhere on the turned off display and you'll get a glimpse on those.
Past the lockscreen, you're greeted by the familiar Android homescreen. As on most droids, you can have multiple homescreens populated by a wide selection of apps shortcuts and widgets, and even folders. Like on the G3, the navigation buttons are virtual, though now they are using the Material looks.
Having the buttons on-screen ensures better response time and less chance of mechanical wear but also means you're effectively giving up part of your screen estate.
The background behind the buttons is transparent and they obediently move out the way when you're watching a video or image so it's not that bad. Plus, the G Flex2 lets you customize either white or black color schemes, and even add quick shortcuts for Dual window, QSlide and QMemo+, and even the notification bar.
The leftmost homescreen pane of the LG G Flex2 is reserved for a Smart Bulletin, which is a special space similar to HTC's BlinkFeed and Samsung's My Magazine (except not as robust). Smart Bulletin posts at-a-glance info from LG's Health app (more on that later) and Smart tips that highlight aspects of the phone's technology and usage.
A pinch zoom on any homescreen lets you see them all at a glance, where you can also remove any or set default. To populate any of them, simply hold a finger on to a blank area, and drag an app or widget from the resulting screen.
Homescreen effects are available and you can change themes, too. A theme will change your homescreen wallpaper, lockscreen style, system icons, and system fonts. There is only one theme pre-installed, but you can download more from LG Smart World.
One finger swipe from the top of the homescreen will open the notification area, which features a cleaner look in Android 5.0 Lollipop. The top bar displays a scrollable row of quick toggles, some sliders, and any notifications you may have.
Holding a finger down on a toggle in the upper row will take you to the relevant option in the settings, where you can also edit which toggles and sliders are shown.
The app drawer also looks and acts the same. Aside from the usual alphabetical and chronological sorting of apps you can also rearrange the grid any way you see fit. Apps can be uninstalled directly in the app drawer, which is great for getting rid of carrier bloatware.
The app switcher has a neat card interface that allows you to select the app you need by swiping up or down. You can close apps by swiping left or right, by hitting the dedicated button on the top right corner of each card, or use the close all option. There's also a shortcut to the special Dual window feature.
Dual window is available on the LG G Flex2 - which is great, considering the ample screen diagonal. Compared to Samsung's identical Multi window feature, LG's offering has its upsides and downsides.
Just like Multi window, you can quickly drag apps to the top and bottom half of the screen, while some of the compatible ones are running, or start from you homescreen and pick the two apps together.
On the upside, the G Flex2 remembers recent selections for quicker access, and lets you split the screen anywhere you want rather than the middle, top 3rd, or bottom 3rd.
Besides Dual window, many apps have the ability to run in small resizable floating windows which LG has dubbed QSlide. QSlide applications can either be accessed from the notification area, or from within supported apps themselves by clicking the special shortcut icon. QSlide is more practical on tablet-sized displays than it is here, but it's still a neat trick to have.
There's a somewhat hidden alternate homescreen mode called EasyHome, which provides a vastly simplified version of the homescreen interface. The dialer and contact/app shortcuts are all part of the main homescreen, while another secondary homescreen can contain more shortcuts. This is great for the elderly, children, or the not-so tech savvy, but it greatly reduces the number of available features.
Finally, LG offers single-handed mode to aid in the daily interactions with the phone - it allows you move the keyboard, the dialer and the navigation bar to the left or right side of the phone.